Kindle necessary for iPad owners – ComputerWorld

There’s a new trend starting – People who bought the iPad had begun to think the Kindle was no longer needed. Of course, they felt it necessary to scream it out from the rooftops and declare the Kindle dead. Now after a month or so with their iPads more and more of them are changing their minds as they realize the Kindle really is better for reading.

We saw this with Clayton Morris who pointed out several reasons the Kindle is better for reading than the iPad. We now have Mike Elgan at ComputerWorld have a change of heart -

But now that I’ve used an iPad for a month and a half, I’ve come to realize that I still want, need and love my Kindle.

In a nutshell, the e-book reading on the iPad is generally great. But the list of things the iPad does badly is identical to the list of things the Kindle does well. And vice versa.

He’s hedging his bets – However, it’s much better than the initial ‘Kindle is dead’ sentiment.

13 reasons iPad owners need a Kindle

Courtesy Mike Elgan at ComputerWorld we get a list of 13 reasons the Kindle is necessary even if you have the magical iPad -

  1. Reading in the Sun. He rightly points out that the iPad is unreadable in direct sunlight. It’d be nice if people started pointing out that the iPad doesn’t handle bright light that well either.
  2. Free Mobile Broadband - He rightly points out that if you only need 3G to browse for books and download them then the Kindle has free 3G. He misses out that Wikipedia, Google search, and mobile sites also work quite well.
  3. Auto-Reader (Text to Speech) - Elgan talks about letting his Kindle read to him and the usefulness. Apple also has text to speech though its an accessibility feature (Voice Over) and it’s a pain to use as all the buttons become voice activated.
  4. Overheating. He says that in direct sunlight, in a hot car, and in hot weather the iPad can overheat and shut down.  
  5. Security. A very valid point - the Kindle is less likely to be stolen and at $189 much less of a loss if it is.
  6. Reading before Sleep. Mike Elgan quotes a study that suggests reading on a device using a back-lit screen can interfere with the quality of your sleep. This is one of those things which varies from person to person – for me, backlit screens at night do mess up my sleep.  
  7. Battery Life. iPad’s 10 to 12 hours versus the Kindle’s 2 weeks.
  8. Book Availability. Not as much of a pro-Kindle argument as a pro-Kindle Store argument.  
  9. Magazine Availability. Also a pro-Kindle Store argument. 
  10. Weight. The iPad weighs 1.5 pounds and holding it with one or both hands gets tiring very quickly. You have to rest it against something which sometimes means bending your neck awkwardly. The Kindle is just 10.2 ounces and you can hold and read it for a long time – even if you’re using just one hand.
  11. Multiple Users. Elgan points out that kids, family, and friends always want to borrow the iPad and it’s tough to get time for reading.
  12. Peace. He says that he gets interrupted once every 15 minutes when using his iPad outdoors.
  13. Multitasking. Mike Elgan says there are lots of situations where two devices are better than one.

His ending is pretty interesting -

If I had to choose between an iPad and a Kindle, there is no question that I’d choose an iPad. But I don’t have to choose. I can have it all. And I recommend that all serious readers who buy an iPad do the same.

It’s pretty obvious that after 1 to 2 months of owning an iPad the ‘This device does everything better than everything else’ sentiment begins to disappear. Makes you wonder what other feelings are going to dissipate over the next 3 to 4 months.

7 Responses

  1. Again, this is important to me. Can I download jpg images directly from my camera to the Kindle via a usb cable.

    • If you could let me know what camera I’d try and search it. Without information there’s no way I can help you. Unfortunately, I’m not going to buy a special cable just to test if for you with my camera and Kindle. Perhaps you could google ‘See a Kindle in your City’ and ask someone to test you.
      It’s probably not going to work.

  2. I have both devices, and came to a similar conclusion a while ago. While the iPad is much more versatile, even when just talking e-books (think: Kindle, Nook, and Stanza apps as well as iBooks, not to mention being able to read in the dark), the Kindle is still easier on the eyes if there’s enough light to read by.

  3. Yet again, you publish misinformed opinions and downright lies as facts.

    Why do you keep doing this?

    The Kindle App for iPhone/iPad is far, far superior in every respect to the hardware Kindle, IMHO – I’m approaching 300 Kindle books read now, most of them on iPhone and now iPad, whilst my hardware Kindle gathers dust.

    The hardware Kindle is absolutely *not* ‘easier on the eyes’, as FARfetched mistakenly suggests – I guess he doesn’t understand how to adjust the iPad brightness controls, nor adjust the font sizes.

    So you, and this Mike Elgan person, and FARfetched a) simply don’t know what you’re talking about, and b) present your (misinformed) *opinions* as ‘*facts*.

    What monstrous egos you must all have, to presume to speak for us all.

  4. These are actually (mostly) excellent points. I haven’t sold my Kindle yet, nor do I use it anymore, so I’m clearly somewhere in the middle. #12 is certainly true, if he means by peace that everyone approaches you “is that the new iPad, but then, when the Kindle’s were new, you had a bit of that too. If he means disruptions, I flip off notifications when I want to read a magazine (light reading), and turn off WiFi if I want to read extended (no more email beeps).

    I didn’t really get #9, Zinio subscriptions are about as cheap as the cards inside magazines, and last I checked they had a larger selection than Amazon Kindle magazines, plus you can read them on iPhone, Mac and PC as well (although those are all inferior ways to read, for sure).

    #8, of course, is a joke, so long as Amazon maintains a Kindle app.

    #11 is also a joke. no you can’t borrow my iPad; no you can’t borrow my Kindle. Problem solved.

    To the commenter that wants to load photographs via USB, I’m confused. The device has under 2gb of available space, no color screen, and is not designed to do much other than reading. If a netbook & a kindle is too heavy, or a iPad and a kindle too expensive, they do sell hard drive photo backup devices fairly cheap these days, if you’re out for extended periods of time and need to offload photos. Or you can buy a bunch of really cheap flash cards and just carry more.

  5. Most of the points in the linked article are just silly. I have both devices and appreciate what the Kindle Reader does well, but the iPad is by far the more useful device. I agree that the Kindle is usually a “better reader,” (technical reading not-withstanding), but the iPad is a “good enough reader.”

    I want a device that contains all of my reading material and to date the Kindle cannot be that device (e.g. epub, pdfs, technical manuals). Ok, the Kindle DX can handle PDFs and technical manuals pretty well too (although navigation is far superior on the iPad), but for that form-factor and price I want more from the device.

    The iPad, however, can handle every reading demand I’ve thrown at it to date (novels, technical, and random PDFs that are basically scanned documents). And as a bonus it does a number of other things pretty well (e-mail, surfing, remote desktop). And at the price-point I paid ($500 for wifi/16gb) I think it competes very well with the Kindle line on price/features. Remember what the original Kindle/Kindle DX cost.

    The Kindle cannot be my “handle-everything” device due to its tie-in to the Kindle format – epub need not apply. So as long as e-readers in general are tied to specific formats, a device like an iPad actually provides much more flexibility, as long as the various competitors provide apps.

    Personally I hope that the Kindles continue to race to a low price-point (sub-$100) as that is a much more reasonable price for a dedicated device tied to a single-store (I am ignoring the USB upload, that’s not for technically challenged). That has the potential to greatly expand the e-book market and solidify e-books. The goal is to make our desired reading material available electronically.

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