iPad vs Kindle -As far as e-book reading, how does the iPad, Apple’s tablet computer compare to Amazon Kindle, a dedicated e-book reader?
The quick answer: The standalone e-book reader is still very much alive. Kindle is more portable and costs less than iPad; however, iPad is still a good e-book device.
That sums up our side-by-side look at the e-reader potential of the iPad (selling price $499+) and the Kindle ($260) which held up outstandingly in our e-reader evaluations. Take a look at our Amazon Kindle versus Apple iPad showdown footage (on the right) on YouTube’s Consumer Reports channel.
Here is a comparison of the 2 devices as eReaders.
iPad vs Kindle round 1: iPad Wins
The Apple iBooks app displays your titles on a virtual bookshelf with the actual book covers visible. After you choose a title, it is simple to turn the pages. If you are impressed by fancy virtual page turns, you will like iPad, which adds a virtual curl to the page and renders the actual type on the underside with near perfection. You can even vary the time it takes to turn pages, from being quicker than even the Kindle, to slow.
An illuminated color display.
Even though color isn’t necessary to read most books, it is good to use for covers and colorful pictures, which the iPad’s excellent screen shows clearly. Kindle’s eInk screen has no color, but this is the norm for e Reader screens these days. It does rely on ambient light; whereas, iPad has a backlit LCD screen that can be read in the dark.
Readily connect with several booksellers.
It may come as a surprise that, with its standard resistance to letting the competition get wise to its devices, Apple has let e-book applications from Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and more onto the iPad. Nonetheless, the majority are only in iPhone versions so far and these require enlargement to fill the iPad’s screen.
Perhaps Apple let the competition exist because iBooks has a smaller number of titles than Kindle or B&N for the time being. Furthermore, they may not want a limited library to cause iPad owners to be unhappy.
If you want an e-book from any place other than Kindle’s store, you have to connect your Kindle to a computer using a USB cable and convert the book to the Kindle format.
iPad vs Kindle round 2: Kindle Wins
Type that is the easiest to read.
The Kindle’s type is much clearer than the iPad’s, though it is sufficient. The iPad is a little harder on your eyes because of its bluish background. Kindle’s brownish/green background is easier on the eyes.
Light-weight, and small in size.
The size of the Kindle’s 6-inch screen is comparable to many paperback books, which enables the model to be effortlessly taken along in a purse. Conversely, the iPad (and the $489 Kindle DX) come with 10-inch displays that are larger than the typical reader requires and need to be transported in a large carrying case. The 6″ Kindle weighs approximately 10 ounces; whereas, the iPad weighs all of 24 ounces.
It costs less.
The price for the Kindle is $259, which includes unlimited 3G book purchases anywhere and at anytime. iPad prices start at $499, going up to $629 for a model with 3G access. On top of that are monthly, optional 3G charges that range from $15 to $30 if you want to use 3G capability.
iPad vs Kindle round 3: Kindle Wins
The bottom line
Basically, iPad has a lot more versatility than Kindle, and this keeps growing every day as applications are added. Some great applications on iPad are interactive newspapers and magazines, and there is a lot more to explore. If you want to be able to do lots of things with your device, and you have a budget of about $500, you will want an iPad.
However, if you just want to read e-books, Kindle is more affordable choice. It is also easier to read and smaller. For the time being, it is the better choice for most e-book aficionados.