I had always been an advocate for real, paper books until I got an iPad and downloaded the Kindle app. While skeptical at the beginning, I was slowly won over by the user-friendliness of the interface, and the convenience of accessing all my books from a high-tech, portable device.
I recently, however, came across a realization: I travel a lot overseas for work, where the $500 iPad can be a tempting target for thieves, and the potential for misplacing it or forgetting it is high. I really didn’t want to worry about the iPad all the time, which left me with two choices: one, to download the Kindle app. on my company’s PC-and having to pull out my heavy laptop every time I wanted to read, or buy Amazon’s $139 Kindle.
I decided to fork out the $139 and get the Kindle. Now I read my books on the iPad when I’m at home, and I take the Kindle with me when I travel. I also take it around town to enjoy with the impromptu cup of coffee at Starbucks.
How do they compare?
Well, on one hand you can’t match the amazing resolution on the iPad, the intuitiveness and speed of its touch-screen navigation, and its full color capabilities. Needless to say, you can also surf the web and read your email. On the other hand, it’s bigger than the Kindle, which makes it harder to carry around and, starting at $499, you stand to take a fairly large financial hit if you lose it.
On the Kindle’s side, you certainly can’t beat the small size and light weight (you can even carry it in your pocket), and the low price means that you don’t need to be as concerned with losing it as you would be with the iPad. On the negative side, you can’t surf the web, the resolution is not as good (especially on pictures) and the cursor-based navigation is pretty slow compared to touch-screen systems.
If you’re planning on buying the iPad and you don’t mind carrying it around all the time, you can download the Kindle app and be perfectly OK with that. If you don’t plan to get an iPad and just want a reading device (sort of like an iPod for books) or if, like me, you have an iPad but don’t want to take it with you everywhere, get the Kindle.