Sunday, April 25, 2010

iPad vs. the Kindle; Reviewed and Compared

I have a Kindle and my wife has an iPad -- which one is better?

First of all, they are not the same. The iPad is the best browsing platform ever invented. After using an iPad it seems unnatural not to click on a link by pointing at it.  News sites, Facebook, Youtube all run great. Frequently, I find myself reaching out to touch the buttons on the Kindle -- because it is so natural to do on the iPad.

The Kindle is made to read books that are mostly text, and it does that well. It is lighter and easier to hold.  The Kindle weighs 296 grams which is less than half of the 692 grams that the iPad weighs. The Kindle is also smaller an easier to carry. The opposite of that is that the screen on the iPad is far larger.  There is a larger Kindle, the DX. I am not sure I see the benefit of a bigger Kindle unless you have bad eyesite.

 It downloads books instantly from Amazon. I can get my newspaper on it.

The Kindle barely surfs the web. There is a text-only browser built in, but it runs slowly, and most sites are not rendered very well. The Kindle downloads for free from a 3G network, whereas my iPad is connected to my local wifi. On the other hand, the Kindle is not able to connect to my local wifi.

The Kindle is made for reading text and it does that well. One can adjust the column width and the size of the characters. The iPad has a Kindle app and an iBooks app. Both create a nice looking page, but the column width can't be changed on the iPad, whereas it can be changed on the Kindle.

The Kindle reads a variety of formats and so does the iPad.

The Kindle can be read in bright light, but you can't read in the dark. You can read an iPad in the dark, but you can't read in bright light. I read more in the evening than at the beach. I'd rather have the Kindle glow in the dark. I bought a clip-on booklight.

The Kindle has a matt screen and the iPad screen is glossy. Bright objects in the room can reflect off the iPad and be annoying, and the Kindle does not do that.

The software on the Kindle and the iPad are both locked down, but Apple is allowing develops to write App(lication)s. The Kindle software gets upgraded only occasionally. The Kindle could be so much better with only a few changes.

The iPad is in Color! No color on the Kindle.

Finally, and most importantly, I can get my local paper on the Kindle. I can't get a local paper on the iPad -- Apple was promising a paid newspaper app, but right now, there is only the NY Times. The local paper is a killer app for me. I won't go back to paper, and I like reading local news on the Kindle. Until I can get the Detroit Free Press on the iPad, I am going to hold on to my Kindle.