Epic: Kindle vs. iPad

Last month, I bought my wife an Amazon Kindle for her birthday.  There are some that might think, “A Kindle?  They’re so going out of style now that the Apple iPad came out.”  Not so.  In fact, I think the Kindle will outlast the iPad, and here are a few reasons why:

Specific Function: The iPad is designed to be an all-in-one device, and for some (those who don’t own a desktop, laptop, or phone), this will come in handy.  But it’s unlikely that those who own other devices, like a laptop and phone, will ever use the iPad for the functions that those devices serve.  They will likely not use the iPad for making a phone call (perhaps they will for a video call someday) or as a GPS; they will not use the iPad to create content (writing a paper or making a video or running monthly numbers as in Excel), because it’s extremely hard to do so on the iPad.  The iPad is a content-consuming device, not a content-creating device.  The Kindle is a reading-specific device, and every function on it is well-designed for this purpose.  Those who own other devices will quickly find that the only thing that they can do on their iPad is watch videos, listen to music, and surf the web, which they can do on their TV, their iPod, their laptop or their phone, and their iPad will quickly be pushed aside in favor of function-specific devices.

Readability: The Kindle uses e-ink instead of an LCD screen, which is much easier on the eyes, and makes for the ability to read longer.  This also enables a longer battery life (who’s heard of a device lasting for a month on one charge?).  E-ink is that it’s black and white, which could be a downside for some people.  The iPad also has a bright and shiny screen, which makes it difficult to read, which would be one of the few purposes that a person would use it for.

Availability of Content: As a reading device, the Kindle has a myriad of choices in the content department.  Amazon.com has over 2 million books that you can download to the Kindle, and you can send any PDF to your Kindle to read.  You can also synchronize your reading across multiple devices.  For instance, if you’re reading one book, you can save your place on your Kindle, and come back to read it on your laptop or your phone, starting where you left off.

Lower Price Point: For some of us, one of the most compelling reasons to buy the Kindle is that it has a much lower cost.  It starts at $139.00 (or $189.00 for the 3G version).  The iPad comes out of the box at $499.00!

For all you readers out there, go out and get a Kindle!

Do you have a Kindle or an iPad?  Are you thinking about getting one?

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  • Broc
  • Mitchell

    Hi Bob,

    This post helped convince me that a Kindle really is a good idea. My parents are coming to visit us in 3 weeks and I am going to order one on Amazon now to have them bring here. I enjoy your blog very much! Thanks!

    • Bob

      It really is a good idea… I’m SO glad that I got one…


  • Ipad owner

    The iPad totally blows a kindle out of the water, why would you want to limit yourself with something incapable of multi-functioning ? You can get a free app for kindle if you want for the iPad. IPad Offers you the best of both worlds, a lot of reading apps and thousands of media apps. It’s like the difference between a Ferrari and a Yugo… I chose the Ferrari.

    • Bob

      Yes, you can get the Kindle app for the iPad, if you want. But if you get an iPad, you won’t be using it for reading. If you’re a serious reader, the Kindle is for you. Also, to complete your Ferrari vs. Yugo analogy… if you can afford the Ferrari, great. If you just want something to get you around, buy a Toyota. :)

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