This specifically compares the $259 Kindle 2 against the Apple iPad ($499 WiFi, $629 3G). There’ll be a separate Kindle DX vs iPad post later.
Please note that -
- If you want a multi-purpose device then iPad is the right choice for you. No need to read the rest of the post.
- If you will be reading less than a book a month then the iPad is definitely the better choice.
- If you want a dedicated eReader than the Kindle is better – read the post and see the pros and cons.
- If price is an issue then the $259 Kindle is the clear choice.
Kindle vs iPad Review – iPad advantages
The best way to think of the iPad is as a larger iPhone – one with a 9.7″ screen. The iPad’s advantages are -
- It does a lot of things – movies (including HD), TV, color screen web browsing, playing games (games look really good), .
- Very good looks.
- Larger screen size – the screen is a 9.7 inch IPS display. IPS is really good screen technology.
- Full capacitive touch screen.
- 1 GHz Apple A4 processor.
- 16, 32, and 64 GB of flash storage – That’s much more storage than the Kindle.
- 802.11n, WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 in the 3G model and WiFi and Bluetooth in the WiFi model. Kindle doesn’t have WiFi or Bluetooth.
- Accelerometer and Compass. Kindle doesn’t have either.
- Good battery life of 10 hours. Standby of over a month. This is still much less than the Kindle.
- iPhone Apps – iPad gets all iPhone Apps. The new SDK includes an iPad simulator.
- Excellent for newspapers – you get color photos and inline videos and more.
The iPad models are priced at -
- WiFi models at $499, $599, and $699. Available around March 27th, 2010.
- WiFi+3G models at $629, $729, and $829.
The key features of iPad’s iBooks Store -
- Menus look like bookshelves with titles on the shelves.
- Partnered with Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, MacMillan, and Hachette.
- You can look at reviews and download samples – very similar to the Kindle.
- Publishers can choose B&W or color content. They can embed video too.
- You can turn pages by tapping the screen or by dragging your finger.
- You can change the font and the font sizes.
- It’ll offer fiction and textbooks.
- It uses ePub format.
Kindle vs iPad – Kindle advantages
- Price – At $259 the Kindle is much cheaper than the iPad.
- Focused on reading. Means few distractions and the whole device is built with reading in mind.
- More compact and lighter. iPad weighs 1.5 pounds and is 0.5″ inch thin – the Kindle is thinner and lighter (0.36″ and 10.2 ounces).
- Screen is better for reading.
- Free Internet.
- Free Wikipedia in 100+ countries around the world.
- Amazing battery life of 2 weeks with wireless off and 1 week with wireless on.
- [To Be Confirmed] It seems the iPad will not have Text to Speech which would give the Kindle an advantage.
- [To be confirmed] Cheaper Prices as ebooks are at $9.99 and on the iPad they are rumored to be $12.99 and $14.99.
- [To be confirmed] Wider range of titles. Kindle for iPad app might negate this advantage.
Kindle vs iPad – Which is the better eReader?
Let’s consider the reading experience on both devices and the major factors that go into making a great eReader.
Please note that we’re considering books – if you’re buying an eReader primarily for newspapers and textbooks you should stick to the iPad.
- Getting Books - A tie. It’s easy to get books on both.
- Cheap Books – Kindle wins because it will have lower prices (to be confirmed).
- Reading Books – The Kindle’s eInk screen is better for reading.
- Price – Kindle easily wins.
- Screen Quality - iPad has an excellent quality screen and is bigger at 9.7″. eInk is better for reading. iPad wins.
- Color – iPad has color. Kindle doesn’t.
- Portability – More compact size and better battery life make the Kindle the winner.
- Reference and surfing the web for information – iPad wins as it has a better browser and you can see a page at a time.
- iBooks Store and Software – The eBook App and Store for the iPad is called iBooks and it’s really good. Apple wins.
- Ease of Use – This is a tie as both are very easy to use.
- Content Portability – With ePub it seems iPad will be more open. Unconfirmed but Apple probably wins.
- Free Internet Access – Only on the Kindle and also includes free whispernet in 100+ countries.
- Text to Speech feature – Kindle wins (have to confirm that iPad’s iBooks does not have Text to Speech).
- Adding notes etc. – iPad wins.
The Kindle wins overall because it wins in some of the most important areas – price, cheap books, readability of the screen, and portability.
Please weigh the factors according to what you value and consider essential to reading.
There are also a few factors that might be important to you (although they aren’t strictly to do with reading) -
- Looks – The iPad wins.
- Doing things other than reading – iPad wins.
This Kindle vs iPad Review arrives at quite a straightforward conclusion -
- If you want a device optimized for reading or price is a priority then the clear choice is the Kindle.
- If you want a device that does a lot of things well, including reading, then the iPad is the clear choice.
Kindle vs iPad is an easy decision because these are very different devices built for two distinct sets of customers.