Kindle vs iPad

17 Jun 2010

I hate this argument. I really do.

When the iPad was first announced, there was a huge rush to compare it to the Kindle, and a huge rush to say how much better the iPad is. Apps this, colour screen that. Completely neglecting of course, that the Kindle isn’t actually a tablet.

Comparing the iPad to the Kindle is a little bit like comparing an MP3 player with a Laptop. Your shiny new iPad can in fact, browse the internet in colour, rendering every page perfectly and in good time. It is also rumoured that the iPad has a touch screen. Why would anyone want a Kindle and not an iPad you ask? The answer is really, really simple; the iPad cannot do eBooks. Oh yes it’s got iBooks, and thousands of eBooks on the iBookstore; but reading on an iPad is like reading from, well, your computer screen.

Glare from your computer screen can cause all sorts of problems. The most annoying of which is eye strain; this can be really painful sometimes can cause headaches. Not exactly something that goes along well with a good book. But it doesn’t end there; your iPad, with it’s headache inducing backlight, can also ruin your sleep. Your computer screen and iPad are designed to have the same temperature of the Sun. This doesn’t mean your face melts every time you check for email; it means that, during the day, displays have the same colours as the world outside - nice and bright. During the night however, the colours around you get warmer, while your computer screen stays like the Sun. Anyone who does a lot of travelling can tell you what happens next.

With all this knowledge, why would anyone want to read for long periods of time from, what is essentially, a huge light? Why would you want to reawaken yourself while you read Winnie the Pooh from your iPad?

If you want an internet device, something to check email or to play games; by all means, get an iPad. But if you want to read an eBook, please, please get a Kindle, your eyes and brain will love you. Maybe if you are super rich, you could get both? Because they are two very different devices; admittedly with some overlap, but the Kindle does one thing very well, and the iPad does, er, what exactly?

(please ignore the Kindles web browser, this is not what the device was designed for, be happy that it’s all free anyway)

(if you do value your sleep check out f.lux. It changes the colour temperature of your monitor through the day)