- Eye strain. It doesn’t strain your eyes as it uses what is called E-ink and you feel as though you are reading a conventional book. When you have been using the computer all day you want to be able to relax your eyes and not take on further strain. It’s also great to be able to read in different lighting conditions – want to read on the beach? No problem. By comparison the iPad will be more like an ordinary computer with the same amount of eye strain. If you are going to do a lot of reading on your e-reader this is an important consideration.
- Battery life. Both Kindle devices have a long battery life of 1 week when the wireless is switched on and 2 weeks when the wireless is switched off. You really only need the wireless if you want to buy a book. By comparison the iPad battery will only last 10 hours (less than a day!)
- Free wireless access. With the Kindle you get free wireless access to the Kindle Shop so that you can buy books anytime. With the iPad you need to enter a contract to get this sort of access and only the more expensive devices provide wireless access via 3G.
- Price. The Kindle 2 costs $259, and the Kindle DX costs $489 and they both come with 3G wireless. By comparison an iPad with 3G costs $629+ depending on how much storage it has. On top of that you need to add a monthly charge for 3G access if you buy the iPad and that very quickly gets expensive. If you are mainly going to be reading books as opposed to newspapers and blogs then then the Kindle 2 price is very attractive. Apple have cleverly priced the model without 3G wireless at $499 which is only a little more than the Kindle DX, but you need to compare apples with apples.
Ofcourse the iPad has other advantages: it has a colour display, it supports the ePub standard, you can watch movies, you can surf the web, play games, it has a touch screen and you have access to all the apps that come with the iPhone. It all depends on what you are going to be doing: if you are going to be doing a lot of reading then you are better off going for a dedicated e-reader such as the Kindle, whereas if you intend to do less reading and more video watching and web surfing or game playing then you might be better of with an iPad.