Thursday, April 22, 2010

Prithee, Inform Me: Kindle or iPad?

Spurred by this New Yorker article detailing the ongoing battle between Amazon and Apple (read: the Kindle and the iPad, the status quo and the agency model), this week's Prithee, Inform Me focuses on the two most high-profile e-reading devices on the U.S. market.

Prithee, inform me, dear readers: do you own a Kindle or an iPad? If so, why one and not the other (or, if both, why)? If not, why not? Do you see the Kindle and the iPad as catering to different markets, or do you think they're both vying for the same readership and only one can emerge victorious?

Have at it!

41 comments:

  1. I have a Sony Reader. I like the flexibility in sources I have with a Sony.

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  2. Actually, I own neither. The Kindle replicates the reader experience really well (my dad owns one), but I want the color and excitement that the iPad has (the Alice demo is drool-worthy). The iPad, however, tries to do too many things, is too kludgy, and is first-gen, something I've learned to avoid with Apple products.

    I'm going to sit back and see who ends up the Betamax.

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  3. I have a Kindle as it was gifted to me but am tempted by the iPad but for completely different uses. The Kindle replaced my iTouch for ereading, I don't see the iPad taking me back to that kinda screen, even if it is larger. The iPad would be great for basic mobile computing, but reading a novel or staring at a fixed screen for an hour or more is gonna require something like the Kindle.

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  4. I don't own any e-readers. Perhaps it's a function of my age, but I really love holding a real book in my hands.
    karen

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  5. Kindle, because I have one already. Right now I'd be more inclined to go for the next round of iBook, which I bet will have some of the iPad features and a keyboard.

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  6. I don't own any e-readers. I like the idea (carrying my library with me? ahhhh), but until the prices come down (translation: I'm CHEAP), I won't be jumping on this bandwagon.

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  7. I have a Kindle and an iPhone. The Kindle wins hands-down over the iPhone for reading, simply due to the screen being so much nicer to read on. And it's not the size that gets me on the Kindle vs iPhone reader topic, either. It's the light and the glare. Even with white text on black background, the eyestrain was still more than I've ever had reading eInk.

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  8. I have not jumped on that bandwagon yet. The Kindle is simply too expensive as a single-purpose device which will likely need to be upgraded or replaced every few years. The iPad is much more attractive as it can be used as so much more than just a reader, and Apple technology is certainly sexy. But as a previous commenter said, it's never a great idea to buy first-generation Apple technology unless you have the money to burn in exchange for the coolness factor of being one of the early adopters. Plus -- and this is a big plus in my opinion -- I have an iPhone, and the iPad would be redundant. Very cool, but redundant.

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  9. I love my Kindle! Our household has pre-orderd a 3G iPad, but I can't read with the back light. If I read on my iPhone, it can only be for 5-10 minutes before my eyes feel like they are melting. The iPad looks better for watching video and fiddling with apps. Meanwhile, I can read on the Kindle for hours, so it seems to me they are for different markets. The iPad is a better fit for those who read a little, where as those of us who read an average of one book a day will require something with the e-ink technology.

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  10. I am with Kendra, for the most part. I think in the Venn diagrams of who owns/uses which device, the iPad circle will be much bigger because it is a general entertainment machine. However, I think dedicated eReaders (not just Kindle, but Nook & Sony) will continue to have a following among folks who read a lot, especially now that us baby boomers are getting on in years. There will some overlap with folks who have the money to buy both.

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  11. forgot to add, I do own (and love) a Kindle 2.

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  12. I own and love my Kindle, and read it along with my regular books. The ipad looks fun but for reading, I love the Kindle (I have the bigger size)

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  13. Can I throw another curve into this conversation? I like the Nook from Barnes & Noble but would like to have it included in the debate AFTER they work out the bugs.

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  14. I think I'm with the general populus here. I don't own either currently. My plan is to wait until the bugs are worked out of the iPad and the price drops a bit. I wanted a Kindle until the iPad came out, but with the iPad's increased functionality, my view changed. Perhaps if they put a camera on it...still price is the deciding factor!

    Rebecca
    http://rebeccatlittle.blogspot.com/

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  15. Or?

    How about AND?

    I have two Kindles (K1 and KDX), two Sonys (500 and 505), and my iPad will be delivered a week from tomorrow.

    (Not counting the Kindle app on two iPhones (one old, used as an iPod Touch, and one 3G) and all my computers.)

    I love to read. Why limit myself when I don't have to?

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  16. I have a Kindle and love it.

    I don't want an iPad. I already have a laptop for online access, and a Kindle for e-reading. Aside from the cost of the iPad being too high for me, it seems too large, and I don't need to go online with my e-reader. I have a laptop for that. All I want to do with my e-reader is bring a lot of reading options along without the weight of many books.

    And I do love "real' books, too. I read in both formats—and audio books, too. Format mostly depends on the setting.

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  17. I have a Kindle 2 and I love it! The iPad looks nice and all, but it's horrible for trying to read in sunlight, and is so limited by flash/USB ports, etc. Like another commenter, I don't like buying the first-gen of any apple product. Plus, the Kindle does everything I currently want. The iPad has the "ooo--shiny!!!" factor, but that's it.

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  18. Oh, and I don't think one device has to win. As others have noted, some people just want to read. Other people want a multi-media do-it-all device.

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  19. *sigh* I use my Inspiron 710m laptop for e-reading because I can't afford any of the fancy new readers.

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  20. neither. i prefer to read off screen.

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  21. I have a Kindle. I love my Kindle. My boyfriend jokes I love it more than him (I assure him its at least a tie). The iPad does look nice and shiny, but its so expensive- with Kindle prices decreasing, its amazing how much more expensive it is, and thats even without WiFi! I can imagine the color would be great for magazines and newspapers at some point, and the apps would probably be a lot of fun on the bigger screen, but that kind of stuff is what I use my iPhone for. The things that I really really love about my Kindle are areas in which the Kindle is greatly lacking:
    1. After a long day at work my eyes hurt way to much to stare at another screen- I love the way the Kindle looks so much like a real book and my poor little eyes can rest a bit.
    2. The battery life on the Kindle is really amazing, especially on long trips when you don't always want to be scrambling trying to find an outlet. From what I have heard, the iPad battery life, in comparison, is laughable.
    So, while dogs and cats may love the iPad, I am not entirely convinced. My Kindle is simple, but all I really need it to do is read books.
    That isn't to say that if a kind benefactor was to gift me an iPad that I wouldn't snatch it up in a heartbeat...
    On an unrelated note, how much of a pain is it to use the Kindle app on the iPhone? You read about 2 sentences and then have to turn the page!

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  22. Love my Kindle. It's easy to use and I never have any problems with it. The iPad is cool and gadgety (my husband is all sorts of into those groovy little toys), but at the end of the day, I want to read. So the Kindle suits me just fine.

    I'm sure I'll need to upgarde it at some point...and might change my mind. But for now, I do love it.

    Should also say that I buy an equal number of titles in print. It depends on availability and cost. For example, I downloaded a book that was only out in hard cover ($21.99 at Borders before the 40% off coupon versus my $9.99 download), but I also snapped up a paperback of a Very Popular Novel for $5.99 on sale the other day at barnes and Noble versus the $14.99 Amazon was asking for the download. So there you are.

    I download enough (I read a lot- probably a book every week or two) to justify the expense of the Kindle, and the perk of taking one device to the beach or on a plane versus a bag full of books is appealing.

    That Alice demo is rather excellent, but I have enough distracting me as it is ;) I'll stick with the Kindle for now.

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  23. Only one type of e-reader? Yeah, that will happen when there is only one type of computer, one type of phone, one format for music downloads, etc.

    I own a Kindle 2. The iPad seems to me to be nothing more than a Mac version of a notebook. I'll wait until iPad 2 comes out, before I even consider buying one.

    What I don't understand are those who won't try the e-book because of the cost of the e-reader. Both Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (Nook) offer free e-books downloaded to your computer (PC and Mac). If you have a computer, you have an e-reader. If you have a laptop you can carry your library with you.

    I buy e-books for my Kindle from Amazon, but when B&N has a book not available for Kindle, such as Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land", I buy it from B&N and download it to my Mac.

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  24. I think they're catering to different markets. The iPad does many different things, but what the Kindle does, it does well (so I've heard: I have a Sony reader).

    I'm very tempted by the iPad - I love reading on my iPod Touch, and actually prefer the backlit screen on that to eInk - but I'm held back by the significantly shorter battery life. (And the heavier weight, and larger size.) That said, when my netbook dies and the iPad is at version 3, I might succumb.

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  25. Have neither. Not interested. Just one more "thing" to cart around in an overloaded purse/briefcase/etc. I'll stick to a good book. Goes anywhere and airport security can't hurt it.

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  26. I too have a Nook. My sister has a Kindle, I have messed around with it, but I am more partial to BN and the Nook.

    My $0.02

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  27. The Sony does everything I want.

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  28. Another question is who will sell more books on the iPad, Kindle app or iBookstore? I think it would be funny if after all the talk about the iPad killing the Kindle, Amazon outsells Apple on the iPad.

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  29. I have neither the iPad or Kindle as I am a starving artist. With 3 kids. And a mortgage. I thought the New Yorker article spelled out the whole e-book mess clearer than, well, a Kindle on a sunny day. I'm just not sure yet how I feel about Amazon. In one regard, I'm pissed that they took it upon themselves to set the price point of e-books at $9.99, taking away business from other booksellers and may the publishers be damned. But on the other hand, could they be onto something in their plot to cut out the middle man and go straight to working with the author. It seems like iTunes has had some success with the Indie market. Do authors really need publishers or have they just been brainwashed to believe that they do?

    Wait, what was the question? Oh, yeah, I like books. I like flipping the pages, I like making notes in the margin, I like browsing in bookstores, I like organizing my books in my bookshelf, Oh, and occasionally, I go to this place where I can get a book to take home for a while for free. It's called the library.

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  30. I own neither. The main reasons are (1) expense and (2) inability to loan books. Although living in Thailand, it would be awesome to be able to download books rather than ship them to friends who are visiting in the next 3-4 months. But I love loaning books, and I'm short on cash.

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  31. I'm interested in the Nook, but I think I'll wait for the next generation, as well as for the price to come down a bit.

    In the meantime, I read off my laptop, or off the printed page. Why limit myself to just one or the other?

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  32. My daughter (age 11) owns a Kindle and loves it. We just took a trip and she happily downloaded several books. As a mother, I prefer her to have a dedicated e-reader rather than a gadget -- like the iPad -- which tempts her to surf the web, check e-mail, download songs, check the weather, etc. instead of reading what she has chosen to read. Too many distractions in this world! The Kindle supports focused reading: one of the gifts of books for our minds.

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  33. "The iPad seems to me to be nothing more than a Mac version of a notebook.." just "ooh shiny." Really? Really? Have you held one, managed everything by touch, full intra-integration of the programmes, tried the dictionary on iBooks whilst reading your book on the iPad, adjusted the screen brightness and text size to your liking with a brush of a fingertip, linked instantly to the online book extras in the extended book app? - the iPad is a game changer folks, the kindle is a reader - full. stop. The iPad is a portal to a whole new way of surfing, reading, working, it is awesome! I fell in love at the LBF. Check it out on video here.

    http://www.viewfromheremagazine.com/2010/04/on-digital-notes-from-london-book-fair.html

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  34. I currently have an iPad,which is fantastic. I sold my Somy reader and various other items to defray the cost. I have no problem reading with the backlight (it's adjustable) but I've gotta be honest I do miss the e ink screen of the Sony Reader. Don't get me wrong, I don't see myself getting rid of the iPad but if I were shopping for just a dedicated reader then i would go with the Sony or nook. I do not like the kindle due to its homely form factor and the fact that you can only get books through Amazon. With the Sony or nook you can shop around at various ebook shops and load their content on your device.

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  35. I have neither, but have the Kindle app on my iPhone and use it to download the many free or almost free classics. I find it very useful to have it with me at all times, and can easily swipe across pages with one finger while eating with the other hand. And I love to note things of interest, so the highlighting feature is very useful.

    I get recurrent waves of iPad lust but I won't buy one till they're at the third generation because that seems to be when Apple really gets the issues sorted out (I'm a longtime iPod & iPhone owner). In the meantime I think I'll buy a Kindle when I can afford it, mostly for the e-ink display.

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  36. I own a Kindle because I won it in a contest. But I love it, though. Although, I wouldn't mind having an iPad for all the things it does. But I'm with Jane--I'll wait until the shakedown period is over and the pricing has come down a bit more.

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  37. Why are the Kindle and the iPad the only options?

    Personally, I find the iPad awkward. It's a strange size. It looks too fragile. It's a giant iPhone. It's called an iPad. And I can't buy a cover for it and pretend it's a book anyway. Plus, they've put ads up all over the city using Nicholas Sparks' Last Song. Gross.

    I'd then choose the Kindle. Though, really - I'd choose the nook.

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  38. I love my Kindle. I've rediscovered my love of books thanks to it. I've also had the chance over the last few days to use an IPad extensively and for reading, there's just no comparison between the two. The IPad is a fun device for browsing and playing with the various apps, but for serious reading - nope. It's heavy, the battery life is short compared to the Kindle, and it's barely readable if you are sitting in front of a window with the sun shining in. The Kindle's e-ink screen is so much easier on the eyes than the IPad's backlit screen.

    If I were up in the middle of the night, reading in bed without wanting to turn on a light, I'd use the IPad, but otherwise, I want my Kindle!

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  39. Kindle 2. I spent a weekend with an iPad, and all I did was play Plants versus Zombies on it, so in no way was that going to be productive... so I sprang for the Kindle instead. It is exactly what I wanted, and nothing more, and thank goodness. (I already have a Touch and a netbook, so an iPad would have just been redundant anyway.)

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  40. I love my iPad. You get a gorgeous display, ability to web surf, a portfolio for graphics and photography, and it's easier to read than Kindle.

    I sent back my Kindle. No color, no life.

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