The great debate: iPad vs Kindle

posted at 4:30 pm on November 7, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Four weeks ago, I wrote a quick review about my new Kindle, the electronic book reader from Amazon, and explained why I chose it over the popular iPad.  The price was the biggest factor at the time, with my 6″ Kindle costing about a quarter of the cost for an entry-level iPad.  The size was also more convenient — about the same dimensions as a trade paperback book, it fits a little easier in coat pockets and in the hand while going about town.  For a man in his late forties and suffering from very mild presbyopia, the lack of backlighting on the screen makes it a little easier to read for longer periods of time without tiring my eyes.  I’ve been very happy with the Kindle and my decision.

However, thanks to an incentive program at our company, both AP and I got our own iPads this past week, the first time I have ever owned an Apple product (my father bought an Apple IIe when I was 17, my only real exposure to the Apple world).  I’ve had a chance to get a few hours in with my new device, much to the amusement and consternation of the First Mate, and I’m impressed.  But do I now regret my initial decision?

Actually, I’m glad I have both — and I think I’ll use both in the future, too.  I’ve certainly had plenty of opportunity to use both now as book readers, and each has its own advantages.  I covered the Kindle’s advantages in my earlier post, so I’ll focus mainly on the iPad.  The iPad is much more flexible than the Kindle in that the iPad has applications for not just iBooks but also Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook libraries as well.  Amazon coordinates Kindle purchases across both devices;  I can pick up a book on the iPad where I left off on the Kindle, and vice versa, so switching between devices is effortless, as long as you have an Internet connection.  (Note, though, that not all of the newspaper and magazine subscriptions will transfer to the iPad from the Kindle store.)  The iPad’s interface is closer to the look and feel of an actual book, right down to turning the pages.  However, while the bright white page presentation is more aesthetically pleasing, it is harder on the eyes for lengthy book reading, and the weight and size of the iPad is not quite as comfortable in the hand in its Apple cover as the Kindle is with the Amazon case, both purchased separately and similarly priced.

But the iPad is a great deal more than an e-book device, although it is something a little shy of a laptop or notebook computer.  The tablet is akin to a large smartphone in that it runs applications downloaded through the Internet, or iTunes while connected to another computer (either PC or Mac works).  Its large presentation and ability to reposition from landscape to portrait orientation immediately gives it great flexibility for entertainment applications like Netflix or social-media apps like Tweetdeck. There are plenty of free applications, and most of the others are priced in the manner of the smartphone market — low prices designed to attract customers.  I purchased NFL HD 2011 just for fun, even though I usually stink at sports games on Wii and other systems, and it’s impressive how detailed and interactive the application was for just $7.99.

How about work?  It does have a native browser, Safari, which allows me to access my work websites and conduct some level of business, as well as e-mail which doesn’t work quite as well as I’d like in managing my inboxes while away from my main computer at home.  The apps market has several feed readers for keeping up with news sources.  I bought the Bluetooth wireless keyboard to see if I could make this a remote work station, and it’s possible — but my laptop is almost the same weight and dimensions, and much more suited for that kind of work.

The iPad is an excellent combination of book reader, entertainment center, and limited productivity assistant, as well as a great way to run social media applications for Facebook and Twitter.  For those with the means to buy it, the iPad will probably be all anyone needs.  For those looking primarily for just a book reader or needing a lower cost entry into the reader market, as well as those that either need to avoid the backlighting while reading or wanting to avoid the distractions of easily-accessed entertainment to get reading accomplished, the Kindle is an excellent choice.

Note: Sales made through the links in this post will result in small compensation to me at no additional cost to the consumer.


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By the way, I HATE the kindle ads on tv, hate that song. Please make it stop!!!!

karenhasfreedom on November 7, 2010 at 6:35 PM

I have a Kindle, and I love it.

If you have an iPhone, there’s actually little reason to get an iPad. The iPhone does everything it can do, essentially, only better, just with a smaller screen. The iPad itself is little more than a glorified, oversized iPod Touch (which itself is essentially an iPhone without the phone or camera components).

I may consider getting an iPad down the road, but really, it’s not a priority, and the price point will have to come down significantly.

Vyce on November 7, 2010 at 6:39 PM

I have contemplated purchasing a kindle – especially considering the cost of english books here in Italy. The books still seem pretty expensive to buy online, though…? I think I would rather have the real book for those prices. I love love love my books. However, they seem like a great thing to take on trips – especially now with the limited amount of baggage allowed. decisions, decisions.

thanks for the recap!

sarainitaly on November 7, 2010 at 6:53 PM

Actual books with printed pages are difficult to delete, can’t be demagnetized, and the text can’t be updated without an actual reprinting. I’ll stick with them.

zoyclem on November 7, 2010 at 6:58 PM

LOL. Don’t have a husband and thankfully my Lab can’t type, though I’d love to know what he’d have to say.

txag92 on November 7, 2010 at 5:37 PM

I’m sure he and CyberCipher’s collie could find lots of things to chat about.

RINO in Name Only on November 7, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Kindle and love it. A big deal for me is over 30 days between recharges. That means you can load up on books and go on a trip while leaving the charger at home.

kurtzz3 on November 7, 2010 at 7:04 PM

By the way, I HATE the kindle ads on tv, hate that song. Please make it stop!!!!

karenhasfreedom on November 7, 2010 at 6:35 PM

A-MEN!!!

I love my iPad. I had to get a second one when my wife commandeered the original. As long as you realize up front that it is NOT a laptop, you will be very happy. I use it at work to take notes during meetings (or play games when really bored). I’ve used it to record interviews (connected to my Blue Yeti mic). It is great for checking email and surfing the web, although the lack of Flash support is annoying. I can’t wait until HTML5 pushes that Adobe crap out of our lives.

Of course, there are the addictive games: Angry Birds, Words With Friends, Tessarae, Count To 25 and so many more.

I read before bed every night with my iPad. You can easily adjust the brightness and paper style, I like the fact that I can read with the lights off, which the Mrs. appreciates.

cannonball on November 7, 2010 at 7:08 PM

IMO… HP Slate. Or wait and get one of the upcoming nVidia devices or Dells mini tablet.

liquidflorian on November 7, 2010 at 7:15 PM

angry birds!!!!

blatantblue on November 7, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Actual books with printed pages are difficult to delete, can’t be demagnetized, and the text can’t be updated without an actual reprinting. I’ll stick with them.

zoyclem on November 7, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Deleting a printed page is pretty easy actually. What is harder is to delete them remotely after the customer has already purchased it.

pedestrian on November 7, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Vyce on November 7, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Actually the current generation of iPod Touch come with two 1 megapixel cameras so all it’s lacking to make it an iPhone is the actual phone. Which lead me to the conclusion that I would buy an actual smartphone (but not an iPhone) before I would buy an iPod Touch.

Rip Ford on November 7, 2010 at 7:30 PM

I suppose if I ever went anywhere I would carry a book… non-volatile, read only memory device. Takes a bullet and is still functional. I also have a cell phone I never use…its the emergency, house burns down, Road Warrior has visited the United States sort of device: it gathers dust.

I’m trying my hand at writing, but reading is a problem… when I need something to read, the old ink on pulp works just fine.

ajacksonian on November 7, 2010 at 7:31 PM

Ed, that was a nicely reasoned piece. I’m thinking about which one to buy, and it’s tough. Kindle is cheaper and lighter which are big factors for me. iPad has a terrific reader interface is very flexible and more dynamic. I’d love to surf the internet with one and store photos on it as well, since I’m a photographer too. The backlit thing doesn’t bother me too much since the iPad can be adjusted. I’ll probably wait for the next iPad version to see if the improvements are enough, then choose.

Dongemaharu on November 7, 2010 at 7:39 PM

I’m not speaking for other people, but I have read books on the ipad for nearly 7 hours straight on a plane, in the dark, without any eye strain.

Of course I cranked the brighness way down. :D

Herikutsu on November 7, 2010 at 7:43 PM

I love my Kindle. I can download ‘samples’ of books I want to preview which is a great feature; also, downloading books takes 30 seconds or less, anywhere, anytime! I like that you can bookmark as well as make notes.

The only ‘real’ books I’ve purchased were Liberty or Tyranny and Going Rogue, because I wanted people to see these books.

Kindle has great blogs including Hot Air! This is great when riding in the car; only problem is I can’t read HA comments, or comment myself. I currently get Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, National Review Online (The Corner), gardening blogs and others.

I love my Kindle!!

TN Mom on November 7, 2010 at 7:45 PM

I have a iPad for college, and it is everything that used to fill my backpack. I can take notes using the wireless, or I use the pogo stylus with sketchbook pro for taking notes in chemistry and physics (any course where you write a lot of equations). My books and calculators are all on it, and I can access blackboard for assignments. It is literally all I need for school as long as the textbook I need is available on kindle or nook.

Sent from my iPad.

erakis on November 7, 2010 at 7:53 PM

Ed, as I mentioned on twitter I find the Ipad easier to read. And I am starting to get first effects of presbyopia myself, along with some contrast issues.

It took me a little playing but the brightness adjustment on the ipad, which is available at a touch on every page, allows me to optimize the backlighting. I can read at just the right contrast in daylight or dark.

The ipad also has the capacity, along with Kindle, to adjust font size.

(free) classics now make up the bulk of my library; gave kindle to my kid.

SarahW on November 7, 2010 at 7:58 PM

I have a iPad for college, and it is everything that used to fill my backpack. I can take notes using the wireless, or I use the pogo stylus with sketchbook pro for taking notes in chemistry and physics (any course where you write a lot of equations). My books and calculators are all on it, and I can access blackboard for assignments. It is literally all I need for school as long as the textbook I need is available on kindle or nook.

Sent from my iPad.

erakis on November 7, 2010 at 7:53 PM

OK, I’m curious, how well does the pogo stylus work? My impression was that it wasn’t a particularly fine point.

I do math and would love to have something to replace paper for working out problems – I always lose the paper, and then a few weeks or months later I have to work the same thing out again. But I avoided the Ipad cause I didn’t think the sketch would work well, and I couldn’t demo it in the store.

RINO in Name Only on November 7, 2010 at 7:58 PM

I get my books for “free” from the library, and when I’m done I bring them back; no collecting in piles throughout the house or trying to sell them for a pittance to Half-Price.

I belong to two different county library systems and have yet to be unable to get a book I’ve wanted.

Bishop on November 7, 2010 at 8:02 PM

The kids broke my Kindle in the car on summer vacation right in the middle of a really good book. Luckily I had brought my iPad which my husband had gotten me for my birthday and which I had not used really up until then. I called the Kindle folks and found I could use my iPad with my Kindle account so I could pick up right where I left off in my book. Also,we were up in the mountains, but the house we were staying in had wifi so I was able to keep up on the computer with HA also! Yeah for the iPad! Don’t use it much at home with my computer at hand, but great for traveling.

txmomof6 on November 7, 2010 at 8:07 PM

I have a iPad for college, and it is everything that used to fill my backpack. I can take notes using the wireless, or I use the pogo stylus with sketchbook pro for taking notes in chemistry and physics (any course where you write a lot of equations). My books and calculators are all on it, and I can access blackboard for assignments. It is literally all I need for school as long as the textbook I need is available on kindle or nook.

Sent from my iPad.

erakis on November 7, 2010 at 7:53 PM

OK, I’m curious, how well does the pogo stylus work? My impression was that it wasn’t a particularly fine point.

I do math and would love to have something to replace paper for working out problems – I always lose the paper, and then a few weeks or months later I have to work the same thing out again. But I avoided the Ipad cause I didn’t think the sketch would work well, and I couldn’t demo it in the store.

RINO in Name Only on November 7, 2010 at 7:58 PM

The pogo stylus is really good with sketchbook pro as long as you stay zoomed in real far in the frame. It is somewhat comparable to the amount of space an equation takes up on a sheet of paper. Some of the other apps for taking notes and drawing do not work as well with the pogo. Another thing I do occasionally when I don’t feel like fussing with the zoom on sketchbook is taking paper notes and using the digital sender at my day job to send them to myself as PDFs that I can store in iBooks.

erakis on November 7, 2010 at 8:08 PM

Nerdtasms everywhere.

CWforFreedom on November 7, 2010 at 8:10 PM

I assume everyone on the thread knows about project Gutenberg? It’s +30,000 free ebooks. Pretty much every classic in the public domain is on there.

bitsy on November 7, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Nerdtasms everywhere.

CWforFreedom on November 7, 2010 at 8:10 PM

I [heart] nerds.

bitsy on November 7, 2010 at 8:31 PM

I’ve had a Kindle since 2008, first gen, actually used my stimulus check to buy it. I use it so much that I almost prefer it over paper books at this point. I’ll find books online rather than go to the library, and it is much cheaper to purchase ebooks than paper. Also, I have found books that are not really going to be easily available at the library or bookstore, such as the Galaxy Unknown series by Thomas DePrima (if you love Scifi, gotta read the books.)

Just wish they would put a backlight on it. Doesn’t have to be bright, just enough. Or, a way to change the brightness.

That said, I don’t have an iPad, but, do have an iPhone. Played with an iPad, and it is nice for all it does, yet, it’s battery will not last even close to the Kindle, and I damn sure wouldn’t take it too the beach or pool, or even catching some sun on the back deck (I put it in a ziplock baggie.)

If you just want an ereader, nothing beats Kindle. Has the best formats, and can easily turn HTML or Text into a .mobi file. Easy to take a ton of books with you. If you want more, sure, a Kindle.

William Teach on November 7, 2010 at 8:36 PM

For free e-books, pdf, kindle, etc. formats, don’t forget archive.org, which has a ton of its own collected works, and links into google books, and it seems collected all of the stuff that microsoft had been scanning before it quit, and an unimaginable ton more.

seanrobins on November 7, 2010 at 8:42 PM

The pogo stylus is really good with sketchbook pro as long as you stay zoomed in real far in the frame. It is somewhat comparable to the amount of space an equation takes up on a sheet of paper. Some of the other apps for taking notes and drawing do not work as well with the pogo. Another thing I do occasionally when I don’t feel like fussing with the zoom on sketchbook is taking paper notes and using the digital sender at my day job to send them to myself as PDFs that I can store in iBooks.

erakis on November 7, 2010 at 8:08 PM

Thanks. Maybe I will take a second look.

RINO in Name Only on November 7, 2010 at 8:56 PM

I have the 1st generation kindle (sister gave it to me as a Christmas gift.) I love it because although it’s bulkier than the newest Kindle, the 1st generation has a memory card slot so I can store unlimited amount of ebooks and audio books. If you can get one of them refurbished, I’d highly recommend it. The only reason not to buy an iPad is it has no memory card port. For 450+ bucks, you’d think that would be a standard feature. I might as well stick with my netbook for that price. I might change my mind about the iPad if they bother adding a memory card port and reduce the price. In the meantime, I can live a wonderful life with my Kindle, Blackberry, and net book.

mizflame98 on November 7, 2010 at 9:01 PM

The iPad itself is little more than a glorified, oversized iPod Touch (which itself is essentially an iPhone without the phone or camera components).

The gen. 4 touch has 2 cameras similar to the gen 4 iphone. The only reason I have a touch is because it was a freebie to open an account with the local bank. If Apple would provide support for open formats I would have probably bought a touch or an iphone.
As you have astutely pointed out the ipad is a glorigied, oversized touch. I will be buying a Kindle instead. Although the new color Nook looks very interesting.

jdkchem on November 7, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Total iPad fanatic. I use it for work: todo lists, email, documents, and mind maps for note taking. I take it to every meeting. Of course all of this is synced to cloud through apps like dropbox and accessible from all of my other apple devices. Everything is also accessible from my ancient work windows xp desktop :)

At home, it’s replaced my Mac desktop as the primary device. Just took it on vacation to Europe and it was great having a reading device for magazines and books plus a browser and game player.

I develop and design software (not windows) for a living, so the only thing i don’t use iPad for are development tasks. For development, mac os 10 is the teams favorite, closely followed by Linux.

UrbanCoyote on November 7, 2010 at 9:05 PM

I much prefer books, actual books.

When finished with, I can pass it on, or store it on my bookshelf, making me look intelligent.

OldEnglish on November 7, 2010 at 4:56 PM

I do them all:
Paper book on the shelf
E-books on my Kindle
Audio books via audible.com on my Blackberry.
No matter where I go, I always have a book with me. They have become a fascinating addiction.

mizflame98 on November 7, 2010 at 9:10 PM

I love my iPad and have no problems reading on it for long periods of time. I am in my early 70s, so if I can read it, anyone can. I have found that the sepia tone, along with the adjustable font style and size, is easier on the eyes if one is going to read a book or other long text. I, too, love the samples of books that are available from the iBooks store. One night, I was reading a book in my darkened living room when I actually reached up to turn a page forgetting I was reading on a machine. I was attracted to the Kindle before the iPad was introduced, but in my opinion, the iPad is better as it is nearly a laptop computer. I found a purse which holds it comfortably so I am always with my books, internet, email, photos, etc. Tres cool!

francesca on November 7, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Love my iPad!

DCJeff on November 7, 2010 at 9:22 PM

francesca on November 7, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Age is no barrier to the receptive mind. :)

OldEnglish on November 7, 2010 at 9:39 PM

angry birds!!!!

blatantblue on November 7, 2010 at 7:17 PM

totally addicted

Inanemergencydial on November 7, 2010 at 9:43 PM

I have both – ok, Im a gadget junkie.

For those that say “it’s just a big iphone” – that is what I used to say. Actually it’s true, but as the Soviets used to say “Quantity has a quality all its own”. Maybe it’s my aging eyes, but I really d love the iPad – it’s not a vital productivity thing, but it’s damned fun.

holdfast on November 8, 2010 at 12:54 AM

You know what else doesn’t hurt your eyes when reading?

A book.

James on November 7, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Well actually my house is full of books I can no longer read, cos the font is too small.

I have a Bookeen Opus Cybook, it’s SMALLER than a paperback.

What is beautiful on e-ink is black and white photos and illustrations. (Illustrations which are terrible in paperbacks).

Really I hope to never buy a paper book other than coffee table books again. Their quality is just too low.

Hope on November 8, 2010 at 2:17 AM

As long as we are on the subject of mobile/semi-mobile devices, is Hot Air EVER GONNA GET A MOBILE VERSION?

I mean, seriously. Every site worth it’s salt has a mobile edition, why is Hot Air (along with so many other conservative sites) still lagging behind?

And NO I don’t want another stupid freaking i-app. I’m not an i-sheep and don’t plan on EVER becoming one. I have a WebOS device and am planning on staying on that as it is a far superior operating system to iOS.

Please go cross-platform and simply make a mobile version of your website so that we can get more HotAir goodness while not at our PCs. (Bonus point; Mobile browsers generally don’t have ad-blockers, so you are going to get more hits “per page view” than you will with a regular page. Just sayin’.)

wearyman on November 8, 2010 at 6:20 AM

I have an iPod touch and I love it. Yes it isn’t an iPhone, but I have skype on it. I have a cell phone, but my iPod touch is the best device I’ve ever had. Portable and it has a kindle APP. You can increase font size. My only complaint is the battery life. The kindle has a powerful, long-lasting battery, but I can’t watch movies on it. It’s a trade-off I guess.

Black Adam on November 8, 2010 at 9:15 AM

And a HotAir app would be appreciated.

Black Adam on November 8, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Just got a Kindle… haven’t had a chance to use it much. But my father-in-law is 87 and hasn’t been able to read for awhile… we set the font pretty high and he was thrilled!

We are getting the bigger one for him soon. You can’t fit many words on a page with the really big fonts.

Plus, we will have to set up the book he wants cause there is no way he is going to figure out how to navigate. I’m actually a little frustrated at navigating…

No, I haven’t read the instructions! Just started pushing buttons…

petunia on November 8, 2010 at 9:54 AM

uch as the Galaxy Unknown series by Thomas DePrima

I’ll have to check that out, thanks!

Vera on November 8, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Been beggin for a HA app on the iphone for the last three years

SUBMIT, ALLAH
SUBMIT
TO MY
WILL

blatantblue on November 8, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Welcome, Vera. One of the best I’ve read in awhile. Great character development.

And, yeah, when is Hot Air going to make the site PDA compliant? Being that it is WordPress, it would take 1, 2 Plugins to do. WPtouch iPhone Theme and WordPress PDA and Iphone. Done.

William Teach on November 8, 2010 at 10:14 AM

I got an iPad about 5 months ago, and I love it! One of my favorite apps is the Mobile Mouse app. I don’t have cable, so I watch everything thru Hulu/Netflix or my mac. With Mobile Mouse, my iPad is a mobile mouse/keyboard (only $1.99 I think..), so much better than buying a bluetooth keyboard and mouse or having cables all through my apartment.

I do have an iPhone, and if you jailbreak yours and install MyWi (it’s $20), it turns your iPhone into a WiFi hotspot, so my iPad can piggyback off it (but there’s WiFi everywhere nowadays so I mainly use it at the airport).

I do hope they come up with a better pricing scheme for magazines on the iPad though. Right now, an issue of Wired costs $3.99 each, whereas I can get a subscription for a year for $20~ to read the paper version.

mmnowakjr85 on November 8, 2010 at 10:45 AM

I really want a Kindle. My son loves his, and he has all the classics downloaded now, for free.

Another 30 bucks reduction, and I’ll buy it.

AnninCA on November 8, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Well actually my house is full of books I can no longer read, cos the font is too small.

I loved my books, but I gave them up in the last 5 years. It was just getting silly to move them, dust them, pack them, and rarely reread them. But it’s a psychological thing, I suppose.

The Kindle would be perfect.

AnninCA on November 8, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Slightly off topic. A great iPad app is called Tune-In Radio. A great app for those who travel, it has thousands of radio channels with the ability to record talk radio programs and many are without commercials.

So, I’d prefer the iPad.

dthorny on November 8, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Just wish they would put a backlight on it. Doesn’t have to be bright, just enough. Or, a way to change the brightness.

William Teach on November 7, 2010 at 8:36 PM

For some technical reason the e-ink units can’t use a backlight. My Sony has a row of LEDs around the edge but they’re a poor substitute for a real backlight. I think Sony even discontinued that feature on subsequent models.

Oldnuke on November 8, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I have all three. Iphone, ipad, Kindle

The kindle is great.

My one regret is i didnt realize how big a deal not having flash video was for the iphone and ipad.

I will never buy another Apple device that doesn’t support flash.

Either they support it, or i will buy a competitor product.

Thune on November 8, 2010 at 11:18 AM

I’ve heard the cover with the built in book light works really well, but I don’t have one…yet!

Vera on November 8, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I would like to hear more discussion about the Sony Reader. A friend said that it was the best, but I don’t hear much discussion about it. I’m still a paperback reader and haven’t broken into the e-reader market yet.

arizona on November 8, 2010 at 11:26 AM

iPads are nice, but iPhones are great, do all that iPads do and cost way less. Save yr $$ for the new Macbook Air.

james23 on November 8, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Have seen the Sony reader. It’s a great reader. WIll probably be the betamax kindle though.

SarahW on November 8, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Just noticed this at amazon (bestsellers):

1. Decision Points

2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth

Coincidence?

;)

mankai on November 8, 2010 at 11:44 AM

I consider myself a technology pioneer, having been in the computer industry (hardware/software/systems) for over 45 years.

But you will not find me using an electronic reader….ever! These devices do not allow you to see facing pages or illustrations in proper context, and they make speed-reading (which requires unrestricted viewing of large areas of a page at once) impossible! And you can’t easily make proper notes, corrections, additions, and references in the margins. Couple that with the very real possibility that your whole library can disappear due to a momentary software “glitch” due to manufacturer ignorance and/or malfeasance, and the electronic book becomes a liability…instead of a desirable asset.

The only time I will ever view a book on a screen is to preview a sample of the book before buying it (the real, physical book) on-line.

Call me a dinosaur….but I’m a dinosaur with a really good library which I can use even if all of my computers (Windows, Linux, and Other) are down.

landlines on November 8, 2010 at 11:47 AM

For some technical reason the e-ink units can’t use a backlight.

Did not know that, Oldnuke. Thanks for the 411.

I would like to hear more discussion about the Sony Reader. A friend said that it was the best, but I don’t hear much discussion about it. I’m still a paperback reader and haven’t broken into the e-reader market yet.

arizona

The Sony’s are very good, arizona. Check out this site and this site for some good comparisons (note, Kindle 2 uses AT&T now, not Sprint). You can also compare all here.

For myself, when I was looking to get one, I looked at the content it would hold. Now, the Sony sure seems more durable than the Kindle, which has a cheapo plastic feel. But, you want content, and Kindle supports way more types than the Sony or the Nook. PRC and MOBI are big formats, and reading in MOBI is a lot better than HTML or text. I use one of two programs to convert, either Mobipocket or Calibre E-book Management. You really can find books all over the net, free and paid (and, yeah, torrents. Bad Boy, no biscuit!)

And, face it, Amazon has the most content. Now, you can get a Sony or Nook to check out ebooks from the library, yet, there aren’t that many, and you often have to wait. A friend bought his wife a Nook for that reason.

Yet, you will often find content on Amazon not available through Borders or Barnes and Noble.

Plus, let me say, when my Kindle 1 went belly up, boy, did Amazon take good care of me. Even though out of warranty, they let me return it for 80% of the value I paid, which allowed me to basically buy the Kindle 2 and a cover for break even.

William Teach on November 8, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Apple is expected to release a major upgrade to the iOS for iPad tomorrow or no later than next week. This is expected to fix many of its limitations. Ed posted this review just a few days too early…

tommylotto on November 8, 2010 at 12:24 PM

On a plane recently all I saw were Kindle machines in folks’s hands. -just sayin.

johnnyU on November 8, 2010 at 12:53 PM

I would like to hear more discussion about the Sony Reader. A friend said that it was the best, but I don’t hear much discussion about it. I’m still a paperback reader and haven’t broken into the e-reader market yet.

arizona on November 8, 2010 at 11:26 AM

I have a Sony. I’m very pleased with it. The Sony has a touch screen which I find very handy. You can now get a Sony that has a wireless feature so you can download books directly. That wasn’t a plus for me. The biggie for me is that the Sony uses epub format which everyone is now using except Kindle. William Teach said something about having to wait to check out books from a library with the Sony. No idea what he’s talking about. It’s an electronic transaction, not like actually checking out a physical book. He was also very pleased about the tech support he got when his Kindle broke. Can’t speak to that haven’t had a problem with mine and it’s about time for me to upgrade anyway. My best advice to you is to do some research and decide which one fits your needs best. They’re all pretty good and you probably can’t really go too wrong whichever you buy. My top three would be the Sony, Kindle and the Nook. Nook last just because there is no B&N locally.

Oldnuke on November 8, 2010 at 12:54 PM

I had a Kindle, but gave it to my daughter when I bought my iPad. There really is no comparison. There are a few discreet situations where the Kindle is better (i.e., reading outside in bright sunlight), but otherwise the iPad is better in every way, shape, and form. The Kindle is an e-book reader. The iPad is a new kind of computer that just happens to also work as an awesome e-book reader. I understand that the iPad is more expensive, but I would argue that, as a ratio of cost to utility, the Kindle is the overpriced gadget.

Anonymous Finch on November 8, 2010 at 1:02 PM

landlines on November 8, 2010 at 11:47 AM

When you say:

Couple that with the very real possibility that your whole library can disappear due to a momentary software “glitch” due to manufacturer ignorance and/or malfeasance, and the electronic book becomes a liability…instead of a desirable asset.

you can say that about computers in general. Presumably you have backups of all the computer data you’ve accumulated in 45 years. E-readers are no different. My Kindle content is backed up twice locally, and Amazon-purchased titles are backed up yet again in the cloud.

Another point. You say:

These devices do not allow you to see facing pages or illustrations in proper context,

On the iPad one merely has to turn the device to landscape mode and the facing page is shown. Illustrations in both iBooks and the Kindle app are also shown in the text. On the Kindle device I’ve had books where the illustration is shown in the text as well, although not all content for the device proper is formatted this way…therefore it seems the issue is a software/encoding issue and not a limitation of the device itself.

JohnTant on November 8, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Just had my Kindle a couple of weeks and have already read 2 1/2 books on it. I like it very much. There’s a lot of free stuff out there available for it besides from Amazon.

dalec on November 8, 2010 at 1:07 PM

For those not needing the latest gadget to read classics (not pop fiction or latest releases) ebooks this is what I’ve used, as a voracious reader, for about ten years now:

Palm IIIxe reading etexts (Gutenberg and other sources) using the Weasel reader program (or PalmReader for those who prefer that) where text files or those extracted from PDF or other documents are converted with Text2Palm or similar freeware programs. With high output rechargeable or quality alkaline batteries that can go for a month or two or more between battery changes. I’ve read hundreds of ebooks in this way and have several available to read while waiting in lines at the DMV, grocery store or wherever.

I have a wide variety of newer gadgets which do the same thing with more flourish but require far more frequent recharges are more bulky, considerably more expensive and steal-able. I still prefer using the old Palm IIIxe. Of course this is more limited for those wanting the latest releases though those are generally available in most PDA formats, too. For those, I usually use the library instead.

viking01 on November 8, 2010 at 1:29 PM

I had a Kindle, but gave it to my daughter when I bought my iPad. There really is no comparison. There are a few discreet situations where the Kindle is better (i.e., reading outside in bright sunlight), but otherwise the iPad is better in every way, shape, and form. The Kindle is an e-book reader. The iPad is a new kind of computer that just happens to also work as an awesome e-book reader. I understand that the iPad is more expensive, but I would argue that, as a ratio of cost to utility, the Kindle is the overpriced gadget.

I have a Kindle and an Ipad.

You say there is no comparison and you are correct.

After 15 minutes of reading on an Ipad, i have to stop.

It bugs my eyes.

But I can read for hours on a kindle.

Thune on November 8, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Nook!! My hubby got me one for our anniversary and I love it. I would not want to read for hours on a iPad. That would kill my eyes. BUT, I do want an iPad to have downstairs so I can play on the Internet while watching tv. I already do that on my iPhone, but when reading Hotair I would find it more enjoyable to read on a bigger screen. And I hate laptops so I don’t want one.

StephC on November 8, 2010 at 6:06 PM

I spend most of my time reading. I was one of the geeky early adopters who ran to buy the first gen Kindle right away.

I have NO MORE ROOM in my home for books, I have thousands of them that I re-read and they are well loved. I collect first editions, signed editions of certain authors and for other authors I just love their work and re-read them.

So I have three storage sheds, with many many boxes of books. I give them away, donate them whenever I can, but still..no more room.

So Kindle was a dream come true.

Also INSTANT BOOK!!! This is like Heroin to a book junkie man, instant book no Shipping and Handling, no taxes, no shelf space issue, YUM!

Plus after I had a series of eye surgeries, I found with Kindle I was able to increase FONT size significantly.

For those who may not realize it, a large print book costs MUCH more. They really ream you.

On my first gen Kindle I dont have the mondo storage of the newer units, but I delete when Im full and AMZN keeps all my old titles in their limitless server heaven for me so if I want it back on my Kindle I can get it back on my unit.

The screen flash to turn page is no longer than turning a page.

If you work on a computer all day and are over 40 you know it is hurting your eyes.

Reading on a backlit device does the same damage, so if you read 4+ hours a day, IMO you really should have a Kindle with the ink technology that looks exactly like a printed page with gray scale intact.

Wanna reas outside? waiting for a bus, a ride, whatevs? No glare issue with Kindle, same for the light behind you on your nighttable or end table or overhead in a study hall.

It cost $400- when I bought mine. Now it is $137- and I am buying one for my mom for Holiday and getting another one for me, I hope from Santy Claus (MUST. HAVE. MORE. STORAGE.–NEED more books!! many books books with maps!)

I am also a Netdlix on Demand addict, so I am asking Santa for an iPAD too.

But lets be clear, muuhuuuhaa, Steve Jobs is fxcking up ebooks with his iPAD.

He caused ebook prices to RISE.

Bezos had a nifty 9.99 deal for new books and once Jobs came in and resigned publishers Penguin panicked and backed out.

So now I cannot read the new Charlaine Harris books when they first come out b/c Penguin wants IMO too much money.

No i will not pay 14.99 for a frakkin ebook, they didnt print it or use paper or ship it, frak them. I will wait for them to issue in paperback and then read it, if not I will find another way. Bookworms have connections :0)

thats my experience with them, LOVE THE KINDLE MADLY!

ginaswo on November 8, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Also note Kindle is now offering a LEND option like B&N Nook has so you can lend your ebook to a friend!!

the awesome continues!

ginaswo on November 8, 2010 at 8:53 PM

I dont like Nook b/c it has a little pad on the bottom in color to navigate instead of the little keyboard Kindle has.

I find it really distracting, it doesnt fill up with text when you are reading.

ginaswo on November 8, 2010 at 8:54 PM

Also INSTANT BOOK!!! This is like Heroin to a book junkie man ginaswo

Heh heh. I know exactly what you mean. Over time, I have become so accustomed to using the Kindle that I would rather get the ebook version where I used to want paper, for those special books. I’ll find myself searching the ‘Net for electronic versions of older books that I actually have a paper copy of.

Plus, it is awesome for books that you may only read once, like with non-fiction. And the ability to read a sample, to see if the book is worth a damned is great.

William Teach on November 8, 2010 at 9:12 PM

I said it during your show. The Kindle is a tool for reading. The iPad is a toy.

However, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like one of each, and my laptop.

flataffect on November 8, 2010 at 11:01 PM

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