Kindle vs iPad

Disclaimer – I already own an iPad, the 64 GB Wi-Fi version.

Kindle has a new ad out, which highlights the fact that in bright sunlight, the Kindle is easier to read than an iPad. This is undoubtedly true. I actually spend very little time reading in bright sunlight, myself. Maybe Apple should run an ad like this, taking place in total darkness – which is easy on an iPad and impossible on a Kindle…

Also, the ad mentions that the Kindle costs $189 – also true.

I paid $699 for my high-end non-3G iPad. < Addendum – I had my price wrong >

What you can do with a Kindle, according to the info on their website:

  1. Download and read books. In black and white.
  2. Surf the internet (listed as “experimental”). In black and white.

What I routinely do on my iPad (some of this requires non-included software):

  1. Download and read books. In color. From the iBook store and also Amazon via the Kindle app. Others are available, as well. I wonder if Kindle can get books from sources other than Amazon?
  2. Surf the internet – NOT “experimental”. It’s a treat, too; well implemented. In color.
  3. Send and receive email.
  4. Play games of various sorts, with beautiful color graphics. Some of these are simple, and some are very sophisticated.
  5. Display, organize and view my photos – I have 6,249 family photos on it. Slideshows, too. These are fun at family gatherings. Did I mention beautiful color?
  6. ALL of my music is on my iPad; it is a fully functional iPod.
  7. The iPad is now my Bible – I have an excellent Bible program on it, named Touch Bible.
  8. Full calendar, seamlessly synchronized with my MacBook Pro.
  9. Contacts, likewise synchronized automatically.
  10. Maps, including satellite photo – think google maps.
  11. For that matter, I have the iPad version of Google Earth.
  12. Various notepads.
  13. My iPad is my desk and pocket calculator, using the excellent pCalc program.
  14. Spreadsheet and word processing.
  15. Radar and weather.
  16. Bento and Filemaker Databases
  17. Task Management via Things, using GTD.
  18. My own private astronomy laboratory, in Star Walk, Solar Walk and NASA applications.
  19. Mind Mapping with iThoughtsHD.
  20. Tracking Airplane flights when relatives are traveling, real-time with maps, using FlightTrack.
  21. Sketching – both free form, and as drafting functionality – limited, but good for quick sketches.

What impresses me about the iPad is how much of this is actually useful. The iPad has become an essential tool in my life. And though I use it all day, every day, I have never seen battery life lower than 30%. I just plug it in every night when I go to bed.

So, if all you want to do is read, the Kindle is an excellent choice. But the Kindle is a one-trick pony.

The Kindle ad isn’t comparing Apples and Apples, although they want you to think it is. They zeroed in on the ONE thing Kindle does better – readability in bright sunlight. I have had my iPad since they were introduced, and this has been a problem for me exactly once.


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