Monday, February 7, 2011

iPad vs. Kindle: No Contest

No really- there's no contest.

Hey, it's been a while. Blame school. Guess what I picked up over my winter break? A Kindle!

And back to what I was saying in the post title, ever since the iPad was announced- heck, ever since the iPad was rumored- blogs, newspapers, and people across the country have been pitting the Apple device against Amazon's Kindle. Now, as an owner of both devices, I must say that this is the most pointless rivalry that I have ever heard of. It's like pitting a tv against an iPod. Totally different devices for totally different purposes. Sure, there's some cross over- you can listen to music on a tv one way or another- but it's not really what a tv's for, nor would you want that to be your only method of music consumption. 

The same concept applies to the iPad/Kindle. Don't get me wrong- reading on the iPad really isn't that bad. I have twelve required textbooks for this semester, so naturally as tech nerd, I downloaded all of the ones that were available as ebooks. My iPad is great for textbooks. Textbooks, magazines, newspapers, internet content- it's fantastic for reading those sorts of things. Ultimately, however, for anything that I'm going to sit and read linearly for hours at a time (aka, a novel), the Kindle totally pwns. E-ink rocks. Believe the hype. Also, the iPad's weight is fine if you're using it as a netbook replacement like I am. As a book replacement, the weight sucks. The Kindle, however is the perfect weight for reading the way you would a traditional book. 

If you're someone that loves to read and reads a lot, and you're debating between getting an iPad or a Kindle, just stop. Get both. If you have the money to get an iPad, I'm sure that you could come up with the $140 for a Kindle as well. Skip McDonald's for a month or two. On that note, as to whether or not you should get the wifi-only version or the 3G, that depends on your situation. I decided to fork over the extra $50 for the 3G version because I'm still on my parents' phone plan (I'm in college, so sue me. Christmas money bought my Kindle. In a month, I'm gonna be broke.) and my dad refuses to let any of us have a data plan. The web browser on the device is nothing compared to an iPad/smartphone/computer, but it's not dreadful. It gets the job done and lets me check my e-mail when I'm on vacation and cut off from the rest of the world. Actually, the Kindle's wifi doesn't like my school's wifi network (which in its defense, you practically have to be an engineer to get the network to connect to anything for the first time), so getting the 3G was a smart life choice on my part. 

So yeah, if you don't have reliable access to a wifi network, get the 3G version. If you want free lifetime 3G data like me, get the 3G version. If you routinely have access to wifi and want to save $50, get the wifi-only version.

Anyway, here's the tldr cliffnotes of this post:
The iPad is a netbook replacement and the Kindle is a book replacement. Pitting the devices against each other is just stupid.

(P.S. Yes, I skinned my Kindle too. I love how it looks like an old piece of paper now. I also put it in an Oberon Design cover:

Oh, the things I do to make my new technology look old.)