Dec 02 2010
I have a Kindle and an iPad, but its the Kindle that’s had the biggest impact on my life – so what’s so great about the Kindle?
The Kindle is for reading, whilst the iPad is optimised for distraction. Yes it’s possible to do almost everything the Kindle does on the iPad, but not for long. My brain has been trained by modern life to look for distractions every 5 minutes and if I’m reading on the iPad then it readily supplies those distractions and it does it incredibly well.
In contrast the kindle does only one thing well, it’s a superb text reading machine, yes it has an experimental browser, can read magazines and PDF’s, even play games, but it does all those things badly and slowly. It’s sufficiently painful to browse the web on a kindle that I never bother, it’s never a distraction.
Why is this single mindedness an advantage over the iPad – because I want to read. Reading is a real joy, something that I hardly ever get to do enough of and the Kindle is superb at it:
- The screen is fantastic, wonderful contrast in all light conditions including full sun
- Very light weight, meaning less stress on arthritic wrists
- Very long battery life, meaning I never have to worry
- Excellent page turning buttons
- Small enough to take almost anywhere
- Great Kindle apps on all of my devices, including the Blackberry for those very few times when the Kindle’s too big to take somewhere
I never regret an hour or two spent reading, but I often wonder what I achieved after an hour on the iPad.
What does the iPad do best? Almost everything, but in my “busy” life the one thing it really does that the blackberry and the laptop struggles with is reading rich documents, magazines, manuals, text books. Goodreader is a revelation in terms of PDF reading and Instapaper is fantastic for reading web pages that I’ve captured on the PC to read later.
I’m hopeful that there will be a dedicated Instapaper app for the Kindle sometime soon that will auto synch with the web service, but for now when it comes to work reading the iPad is king.