Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Monday, April 19, 2010

iPad vs. Kindle

Sara Peyton compares reading on a Kindle and reading on an iPad:

I've owned a Kindle for about 6 months and it's my trusty companion whenever I travel. The Kindle, my headlamp, and my iPhone sit on my bedside table. I've always got at least five or six new novels on the Kindle. I like the Kindle's e-ink, the easy-on-the-eyes screen, compact size, and comfortable weight. When I have trouble sleeping at night, I grab the Kindle, strap on my headset, read a few pages or so, and drift back to sleep.

Enter the iPad. For my weekend reading test on the iPad I purchased Next by James Hynes. The novel, depicting the day in the life of a man who has flown to Austin, TX, at the height of a terrorism scare, has garnered rave reviews. Much to my surprise I enjoyed the iBook interface. I quickly settled into the book and enjoyed advancing the pages with a swipe of a finger and watching the animated page roll up. I didn't think the iPad was too heavy. I set the screen to the lowest brightness setting. But, compelling as Hynes' book is — and it's a fast paced romp — I grew distracted. I interrupted my reading to check Facebook, my email, and Twitter several times. Plus, reading on the iPad made me want to write on the iPad. I wanted to write notes on my iPad books. Worst of all for me, once I set the iPad down and turned off the light, I couldn't go to sleep for hours. Was the light from the iPad too stimulating?

I have a feeling I’d have the same experience. As I have written on several occasions, one of my favorite things about the Kindle is the way it limits distractions.

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