Which is the better e-reader, the iPad 3 or the E Ink Kindle? Since Apple’s new iPad has a new high resolution 2048 x 1536 screen I thought it would be great to compare the book reading experience on it to the Kindle. Of course the iPad has many great uses besides reading books, but for this post I am solely concentrating on reading books.
To be specific, I am comparing the new iPad to the Kindle 4th Generation
that only has 5 buttons on the front face, not to be confused with the Kindle with the touch screen or the Kindle with physical keyboard keys. The new iPad is also officially known as the iPad (3rd Generation). Some people are calling it the iPad 2012 or iPad 3rd Gen.
iPad (3rd Generation) Reading Factors:
- Display: 9.7″ IPS LCD screen, 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi), 16.8 million colors. This is the highest resolution display currently available for tablets. It’s a huge upgrade over iPad 2.
- Size: 9.50″ x 7.31″ x 0.37″ (241.2 mm x 185.7 mm x 9.4 mm). Too big to hold in the air with one hand. Have to hold it with two hands or prop it on an object.
- Weight: 1.44 pounds (23.04 ounces) (652 g). The new iPad weighs 283% more than the Kindle. If I try to hold it in the air with one hand, that hand will quickly get tired. Most of the time I rest the bottom edge on my legs or some other object. Alternatively, I lay it on a table or desk to read it without holding it. The new iPad weighs about the same as an average hardcover book.
- Battery life: up to 10 hours. The battery will last longer if you turn down the screen brightness; which you probably will do when reading a book so the screen doesn’t blast light at your eyes.
- Cost: $499 for basic model, up to $829 for upgraded models.
- Book stores: Apple’s iBookstore, Amazon’s Kindle eBooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Books, and others.
- Readability: Text is super sharp and easy on your eyes. Fingerprints are seen and bright lights are reflected back into your face. Very hard to read in high sunlight conditions.
Kindle (4th Generation) Reading Factors:
- Display: 6″ E Ink screen, 800 x 600 pixel resolution at 167 pixels per inch (ppi), 16-level gray scale.
- Size: 6.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.34″ (166 mm x 114 mm x 8.7 mm). The Kindle is easily held in one hand in the air for extended periods of time.
- Weight: 0.37 pounds (5.98 ounces) (170 grams). Your hands will never get tired holding the Kindle. The Kindle weighs 74% less than the iPad 3rd Gen. Comparable to the weight of an average size paperback book.
- Battery life: 15 hours with Wi-Fi off (the battery in the other E Ink Kindles lasts twice as long.)
- Cost: $79 with advertisements, $109 without advertisements.
- Book Stores: only Amazon’s Kindle eBooks.
- Readability: The E Ink screen is easily readable in all lighting conditions. E Ink is very easy on the eyes since it’s not backlit at all and uses the light from your environment like an old school paper book. This Kindle does not collect fingerprints on the screen because it has physical buttons instead of a touchscreen.
Should I Buy an iPad 3rd Gen for Reading Books?
If you read books with lots of color photos then the new iPad is the obvious choice since the E Ink Kindle cannot display colors and is lower resolution. If you care about playing games, surfing the web, and reading email on your tablet then get the new iPad.
Should I Buy a Kindle 4th Generation for Reading Books?
If you primarily read books that are mostly text with little or no photos, then the E Ink Kindle is a great choice. It’s way less expensive than the new iPad. Additionally it’s much lighter, more portable, and can used in more lighting conditions. If you don’t care about apps or games or other things the iPad does then the Kindle is the e-reader to get. The E Ink display of the Kindle is much less likely to cause eye fatigue than the backlit LCD display of the iPad. The experience of reading an E Ink screen is very similar to reading physical paper with little glare.
How Much Better is the iPad 3rd Generation than the iPad 2 for Reading Books?
The new iPad is far superior for reading books compared to the iPad 2. On the iPad 2, the text is fuzzy, not crisp and tires my eyes out quickly . The high resolution display of the new iPad is a massive upgrade over the iPad 2′s display. Spend the extra $100 and get the new iPad; your eyes will thank you.
Is the Kindle Fire good for reading books?
The Kindle Fire has a worse LCD screen than the new iPad. Also, the Kindle Fire has none of the advantages of the E Ink Kindles for reading books. Skip the Kindle Fire if you looking for something to primarily read books on.
In the past I would have strongly recommended the E Ink Kindle over the iPad 2 for reading books. The iPad 2′s display was hard on my eyes because of the fuzzy low resolution text. But the new iPad has a high resolution screen that displays crisp and easy to read text. So which device do I think is better for reading books? For me, the E Ink Kindle. The E-Ink Kindle is the most comfortable and ergonomic object I have ever read from. For me, reading from the E-Ink Kindle is as easy as my eyes as a hardcover or paperback book. But the new iPad is also a good choice for reading and is great for many other things such as slinging birds and watching cat videos.