Jag Venugopal's Blog

September 17, 2010

iPad fan tries the new Kindle

Filed under: Digital Living — Jag @ 12:01 am

I never realized how much I’d use my iPad. It is my constant companion, whether to play a racing game, watch Netflix, browse the web, read email or play Osmos. I love Zinio on the iPad for its affordable prices on scores of magazines, including India Today. Finally, PDFs can be read on the device without reflowing, thus preserving all original formatting.

Notwithstanding this love affair with the iPad, I decided to give the latest Kindle a try. I wanted a simple, cheap book reader to lug around in places where the iPad would be too bulky. For example, the local YMCA while waiting for my kids to finish their activities, the local mechanic’s, when I was having my car repaired, etc. Sure I could take my iPad with me, but it was a little bulkier and a lot more expensive than I felt comfortable carrying in such places.

It appears that I’ve found a new paramour in the Kindle, while not letting go of my old flame. The Kindle is everything that the iPad is not: a focused device performing just one function, extremely light, and relatively inexpensive. The device is lighter than most paperbacks out there. You can comfortably hold it in either hand and flip pages. Contrast on this new version is excellent, and the speed of the device is significantly improved over older generations of eReaders such as the Sony Pocket Reader. The device admirably meets the vision of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — after a while it just disappears. You forget you’re using an eBook reader, and instead focus all your attention on the content.

For anyone looking for a take everywhere ebook reader with excellent battery life, and which is eminently suitable for most text-oriented books, look no further than the Kindle. Occasional readers, those who read highly graphical books, or those who want to buy only one of the two devices are still better served by the more versatile and general-purpose iPad.


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