eReader Battle: Kindle versus iPad versus Android

I had always wanted a Kindle but somehow, after three generations of it, I still have not gotten myself one. One of the reasons I longed for a Kindle is that I mostly do my research online, through SAGE Publication‘s website. It’s one of the credible sources of scholarly journals. I also browse Google Books and Google Scholar when I’m not hanging out at an actual library.

When it comes to leisurely reading, I turn to many fiction PDFs. Though I do love the smell of books and the feel of turning pages, I have to admit that it’s quite convenient to have something that stores A LOT of books. This need can be felt most especially when traveling. Or when I’m tired and I don’t want to have to carry my laptop with me to the bed.

I have never felt the need more than when I was bedridden during the Christmas holidays. After finishing all my video games, I spent the rest of my time reading online publications. I had my laptop propped on my kneea or on my stomach as I lay in bed. That was really inconvenient, especially since the laptop heats up against your skin.

Why the Kindle?

  1. It’s not backlit. That means, it would read exactly like a book so glare and sunlight would never be a problem. Plus, your eyes will not be as tired as when you’re facing a computer/laptop screen.
  2. The 3rd generation can store up to 3,500 books without the weight. (Can you imagine lugging around 3,500 books? That’s like carrying my entire bedroom AND our family library along with you.)
  3. It has built-in WiFi that allows you to shop and download books.
  4. It has dictionary look-up and gives you the ability to highlight and take notes.
  5. Battery life that lasts up to one month.

Unfortunately, here are some problems I encountered while reviewing the Kindle’s features:

  1. I’m an avid manga reader. I searched for manga in the Kindle store and not only do they cost nearly as much as the printed versions, the selections are scarce. Hentai and yaoi seem to be the only ones available in their library. Meep.
  2. With very few manga choices, I’d be forced to check out online manga archives. That means, I would need more than just the ability to shop and download books. I need an actual browser. This led me to…

Check out the iPad. Believe me, I didn’t want to. The only thing I love about Apple is their Macbook (Mi-Chan2 being my second). I didn’t want to make Steve Jobs richer than he already is. In fact, I’d be using Linux Ubuntu if it could support Adobe products…so yeah, Apple is the lesser evil. (No way in hell I’d be supporting Microsoft.)

Why I’m thinking of getting one:

  1. It has built-in Safari, which means I can browse online journals.
  2. I saw my co-faculty walk around his classroom with it, while grading 3D projects. I walk around the classroom, grading interface designs…with my laptop. Yes, it gets heavier with every student I grade.
  3. You can change the reading orientation from landscape to portrait.
  4. It has an organizer that looks a lot like my planner.
  5. The iBookstore sounds promising.

What keeps me from buying it:

  1. Jayzuz, have you seen how much it costs? The cheapest package is $499! I still have not recovered from buying my second Macbook!
  2. It’s backlit. Which means that when I reach the 300th page of a book, I will start squinting. Or enlarging the font size to about 20pt. That’s not very productive.
  3. Touch screen. I’m just going to end up dirtying it in the ickiest ways possible.
  4. I can’t seem to find an online listing of available books. It looks like I’d have to get an iPad before I can browse the iBookstore. What if they only sell American comics? I’m tired of retcons, and we all know American comic books are famous for that.

Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It looks a lot like the iPad and I suspect it does the same things and more.

    Why I am considering this:

    1. It’s smaller than the iPad, about the same size as the third generation Kindle.
    2. It improves on everything that the iPad offers, plus it has a built-in camera AND speakerphone/Bluetooth.

    Why I hesitate to pick it up:

    1. Anything that’s more expensive than the iPad will hold me back. As of this writing, the cheapest available in Amazon.com is approximately $650.
    2. Though it has Hulu, a browser with Flash support, the screen resolution makes me wonder if it can support Google Docs. I don’t care about Flash support, but I care about the ability to walk around the classroom while grading projects.
    3. My issues with backlighting will always be there.

    So right now, I am undecided. I have never felt this strongly about gadgets like these before, since I’m more concerned about laptops and video game consoles than things that look like beefed-up cellphones. But anything that has to do with intensive reading (in retrospect, both laptops and video game consoles allow this activity), I would definitely want to have.

    Your thoughts?

      17 Comments

      1. SpecialEducationPhilippines

        January 5, 2011 at 12:58 am

        Hi Skysenshi,

        Yup that's right. I'll be in UP tomorrow morning till noon. Where do you want to meet. You can also e-mail me at specialeducationphilippines@gmail.com so we can exchange contact details there for easier communication.

        See you soon!

      2. Rowena Wendy Lei

        January 5, 2011 at 1:23 am

        iPad is a toy.

        Good for reading (you can adjust the brightness), surfing, playing games.

        Bad for writing (without a keyboard), blogging (can't load the editing window of Blogger properly), and working.

        Has the best resale value of the three though.

      3. skysenshi

        January 5, 2011 at 1:55 am

        Mahal ng iPad eh! Waaaaah. Dapat pala nagsasali ako ng iPad contests. LOL.

      4. MMO Dad

        January 5, 2011 at 3:29 am

        I have a Kindle (and I'm loving it), I dream of owning an iPad, but will settle for a Galaxy Tab. I don't have the cash to purchase Number 2 and 3, though, so I'll content myself with the Kindle. :p

        There are other tablets out there that might offer something better for you, features that fit your requirements.

        Good luck! πŸ™‚

      5. skysenshi

        January 5, 2011 at 3:34 am

        Yup. I need to shop around, that's for sure. πŸ˜€ I really want the Kindle at the very least…I just have an issue with the manga selections at the Kindle store.

      6. michi

        January 5, 2011 at 6:37 am

        If you're looking for an alternative for an ebook reader like Kindle, I think the Barnes and Nobles Nook might work. It also uses the same E-ink display like Kindle though completely touchscreen and comes in versions with just wifi or 3G/wifi both with expandable memory and uses the Google Android OS, respectively around $149 and $199. They just came out with a full color version at about half the price of an iPad. Hope this helps. πŸ™‚

      7. skysenshi

        January 5, 2011 at 9:32 am

        Ei, Toni! Nice to see you here. I was actually looking at a Nook a few weeks ago and I have to admit I was intrigued. πŸ˜€

      8. Melanie Magno

        January 5, 2011 at 11:48 am

        Hi, Skysenshi! πŸ™‚ I suggest you buy the iPad. It has tons of really helpful apps and many of them are for free. I use mine basically for reading books and for the very useful Maps application. πŸ™‚

      9. skysenshi

        January 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm

        Thanks, Melanie!! I'm collecting the suggestions here so I can weigh my options better. πŸ˜€

      10. Lizz

        January 8, 2011 at 4:50 am

        I have both and ipad and a kindle, and the kindle is what you want if your primary purpose is reading. πŸ™‚ The ipad is great for games and email and little else, simply because the screen is too bright to spend 8 hours curled up in bed reading. I also brought it out during a sunny day and the glare was terrible. The kindle, on the other hand, reads even better when it's bright, so no problems there. πŸ™‚

      11. skysenshi

        January 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm

        Thanks for the tips, Lizz! Yep, I'm the type to curl up in bed just to read for days. Looks like I'll be getting the Kindle…or its cheaper alternative, which is the Nook. LOL.

      12. Rowena Wendy Lei

        January 9, 2011 at 3:54 am

        If you're paying US$200 for a Kindle, you're almost halfway to a 16GB iPad. XD

        Sa dami ng namimigay ng iPad ngayon sa mga contests I suggest you join them all. That is the in thing to give away right now. I find the Kindle overly expensive. 10k for a reader? Uh… no.

      13. skysenshi

        January 9, 2011 at 4:05 am

        @Ro
        I'm thinking of joining contests nga eh, but I can't find one na hindi super sellout ang dating. The Kindle is only around 6K na lang now kasi. But the Nook is much cheaper.

      14. skysenshi

        February 16, 2011 at 11:24 am

        @Ro
        I'm thinking of joining contests nga eh, but I can't find one na hindi super sellout ang dating. The Kindle is only around 6K na lang now kasi. But the Nook is much cheaper.

      15. SpecialEducationPhilippines

        February 16, 2011 at 11:24 am

        Hi Skysenshi,

        Yup that's right. I'll be in UP tomorrow morning till noon. Where do you want to meet. You can also e-mail me at specialeducationphilippines@gmail.com so we can exchange contact details there for easier communication.

        See you soon!

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