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?
- 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.
- 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.)
- It has built-in WiFi that allows you to shop and download books.
- It has dictionary look-up and gives you the ability to highlight and take notes.
- Battery life that lasts up to one month.
Unfortunately, here are some problems I encountered while reviewing the Kindle’s features:
- 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.
- 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:
- It has built-in Safari, which means I can browse online journals.
- 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.
- You can change the reading orientation from landscape to portrait.
- It has an organizer that looks a lot like my planner.
- The iBookstore sounds promising.
What keeps me from buying it:
- Jayzuz, have you seen how much it costs? The cheapest package is $499! I still have not recovered from buying my second Macbook!
- 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.
- Touch screen. I’m just going to end up dirtying it in the ickiest ways possible.
- 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:
- It’s smaller than the iPad, about the same size as the third generation Kindle.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.