For Most People the iPad Is Better Than the Kindle

Earlier today Brett Kelly posted his thoughts on why (for him) the Kindle is a better book reader than the iPad:

I know that a great many folks think that the iPad is a “Kindle killer” (ugh, always with the killing), but I can say pretty confidently that the Kindle is going to fill a void that the iPad couldn’t effectively fill: a light, small device whose single, express purpose is reading, not everything.

I agree it will fill a niche market void that the iPad won’t (hipsters will be hipsters), for the mass market and most geeks the iPad will dominate the market. There are two very simple reasons why the iPad will be the choice for many: weight and price.

The Kindle weighs 8 ounces more than just my iPad. You read that right, the iPad weighs more than the Kindle. The reason is simple, the iPad sucks at everything except reading books (and other magazine/newspaper subscriptions you may have on it) so if you want a full featured device like the iPad for non-reading times, well then you need to carry an iPad and a Kindle (thus making the kit weigh 8 ounces more).

By the same logic then the Kindle costs you $139-189 more than an iPad. Again you would have to buy the Kindle and the iPad to get the same amount of functionality.

I have no doubt that a great many of you will disagree with this logic, and some may say you could buy a netbook and a Kindle for the price of an iPad (you could but you would be an idiot – netbooks suck a lot) but the point here is reading right? There have only been two instances when I missed my Kindle, hiking and being in the sunny outdoors (luckily I live in Seattle so sun is a rare occasion). Hiking is obvious, all I want are some books to read, perfect fit for the light weight, longer lived battery in the Kindle. Outdoors is a screen issue, which again is not something I run into more than a few times a year.

I like the concept of minimalism, and single serving applications and gadgets, but I cannot justify carrying two devices when just one would do. On my recent trip to Vegas I took only my iPad, I used to for everything including reading books. Had I brought a Kindle to read on instead I would have had to add the iPad in a bigger bag (this bag is not fitting an iPad and Kindle), or my Macbook Pro in an even larger bag. As someone who takes stuff to and from work everyday with him the Kindle simply does not make sense.

Hell the Kindle doesn’t even make sense for my Mom or Dad, they can do 99% of their home computing on an iPad, and read books with it (my Dad actually does, perhaps my Mom will around Christmas time). Why would I buy either of my parents a Kindle and a computer/iPad device? It is just to complicated, it is the difference between having 18 remotes to work your home entertainment system instead of just getting one really good universal remote (I am not talking about those crap ones that never work, I am talking about those $300+ remotes that kick ass).

I guess what I am trying to say is that there are a few times a year when a Kindle would be more convenient and then there is the other 99% of the time when an iPad would be killer. Your choice.

Originally posted for members on: September 15, 2010
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