E-Reader Showdown: Amazon Kindle 3 vs Apple iPad

Books, Humor, Technology

Kindle vs iPad

Ever since both the iPad and the new Kindle 3 were announced, critics have been comparing the two of them.  Now far be it from me to disagree with their assessments, but I figured it would be a real shame to not put in my own two-cents worth on the two devices.  So, let’s take a look at them and figure out which one you should be spending your money on.


iPad – LCD
Kindle 3 – E-Ink

For the purposes of reading, e-ink has proven to be far easier on the eyes for extended periods of reading.  In addition to lesser amounts of eye strain, e-ink also won’t wash out in sunlight like the LCD of an iPad, allowing it to be used outdoors.  While the backlit nature of the iPad’s LCD does allow for it to be used without having a light on, that’s WHY we have lights.   The Kindle 3 takes this one.

Kindle 1 iPad 0


iPad – 1.5 pounds
Kindle 3 – 8.5 ounces

Measuring in at 9.55″x7.47″x.5″, the Apple iPad is noticeably larger than the Amazon Kindle 3 (7.5″x4.8″x.335″).  The smaller profile, coupled with weighing less than your average paperback allows the Kindle 3 to be used with one hand, while the iPad’s size and method of multi-touch screen pretty much demand two hands.  Kindle 3 takes this one as well.

Kindle 2 iPad 0


iPad – 16GB; 32GB; 64GB
Kindle 3 – 4GB

This one is pretty cut and dry.  The smallest iPad variety is still 4 times as big as the Kindle’s capacity.  iPad takes the storage category.

Kindle 2 iPad 1

Ability to Take Damage

Both the Apple iPad and the Amazon Kindle 3 are designed to be taken with you.  Because of that, it’s important to know how they hold up to abuse.  While it would be easy to carry them around for a few days and see which one holds up better to some normal wear and tear, it’s far more amusing to see how they hold up to completely unrealistic abuse.  While I’m certainly not going to do this to my iPad or Kindle, I’m happy to show you video of others abusing theirs.

I have to say that the iPad appears to have held up better than the Kindle.  While neither really “won” the challenge, I’m going to give it to the iPad based on actual amount of damage inflicted.

Kindle 2 iPad 2


iPad – roughly 60,000 available books
Kindle 3 – more than 450,000 available books

While Apple is continuing to increase the number of books available, the Kindle is from Amazon, and it’s hard to beat Amazon at their own game.  That being said, the iPad does support the ePUB format, a DRM free ebook format.  That being said, in the end it’s hard to argue with having  more than 7 times the library.  Kindle 3 takes this one.

Kindle 3 iPad 2


With the Wi-Fi turned off, Amazon claims that the new Kindle 3 will last for up to a month on a single charge.  Even with the Wi-Fi on it can last up to 3 weeks.  If you use your iPad with any frequency the odds are pretty good that you’ll need to charge it around once a day.  While it’s certainly easy to take a charger with you, having one less thing to pack on a trip is always nice.  Kindle 3 wins.

Kindle 4 iPad 2

Weapon in a Zombie Apocalypse


Ok, so if (really when) the zombies rise up I’m going to want something more than either an iPad or a Kindle, but for the sake of argument, we’re going to assume that the only things available are the Kindle and iPad.  While I appreciate the Kindle’s smaller form factor for carrying around in the barren wasteland, the iPads superiors weight is probably going to be a benefit when it comes to smashing the skulls of the undead.  The Apple iPad is clearly the superior weapon.

Kindle 4 iPad 3


The Amazon Kindle 3 is an e-reader, plain and simple.  While it does sport a web browser and mp3 playback capability, at the end of the day it’s only true function if for reading books.  The iPad is a tablet computer.  While it does offer the ability to read ebooks, it’s primary functions are web browsing, social media, and music and video consumption.  While the Kindle 3 is far and away the superior e-reader, the iPad has far and away more functionality.  Apple iPad takes this one.

Kindle 4 iPad 4


iPad – $499 – $829
Kindle 3 – $139 – $189

It really comes down to how much you’re willing to spend for your reader.  While the iPad certainly does more than the Kindle 3, it also costs significantly more than the Kindle.  Five hundred bucks is a lot to shell out for any device, let alone one that doesn’t support flash.  For $139 the Kindle is moving itself into the impulse by area and making it reasonable to own more than one so you don’t have to share.

Kindle 5 iPad 4

Which to Buy

When it comes to e-readers, Kindle is still king of the mountain.  While the iPad has more storage, more functionality, and holds up better against abuse and as a weapon, the Kindle costs less and the e-ink display allows for easier reading of the vastly larger library of available books.  If you’re in the market for an e-reader, the Kindle 3 is the way to go.

Kindle 3

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