I have been um-ming and ah-ring about whether to buy an Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad for sometime now.
For the past year I have been constantly peering somewhat awkwardly over the shoulders of
commuters on the train that were flipping through their e-pages, smiling at them when they looked back to see who it was that stalked by them!
Mainly, I loved the idea of being able to carry my book collection on the go. Just imagine everything from Jane Austen classics to travels of Bill Bryson within one miniscule capsule! With one click I can transport from the modern entrepreneurial spirit of Karen Brady to the hedonist world of Queen Cleopatra era.
Importantly, the convenience of not having to carry the extra weight of paperback that I might not actually get round to reading that day, yet have at my disposal was definitely appealing to my left shoulder. Even more, do you remember being stuck at the Airport departure WHSmith wondering which one book to buy for the holiday, I have done ‘ini mini miny mo’ to eventually choose the book!
So now I convinced myself an e-reader was a good asset to have, I was just stuck as to whether to get the iPad or Kindle. The price difference was considerable £300 plus between them – no brainer in terms of price, although the more expensive iPad was also a tablet computer that included all of Apple’s tasty application trimmings.
To help me decide I went to Apples flagship store on Regent Street to see if the iPad was worth the hype. iPad is a sleek gadget, looking much like an enlarged version of Apples cornerstone iPhone with impressive entertainment quality of video streaming, video recording with talk-time benefit that indeed went over and above an e-reading device. iPad features Apples touchscreen quality including keypad making it functional, and excitedly can also be converted with a hardware keyboard add-on into a realistic portable computer.
After weighing the specs between the two gadgets I decided to buy the Kindle, why? For me the convenience of not needing to charge the appliance for 1 month unlike the iPad 10 hour battery life that limited iPad usage of being a handy travel gadget, along with almost weightless feel of the Kindle captured what I essentially needed. The Kindle weighs 170grams, which is less than 50% of a typical box of icing sugar from Tesco. In contrast, iPad weighed at 652grams making it almost 3 times heavier than the Kindle.
Importantly for reading enthusiasts, the Kindle e-ink display is remarkably like reading from actual print, their advertising boasts the most advanced e-ink display that can be read in sunlight. Whats more, the thoughtful design layout of page-turning tabs at either side of the Kindle makes this a focused, comfortable reading device.
However, one thing missing from the Kindle reading experience is an enlarged cover of the book you buy, preferable also in colour – there is something pleasant and complete about the pictorial cover of the book, being able to gaze and flick from the front to back book cover. Perhaps for future development Amazon could have the screensaver instead automatically be the book cover of book last read, similar to the Whispersync technology currently on the Kindle device that automatically refers you to the last page you read. Additionally, a contents page of the book would also make it easier to navigate through the book.
But I nit-pick, in actuality being able to ‘carry’ over 1000 books within my bag is such an indulgence at £89 (fraction of iPad) the perk outweighs anything else.
The best bit? My shoulder is all the better for it!