Posted by: Jeanie F | August 26, 2010

Kindle 3 or iPad . . .What’s a Techie Reader to Do?

I was an “early adopter” when Amazon introduced the first Kindle, and I’ve never looked back. I still purchase and enjoy “dead tree” books and am a HUGE supporter of independent bookstores, but I don’t plan to ever be without an e-reader again, especially for travel. I currently have a Kindle 2 and love it, but I’m ready to upgrade. What I’m wondering is:

Do I upgrade to the new Kindle or to the iPad?

I know that there are pros and cons to each, but I would love to hear from those of you who have used one or more iteration of Kindle and upgraded to either the new Kindle or the iPad. I’m not interested in the other functions of the iPad, which I know are amazing. I just want to know how these new products compare to the earlier Kindles as readers, and which you would recommend.

My specific questions have to do with:

  1. Readability: I’ve heard that you can’t read on the iPad in the sunlight. Is that correct?
  2. Availability of titles: One of the advantages of the Kindle over e-readers such as the Nook or Sony reader has been the number of titles you can purchase. Is this a factor with the iPad?
  3. Battery life: I know the Kindle has an amazing battery life, but don’t know about the iPad’s.
  4. Ease of finding specific locations in a book (for example, if you want to return to a specific page to reread a passage)

I’ll appreciate any experience or suggestions you can share with me. I have some gift $$$ burning a hole in my pocket!

Update August 2011:

Bought an iPad, so now I have both. Do NOT like the iPad as much as the Kindle for reading, but love it for internet-based fun!


  1. Hey! This is what I know…

    1. If the iPad is anything like an iPhone (which I have) it’s not readable in direct sunlight.

    2. I don’t know anything about titles.

    3. The Kindle DOES have an amazing battery life. I’m expecting that the iPad isn’t as good – just judging by how quickly my iPhone battery goes down when listening to music.

    4. I don’t know anything about finding locations in the book.

    So I guess I only have information for half of your questions, but that’s ok, right? 🙂

    Good luck. If it means anything, I opted for a Kindle instead of an iPad because of the sunlight issue. I’m an outdoor reader!

    • Kate, thanks for your thoughts. The outside light is big for me, too – I love to read outdoors! I have a Droid phone and the battery life is pretty limited, too. Have you looked at the “Advanced Task Manager” app? It turns of all apps until you want to use them, which extends your battery life. Available on iPHone and Droid.

  2. My new Kindle is coming today so I’ll let you know! I also just posted some links to kindle reviews at The Book Stop:

    Good luck with the decision!

  3. I commented earlier but found this regarding your question number 2, from the New York Times:

    “Yes, of course, it’s a little silly to compare the Kindle with the iPad, a full-blown computer with infinitely greater powers. Although it’s worth pointing out, just in case you were indeed considering the iPad primarily for its e-book features, that the Kindle’s catalog of 630,000 current books is 10 times the size of Apple’s.”

    On sunlight and battery life, no question the Kindle wins. I read in the sun a lot so that’s pretty critical.

    If you read while commuting or traveling, I would think about weight too — IPad is a lot heavier. I have to stand and read a lot on the train so that’s important to me.

    I don’t know about question 4 — I have a first-run Kindle (for now!) and I’ve struggled with that a little. Although you can search, highlight and bookmark text so that helps. Kindle 3 probably has even more features. I don’t know the IPad so can’t compare.

    • Thanks for all the information! I’ll stop by your blog and look at the links, but will be interested to hear how you like your new Kindle. Congratulations!

  4. I’ve been debating this issue myself for awhile. I like the idea that the iPad can do so much more than the Kindle but from what I can tell if all you want is an e-Reader the dedicated ones, like the Kindle or Nook, are the way to go.

    At the moment I’m trying to make do with the Kindle & iBooks apps on my iPodTouch. It’s not as difficult to read on the small screen as I assumed it would be, but I still find myself reaching for actual books before reading them on the iPod.

  5. Alley, I’ve been trying the same thing – reading a book on my Droid (Kindle now has apps for Droids and iPhones that sync with your Kindle). Love the portability and, like you, have been surprised that the screen is actually pretty easy to read. However, it’s my fallback when I’m stuck waiting somewhere – it would never be my reader of choice!

  6. IPad is a really good choice
    But if you read for long periods of time, it will cause you eye strains because of the LED screen.
    I would still recommend for you to use an e-reader.

    But the upside of Ipad is that you can go to the internet and find more books.

    Good luck.
    I hope i’m not too late…
    may I know what I chose?

    • @Animaevenus93, thanks for your comments. I still haven’t decided, but am leaning heavily toward the Kindle 3. The eye strain and difficulty reading in sunlight are big factors for me. I may eventually get an iPad, too, but for movies, apps, etc. I think for reading I want to stick to the Kindle.

      • You’re welcome 🙂
        Good luck 🙂

  7. I hope you decided to go with the amazing amazon Kindle<3…lol…Go Kindle Go.

    Personally If i want to surf the internet and so on and check emails then fine I go with the Ipad BUT if we are talking READING and eBook I wont even think twice because i'm going with the Kindle Hands down!

    • I DID go with the Kindle 3 – and haven’t regretted it! I don’t know if I’ll ever get an iPad – it doesn’t really do anything that I particularly want to do – but I don’t see myself ever without a Kindle or something similar.

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