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Kindle vs iPad

Kindle and iPadAs readers of the System Concepts website know, I love my iPad.  In fact, I loved it so much that when the iPad 2 came out I bought one for my wife (and my grown up daughter).  I also love my iPhone and have just treated myself to a 4s.  But for work I use an HTC android phone and a windows 7 laptop. 

On all these devices, I have the Kindle app and really enjoy being able to read the same book on the appropriate machine with it knowing where I am on the other.  So I can read a book on either phone on the bus from our office to the station.  I can then switch to my laptop on the train ( with the wi fi which still thinks I am in Sweden).  When I get home, I can finish off the day reading the same book on my iPad  in bed. 

So why do I think that I might like an actual Kindle and not just use the app?  In favour of the Kindle, it's not expensive ( at the airport I can buy one for less than £80).  It's a nice form factor - paperback sized screen, thin and light weight.  And my son, another technophile, argues that just because I can read kindle books on other devices doesn't mean that they are the best way to do it. The reflective display in particular on the Kindle is arguably kinder on the eyes and certainly more readable in daylight.  After all, you can play football and go sailing in ordinary shoes but if you like both activities then you probably have football boots and sailing shoes! 

The big downside for me is that it is yet another piece of technology to carry around even if it is not big or heavy.  It does not really replace any of the other pieces of kit.  Actually, none of them does that yet.  The iPad does a lot but for work I still need the laptop.  The phones are great but the keyboards and screens are a bit too small for my ageing eyes and fingers. 

So I am left with a quandary.  Not a very big quandary but one which has caused me yet again to look longingly at a Kindle in the airport duty free shop as I travel to an international standards meeting carrying my laptop, ipad( I am writing on this on the plane), and both phones.  Do I really want something else to carry? Probably not.  Would I like another gadget? What do you think?

By Tom Stewart


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