ELECTRONIC notepads and tablet PCs have been here for ages now. But then Kindle came along and changed everything. It let you carry your books wherever you went, without adding to your luggage. It also let you order new books online, without having to go to a store. But then Kindle was not perfect. Many people hated its black and white screen though it was the gadget’s best feature, making it easy on the eyes and using up very little of the battery.
Then came the Apple iPad which has a colour screen and lets you do a lot more with the books, especially with those for kids. But, in India, you still have to depend on a friend abroad to get you one, and then the battery does not go on and on like the Kindle.
The market became interesting when Kindle took the fight to Apple by releasing an app for the iPad, which meant you could buy books from the Kindle store and read them on the iPad. And the books were trademark Kindle, all in black and white. There are other apps that let you read magazines and books in colour.
But I still love the Kindle as it seldom runs out of juice and you can read books even under the sun, thanks to the high-contrast screen. The enormous collection of books, newspapers and magazines and the fact that they can be download just about anywhere still make it the best e-reader.
No doubt the iPad can do more thanks to its high-resolution, 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS display which also lets you play games and read books. The other great thing about iPad is that it also lets me create documents, which you cannot do on Kindle. However, it is not good for reading lengthy books due to the strain the screen can put on your eyes. You can get over this problem by buying a matt-finish screenguard, but reading is still not as fun as the Kindle. Yeah, iPad is cool, but I think I will still stick to the Kindle for now.
The above article appeared in the Indian Express, on Sunday August 29, 2010