Opinions + pros/cons: iPad vs [Kindle/Nook + iPod touch]

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacHandmedown, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. MacHandmedown macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    #1
    Being waaaay behind the times on these items, I have NONE of the above but am gearing up to make a purchase very soon.
    I would appreciate your opinions and any additional thoughts on the following decision I am debating:

    Either an iPad (original issue or iPad 2 - open to debate/suggestions) or a Kindle or Nook plus an iPod Touch.

    Basic use:
    - Listen to podcasts
    - Download and read books
    - I'd love to be able to read .pdfs and other document formats as well
    - General web surfing (facebook, forums, news sites)
    - Some music once in a while, but not the primary use
    - It would be great to view instructional or educational videos, but I'm not much of a movie watcher on these devices so I won't likely need that

    It would be great if I could also use the device as a contact manager and to manage my schedule (both personal and work appointments). I do not need an iPhone (mainly because I do not want the added expense of the contract at this time).

    I've narrowed it down to the iPad which would allow me to do all of this or either the Kindle or the nook + an iPod touch. I just don't know enough about each of these devices to make the proper comparison.

    It would be great to hear opinions from someone who has used all platforms...


    *** I'm leaning toward getting a 16 GB iPad 1 at the killer price of $399 while they last... (and probably looking for someone to talk me into the iPad 2 32 GB :p ) Thanks for any and all advice!
     
  2. grawk macrumors 6502

    grawk

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Location:
    Southern York County, PA
    #2
    I have a kindle, an ipad, an iphone, and an ipod touch.

    I prefer reading on the ipad to reading on the kindle, mostly because I prefer to read landscape, and the kindle is portrait only, but it's not a "strong" preference. If you want the lightest possible device, have a need to read outside, or prefer to have separate devices for various functions, then I'd go with the ipod touch and the kindle. If you want to read in lower light situations without a book light, don't need to read outside, and don't mind the larger form factor, I'd definitely get the ipad. I obviously compromised by getting everything. :)
     
  3. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #3
    You can rotate text on the Kindle, it just doesn't do it automagiacally. Click the text-size button (Aa) and in addition to the text size, you can also select the screen orientation.

    OP: I have a Kindle, and it is great for reading anything that doesn't rely on formatting. Textbooks, technical books, newspapers and magazines are a problem on the Kindle. The larger KindleDX is supposed to do this better, but thats around $350. If you are mostly looking to read novels and such, the Kindle is great, but it's a one trick pony.
     
  4. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    SFV
    #4
    I have an iPad and a Kindle (plus an iPhone), and I think it's the perfect combination.

    The iPad is great for everything on your list except for reading books, since I don't like reading for long periods of time on a backlit screen. It's perfect for web-surfing, PDF viewing, contact/address book management, and video watching but it really does need to be paired with a computer (which I'm sure you also have).

    The Kindle on the other hand is a superb ebook reader, but, as Panch0 said, it is a one-trick-pony. Any novels, etc with little/no formatting are great to read on the Kindle but anything like a textbook isn't generally going to display properly on a Kindle. The Kindle does read PDFs but scrolling is not very smooth and the e-ink screen doesn't work great for it.
     
  5. willieva macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    #5
    If you want to be able to surf and read books, the ipad is the way to go. It's not quite as good an ereader as a kindle or nook, but it's way better for the web than an ipod touch. And if you get an ipad you'll only have to lug around/sync one device, which is a plus.

    For what you describe, 16gig is plenty.

    As for ipad1 vs ipad2, it boils down to how much $100 is worth to you. The ipad1 is fine for what you want to do. Is it worth $100 to have a slightly lighter device that is faster and has cameras?
     
  6. Patrick946 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    #6
    I consider the Kindle to be a luxury device. It's cheaper than an iPad, but considering that it's only used for one function, it's a way higher cost per function.

    I use my iPhone a ton for websurfing, twitter, reading Instapaper, writing short blog posts, and using apps. I love it, but I would be lying if I said that a bigger screen wouldn't improve those experiences across the board. Also, I can't imagine reading a whole book on my phone. However, I also use my iPhone as a phone, a camera and an MP3 player, and for that the small size is necessary.

    The only arguments against getting an iPad would be if you needed a portable MP3 player/ iOS device, or if it would be worth it to you to have digital ink for just reading novels and could stand to have everything else on a much smaller screen. If I were in your situation, I would almost definitely go for the iPad.
     
  7. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

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    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #7
    an iPad would do everything you need in a single device, the only real downside i could see could be the larger size/weight of it and lack of eink dispay for reading be an issue for some people.

    Always wanted a Kindle for the display and size but have found the greater versatility of the iPad to be aa deal breaker for me. I'd advise checking both out before you buy if you can, people can argue good and bad points for each at you all day but if you its gotta be what feels right for you
     
  8. ehoui macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    #8
    I would vote for iPad. I have a rooted Nook Color (and iPhone). While the Nook is a good book reader, it's a mediocre tablet. Browsing the web pages are at best 'ok' -- certainly better than a iPod touch, but I would wan't to use it as my primary browser. It's also laggy in responding to your touches (heck, it even "ignores" some).

    I was thinking about a Kindle and although the great battery life is certainly a plus, I just can't limit myself to shades of grey anymore. I don't regret the Nook, but I wouldn't depend on it as a tablet. That's my opinion of course.
     
  9. grawk macrumors 6502

    grawk

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Location:
    Southern York County, PA
    #9
    How does the nook do outside? I currently have an ipad and a kindle, but having a book reader that reads every format, and that can be used for light web/email/etc would be a more useful device for me than the Kindle.
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #10
    Does that mean that there is a Kindle app for (rooted) Nook Color?

    B
     
  11. grawk macrumors 6502

    grawk

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    Southern York County, PA
    #11
    yes, the android app
     
  12. trip1ex macrumors 68000

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    Jan 10, 2008
    #12
    KIndle is great to read on, but not a great document reader as of now.

    So probably should get the ipad.
     
  13. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #13
    OP, thanks for posting this question, since I've been debating the same issue for a while now, and can't come up with a decision. In a perfect world, I could get either a 7" iPad or a larger iPhone screen.

    I have a lot of books that are already on pdf, so I'm concerned about reading of those docs on any of these platforms.

    Stupid question: what 'application' works best on these different options, if not pdf? epub? another program? I might be able to transfer some of these pdfs over to other formats, but I wouldn't know which is the most readable/flexible for each product.

    Many thanks again!
     
  14. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

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    Durham, UK
    #14
    I'd recommend Calibre for Mac it can convert files to any format you need. Also, if you use an iPad you can use any number of PDF readers, Kindle and iBooks. Goodreader is very useful for doing this as its also a good file manager and lets you import epub files into iBooks :)
     
  15. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #15
    I read a lot on the iPad1 and eInk Nook and even the iPhone 4.

    In my experience, it really depends on the kind of document and its source what format works best. ePUB works very well for documents that are mostly text and limited graphics, but it does seem to depend a bit on who created the file. DRM-free ePUB files (such as you can get from O'Reilly and other publishers) are great 'cause you can really read them anywhere on the Nook, or in iBooks on the iPad/iPhone.

    PDFs that are scanned/bitmapped for letter/A4 paper tend to not work as well on the Nook as they do on the iPad due to the limited resolution of the screen. Hybrid "searchable" PDFs that consist of a bitmap over text will degrade to the text only and reflow better than the bitmap only version.

    The 7" form factor + eInk wins for reading over long periods of time and outside, but the overall iPad experience is better under compatible conditions.

    B
     
  16. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #16
    Most helpful, thank you so much!

    I know that the books I have can also be downloaded as Mobi and Lit files (though the latter is Microsoft), which I might do anyway, just as preparation...so it looks like either iPhone (5?) or iPad is the best option for me, though I must say, just having bought a MacBook Pro, I could spin a need for a new phone (mine is about 4 years old) when iPhone 5 comes out, but don't know how I could financially support an iPad this year!

    Any other ideas would be much appreciated, but again, thank you for such detailed and helpful answers.
     
  17. Jayrcee macrumors regular

    Jayrcee

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    USA
  18. MacHandmedown thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 31, 2010
    #18
    Thanks everyone for the feedback - I think I'm headed toward the iPad 2 32GB when they are back in stock. That seems to make the most sense for me at this time.

    I'll probably satisfy my Kindle curiosity by buying my wife one for her "summer reading" and borrowing it all the time... LOL... blame it all on the wife!
     
  19. verdee macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #19
    I have an iPad and just recently bought a kindle (a decision reached after playing with my 90 year old grandfathers kindle). I like the kindle way more for casual reading than the iPad. The text is very crisp, and it strains my eyes less. The biggest thing is reading in the sun, which is almost impossible on the iPad and a inconvenience on beach vacations. Also if you wear polarized sunglasses, you can't read in portrait mode. Now on the other hand, I love my iPad, it rocks for textbooks and PDFs. Hopefully future generations will improve on the screen for outdoor reading.
     
  20. ozred macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    #20
    Based on my personal experience as an avid ebook reader, unfortunately I cannot endorse the iPad. Don't get me wrong for what it's designed for, I really like my iPad. But for reading ebooks the latest Kindle is far superior.

    I admit it, I'm addicted to Apples laptops & iPads, and I tried very hard to "enjoy" reading on my new iPad 2, but it's no better than my original. The new Kindle is so much thinner & lighter, plus the purpose built display has no equal, even indoors.
     
  21. MacBoook160 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2011
  22. Elefant macrumors newbie

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    Feb 18, 2011
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    #22
    I'll be honest here, I bought a Kindle 3g not too long ago, and as much as I love reading on it, I really miss being able to rest in my bed/sofa and switching from reading to surfing, whenever I want to. As such, I'm in on a few auctions on ebay at this very moment...

    It comes down to personal preferences - naturally - but I reckon I'll keep the Kindle 3g, once i get an iPad, because it's just superb for it's battery life and for reading outside.
     
  23. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    #23
    I've had a Kindle1, 2 and got the 3 when it came out. Each one has been better than the previous one.
    I decided to try the IPad2, and got it delivered Tuesday of this week. I put the Kindle app on it and started reading. It's MUCH better; clarity is greatly improved, having color is great and the ability to easily expand graphs/illustrations is fantastic. I primarily read technical books on the subject of photography, and they typically have of illustrations in color that really shine on the IPad. I do not have a problem with the reported eye strain while using a back lit display.
    I'm going to get rid of my Kindle, I might pick another one up when they do color.
     
  24. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a

    ghostlyorb

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    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #24
    I think iPad is the best. It can do everything you want... all in one! I have an iPhone 4.. and my iPad lets me do a lot. I now can save battery life on my phone. So I like that!

    PS... Ipad 2 is amazing!
     
  25. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #25
    I have an iPhone and (wifi) iPad and my wife has a (wifi) Kindle. Since getting the iPhone 4, I use the iPad a whole lot less but I still use it more than I ever used the netbook it replaced.

    I offered my wife an iPad and she would rather keep her Kindle. At 1/4 the price of an iPad, the Kindle deserves serious consideration if your main task is reading and you don't want to be "distracted" (tempted) by games and other applications. If you aren't sure, you can always grab the Kindle app to read on your iPad. This means you could try the Kindle first and if you decide to sell it and get an iPad, you get to keep reading the books you had on your Kindle.

    There are a handful of features that Kindle software doesn't support that Kindle does support. These include periodicals and the ability to lend books. All things being equal, the wifi iPad can do more than the wifi Kindle. Note that the 3G Kindle does not require a data plan but the 3G iPad does so for less money, the 3G Kindle can get more free data than the 3G iPad. While reading on the Kindle is a pleasure (as long as you bring your own light) he browser and keyboard on the Kindle are awful. The on screen keyboard on the iPad is usable, especially in landscape mode but the screen is not well suited to bright sunlight situations. Too much sun isn't much of a concern in the Detroit area ;).

    In the end, it depends on what you really wind up using the thing for. I thought I'd be listening to podcasts. Instead, I use Pandora more. I thought I'd be taking it to every class or meeting. While I do take it to meetings now and then, I don't carry the iPad along as much now that I have a decent phone with a retina display. If all I cared about was reading, I'd definitely go for the less expensive Kindle.

    If you do decide to go for iPad, I suggest you consider the 3G even if you never activate the data. On the 3G model you also get GPS and that means a 3G iPad becomes a very good nav system when you need it.

    Hope this helps...
     

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