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Kindle vs the Pad - How Amazon may prevail in the e-reader wars


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#1 Rick Spilman

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 08:45 AM

My wife just got a new Kindle. In addition to being newer, it is also cheaper, smaller, lighter and has twice the storage capacity and battery life and a brighter, clearer screen as compared to my only about a year old Kindle 2. (I am only feeling a little jealous.)

The newer Kindle has the same size screen as the old one but is now almost exactly the same size as a mass market paperback, though much thinner and somewhat lighter. The increased capacity means that you can either store 3,000 books, or the more likely alternative, use the additional space for either mp3s or audio books. You could store 500 books on the new Kindle and still have space for around twenty hours of audio. The new Kindle also comes with capabilities that it can't currently use, such as a built in microphone. No doubt there will be an app for that sooner or later.

It occurs to me that if Amazon continues to develop and improve the Kindle, it may continue to do very well in the e-reader market. I suspect that the market for tablet computing will continue to grow rapidly, though may be primarily as laptop replacements. The e-reader capabilities of the iPad seem to be being treated by Apple as an after thought. The Apple book store has mostly bare shelves and most of the books read on iPads these days are apparently purchased from Amazon and read with the iPad Kindle app.

I do wonder whether mini-pads like the new Nook pad will find a market as e-readers. They seem to incorporate all the worst features of both e-reader formats. They are fine as personal video players but I am not convinced they offer much as e-readers.

#2 Pete Morin

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 08:52 AM

Is the screen on the Kindle as high def and color bright as the iPad? Can you flick the pages over now or do you have to click the button?

My wife was getting annoyed by the soft click sound of the page-turned on my Kindle.

I think the iPad design is stunning, but I have no use for 80% of the loaded apps. There's a whole Mac culture out there, and if the Kindle app is available to shop their monopoly store, I wouldn't bet against Apple. But I am going to stay with the (less than 1 year) old Kindle until the iPad price comes down to something not ridiculous.
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#3 Rick Spilman

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:31 AM

Is the screen on the Kindle as high def and color bright as the iPad? Can you flick the pages over now or do you have to click the button?

My wife was getting annoyed by the soft click sound of the page-turned on my Kindle.

I think the iPad design is stunning, but I have no use for 80% of the loaded apps. There's a whole Mac culture out there, and if the Kindle app is available to shop their monopoly store, I wouldn't bet against Apple. But I am going to stay with the (less than 1 year) old Kindle until the iPad price comes down to something not ridiculous.


Can an iPad fit in your coat pocket, weigh about eight ounces, be readable in bright sun and only need to be recharged about once a month? And no, you can't read the Kindle in the dark or use it watch video.

They are obviously very different devices and different folks will have different preferences.

I have had an Archos video player for several years which is great for watching movies on airplanes, surfing the web and listening to music. It wasn't so great as an e-reader. My son likes his iTouch a lot and can't quite figure out why he needs something as large, heavy and expensive as an iPad. I can see how the iPad has lots of useful applications. I wouldn't want one as an e-reader. But that's just me.

#4 Pete Morin

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:39 AM

Can an iPad fit in your coat pocket, weigh about eight ounces, be readable in bright sun and only need to be recharged about once a month? And no, you can't read the Kindle in the dark or use it watch video.

They are obviously very different devices and different folks will have different preferences.

I have had an Archos video player for several years which is great for watching movies on airplanes, surfing the web and listening to music. It wasn't so great as an e-reader. My son likes his iTouch a lot and can't quite figure out why he needs something as large, heavy and expensive as an iPad. I can see how the iPad has lots of useful applications. I wouldn't want one as an e-reader. But that's just me.


I'm not sure those attributes matter for me. If it fits in my pocket, the screen's too small for my taste.

I have one of those clamp lights for reading the kindle in bed. Not perfect, but okay.
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#5 Robin Breyer

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:44 AM

I wouldn't could the Kindle's competitors out yet. You need to remember that all iPhone, iPod Touch (formerly iTouch), and iPad's can read books using a non-Kindle apps. I've only tried loading a few classics with the ebook app (Thank you Gutenberg for free ebooks) so I don't know how it works with purchased ebooks, but you just load it into iTunes and sync, and there is your book to read. You can attach a cover for those that don't have one. The iPod Touch is the cheepest of the family, and with some deals, is free or as little as $100 (with a computer of course). That's a huge base of competition for the Kindle. Not to mention the other eReaders out there like Nook and Sony. My phone has a BN app on it that makes it painless to purchase and download from them. BN and Borders both have apps for all the most common devices.

Basically Kindle (device or app) is for people who shop from Amazon and the others are for those who shop everywhere else.

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#6 Rick Spilman

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:50 AM

Basically Kindle (device or app) is for people who shop from Amazon and the others are for those who shop everywhere else.



If we can believe what one reads in the press, iPad users read more Amazon purchased books using the Kindle iPad app than books from any other source. Content still beats format.

#7 Robin Breyer

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:52 AM

Size preference already existed in publishing. Most hard cover books don't fit in your pocket while a mass market paperback often can. Some people like to read in bright sunlight (I've never been a fan of that, it hurts my eyes), some in a dark room with a light. The backlit devices eliminate the need for a separate light. So you have the same arguments going on now for different devices as we always have for different book formats and reading settings. The eink devices are better for those who like to read outdoors and have something portable (or like booklights) while the backlit screens are better for reading without light and come in a variety of sizes to fit everyone's tastes. My personal preference is a small screen (the iPad is way too big for me to ever get one for reading a book) that is backlit so I can read where ever I want.

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#8 Pete Morin

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 11:17 AM

If we can believe what one reads in the press, iPad users read more Amazon purchased books using the Kindle iPad app than books from any other source. Content still beats format.


I certainly believe that, since Amazon made the first full-fledged move into the eBook space and already had a HUGE market presence in on-line book selling when they did. The question is whether they'll over-play their 800 lb gorilla status by trying to strong-arm the publishers/authors into their pricing models while others sneak in to grab chunks of the market.
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#9 Derrick

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 11:31 AM

Hey Rick, on the Kindle 3, the ads say that it has a 20% faster refresh, which is what really hooks me. When you're moving the cursor is it noticeably faster? Or, if that was the main appeal for somebody, would you say that it isn't worth it?

#10 Rick Spilman

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 12:11 PM

Hey Rick, on the Kindle 3, the ads say that it has a 20% faster refresh, which is what really hooks me. When you're moving the cursor is it noticeably faster? Or, if that was the main appeal for somebody, would you say that it isn't worth it?


I may not be much help because I was never bothered by the refresh rate on the Kindle 2. Flipping pages side by side both seemed pretty close to instantaneousness to me. Moving from "Home" to a given page in a book is a fraction of second faster with the newer Kindle. Can't say I would have noticed otherwise. The cursor is different with the new Kindle because they have done away with the "joystick style" control and now use more of a "touch pad" style. There is no touchpad per se, but there are now five buttons instead of one toggle. I like the new version better.

The biggest difference I see between the two machines is that the text is darker on the new Kindle. The new Kindle is also noticeably smaller, thinner and lighter, while keeping the same screen size. The new graphite color option is also pretty kewl.

#11 Derrick

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 04:07 PM

I may not be much help because I was never bothered by the refresh rate on the Kindle 2. Flipping pages side by side both seemed pretty close to instantaneousness to me. Moving from "Home" to a given page in a book is a fraction of second faster with the newer Kindle. Can't say I would have noticed otherwise. The cursor is different with the new Kindle because they have done away with the "joystick style" control and now use more of a "touch pad" style. There is no touchpad per se, but there are now five buttons instead of one toggle. I like the new version better.

The biggest difference I see between the two machines is that the text is darker on the new Kindle. The new Kindle is also noticeably smaller, thinner and lighter, while keeping the same screen size. The new graphite color option is also pretty kewl.



Thanks. The refresh on the pages isn't what bothers me. It's the refresh on the cursor when you're going through a table of contents.

#12 C. Taylor

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 06:39 PM

Samsung is coming out with a tablet (the Samsung Galaxy) that will be a fair amount smaller than the ipad and will use an android format. It'll also be touchscreen, full color, and with decent resolution. The size sounds like it'll be comprable to the new kindle. I don't think they've determined pricing yet though. I doubt it'll be as cheap as a kindle, and you still end up with a much shorter time between charges, but it's capable of doing much more than a kindle, so I guess that's the pay off. I like the idea of a kindle, but to me it still seems a bit old fashioned when compared to the touchscreen tablets. Just my opinion of course. Here's a link for more info on the S. Galaxy. http://news.cnet.com...20015395-1.html


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#13 Robin Breyer

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 07:13 PM

The biggest difference I see between the two machines is that the text is darker on the new Kindle. The new Kindle is also noticeably smaller, thinner and lighter, while keeping the same screen size. The new graphite color option is also pretty kewl.

The refresh and the text color are what have bothered me. I want black text on a white (not pure white, but something that at least approximates the nice light color of paper books) and hearing that the latest one has darker text is good news. My big issues with the eink screens are the refresh and the color (they all look dark gray on light gray to me). My big issue with Kindle is format. I support epub, which is what B&N and Borders appear to sell and what Project Gutenberg has started releasing all the classics in.

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#14 Rick Spilman

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 08:11 PM

The refresh and the text color are what have bothered me. I want black text on a white (not pure white, but something that at least approximates the nice light color of paper books) and hearing that the latest one has darker text is good news. My big issues with the eink screens are the refresh and the color (they all look dark gray on light gray to me). My big issue with Kindle is format. I support epub, which is what B&N and Borders appear to sell and what Project Gutenberg has started releasing all the classics in.


We all have different preferences. After reading on LCD screens of various sizes I love eink. The refresh rate with the Kindle is fine. Different strokes....

Format seems to me to be overstated. Gutenberg provides virtually all of its material in Kindle readable format in addition to epub and several other foramts. Most of my Kindle books are either from Gutenberg or manybooks.net which also offers Kindle readable formats in addition to epub and a half dozen other formats.

#15 Rick Spilman

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 08:16 PM

My wife was getting annoyed by the soft click sound of the page-turned on my Kindle.


Pete,

It sounds like Amazon has listened to the complaints. One of the advertised improvements to the new Kindle:

Quieter Page Turn Buttons

Quieter page turning means you won't disturb your partner when you want to read all night.



#16 Mark Friedlander

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 07:30 PM

Quieter Page Turn Buttons

Quieter page turning means you won't disturb your partner when you want to read all night.


Geez, another monogamous attack on the polyamorous. Will this bigotry ever end?

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#17 Pete Morin

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 08:37 PM

Geez, another monogamous attack on the polyamorous. Will this bigotry ever end?


Let me understand this, Mark.

You have a crowd in your bed and you're reading?
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#18 Mark Friedlander

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 09:18 PM

No, it's only a crowd when we're down to just three of us.

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