Reader question: iPad, Kindle, or both?

July 2, 2010 | By | Comments (0)

Picture 4 I'd like to thank Manic Mommies listener and friend Molly N. for inspiring this week's post with this e-mail:

Hi Kristin

You are the tech guru, so I'm coming to you for advice.  I was thinking about a Kindle, but then the IPad came out.   You have a Kindle, desiring an IPad but decided to wait.  Do you still love the Kindle?  Why an IPad and why wait??  A new Kindle is out next week.  Bigger, faster, stronger, better??

Any thoughts you can share would be most welcome!

- Molly

Okay, first, I'm totally flattered that anyone (including the folks at Real Simple) consider me a tech guru. So thanks for that Molly!

Now, to answer your question, here are my current thoughts on the Amazon Kindle vs the Apple iPad:

A) I love my Kindle, mostly because it's a one tricky pony. When I'm on my laptop, I find myself getting easily thrown off course by distractions such as status updates on Facebook, e-mails, and movie previews on YouTube. With the Kindle I can only do a couple of things – read or browse the Amazon store for more things to read. It also comes with free wifi which allows me to shop for books wherever I am, without looking for a hot spot or paying for an additional data plan.

I use my Kindle nearly every night, often attaching an inexpensive book light to the back cover so I don't disturb my husband.

B) While I'm suffering from a terrible case of iPad envy, and can think of several ways that I would use it for work, I'm not ready to pull the trigger because 1) I don't usually buy the first generation of anything, preferring to let the manufacturer work out any kinks and b) I'm hoping the next generation will include a camera and the same retina display screen as the new iPhone 4.

I have no way to know if either of these upgrades are coming to the iPad – my husband thinks the upgraded screen is a longshot – but it's enough to keep my credit card safe (for now).

C) Now here's the tricky one – will I keep the Kindle when I get an iPad?

The answer is, I just don't know.

Because I will be able to use the Kindle app to read my Amazon Kindle purchases on the iPad, it seems redundant to carry both a Kindle and an iPad when I'm traveling. And, I could probably sell the Kindle through services like Gazelle, which would help defray the cost of the new technology.

On the other hand, I still like the idea of a device that allows me to read without distractions (yes, I can admit that I am THAT easy to distract), so I may keep the Kindle even after I've added the iPad to my computer bag. Plus, using both will let me conserve battery life on each, which might be important when on long trips with limited access to charging stations.

I don't envy anyone trying to make the decision between the iPad and the Kindle, because I can see the appeal of both (even without knowing much about what improvements have been made to the next generation Kindle). I can tell you that, in retrospect, I'm still glad I bought the Kindle. I've gotten a ton of use out of it since our cruise in January and feel like it was money well spent.

What do you think – iPad, Kindle or both?