It is an utterly unfair comparison but one that has been making the rounds ever since Apple released the iPad a few months ago. We are talking of the Kindle vs iPad battle that is being waged between tech users even though one device is designed for reading and another for multimedia consumption.However, if we break it down to just reading books, we think that Amazon’s gizmo has the beating of the iPad in India, for the moment at least. Before you accuse us of being in an advanced stage of intoxication, do consider the following
- Official warranty and support: Let’s face it, warranty and support count for something. As of now, Kindle is officially supported in India, the iPad is not.
- Price: Rs 13,000 officially versus around Rs 30,000 in the grey market. The Kindle takes it here, really.
- Data connectivity: We are not even going to debate whether the iPad is a better device for browsing the Net (it is perhaps the best mobile device for doing so), but the fact is that in India, it can work only on Wi-Fi or can be hacked to run on GPRS. The Kindle may not let you browse the Net freely in India, but you can still get the best of Wikipedia with minimum fuss, with no hacking involved and can, of course, browse the Amazon book store and download books over the air.
- Portability: At around 290 gms, the Kindle is much more portable than the iPad, which is almost twice the weight. With its relatively more book-like proportions, the Kindle is also a lot easier to read from in bed.
- Battery life: Two weeks against about 11 hours – again, the Kindle has a distinct edge here, thanks mainly to the e-ink display.
- The display: If you are looking at just reading content, we will have to go with Kindle’s e-ink display. The iPad’s dazzling display is great for reading books too, but heck, the Kindle’s looks much more, well, booky!
- Book store: Amazon’s Kindle Book Store works in India, Apple’s iBookstore, as of now, does not. Ironically, you can download books from the Kindle Book Store to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, but we must admit that the Kindle holds the edge here.
- Better computer syncing: If the iPad has a flaw, it is the fact that one has to depend so heavily on iTunes to sync data with a computer, even when it comes to books. Kindle is in comparison, a doddle to use.
Note: All this could change the moment Apple officially brings the iPad to India, may be even with the iBookstore in tow. As of now, however, we must admit that the e-book reading Force is with the Kindle.