So, I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a new Kindle for the last couple of weeks. Here’s why.
I read a lot of blogs and news articles on a daily basis, mostly from places like Twitter, Google Reader, and Summify. Oftentimes, I save articles to Instapaper to read later. I think there is a way to send Instapaper articles directly to a Kindle so it would be useful to read them when I’m away from my computer.
Another reason why I’m intrigued with the Kindle is that besides reading blogs all day, I enjoy reading novels. Carrying a physical copy of War & Peace around isn’t feasible. A Kindle is light-weight, stores hundreds of books, and its battery life extends to one month.
What about the iPad??
But, why don’t you get an iPad?! Isn’t that what being an Apple fanboy is all about???
That’s a valid point, observant reader. I have considered purchasing an iPad but, to be honest, I feel like I don’t have a need for a tablet device just yet. I’m satisfied with my MacBook Pro/iPod Touch combo right now. My MBP helps me get my work done, and my iPod Touch distracts me when I’m bored.
Will an iPad do a better job performing either task? Possibly. The number of “killer” iPad apps continues to grow but it hasn’t hit that magical threshold that makes an iPad a must-have. But with apps like Reeder, Zite, Paper, and others popping up on my radar, the siren call for an iPad will surely grow louder.
iPad: Great for Textbooks
The iPad isn’t a great device for longform reading. My eyes are pretty bad so a LED-backlit screen won’t do. I think the iPad would be great for making content more engaging and interactive, with embeddable media and dynamic content. Textbooks are a perfect candidate for iPads. It’s no surprise the number of stories you hear of educational institutions offering iPads as a part of their curriculum.
So Apple, if you’re reading this, donate some iPads to UC Irvine. K, thanks.
A Kindle is leaps and bounds better for longform reading with its E Ink technology. It’s the closest thing to reading a physical textbook on any electronic device. I’ve seen it for myself on several occasions and I’m convinced. Even outdoor reading is now an option; no more squinty eyes or blurred vision.
What about the Nook?
I did a little research on the Nook, wondering if there was any advantage it had over a Kindle. Luckily, the Nook website provided this handy comparison chart:
Comparing the various specs of the two devices, it does appear to the average consumer that a Nook is a superior choice. It matches the Kindle on most features like its long, one-month battery life and light-weight (The Kindle appears to be slightly heavier than the Nook).
But, given the Kindle’s greater popularity and the fact that it has been around far longer (first released in 2007 versus the Nook in 2009), the Nook is gonna have to find some other way to win my attention.
Examining the rumor mill
Given that the Kindle was last updated sometime in 2011, I took the opportunity to conduct my due dilligence and visit the rumor mill. According to a report by Reuters back in May of this year, Amazon is planning a refresh of its entire Kindle line in July.
Hey, that’s next month!
Reuter’s source also claims that the new Kindle will come with a new front-lit screen since a lot of people have complained about not being able to read in the dark. The tradeoff of this addition is a weaker battery life, and possibly a marginally higher price.
Is it July yet???
Anyhow, that’s my current situation. I’m crossing my fingers hoping that the rumors are accurate and that Amazon is planning to release an updated Kindle next month. In the meantime, if you own a Kindle or even a Nook, feel free to share your experience with it in the comments section below. Thanks!