tablets

Apple iPad 2 Tablet eBook Reader Review

The iPad 2 is lighter and faster than the original.

March 11, 2011
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Amazon Kindle Keyboard

Device & Specs

The two favorites for the title of the top eBook reader or tablet are very different devices, with the Kindle in the featherweight class (at just 8.5 ounces) and the iPad being a heavyweight, at just over 20 ounces. The two devices take a different design approach as as well, with the Kindle being purely an eBook reader, while the iPad is designed to replace a laptop by offering eBook, music, video and the ability to expand the functions by running apps purchased online. So, the choice between the two comes down to what you want. If you want to just read books on the road, the Kindle is the best pick. If you want to read books (except in direct sun), listen to music, watch videos, play games and browse the web, the iPad 2 is the way to go.

Screen

The two devices take different approaches when it comes to the screen. The iPad offers a big, bright LCD screen, while the Kindle has a smaller e-ink screen that has no backlight. The result is a different set of strengths and weaknesses, with the iPad offering a bigger screen that looks great indoors, but poor outside. The Kindle, however, offers a screen that is sharp and readable in everything from very dim light to direct tropical sun.

Battery

Our battery life tests of the iPad 2 are underway, but one thing we do know is that the battery will not last as long as the Kindle when reading an eBook. While the original iPad was only good for a few hours of reading, the Kindle lasted the full 24 hours of our test, and would, we estimate, keep going for over 16 days.

eReader

The experience of reading books on these two devices is quite different, with the passive eInk screen of the Kindle providing more subtle, smooth look and the iPad providing a big, bright screen. Think of it as being like a paperback Vs a coffee table hardback: both have their benefits, but one is good for a vacation and one is good for putting on a table to impress visitors.

Internet

The iPad is the winner as an internet device with no competition. The Kindle includes a web browser, but it is slow and awkward to use. The iPad includes good email support and an excellent web browser that is as easy and comfortable to use as a desktop web browser.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Apple iPad Wi-Fi (16 GB) Comparison
  11. Samsung Galaxy Tab (T-Mobile) Comparison
  12. Amazon Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi Comparison
  13. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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