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iPad or Kindle: will our wallets decide?

In quite a few ways, Apple's iPad and iBooks announcement today was a shot across the bow of Amazon's Kindle. Sure, Apple played nice, even saying that Amazon has done a "great job of pioneering" the e-book space, but you can't help but think that Apple thinks of itself as the evolution of the Kindle, not mere competition. Steve Jobs says that Apple is going to "stand on their shoulders," and that doesn't sound quite as benign as perhaps he meant it. So, how do the devices stack up, specifically as book consuming devices? Well, for starters, one of these things costs a whole lot more than the other... let's break it down after the break.




iPad


Kindle 2


Kindle DX

Upfront cost

$499 / $629 (3G)

$259

$489

Screen size

9.7-inch

6-inch

9.7-inch

Screen resolution

1024 x 768

600 x 800

1200 x 824

Pixel density

132 ppi

167 ppi

150 ppi

Screen type

Color IPS LCD

16-level gray E Ink

16-level gray E Ink

Storage

16GB

2GB

4GB

Accelerometer

Yes

No

Yes

Music

Yes

Yes

Yes

Movies

Yes

No

No

Text-to-speech

Yes

Yes

Yes

PDF

Yes

Yes

Yes

ePub

Yes

No

No

Kindle books

Yes (Kindle app)

Yes

Yes

3G service cost

N/A / $15 / $30

Free

Free

3G networks

GSM / HSDPA (US)

EV-DO + HSDPA (World)

EV-DO + HSDPA (World)

Weight

1.5 pound

0.6 pound

1.2 pound

Thickness

0.53-inches

0.34-inches

0.38-inches

Battery

10 hours

1 week

1 week



Update: As Daniel P. pointed out to us, the iPad, like the iPhone 3GS, has VoiceOver screen reading technology. It might not work as slickly in iBooks as Kindle's text-to-speech functionality, but hopefully it still get the job done. We updated the chart accordingly.