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iPad or Kindle: will our wallets decide?

Paul Miller, @futurepaul
January 27, 2010
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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.



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