Is the iPad even a Kindle competitor?

Interesting piece in ZDnet today riffing on the differences between Apple’s somewhat closed and restrictive model when it comes to its iPhone and forthcoming iPad devices, compared to Amazon’s approach with its Kindle e-book reader.

But I’m still not convinced that the iPad is a legitimate ebook rival to the Kindle, of which Amazon sold around 35 million last year. The two main issues are the screen and the battery life.

Ebook readers have used monochrome screens and ‘digital ink’ technology for a reason: they are easy on the eye, which is vital if you’re going to read books on the thing, and they use relatively little power.

The iPad’s screen though is a bright, LED-backlit affair that will no doubt be great for web surfing and viewing your holiday snaps but not be so easy on the eye for longer reading sessions. It’s also one of the reasons that the iPad will have a battery life of “up to 10 hours”. The Kindle, by contrast, has a battery life of up to two weeks.

Remember too that you rarely see the kind of battery life that Apple claims in its marketing litereature.

Ultimately then while the iPad may be many things, I don’t think it’s going to be replacing many Kindles. Do you?

For more iPad coverage read “10 reasons I don’t want an iPad”.

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