New Apple iPad vs. Kindle: Specs and price compared

 

By Posted 28 Jan 2010, 14:36

Yesterday before Apple’s event took place we looked at how an Apple Tablet would affect the ebook market, now that the Apple iPad has been officially announced we thought we would look at how Amazon’s Kindle will compare with the Apple iPad.

Firstly we will look at pricing, Amazon’s Kindle 2 costs $259, the Kindle DX costs $489 and the iPad is priced from $499 to $629, obviously there is a huge difference between the price of the Kindle 2 and the iPad, however the price difference between the Kindle DX and the iPad is not that great, which makes me wonder why people would buy a Kindle DX.

Also See: New iPad 12.9-inch in 2015 not 2014

When comparing the displays the iPad differs from both Kindles dramatically,the iPad features a color IPS LCD whereas both Kindles use 16-level gray E Ink displays. The iPad has a 9.7 inch diagonal, the Kindle 2 has a 6- inch diagonal and the Kindle DX has a 9.7 inch diagonal.

The iPad features a resolution of 1024 x 768 with a pixel density of 132 ppi, the Kindle 2 features a resolution of 600 x 800 with a pixel density of 167 ppi and the Kindle DX features a resolution of 1200 x 824 with a pixel density of 150 ppi.

The minimum storage capacity of the iPad is 16GB, whereas the Kindle 2 features just 2GB and the Kindle DX 4GB, all of these devices support music playback however the iPad is the only device which supports video playback.

When you look at 3G connectivity and costing you see that both Kindles outdo the iPad, this is due to the Kindles having EV-DO and HSPDA connectivity worldwide, whereas the iPad is limited to US connectivity via GSM and HSPDA.

Also lets not forget that Kindle’s require no money for their data connectivity, whereas for 3G connectivity with the iPad you must pay, however lets not forget that the iPad will allow a lot more data-related functionality.

In terms of features and formats the iPad is pretty impressive aswell, although the iPad does not feature native Kindle book compatibility “theres an app for that”, all devices feature PDF compatibility, however the iPad is the only device that supports ePub compatibility. The iPad and the Kindle DX are the only devices which feature an accelerometer.

Finally we will talk about thickness, weight and battery life, both Kindles feature 1 week battery life whereas the iPad features just 10 hours battery life. The iPad is also the heaviest of the devices at 1.5 lbs, followed by the Kindle DX at 1.2 lbs and the Kindle 2 at 0.6 lbs. The iPad is also the thickest at 0.53 inches, followed by the Kindle DX at 0.38 inches and the Kindle 2 at 0.34 inches.

From all of this information I think it is obvious if you want a cheap and cheerful ebook reader buy a Kindle 2, however if you want something a bit more advanced I cannot think of one reason to buy an Kindle DX instead of an iPad, except maybe for the 3G connectivity benefits.

To see more comparisons check out Engadget.

  • Kell Bean

    Well, you’re not exactly correct. First of all, the iPad at $499 does NOT include 3G service, whereas the Kindle DX at $489 does. It will cost you $629 + 30/mo to get the 16GB iPad with 3G service. That’s a substantial difference. I also have to suspect as an “iBook” device, the Kindle DX is significantly superior. The DX has a better screen to prevent eyestrain, an established marketplace with reference and text books already available, and your books are backed up on Amazon. Not to mention the text to speech functionality of the kindle is generally considered excellent. The iPad is insufficient as a Netbook replacement without Flash/Silverlight, the ability to multitask, the lack of expansion ports like USB, the insufficient storage capacity, and the inflated prices. Basically, the iPad isn’t a direct competitor for the Netbooks because Apple won’t compete in a small margin market, and it’s not a direct competitor for the Kindle 2 or DX because it’s aimed at a different market. I don’t understand why anybody would purchase an iPad, actually. It doesn’t fill a role anybody really needs. Anything the iPad offers over a Kindle is a role already taken care of by your smart phone.

  • Jamie

    I’m amazed how many people, when comparing the iPad to dedicated e-readers, forget the most important thing about e-readers.

    They use e-ink.

    They don’t use e-ink because it’s a cheap technology or just for fun, they use it because it provides a reading experience that is the most comfortable and easy on the eyes. And it also works in the sun, and requires much less power.

    Anyone who does any serious amount of reading would not even consider using a jumbo iPod Touch for that task. So yes, if you actually were going to buy a Kindle DX primarily for reading, then there is a very good reason why you’d buy it instead if the iPad: Because it’s better at reading.

    The other thing is, when comparing it to the Kindle 2, it’s completely unportable. Nobody would cart this device around wherever the go. It won’t fit in a typical purse, and adds substantial weight, unlike the Kindle 2.

    This thing is not an e-reader. Take it outside and try to read it and you will know why immediately.

    • Geoff

      Jamie, you are exactly right; the Kindle & other dedicated eReaders are designed primarily for those who wish to do one thing – read books (and other text materials) on an electronic device, with a minimum of cost and hastle. eReaders are more “transparent” than the iPad will be; if all I wanted to do was read a book on an electronic device, I would read them on my Blackberry or netbook. I like my eReader (I own a Sony, my wife owns a Kindle) because I can read for days without needing to worry about being connected to the internet, to a power supply, or other form of electronic teather. I love the eInk display, and find the lack of a backlight & clarity of text to outweigh the need for color for graphics, pictures, games, etc. I can check email on the Kindle, and do not need to color graphics for this basic internet use. I already pay an arm & a leg for my cell phone internet & 3G card use (for my laptop/netbook), and do not desire to shell out another $30/mo. for internet on yet another device.

      I DO anticipate Amazon dropping the price of the Kindle DX shortly after (or maybe even before) the iPad hits the street, so will wait until then to upgqade from my Sony – but for me, the Kindle DX offers the best of all worlds. The iPad has potential, but I tend to doubt it will become the eReader of choice; the only advantage is the ability to render color graphics, which will make it poipular for many, but the 10 hrs battery life & monthly subscription are a deal killer for me.

  • Rm

    The Kindle is B&W and it sucks, I see them abandoning the technology. The browser is god awful , the only reason the cell service is free is because its only good to buy books. It doesn’t matter its easier on the eyes, most of us work in front of backlit screens all day, so big deal. Kindle does one thing for $500(dx, who would buy the little one). With Ipad, reading, games, video, music.

    • J

      You are missing the point that people who are in the market for eReaders want something to replicate the book-reading experience. If they wanted something with those other features you mention, they’d have an iTouch or alternative device already…if they wanted something with a larger display than an iTouch they’d get an iPad…if they wanted something that did the same thing an iPad does but more powerful and cheaper than an iPad they’d get a mini-computer. From all the headlines I’ve been reading it sounded like the iPad was going to revolutionize society, but it actually offers nothing new–completely over-hyped. Apple is trying to feast off of the superficial via strong marketing, catchy design, and customer loyalty.

  • Roselia

    kindle dx is clearly the way to go!

  • elmonica

    One thing that holds me back on the DX is that I have read comments that the pdf viewer doesn’t zoom, so you are stuck with the original font size for your pdfs.

    Also, I like to read books in Spanish on occasion, and I don’t think there is functionality to allow me to substitute the English dictionary for a Spanish one. With the Ipad there will probably be an app that provides the functionality to highlight a word and look it up in a Spanish dictionary.

    The Irex is coming out soon with an 8.1 inch Ebook Reader in the U.S market soon so I am waiting to see the reviews on that when it comes out, and whether I can at least zoom in on the pdfs.

  • elmonica

    Well I searched a bit more on the Kindle and it looks like the functionality has been added for swapping a foreign language dictionary based on a comment for a Merriam Spanish-English dictionary available at the following link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Merriam-Websters-Spanish-English-Translation-Dictionary-ebook/dp/B002ROKQUG

  • ollie

    unfortunate the iPad hasn't been viewed and assessed in bright sunlight.
    That's why I prefer a Kindle until a proper device comes on the market not a big iPod Touch.

  • http://www.ipadiphoneapp.com/ ipad apps

    If the iPad the other functions we have in the iPhone / Touch is familiar with the times, then this iBooks clearly moved many people's nerves, the largest of which is already hot for a long time rival the Amazon Kindle.

    Jobs demonstrated the release of the usual self-confidence, he said, "Amazon does in the book reading done a very good pioneer work, that we will stand on their shoulders." Kindle in the end ipad and the comparison of the performance, see the following chart may give you some reference.

  • Chuka

    Almost 3 million sold. I bet some of you that posted early on are iPad owners now!

  • Debbie

    I want to thank everyone for their posts. I have been looking for a reason to buy the new iPad over the newest generation Kindle DX and I think my questions were answered. I was able to finally see the new iPad up close and personal today from a coworker and I was like wow. Now I am not a "techie" so to me it had the wow factor. I am currently using the Sony eReader touch and I love it but wanted a bigger screen and easier access to books and magazines. I was going to wait till the next generation iPad came out and nix the Kindle but from all the reviews I am now going to order the new generation Kindle DX..thank you all again..hope that Apple can do some upgrading in a fewe months to make more people want the iPad :-)