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iPad or Kindle? (video)

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 14-09-2010

Hate me if you want, but I just won a new iPad last weekend. I was speaking at the Modern Media Man Summit and won the bright, shiny object on the first day, immediately enhancing my opinion on the conference, the people around me, and life in general. The iPad is one of those “things” that, when you touch it, brings immediate joy and amazement. I’m not ’90s enough to not see through it and realize how fleeting that joy is, but the first time you hold one in your hands, there is no denying the feeling it brings.

So, iPad or Kindle? Here’s my semi-objective take on the situation.

1. Thing of beauty, lovely to hold, likely enhances people’s perception of you, at least in the short term. I once had a brand new hard-to-get sports car that felt like it had the same effect. Kids would bow to me; pretty girls would yell to me from open windows. Literally. However, it left me wondering if people loved me, or thing surrounding me, and a bit confused at times.

2. Many, many apps and diversions, though much is still iPhone small and fuzzy when you blow it up to full-size.

3. Price at $499 intro is steep. Plus, the “cheapo” version, which I have is only 16G, which is like an iPod nano. It fills up very fast and could not take all of movies or photos without rejecting it all.


1. Highly practical solution for readers. Easier to read in glare, and supposedly easier on eyes after long periods.

2. Lighter weight than iPad, but iPad is so light, it’s hard to believe this is an issue.

3. Boring white, a little like beige computers of the ’90 before Mac reinvented the world. Utilitarian looking, and hard to imagine it inspiring anyone to new heights of poetry or enlightenment. You have to hand it to Apple. When I work with their products, I never feel like it’s the machine that isn’t inspiring. On the other hand, Apple forces me to face up to my own ability to realize the potential they provide me.

4. Cheap! The Kindle is $137 today in September and the rumor is that it will be sub-$100 by Christmas. Nice job, and I think an attractive price point, given that the books you stick into it are still going to be full price and not sharable with other people. (Does that suck or what?).

5. Better at beach and in sun (see ad below). I hate the beach and sun, so what do I care.

Bottom line: If you have the bucks, grab an iPad and experience limitless joy, at least for a short time – until iPad 2 comes out and you feel like a sorry loser for having the “old model.” Buy the one with 64G and bask in your good fortune, though quickly realizing that that still isn’t enough to sync without constantly pruning your collection of old “Gilligan’s Island” reruns.

Second bottom line: If you have kids love to read and who travel, buy them a Kindle for Christmas when prices come down. The Kindle, at a lower price, is a perfect solution to a child carrying 10-15 books in a suitcase. The Kindle allows no game-playing distractions and delivers on its promise. It’s a very practical way to carry lots of books to read on the go.

New Kindle ad. Selling on price not always a great story.