Kindle or iPad?

Dear Computer Lady,

I’m not really familiar with Kindle or Nook, but I’m seriously thinking about getting a Kindle Touch. Can you help me with some questions?

There is a HUGE price difference in Kindle and an Apple iPad (like $400+), but if all I want is basically a portable bookshelf/personal library for reading, is there really a benefit to having an iPad with a Kindle app (my husband’s words because I don’t get all the “app” stuff) over having a Kindle Touch? What kind of things can I do with an iPad anyway? I’ve never seen one before. I’ve had a PC and also a laptop before (NOT Apple or Mac), but I don’t know what these iPads and/or tablet computers do. Are they VERY different from a regular laptop, other than size?

Please help! I know that Kindles are at a good price now, but I don’t even want to make a $100 mistake, you know?

Thanks, Sherry

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Dear Sherry,

You are right, there is a huge price difference between the Kindle and the iPad. I have both devices, and really, they are two different types of machines.

The Kindle is a great bookreader.The Kindle device, paired with the services that Amazon offers is really the best way to read and store books as you build your personal library. The Kindle itself can hold hundreds of books, and you can have even more on your Amazon account where you can access them any time with just about any device. I had my Kindle first, and even though I use my iPad for more things, I turn to my Kindle when I want to just read. It is lighter, and the screen does not reflect light when reading outdoors.

My iPad is much more of a replacement for my laptop. Because there are so many “apps” (short for applications, which is just another name for programs) available for the iPad, it goes with me all day long, and I use it for many different things. I have a calendar that syncs with my desktop calendar so I can keep track of appointments at home or on the road. I have a bible app that I use just about every day for reading and study. I have the Kindle app for books that work better in color, or I just read many books on both the Kindle and iPad depending on which device I have in my hand at the moment.

I frequently use my iPad to check my email (I get hundreds of messages a day so I try to check it often) to check up on my friends on Facebook, and to look things up on the internet.

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I copy photos from my computer to the iPad to bring with me like a photo album. The iPad is just the right size for sharing pictures with friends and family.

I have a workout app on my iPad that I use to record how much weight, and how many sets and reps I do of each exercise. When I am really good, I also record everything I eat on the Livestrong app. While I am working out, I use the music app to listen to my favorite songs, or listen to my favorite radio station. (The radio station has its own app!)

I currently have over 80 apps on my iPad. While many of my apps are games and just for fun, I have only told you about a few of the apps that are useful and productive.

There are really only a few things that the iPad doesn’t do as well as my laptop or desktop computer. One is touch type. I can type pretty fast on the on-screen keyboard, but not anywhere near as fast as I can type on my computer keyboard. The second is printing. I could purchase an app that allowed me to print from my iPad to my HP printer, or I could purchase an apple printer, but I don’t need to print often enough to justify either cost. I also have not found a way to write HTML on my iPad. The keyboard doesn’t make it easy to type the characters needed, and my program of choice doesn’t yet have an iPad app.

I hope that I have helped you make your decision between iPad and Kindle.

Elizabeth

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