iPad vs. Kindle vs. Nook -- which one's better for you?

iPad vs. Kindle vs. Nook -- which one's better for you?

Coffee lover, e-reader, and Instapaper developer Marco Arment put together what he describes as an informal survey of the current library landscape, including iPad and iBooks, Amazon's Kindle and Kindle app, the Nook color, and Kobo.

If you’re going to primarily read periodicals, get the iPad. If you’re going to read books, all of these platforms look like safe options.

Check out his comparison charts for books, magazines, and newspapers. It's not so much his results, which he cautions you take with a grain of salt, but the method he recommends for finding which device or app ecosystem is best for you that's compelling.

Source: Marco.org

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPad vs. Kindle vs. Nook -- which one's better for you?

22 Comments

I have and enjoy an iPad, but I never, ever use it as an e-reader. The Kindle's (mine's last-gen) E Ink display is just so much more pleasurable to read on, especially if I'm settling down to read for more than half an hour or so.
To be fair, though, I never use it to read periodicals or comics, which I think are pretty obviously better served by the iPad.

I came here to say exactly that. I wouldn't want to have to make a choice between my iPad and my Kindle. They both have their uses. I can't imagine reading on an iPad for any length of time. If I couldn't have a Kindle I'd be carrying around a paperback with my iPad everywhere.

I can read on my iphone. Retina display is awesome.
I pretty much sold my Kindle after reading a few books on the iphone 4.

Best for me would be my playbook with a kindle app... Kobo is ok on it but definitely doesn't get it done. Again, for me, it has the perfect form factor for reading on crowded NYC subways and outside of my apt.

I have both an iPad and a color nook, and I use (and love) them both. The nook is vastly more comfortable to hold in bed or in a chair, so it's much better for books. But for The New Yorker? The iPad is fab.

belblaiiei on September 7, 2011 I sing the beginning of this song to my friend, who has a BA in English and is doing nothing with it. Then I have to laugh to keep from crying because I have a BA in Biology and am doing nothing with it.

I don't know about the iPad, but on the iPhone the kindle app is a much better experience than iBooks IMO.

I just pre-ordered the Kindle Touch. The price was definitely right. (At $100, it's practically in the gift category.) I couldn't read with the iPad. It's way too heavy, and takes two hands - one to hold, and one to turn the page. With the Nook or Kindle, you have feather light, and can turn the page with the hand that's holding the device.
The iPad is a media/games device.

I think the problem I have and hear most often is the weight. If you try to lay in bed and read the iPad, it's just too darn heavy and hard to hold onto in any way that lets you turn pages or interact with the screen. I still use my iPad (as I don't have a Kindle) but have considered getting one. My wife has a Kindle and loves it for reading (though it has a LOT of other shortcomings).

I have an iPad and my wife a Kindle. I'm actually considering getting a Kindle for the reading aspect, as the iPad is too heavy to read in bed (with a toddler, one of the few times I get to read is in bed before going to sleep). Otherwise, if I have to do more than read (like research from my reading, etc.) then iPad wins hands down. The Kindle is nearly impossible to take notes or highlight stuff (hopefully that is better on the new Touch models).
For just plain reading... Kindle. Anything else, iPad.
The biggest problem (on all of them, I think) is the dumb restrictions still in place around lending or being able to lend/sell books, etc. I don't typically read throw-away books; I intend to keep them and possibly read them again, or at least to reference for research (part of the reason I went to e-books is to eliminate like 6 big bookshelves full of books and to always have them all with me). We donated most of our paper book collection to a library. How will this kind of thing work in the future with e-books? How does one sell them or donate them to someone or organization? The lending policy is just dumb right now, only allowing the borrowing of a title ONCE. Those kind of things must become more like traditional books before I'll ever feel completely comfortable with my transition.

Too many times I read uintteresinng articles on subjects similar to this and lose interest in reading them. I'm delighted to see that you have changed my status on this subject by writing interesting material.

I love reading on e-ink devices. I had an original Nook, and just got the new basic Kindle (was waiting for them to ditch the keyboard). Reading on iPhone or iPad isn't relaxing to me. And the new Kindle is so small and especially LIGHT, it's very comfortable to use for long periods and carry in any bag.

I'm going to get some 'e-reader' for christmas, I have been asked to get some feedback on which device, be it the ipad, nook, or kindle, is better. I pose the question to you. Having never owned anything of the sort, I need your feedback.

the first time i've lkooed at your blog site and i must say that this blog has given me a better outlook on my day after reading a little bit of my Bible!! thx la!!

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