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iPad vs Kindle: Which e-Reader do you prefer?

April 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Apple iPad doesn't go on sale until Saturday, but already the buzz is that the new book-reader will outsell the Amazon Kindle book-reader in just a few months. Here's the latest Apple product to fall off the corporate tree. The iPad launch countdown is on and some experts say the e-reader is the biggest news in the tech world since the advent of the iPhone. So how does it compare to other readers such as the Kindle? And just how popular will it be? Let's take a look.

Analysts estimate that the Kindle, which has been available since 2007, has sold about 3 million units. But they are predicting that Apple will sell at least 5 million iPads in just the next nine months. Why so popular?

First of all, Apple had such tremendous success with the iPhone. Remember the long lines on launch day? There were consumers who were in love with just about anything made by Apple.

But there's more to this new book-reader. Here's the comparison between the iPad and the Kindle.

The LCD screen on the iPad is color and it is 9.7 inches diagonally. The Kindle is black and white and it is only six inches. In this case, ABC Tech Expert Becky Worley says size matters.

"This is where I think people will be most excited. You get a virtual shelf of books that you purchase on iTunes. And when you open a book, you'll see that you have color images in here and you can also embed video and the feel of the pages. It feels like turning a real page," said Worley.

On the other hand, the Kindle is lightweight at only 10.2 ounces. The iPad is 1.5 pounds. The Kindle has a lower price at $259, while the entry-level Wi-Fi pad is $499. Plus, the iPad can really drain the power.

"It does consume more battery than the traditional e-reader so this has a 10-hour battery life compared to the Kindle, which, when it is connected to wireless, it has a four- to five-day battery life," said Worley.

But the iPad is more than an e-reader. It is also a laptop with Web surfing, an iPod and a video player. In fact, ABC will have a free app for the iPad to stream some of its prime-time shows. Besides the techno geeks, who will be the buyers?

"You have to put commuters, people who travel and want one gadget that has their newspapers, their magazines, their trade publications and books. Then we talk about 'information super-consumers,' which are people who just inhale magazine and newspapers and they just want up-to-the-minute current information all the time," said Worley.

With the competition from the iPad, it looks like Amazon may be forced to cut the prices on their Kindle book-readers. In the meantime, Eyewitness News will have in possession an iPad at 5 p.m. Friday and another report will be given to show a closer look at the new Apple gadget.