One would think when it comes to choosing between a Kindle eReading device or an Android tablet, the decision would be a no-brainer eh? Well, I guess not and therefore, I need to point out some of the advantages of owning the latter. I’ll have to point out that we could take several things into consideration here such as price, preference and overall necessity of the user. Is one just reading books or are they in need of a computer in their pocket? However, I think this comparison will be better suited if aimed at the few benefits of owning one over the other, eliminating any bias due to user preference.
Now, on to the comparison. I’ll use a Samsung Galaxy Tab (because I own one) and the standard recent generation Kindle eReader device since both are similar in size and to be fair, we’ll just leave Honeycomb out of the mix, as the Galaxy Tab sports Android 2.2 (Froyo). If someone approached you and offered one of these devices for you to keep at no charge, which one would you be compelled to pick? As I said earlier, it should be a no brainer in my opinion and I’ll tell you why. Most of the reasons why, however, and in all fairness, are going to be simply as a result of what the Kindle “cannot” do.
The overall opening statement for me, in an argument, would have be “why settle for a stand alone eReading device when I can have a device that gives me multiple eReaders (including the Kindle app itself) along with three to four different ecosystems worth of apps and books to choose from, offering an overall healthy competition when it comes to pricing?” Yeah, I went there, all you can do on a kindle is…read. Why not have a tablet that can be a Kindle as well as an awesome Internet device, a phone, a game console and an mp3 player? One of the things you get with the Kindle app for Android that you don’t get on a standard Kindle device, is a back light. I’m a bit of a night reader and one of my favorite options on my Kindle app is the ability to change the background of my books from white to tan and even to black with white text for a softer read when the lights are out. In addition, the night reading option eliminates the need for my wife to lean over and hit me because I’m shining a bright light in her face, a much appreciated function if you ask me. Furthermore, on a tablet, one could essentially change orientation from portrait to landscape, something a Kindle device cannot do. Want to read that book, check your email and quickly make that final purchase on an eBay item? Can’t do that on your Kindle. Want to IM someone about a passage you just read, take a break from a lengthy book and play Angry Birds or how about add a passage as an excerpt on a Google Doc? Can’t do that from a Kindle device either. How about, while in the middle of that Sci-Fi thriller you’re reading, you remember your boss requested that PDF, Power Point, Excel or Word document? In as little as a few seconds, you could seamlessly email it to him or her, eliminating the need to run home to your PC or laptop. Want to navigate to the nearest coffee shop for a cup of your favorite brew while surfing the web? Just hit the icon for Google Navigator and let a nice vibrant 7-inch screen with turn by turn voice directions guide the way. You can even use one of Android’s popular augmented reality apps to sift out the best coffee shop in the area. Can’t do that on a……. oh you get the point.
I suppose we can go on and on giving countless ample examples of the benefits of owning today’s tablet devices over a standard Kindle device. Bottom line is, if you want to just plain o’l read books in black and white and do nothing else, then a Kindle is “good enough” for you, I suppose. But don’t forget to purchase a separate third party reading light to add to your device, because night reading is going to be difficult.
But, if you’re a power user such as myself and countless others who in addition to reading a good book want to be more productive on the fly, then a tablet device is right down you’re alley. Smaller than a laptop but bigger than your smart phone, it’s a win win. I currently own a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″ device and can’t express how productive the device has made me while on the go. Yes, some of these device can be a bit pricey, but they are getting cheaper and cheaper every day as new devices are constantly being rolled out. I consider it an investment, and well spent one at that. So, what say you? Is there room for a tablet in your life?