Reader Friday: E-Reader or Tablet?

They say tablets are taking over as the preferred medium for digital books, slowly replacing the dedicated e-reader. Personally, I like my dedicated Kindle. I don’t like having distractions when I read. And I like its compactness. 

But maybe that’s just me. What do you prefer, and why?

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29 thoughts on “Reader Friday: E-Reader or Tablet?

  1. The thing is, a tablet can be used as a Kindle, but a Kindle cannot perform all of the tablet tasks. I turn the brightness to the minimum setting on my tablet and leave off the Wifi, and I duplicate the benefits of the Kindle. No wonder why the dedicated Kindle is on the way out.
    Now if only I could stop the refrigerator from calling my name…

  2. Kindle for books – the e-ink is easier on the eye. I’m not a massive fan of reading lots of text on an LCD screen for longer than a few minutes.

    If they can figure out high-resolution color e-ink, we can have a combo device!

    • Yes, I have a Kindle Paperwhite and consider it a superior product. I read fiction at night, in bed, and the variable backlight works fine — works outdoors also. I also have an older Sony Reader w/o backlight and the Kindle is much better, except for the occasional incident of tactile clumsiness when swiping a page jumps ahead several pages. I considered a tablet, but decided on the Paperwhite because I didn’t need to duplicate the functions on my laptop.

  3. I use my ipad mini–I’m so happy with it, I won’t even use the generic term–perfect size, can read and do all the rest at the same time. I adjust the brightness so my eyes are comfy, can backlight so I don’t need to have the light on to read at night, and my partner says I’ll be even happier when the mini has a retina screen, but hey, even as it, it’s fine.

  4. My drug of choice is the Kindle Fire. It’s the best of both worlds. I can switch back and forth between e-mails and if I come across something in the book I’m reading that I want to delve into I can jump on the web and do that, and then wonder, three hours later, how I wound up on YouTube.

  5. I have the Kindle app on my iPhone, my iPad and my PC. I can access my ebooks from any of my devices, so I like that I don’t have to carry any particular device, and if I go on vacation, I take my iPad because it’s the most convenient (the iPhone is too small).

    • I have a plain old cheapo Kindle that I love for travel. When I am deep in a good book the last thing I want or need is internet access.

      But the free Kindle app is handy. I have used it on my travel notebook when the Kindle died. I have also turned some of my series readers onto the free Kindle app. Some have written that they don’t want to buy an e-reader so they have used to free app.

  6. I prefer my Kindle. It’s much easier to hold than my iPad and easy to use outdoors. That said, I prefer reading pdf files on my tablet with the Goodreader app.

  7. I like my dedicated kindle for its simplicity, but lately I’ve been thinking that having a more versatile device for email access and internet searches would be handy, like Joe Hartlaub’s adapted Kindle fire. Joe is a genius.

  8. Well, since you brought this up, James…

    I have been thinking about buying a tablet of some kind (no Mac, please) for travel. If I got one, can I access my Kindle library via it? Or do I need to just get a Kindle Fire which is — I guess? — LIKE a tablet in function?

    Sorry…am dumber than box of rocks on this stuff.

  9. I can see where someone who onws or needs a tablet for other things sees no reason to have two devices. Me, I have no need of a tablet, and I like my Kindle. Case closed.

  10. I don’t see dedicated e-readers being around all that much longer. It’s just too easy to make a more versatile device. My first e-reader was the Nook Color. Technically one could access the web with it, but I rarely did. When I went on a trip earlier this year I repo’ed the Samsung Tablet I was letting my mother use. I got it as a rebate/bonus with a new range late last year. I downloaded both the Nook and Kindle apps, not to mention music and loads of other things. Yes, PJ, you can access your Kindle library via a tablet. The versatility was great for travel. I switched to it (from the Nook) once I was back home. When the price dropped in May I bought the Nook HD+ for the larger screen. It also has tablet capabilities, but I use it primarily as an e-reader and not so much as a tablet. I also have the phone apps. So which do I prefer? I like the larger screen of the Nook HD+. But since it is large I keep it at my bedside. Because of its smaller size and versatility I keep the Samsung tablet in my purse so that I always have it. The phone app? Forget it. The small size/limited text means I am continuously swiping to get to the next sentence. Not worth the effort.

    For those that think it was unkind of me to repo the Samsung tablet on a permanent basis (it was mine to begin with) I bought my mother a Nook HD+. She’s very happy with it.

  11. I have a Kindle Fire for reading, a Mac Book Pro for writing, and an iPhone for telephone calls. I like having them separate.

  12. I have an e-ink Kindle and an iPad. I never use the Kindle app on my iPad for reading unless I am absolutely desperate and the iPad is all I have with me. Because I tend to do most of my reading at night, the backlit screen of the iPad gives me a headache after just a short time of reading. I love my keyboard Kindle (3rd generation, WiFi/3G), and it’s what I do all of my reading on these days. It’s so much lighter weight than the iPad, and the dedicated page-turn buttons on the side are much less accident prone (as in, I almost never turn the page without meaning to) than the “swipe” page turn feature on the iPad.

  13. I have an original Kindle keyboard, a Kindle Fire, a Nook, and the Kindle app on my phone, laptop and PC. With the exception of the Nook, I regularly use all of the various formats of Kindle reader, but prefer the old kindle for reading outside.

    As writers, especially if you’re self-pubbing to ebook, I recommend having as many e-readers or at least e-reader simulation programs as possible to ensure your books look good in every format you can test.

    That, and having multiple readers around helps if you get attacked by flying alien zombats, especially the armoured kind, while reading and end up using your ereader as a defensive/offensive weapon and need a replacement to continue reading.

    By the way, the older Kindle is much more solid when used as a weapon in such cases.

    Trust me.

    • Have long distrusted wombats, Basil. Now I have to watch out for zombats as well?

      Thanks to all for advice on tablets. Am thinking I will just hang onto my old Kindle until it dies then move on up to the east side…

  14. e-ink kindle is my preference for reading. I don’t want one device to rule them all. . . (cue ominous music). I have a laptop, a tablet, and an ipod touch. When I want to read, I reach for a dead-tree book or my 1st gen kindle.

    Easier on the eye, easier on power consumption, able to be read in sunlight.

  15. Definitely Kindle. A tablet is too much like a computer screen and is tough on the eyes. And I like that Kindle is low tech.

  16. Nook ereader (with the paper look). The pros mean more to me than the cons.

    Pros:
    • Small and light. (My daughter’s ipad weighs a lot by comparison.)
    • No backlight, which bothers my eyes.
    • Holds plenty of books.

    Cons:
    • Can’t access other areas on the internet.
    • No color for magazines
    • If you want to read at night, you need some kind of light, but this doesn’t really bother me, so I don’t suppose it’s really a con.

  17. Good to read that others have trouble reading off of computer screens for any length of time. I love my original Kindle. Bought it used off a friend who wanted to upgrade. Except for the rare occasion when I have to hit the reset button, my Kindle is a workhorse, serving well as portable reader. Saves on me having to buy a new bookshelf, too.

  18. Tablets are for those who don’t sit still unless captured by video. Probably, the largest number in this group grew up being babysat by cartoons.

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