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Tablet Vs E-reader – Which is Better for Reading E-books?

Updated on November 27, 2013
5 stars for Kindle PaperWhite
Arnova tablet vs Kindle Paperwhite e-reader
Arnova tablet vs Kindle Paperwhite e-reader | Source

Ever since the advent of the Tablet, the popularity of dedicated e-readers has been dwindling. After all, why not get a device on which you can read e-books, surf the Web, play music and watch movies – all on an amazing High Definition LED screen? This is what I thought when I bought my Arnova tablet in 2011. However, this Christmas my husband and I bought Kindle Paperwhites for each other. Why? Because the tablet provided a very disappointing reading experience, so much so that I became totally discouraged about the whole e-book thing. Not one to give up easily, I thought I'd try again on a dedicated e-reader such as the Kindle. I'm glad that I did, because reading on the Kindle is so much better.

Why the E-reader Beats the Tablet

Based on my experience, here are the four main reasons why I think an e-reader is better for e-books than a tablet.

  1. An e-reader is easier to handle. My Arnova has an 10.1 inch screen, and weighs 20.1 ounces. It was just too bulky and heavy to read comfortably, especially when trying to read in bed. My Kindle Paperwhite e-reader weights only 7.5 ounces, and at 6.7 x 4.6 x .36 inches, it fits easily in my hands. I can actually curl up with my Kindle just as I can with a book, and read for hours without feeling fatigued.

  2. E Ink screens are better than LED screens for reading. Although tablets provide amazingly brilliant high resolution screens, the E Ink technology of e-readers is superior for reading. My tablet's screen has too much glare to be able to read outdoors. The Kindle Paperwhite's E Ink screen has absolutely no glare, and combined with its back-lit display it provides easy reading anytime, anywhere – outdoors, indoors, day and night. The lighting of the Kindle seems gentler on the eyes and is more natural than the back lighting on the tablet.

  3. An e-reader is more portable. Again, the weight and size of a tablet is a detracting factor. I can easily fit my Kindle in my jacket pocket or in my pocketbook. I'm much more likely to take my Kindle along with me wherever I go.

  4. An e-reader offers extended battery life. The Kindle's battery will last for eight weeks if you read a half an hour a day. From my experience, I've had to charge it up about once a week, but I've been reading about 2-3 hours a day. This is a great improvement over my tablet. I'm lucky if I get 6 hours on the tablet battery.

One Size Doesn't Fit All!

I don't believe that any one device is perfect for everything. Tablets have their place, and so do e-readers. I love my tablet for watching movies while I'm traveling, playing Angry Birds, looking up something quickly on the Internet or getting on Facebook. However, the tablet failed miserably as an e-book reader. I practically gave up on e-books, and never thought that I'd prefer e-books to traditional books – that is until I bought my Kindle Paperwhite. Now I'm an avid e-book fan.

Kindle Paperwhite Review

I'm Interested in Your Opinion

What's Your Favorite Device for Reading Books?

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© 2013 Margaret Perrottet


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    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Mike - Glad this hub could help you. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      Useful hub. I was thinking the same question myself so your hub really helps in weighing the pros and cons.

    • profile image

      pr9me 4 years ago

      While you will never beat the feeling of reading the black and white. E-readers are the next best thing.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Deborah-Diane - Glad you liked the article, and that you are enjoying your kindle too. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      I love my Kindle and my husband and grandkids love theirs, too. We have a variety of models, but really like the convenience. Thanks for the informative article.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Peggy - I think that's the biggest advantage to me right now. I love not having to lug so many books with me. This travel trailer already has a shortage of space, so the Kindle really helps out. Thanks so much for voting and sharing!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for doing this review Margaret. Will keep it in mind should we ever decide to purchase either kind. For people who travel a bunch and do not wish to take along a number of books, I can understand why the Kindle would be advantageous. Up, useful and interesting votes and will share.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      rajan jolly - Yes, the light on the tablet radiates from the back, but the light on the Kindle actually comes up through the bottom edge of the device, making it softer. Thanks so much for reading, voting and especially for sharing. I do appreciate it!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Margaret, I agree with you on all counts. The light on a tablet is too harsh and tires them out pretty fast. Plus with all the other benefits it offers a ebook reader is one I'd go for while reading up.

      Voted up, useful and shared.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Hi, Bob - yeah, I've done the same thing. Getting rid of all the books we used to carry really increased the space in our trailer. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Bob 5 years ago

      I replaced all my books while we rv with this and its great.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      bill - I still love reading real books, but we travel so frequently that the e-books make sense for us. Right now we're living in our 30 foot travel trailer, and space is limited. Where normally I would be lugging about 25 books with us, we are now carrying two small Kindles. I'm really pleased with the Kindle, and have read 8 books since Christmas. Remember if you do get an e-reader to get one with a back-lit display. Thanks for stopping by - always good to hear from you!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't have either yet. I'm still clinging to the old ways of reading a book. Hopeless I know, but some changes come slowly for me. Good information here, which I'll remember once change happens.