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What is the Difference between a Kindle and a Tablet

Updated on November 20, 2014
E readers vs tablets
E readers vs tablets

If you are confused what to buy whether a e reader or tablet then this page will help you decide which is best for you. It is almost clear by now that either you already own or you are planning to buy a tablet or an e reader. The purpose for both the devices are quite different. Each has a distinct advantage over other.

In case of tablets you can use applications from Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc to read electronic books. You can also do loads of stuff. You also get a colorful display. On the other hand most e-book readers will allow you to read e-books and a little else. In case of ereaders you get a black and white screen and now you can also get color displays in higher versions. They are designed mainly for reading. You can select contents from online stores, buy variety of books online at very cheap price. Many of the books are free. You can turn pages with help of buttons, bars, or just by on screen taps or swipes.

Interested in ereaders?

Here is a quick comparison for ereaders that I would recommend reading. The article reviews all the main ereaders available in the stores. This will give you an idea which is best for you.

Below is a detailed comparison of e readers and tablets.


Screen sizes e reader vs tablets
Screen sizes e reader vs tablets

Screen

E readers:

You can usually get them in 6” or 7” display sizes. kindle paperwhite and standard kindle are available in 6” display but you can get 7” display(17.78 cm) for kindle keyboard and Kindle Fire, . They are almost equal in size of an old-fashioned mass market paperback.

Tablets:

In contrast the tablets are available in a range of sizes. Most of the popular tabs viz. Samsung Galaxy Tab, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, iPad, Toshiba Thrive have 10-inch (25.4-centimeter) screens. They are roughly of the size of printed magazines.

Operating system
Operating system

Software

E readers:

They are equipped with their own operating system from the manufacturer. In contrast to androids premium e readers like Kindle Fire works with a special version of Android that is owned by Amazon. It has fewer features and apps.

Tablets:

Apple’s iPad also inherits the same operating system as the famous apple's iPhone i.e. iOS, whereas on the other hand other 10-inch tablets run mostly on Google's android OS. The appstores of both google and apple have exhaustive and extensive online stores. There are literally thousands of apps thus allowing a lot of choices. Think of an app and search it out and boom you get it.

Data storage
Data storage

Storage

E readers:

The kindle fire offers a space of 8 GB that is claimed by amazon to be enough for collection of 6,000 books. Thus it is plenty and I guess you won’t have to worry about that if you are just a e-book reader but if you download too many songs and movies then you may use up whole of the space up very quickly. Here is some good news nook offers 8 GB space but the company allows you to expand up to 32 GB by using an additional memory card.

Tablets:

On the contrary most of the 10” tabs usually have 16 gigabytes storage capacity, That’s a plenty and would be enough for about 20,000 books. Here I would like to mention that iPad can offer up to 64 gigabytes (but that costs you much about 699$ or 899$ that depends on the version you get with 3G connectivity or not).

Connectivity
Connectivity

Connectivity

E readers: Mostly the e readers are equipped with wifi. Here is some fortunate news, Kindle paperwhite also comes with a 3G support and even more good news is that the 3G facility is absolutely free all over the world. You just need to pay a few dollars more when you buy kindle paperwhite.

Tablets: Mostly the tabs are equipped with a wifi. But you will have to spend more for the mobile data pack if you are away from the wifi hot spots. That costs $20 to $25 per month for a data connection.

Here are a few questions you may need to consider before you plan to buy between e readers and tablets.

Reading e books on tablets
Reading e books on tablets

Is it possible to read e-books on tablet?

Yes E-book apps are avail­able for many tablets and smart phones. Some tablets viz. Apple iPad have their own applications for e-books. You can also use applications from Amazon , Barnes & Noble and others. The catch here is that multi­purpose devices like tablets and smartphones are usually less suited for e-book reading than the dedicated e readers. Their LCDs(Liquid crystal display) typically have a less crisp display than the ereader s. Multipurpose devices like tablets have battery life for hours only rather than days as seen in case of e readers. The tablets are more prone to wash out in bright sunlight as compared to the unlit E Ink displays.

The main focus of e readers is on reading e books. It may seem as a drawback that e readers lack a typical good web browser, an e-mail client and also the ability to download applications. Some people especially the bookworms actually appreciate the idea that e readers have limited multitasking as it encourages for a single minded focus on just reading and reading. If you want to read magazines then you might need to consider color display like in kindle fire.

Downloading e books
Downloading e books

How to get e-books onto e reader?

You can download from online e book stores that are maintained by the e readers manufacturing company. Some e readers especially kindle paperwhite are available bundled with unlimited download access to a 3G net­work. It means that you can wirelessly download from the store no matter where you are provided you have network coverage. Almost all of the e readers allow access via Wi-Fi. It usually takes a typical book single minute or even less to download. There are a few e readers that might require you to connect to a pc so as to download the books.

Price
Price

What is the cost of an e-book?

The prices usually range between free to $30 or maybe more. But that’s for sure that the e books are cheaper than their paper counterparts. Most of the classic titles are absolutely free because they were published before 1923 and are thus public domains. On the other hand some titles are free of cost because their authors want it to be free. The manufacturer’s e-bookstores are already integrated into their respective devices and they also offer some free titles. There are other websites that let you download free e-books viz. Google Books, Feedbooks Project Gutenberg and FreeBookSpot. You can also get free samples from retailers.

The e-book stores are enormous and are also rapidly expanding thus you definitely find your desired e book very easily. Moreover there are some books that are just available in electronic format and not in print or many a times the release of printed versions are delayed in order to maximize the sales of paperback editions.

Reading magazines on e readers
Reading magazines on e readers

Can I get other content?

Some e readers allow you to buy newspapers and magazines. You can buy them as a single issue at rates compar­able to rates of their printed versions. You can also buy subscriptions that are usually very affordable than their print versions.

Is buying an e reader right for myself?

E readers are much lighter and thinner in comparison to a hard cover book. A single e reader can store thou­sands of titles. They can allow you to enlarge text size. Some may let you change the font size. E readers especially amazon kindle models even read aloud for you.

Shopping tips
Shopping tips

Shopping advice

1) First decide the appropriate screen size:

It is measured diagonally. The screen sizes range between 5 to 10 inches. Usually a 6” screen is a good combo of appropriate size and affordable price for most users. This size is light and small enough to fit into a small handbag or a briefcase.

2) Choose screen capabilities:

Whether you want a black and white display or a colorful one

3) Weigh your connectivity options:

3G access offers the most flex­ibility for getting new content. The Wi-Fi only models generally cost lesser. Those e readers which require you to connect to a laptop are the least convenient but they are cheaper. Forget about using an e readers net access for downloading content other than e books.

4) Consider performance differences:

Different e readers have different clarity depending on the type of screens. The important part here is contrast and readability in dark. In terms of performance some e readers take noticeably longer for a complete page turn especially nook. The monochrome display e readers have a considerably long battery life, so long that you can leave them working for even days or even up to weeks.

5) Know about lending books from library

The books bought from the manufacturer's e-book store are formatted for that device. Most e read­ers also accept books downloaded from other stores without con­verting their format. Models especially Kindles and Nook accept formats with DRM (digital rights management provisions too so allowing you to borrow e-books from libraries.

For more extensive review and comparison among e readers read my other article here

My Favorite

I hope that by now you would have decided to buy which one. At this point I would love to share with you the devices that are my favorite. You may have a look at them using these blue colored links. E reader: Here is My favorite e reader.

As far as tablets are concerned the tablet that I love is this.

(above links open in a new tab)

Would you buy e reader for reading e books over tablets?

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