Kindle vs iPad: Pros, Cons and Verdict [2021]

The matchup between the Amazon Kindle vs iPad should prove to be an interesting one. After all, the recent launch of the iPad and all the hype surrounding it has brought on a slew of predictions — with one of these speculations being that the iPad could put the Kindle (and any handheld ebook reader for that matter) in serious trouble.

So is there really a basis for such talk?

As they say “where there’s smoke there’s fire,” but in an industry that’s been completely dominated by the Kindle so far, it’s hard to imagine that it has finally met its match. And more importantly, what features does the Apple iPad have that the Amazon Kindle doesn’t?

It turns out there are a number of them and we thought it best to lay these two side by side to see where one can really determine the advantage of one gadget over the other.

So let’s start the comparison between Kindle vs iPad.

iPad vs. Kindle Comparison chart



Screen & Display

6-inch, 300 PPI screen resolution

9.7 Inches, 300 PPI 2048x1536

Storage Space

8 GB / 32 GB


Battery Life

2-3 weeks

10-14 hours


6.7H 4.6W 0.36D

9.4H 6.6W 0.3D


7.2 oz

14.1 oz





Obviously, there are still a lot of other features and specifications of both devices that we have not included in this comparison but as far as the reading enthusiast is concerned, these are perhaps the most important aspects to consider.

So which takes the cake? It would all depend on the needs of the potential buyer.

What this review can say with certainty though, is that the Apple tablet is a gadget of multiple uses while the Kindle is THE gadget for ebook reading.

Kindle vs. iPad In-Depth Comparison

Kindle vs. iPad head to head Comparison
Amazon’s Kindle is a pioneer in the ebook reading industry. In fact, some time ago, Amazon announced that sales of ebooks had overtaken sales of actual printed books, at least on its own website. However, has the Kindle, despite its ebook reading experience, been bested by a consolidated device that delivers so much more?

When Steve Jobs presented his much-anticipated tablet PC during the formal launch of the product, he gave credit to Amazon for pioneering and revolutionizing the e-book industry. However, when he announced that, “We’re going to stand on their shoulders and go a little further,” his words took on a more ominous tone to some.

Apple’s device is not strictly an ebook reader. It is actually a hybrid device that fills the role of an e-reader but also that of a laptop, game machine and entertainment device.

A single-use for the iPad is impossible to pin down. Its powerful software allows it to do anything from providing a superb gaming experience to playing high-definition videos and everything else in between, including ebook reading.

By first appearances, the Apple device appears to be the runaway winner. But can it do everything equally well?

It can play all sorts of media, allows for instant messaging with one’s friends, surfs the Web seamlessly with the updated Safari, and provides many other capabilities that put it far beyond the reach of Amazon’s device.

Kindle is a blockbuster device for Amazon, however, for a reason. It is simply the best e-reader available. It has done for e-reading what no other device has done before-it has made ebook-reading practical and popular.

Design and Portability

True, lugging the bigger and half-inch thick iPad around is better compared to bringing a ton of books, but the sleeker, and lighter latest-generation Kindle 3 (measuring 7.5” x 4.8” x 0.335”), wins hands-down in this category.

Its weight of 8.7 ounces is practically a third of the iPad’s 1.5-lb (24-oz) weight and its more compact size and design makes it easy to slip into any purse, or unobtrusively take out for some reading while in a public place.

Plus, with the Kindle, you won’t have to deal with the possibility of wrist fatigue as you would when reading for hours on an iPad.

Kindle vs. iPad for reading

reading on kindle or iPad
It’s true that the Kindle is not as sophisticated as the iPad, but perhaps that is the main selling point for the device.

It lacks entertainment applications so that users can focus on their main task, which is to finish the books they are currently reading.

Is also smaller, lighter, and faster than ever, and can carry up to 5000 books. It’s readable even in bright sunlight, and at just 8.5 ounces, it’s lighter than a paperback. Plus, it’s e-ink technology gives it a battery life of up to one month.

It’s true that the Apple tablet is better for some types of reading, such as glossy magazines, newspapers, and even comic books. In fact, it may give new life to old industries. However, it’s backlit, LED screen is not of much use in bright sunlight or other places where a traditional book can be read.

So perhaps it’s a standoff, but one that has many winners, including content producers and consumers.

In this comparison review, we pit the forerunners in their respective markets – the Amazon Kindle for dedicated e-readers and the Apple iPad for media tablets – to find out which takes the cake in giving the better reading experience. First, let’s take a look at the specs of each as they pertain to ebook reading…

Kindle vs. iPad in Readability

The display type used is another marked difference between these two devices, and perhaps where it matters most when it comes to ebook reading.

The Apple tablet comes with a 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS display while the Amazon device, like most dedicated ebook readers, uses e-ink on its 6-inch display. And few people would argue that e-ink remains to be the best technology for a reading experience that’s closest to reading from a printed paper – glare-free and eyestrain-free.

Yes, it’s not colorful and glossy like the Apple’s device, but the Amazon device still nails it as the go-to device when reading for long periods of time.

Having said that, some argue the glaring and eyestrain issues are overblown. Here is a great 4-minute video that talks specifically about these issues when comparing these devices.

Performance and Style

Inside the Apple device is the A4 chip that was reportedly designed to give the most powerful and efficient performance a gadget could ever have. This includes fast page turns, quick touch responses, and overall intuitive navigation.

In addition, its bigger, backlit screen allows a two-page view and easy reading at night.

On the other hand, the latest Kindle is now said to have quieter yet faster page turns (compared to the previous generation), and its 5-way controller does offer precise navigation.

Still, between the two devices, the Apple machine is considered to be the “prettier” gadget and has more pizazz to it in comparison to the understated elegance of the Kindle.


One of the iPad’s obvious strengths, its vivid and crisp color multi-touch display, is where the Kindle also fails big time when it comes to its suitability for content that uses more than just plain text.

Try reading an edition of the National Geographic on your Amazon device (6-inch or DX) for instance, and you’ll soon find yourself contemplating other options: getting the actual magazine or browsing it on a full-color ereader like the Apple machine.

Even the latest-generation Pearl E-ink technology that the Amazon devices use which boasts of 50% better contrast is no match for the iPad’s 1024-by-768-pixel resolution color display.

Which one has longer battery life: iPad or Kindle?

Not surprisingly, the iPad’s multi-functionality as a gadget and its built-in color touchscreen is taking its toll on the battery life.

Constant use of the Apple’s tablet for reading, email, internet browsing, or video playbacks can only yield 10 to 12 hours of continued usage on a single charge.

On the other hand, with a battery life of one month with the wireless off, you can practically tour the world with a Kindle 3 and won’t need to recharge it at any point during your trip.

Content and Device Selection

Amazon Store has the best selection of books With over 800,000 titles currently on hand.

In addition, there is a free Kindle app that can be installed on other ebook reader gadgets such as the iPad, iPhone or iTouch, Android phones, Blackberry devices, Windows PCs, and Macs.

Apple has its own digital library called, iBooks, which boasts over 150,000 titles – a far cry from Amazon’s selection.

Through Amazon’s free Kindle app, however, iPad users have access to all 800,000 titles in the library store.

Apple’s device supports the open ebook format, ePub, while Amazon’s eredear does not.

ePub support is a big deal with many ebook reader owners because it allows them to borrow books from local online libraries, and download free public domain books like those on Google books.

Both devices are helping to legitimize the e-book and opening up the field for a vast range of publishers who never had a chance to be publishers before.

Creators of business and marketing books have a friend in both devices, as both are helping to bring the reading of e-books and e-courses to the mainstream.

Indeed, the public is growing more and more used to, and accepting of, the idea of paying for electronic content. Both devices are opening up new markets to writers, publishers, and marketers and perhaps they hold the potential of putting more income into the pockets of those who produce content in the first place.

Kindle vs. iPad: Pricing

This comparison wouldn’t be complete without checking out the price tag that comes with each.
For the many functions that it is capable of doing, the iPad’s cost which starts at around 300$ is quite reasonable. However, Amazon device still is easier on the pocket with its much lower price tag. The Kindle ebooks are also cheaper at $9.99 or less, although a note on the Amazon site specifically states “unless marked otherwise.”

This makes the iPad books, which are rumored to cost between $10.99 and $15.99, a tad more expensive.

Obviously, there is a huge chasm between the price tags of the two but then again, the Apple machine is designed for multi-tasking while the Amazon one is not.

The Kindle as a Multi-Function Gadget

Choose amazon kindle as a multi gadget
As we may all be familiar with now, the Amazon device is basically a handheld ebook reading device.

On the other hand, with the Apple tablet, the user can do a lot of things including play high-definition movies, TV, and games, do web browsing via Wi-fi or 3G, and read ebooks.

If you want a device that is capable of doing a lot of stuff besides ebook reading, then the Apple device is definitely for you.

The iPad as an Ebook-Reader

choose apple ipad as ebook reader
With its 9.7-inch LCD, the iPad has a larger screen as compared to the 6-inch Kindle e-ink screen. But as far as reading ebooks go, most of those who own e-readers are aware that the electronic ink display is still the better screen for reading.

A bright-colored LCD may be perfect for internet browsing and streaming videos, but reading from one for long periods will cause strain on the eyes — something that you won’t have problems with, with e-ink technology.

The Amazon device also has the advantage when it comes to battery life because it can last up to 2 weeks, while the Apple device can be used for only about 10 hours without recharging.

Kindle versus iPad: Conclusion

And The Winner Is…

As pointed out above, it really isn’t fair to do a comparison because they are two totally different devices.

The Kindle is an ebook reader first and foremost (and really it’s mostly an ebook reader period).

The Apple’s machine is a multi-media tablet computer with ebook reading as just one of the many things you can do with it.

With that being said, the Amazon wins hands down IF you are looking for a device to primarily read books with. Particularly if you’ll be reading for long periods of time at each reading session or if you’ll be reading a lot outdoors.

On the other hand, if reading isn’t going to be the primary thing you’ll be doing or isn’t as important as all the other things you want to do, then the iPad is a no-brainer. It’s the hottest tablet on the market right now because of the many things you can do with it.

No matter how you come down on the debate, one thing is for sure. There is plenty of room in the market for both of these devices.

Over 5 million iPads have been sold, while over 4 million Kindles have been sold. Some predicted multi-media devices like the iPad would kill dedicated e-readers like the Kindle but that has not happened. As long as dedicated ebook readers remain inexpensive and ultra-portable like the Kindle, there will always be a strong demand for them.