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Guest Blog | Nodakademic -Kindle 2 vs. Tablet for Reading

January 13, 2012

Guest Blogger-1

I’m excited to introduce all of you to Nodakademic! I met Nodakademic during my stint over at Weddingbee.  She describes herself as a late-20s yuppie, professional techie, terminal student who probably lives farther north than you. Please give her a warm reception and check out her blog!


Today I’d like to write about why I love my Kindle 2. I received my Kindle 2 as a first anniversary present from my husband — a modern play on the ‘paper’ theme, if you will.

Since that time, Amazon has released a couple of new ones: the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Fire. The Fire is more a tablet than a reader; the Touch is still a reader (but without the buttons). I think there is another less expensive model too–which is not a ‘touch’ but does not have a keyboard either. I wouldn’t mind a ‘Touch’ but my Kindle 2 is fine. (I think Amazon calls the Kindle 2 a ‘Kindle Keyboard’ now, but I will continue to call it the 2 in this post.) I think the price of the newer models is similar to what mine was last year, and the 3G connection is still free. I do think there is one skeezy thing about it though: you have to pay $40 extra to get one that doesn’t display ads on your screen. But that’s not the point of this post. The point is, why I love my Kindle 2. Even though I do have a selection of other devices on which I could read:

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I’m a late adopter to smart-phone technology, only giving up and giving in about 10 months ago. And I still die a little inside each month when I pay the bill. So this means that the Kindle was the first 3G device I owned, and I loved the convenience of being able to buy a book wherever I was, without having a wireless hotspot. I carried it everywhere; I even bought larger handbags that would accommodate it!

After I got my phone (a Droid X), I stopped carrying my Kindle around everywhere. I downloaded the Android app for Kindle, and when I found myself idle (like at a doctor’s office, or–shhh, while waiting in my car at a RR X-ing) I would read on my phone. Then the app on my phone would sync with my Kindle, and I could pick up at my place on either device. I rarely read on my phone while at home though–the kindle screen is much bigger! Plus, the Kindle screen is non-glare, and the way it is lit is much easier on my eyes (don’t believe me, take another look at that photo above!). So my Droid X isn’t a good substitute for my Kindle 2, but it’s great in a pinch!

[Oh and yes, by the way, we do only have 3G service for phones in my region, for the most part. 4G just came to the area a month or so ago, and my husband and I have to wait another year or so before we can upgrade our phones with our contract renewal.]

Just a few days ago, my husband surprised me with an early Christmas present: an Asus Eee Transformer. For those unaware, this is tablet, similar to the iPad 2 or the Kindle Fire. Why the Transformer, and not the iPad or the Fire (or the Xoom, or something else)? Well, the mister is great at researching the best specs for the best price, so I believe he picked the best machine. My Transformer runs the Android operating system, and is what’s called a “Honeycomb” platform (though I am not entirely sure what that means). It’s also a pretty, shiny, copper color (which really matters, right?!). And so far, I love it! It is wonderful for a lot of reasons and I do plan to blog about it in detail at some point.

But it is not a Kindle substitute, even though (like on my phone)  it has the Kindle app. For one thing, it’s glossy. Shiny. Not the best for a lot of reading in bright light situations (seriously, the Kindle 2 is great for that). Additionally, its large, backlit screen means battery is being used as I read. I am writing this blog post on my Transformer, and it has used around 5% of the battery as I’ve written. But while it has great battery life (for a tablet), it can’t even touch the 3-weeks-to-a-month I can get out of the Kindle. I like not needing to bring the charger for the Kindle. I bring ENOUGH chargers when I travel. But the number 1, hands-down reason my Kindle 2 still wins is that good ol’ free 3G connection (Kindle Fire, by the way, does not offer that perk. It was the first spec I checked when it was released!). I could subscribe to 3G service on my tablet (for a monthly fee), but as I primarily use it at home, I don’t. We already pay for both of our phones; another monthly add-on isn’t exactly welcome on my bill.

In addition to the 3G and the great non-glare, easy-on-the-eyes screen, I really like the lightweight, non-fragile way the Kindle feels in my hands. That is to say, I don’t feel it is as delicate as my phone or my tablet. That may or may not be true, but that’s the feeling I get. It seems–somehow–more hearty. More ready to travel. Less in need of ultra-padded plush microfiber protection.

So I don’t think I will be shelving or shunning my Kindle 2 for a while, even though it may not be a shiny, sleek, or fancy as many of the other devices available. It is my go-to ‘book’.

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