New Amazon Kindle DX vs Apple iPad vsNotion Ink Adam. Let it rip!
Only a year ago, Amazon’s Kindle unquestionably towered over its e-reading competitors with a sleek design, low price and always-on 3G access built right into the purchase price. Then along came Apple. Although the iPad differs in many ways from a dedicated e-reader, Apple’s marketing has depicted it as a suitable replacement for books. Now its nearly time for the next iteration to come out. And to add to the mix, we added the soon to be launched Notion Ink Adam tablet which has created a buzz online.
Look and Feel:
Out of the box, the iPad easily looks the best out of the three. With its solid build and use of expensive looking glossy plastic and aluminium, it gives a premium feel to the user. The people who have used the Notion Ink say that the plastic body has a very solid feel to it, and they have gone for a matte finish which resists fingerprints and dirt and all that, much like the Kindle DX. Of the three, The kindle is the slimmest, and Adam is the thickest. Despite the Adam being thicker and heavier it is actually easier to use the Adam in any orientation thanks to the rubberized, curved top edge.
In terms of ports, Adam demolishes the other two, having a host of ports including USB [host] as well as a full HDMI port. The other two almost beg for more ports having only a micro-USB [Kindle] and Apple Dock connecter Port [iPad].
Kindle DX: 10.4″ x 7.2″ x 0.38″ (0 .54kg)
iPad: 9.56” x 7.47” x 0.5” (0.73kg)
Adam: 10.59”x 7.52”x 0.55” (0.73kg)
Lets start with the Pearl e-Ink of the Kindle. Easily the most suited to reading with a high dpi resolution, and the lack of a 60Hz refresh rate makes it incredible easy for the eyes to read. However face it: a 16 level gray scale screen is so good for reading and the like. The 1024x 768 screen of the iPad is a gorgeous, beautiful, glossy, vivid display which makes internet browsing, and viewing videos a pleasure. The Adam in contrast has a 1024×600 transreflective PixelQi display. The backlight can be toggled by tapping the top button the display, and makes for an incredible reading experience in the sunlight. In contrast, the iPad is absolutely unreadable in direct sunlight. With the backlight on, the colors appear washed out as compared to the iPad. iPad and the Kindle offer incredible viewing angles, and they were also good in the Adam, though not as good as compared to the other two.
To sum it up, Kindle is most suited to the e-Bibliophiles out there, iPad is best for the movie freaks, and Adam offers a great compromise of both the features.
Kindle, of course, has a dedicated reader based UI, measly support for web pages. Basically it reads books. Thats it. Its not really good for any other purpose. iPad has the well tried, used and loved iOS, along with its AppStore which provides a brilliant offering of Apps. Anyone who has used the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch knows how great and intuitive the OS is. The touchscreen is brilliantly responsive, and the fingers just glide over the glossy screen. Web Pages look vibrant in its screen, and it has an awesome option of Apps for games, etc. Notion Ink brings a new UI called the Eden, which it has built on the Android platform, and customized it heavily. It uses panels on the home screen to display information. It is not very friendly to use out of the box but as you start using it, it should get a second nature to use it. Single taps and Double taps behave differently, though it has a neat layout. Notion Ink has an inbuilt camera as well as GPS support. Support for Third Applications are the major issue, it has no support for Android Market, though it has plans to launch its own Genesis store soon.
Performance and Battery Life:
Apple uses an A4 chip, at 1GHz based on the Cortex A8 chip. Performance is great on it, with nothing taking forever to open. It renders Web Pages almost instantly, and has support for 720p Video Playback. But this is not really a lot compared to Notion Ink’s NVIDIA Tegra 250 chip and its dual core 1Ghz Cortex A9 chip and ULV GPU which works for both power efficiency as well as blazing performance, and allows it to support full HD 1080p playback. Lets not mention the Kindle over here.
In terms of Battery Life, the iPad gives around 10 hours, the Adam around 12hours, and the Kindle gives about 4 days of battery life with the Wireless on. With the wireless off, the Kindle DX can work for upto 2 weeks, thanks to e-Ink technology.
Pricing and Verdict:
Notion Ink Adam is priced at 499USD [+50USD Global Shipping], for the PixelQi screen and the Wi-Fi only version. Adding 3G gets it upto 549USD [based on the Pre-Order Prices]. iPad comes for 499USD for the Wi-Fi only version, and goes upto a whooping 629USD. Kindle DX is available for 379USD.
So to sum it up, iPad is a great buy if you are into internet and video but its not for the books. Its worth waiting for iPad 2 to be launched with the rumored Retina Display, and Apple A5 chip. Kindle is recommended only if you are bent on buying a eBook reader only device, and don’t have any other use for it. Notion Ink Adam is our definite choice here, and it should be worth the wait. To add to the mix Samsung Galaxy Tab has already been launched, and Motorola Xoom and RIM Blackberry Playback are also expected soon. None of them are eBook readers but they should be taken seriously in the tablet market.