There are numerous tablets on the market on the moment. Although probably not the first official tablet ever to be made I think the iPad created by Apple was the first to really capture the world by storm. In 2010 when Steve Jobs, the now deceased CEO of Apple, stood on the stage to announce it’s launch I remember thinking – “I have to get one of those.”
Tablets are similar to smartphones apart from tablets are larger and not really designed for make calls on. Like smartphones tablets come with a whole selection of apps for things like, playing games, surfing the internet, banking, shopping, facebooking, ebaying and a whole host of other things. Most apps that are on a smartphone are available on a tablet but because the screen size is bigger, they are usually far easier to use on an iPad.
Like a computer a tablet needs an operating system and the two main choices at the moment are iOS created by Apple or Android created by the tech giant Google. Microsoft also entered the tablet space in 2012 but they seem to be aiming at tablets that replace laptops, rather than just a tablet. You cannot run Android on an Apple iPad and you cannot run iOS on anything other than an iPad or iPhone. Android, although created by Google, can be installed on a whole host of manufacturers tablets. These include Samsung tablets, Acer tablets, Tesco Hudl tablet and of course the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet.
The ability to install apps on a tablet or smartphone is what makes it possible to use your tablet as an ereader. All the tablets I have mentioned in this article have the ability to install the Amazon Kindle app. This app links to your Amazon account so any books that you purchase on the Amazon Store, can be used on any Kindle device and any tablet running the Kindle app. It also uses something called Whipersync. Whispersync is a clever bit of synchronisation technology. When you read a book on one device you can stop reading at any point, pick up another device, then continue where you left off.
It’s a common question as people can get confused with the various different models that are out there. The quick answer to the question is the Kindle Paperwhite, it currently retails at £109.
The reason I say this is that the Kindle Paperwhite offers the perfect balance of everything that you need from an e-reader. It has the e-ink screen rather than the Kindle Fires which have an LCD screen much like a laptop or desktop computer. E-ink is a technology that generates text without a backlight. Therefore, you don’t get any glare from the screen, this is particularly good when reading for long periods of time because it means that your eyes don’t become sore.
The issue with e-ink screens is that because they don’t generate text by shining light they are extremely difficult to use in low light. This was a massive problem for the early Kindles with many companies developing accessories to attach to your Kindle that would shine light onto the screen. Whilst this was ok it was far from ideal as the light didn’t shine evenly across the screen.
Unlike the tablet versions the Kindle e-ink readers have a matte screen. This means that in environments where there is a lot of natural sunlight you don’t get a glare on the screen. Perfect for the summer trip to the beach.
The Kindle Paperwhite doesn’t suffer from this problem because it can generate its own light. Unlike LCD screens which use backlight technology, backlight is the main cause of sore eyes when reading on computer screens, the Kindle Paperwhite light illuminates the screen evenly from the edges. What is really clever is that only the screen gets illuminated not the whole room. You won’t be annoying your partner when reading at bedtime.
The Kindle Paperwhite also has a better screen resolution at 212 pixels per inch. The greater the number of pixels per inch the better the quality of the text or images. The entry level Kindle is 167 pixels per inch. This means the text on a Kindle Paperwhite is far crisper and much easier on the eye.
The entry level Kindle at £59 (with adverts, £69 without adverts) really is a bargain but the limitations of no illumination and a poorer quality screen means that the Kindle Paperwhite is better value. However if you can live without the illumination and the inferior screen then for £59 you get a lot of technology for the money.
A Kindle is a device made by a company called Amazon. Amazon originally started out as on online book store before starting to sell DVD’s and CD’s. Since then their business has grown and either from Amazon directly, or other companies selling through their store, you can pretty much buy anything.
What is a Kindle used to be relatively straightforward to answer because it was an electronic device that you could read books on. Now the question What is a Kindle is far more complex to answer. There are two main types of Kindle device. There is an e-reader which can be used for reading books on. There is also a tablet which can be used for reading books, surfing the internet, watching movies, listening to show and podcasts, playing apps and a whole host of other things.
Why buy an e-reader?
The main reason is cost because until recently the e-readers where significantly cheaper than the tablets. Amazon has just launched an entry level tablet that is the same price as an entry level e-reader, so price is not as much a factor as it used to be. The e-reader also has a better screen which is designed exclusively for reading books on, it is a pure delight to use. When reading for long periods of time on a computer screen or tablet the light can cause fatigue and soreness in your eyes. An e-reader doesn’t suffer from the same problem, this is because it uses a different type of technology to generate the text on the screen. It also has a very clever way of generating light so it’s possible to read in the dark without any glare. It uses a special type of screen technology called e-ink whereas tablets use an LCD screen. An e-reader is extremely light and portable, which are two major factors when deciding to buy an e-reader.
The latest Kindle line to be added to the lineup is the Kindle Voyage. They have upped the screen resolution to a whopping 300 pixels per inch, this means that the Kindle Voyage has the best quality screen, of any e-reader on the market.