Kindle or iPad — which is the best tablet for travel? I find myself asking this question every time I pack. And to be honest, I feel a little indulgent and guilty sometimes for having two tablet e-readers, but they’re both great for different reasons. My decision over the best tablet to bring is usually based on the length of the flight, and if I’m in more of a movie-mode or reading-mode.
Most planes have a great selection of entertainment, but every once in awhile I’ll hop on a connecting flight, look up at a fabric-backed seat, and be completely bummed that it’s tech-free. But now that Netflix allows downloading movies and episodes to watch without wifi, and Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime offer a never-ending library of books and magazines right at your fingertips, it is so easy to pack your own entertainment.
Which brings me back to my original question – which is the best tablet to pack? Let’s look at the pros and cons for both.
There are two compact iPad models out right now perfect for travel – the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the iPad Mini 4. The biggest difference between the two (besides price) is the quality of the display and the processor speed. The iPad Pro also has more speakers, but let’s be honest, most of us are using headphones anyway (especially on a plane or public place). So, for comparing the iPad to the Kindle, I’m just going to go over the basic pros and cons below.
- Can watch movies and TV shows
- Read magazines just as they are printed
- Read books through iBooks and Kindle app
- Screen Glare (Even with the new antireflective coating)
- Limited Battery Life (8 – 10 hours)
- Weight (0.65 pounds/298.8 grams to 0.96 pounds/437 grams)
- Price (Starts at $399)
The Kindle is a bit more limited in the type of entertainment, but as an e-reader, it can’t be beat. When I want to go on a digital detox during a trip, this is what I bring as I can download all of my favorite books without having the temptation of social media and email in the background.
- Price (Starts at $79)
- Super lightweight (4.6 oz/131 g to 7.2 oz/205 g)
- No screen glare, easier on the eyes for reading
- Really long battery life. Can last for up to two weeks, so you will likely not even have to charge it on your trip.
- No movies or tv shows
- Magazines are articles only, and there is a limited choice
Want to compare them? Take a look at the available Kindles to see which size might be the right one for you.
If you’re looking to upgrade, which one do you splurge on? If you have both, which one do you bring?
Overall, if you’re a voracious reader and don’t want the distraction (or temptation) of being online to check email or social, Kindle Paperwhite is the best choice. It is so light, I have no problem holding it up with one hand. And it is super slim and easy to tuck into any carry-on bag or purse (though, I would recommend getting a screen protector for it as I already scratched mine) As I see more people looking for a digital detox during their vacation, the Kindle is the one electronic device I think you could get away with.
On the other hand, if you want to spend your flight-time or vacation catching up on your latest Netflix series, than the iPad is definitely the way to go. Personally, I love them both.
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