Farewell to my Kindle Paperwhite

Hardware

Today I bid farewell to my last ebook reader. I’ve migrated to an iPad, and the Kobo store for books.

Screenshot showing the last book I read on the Kindle: the first volume of the Penguindrum manga

eInk screens are crisp and paper-like, but I’ve been spoiled by the screen and flexibility of my iPad Mini. I can read full colour RSS feeds, newspapers, manga, ebooks, light novels, and books all on a device that’s barely larger than the Kindle. The iPad’s significantly higher resolution, coupled with a textured, matte screen protector makes manga really pop.

The iPad is easier to make annotations on, highlight and copy passages for quoting, take screenshots, and read content from multiple sources and stores. I have it hooked up with our local Chatswood library, and use Apple’s default ebook reader for DRM-free epubs and PDFs I source from other stores.

But its nighttime performance is what most surprised me. The Kobo app, like other book readers, lets you invert the screen in low light. Reading grey text on a dark background on this amazing screen feels less harsh than the white backlight of the eInk display. I also don’t feel the same fatigue looking at the iPad that I do other LCDs for extended periods; whether that has to do with the Retina+ display resolution, refresh rates, a better quality backlight, or some other technical achievement I’m not sure.

(This doesn’t apply to manga, which would look downright weird with inverted blacks and whites, even if it were possible. But then, I prefer reading manga during the day and books before sleep).

I wasn’t sure if I was ready to move on from eInk, and I’ll miss its battery life. But given how much more reading I’ve been doing on the iPad, I think the proof is in the pudding.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and IaaS engineer in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Wait, not BIOS… my brain should be EFI by now.

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