iPad vs Kindle: 10 reasons why only one of these gadgets is for me

One is shiny and colourful, the other matte and monochrome - but which gadget gets my vote?

...up to two months, depending on how many pages you're clicking. A single charge on the iPad yields up to 10 hours of use. No contest there then.

8. The Kindle offers headache-free 3G

For those not content with a wi-fi-only Kindle, there's a 3G version of the e-reader - just as there are 3G and wi-fi-only iPads. But unlike the 3G iPad, the 3G Kindle does not require signing up to a tariff with a mobile operator. If there's one thing that annoys me more than gadgets running out of juice too quickly, it's having to navigate a million mobile tariffs.

Apple has tried to simplify life for the 3G iPad owner - it will ship you a micro-SIM direct, from one of four operators, each offering a choice of plans. There are also iPad 3G plans that don't require signing a contract, with rolling month-to-month plans that can be cancelled at any time.

But despite Apple's attempts to make the process a bit more human, it's still a headache. How much better to not have to worry about dealing with mobile operators at all - as 3G Kindle owners can (smugly) tell you.

9. The Kindle packs a free library of ebooks

And talking of free, Kindle owners can tap into a wealth of free ebooks. In the US, Project Gutenberg has made some 36,000 out-of-copyright ebooks available for free download. BookDepository.co.uk offers 11,000 free titles for download as PDFs. Amazon.co.uk also lists thousands of free Kindle-friendly ebooks such as out-of-copyright popular classics. Ebook reader? More like a whole e-library in your bag.

Of course, the iPad can also tap into free ebooks but you'll need to devour an awful lot of free ebooks to make up the £300+ extra spent on the gadget in the first place.

10. I also own an iPhone...

Gadgets are often used in combination rather than owned in isolation. So here's the thing: I'm an Apple owner too. I own an iPhone. And having an iPhone makes owning an iPad even less compelling. Smartphones are tablets in miniature - they offer all the functionality of the iPad in a handier, pocketable package. The natural companion for an iPhone is not, in my view, a larger version of the iPhone.

I've got email, web browsing and apps galore on my phone. It's bursting with functionality, entertainment and distraction. The last thing I need is more of the same. What I need is the inverse of all that flashy distraction - which is exactly where the cool, calm and collected Kindle comes in.

Smartphone ownership is generally on the rise - most mobiles are getting smarter and cheaper. And with all that power sitting in people's pockets there does seem to be an opportunity for a different kind of gadget to complement the iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys out there. And that's the opportunity Amazon's Kindle is quietly capitalising on.

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