Kindle vs Kobo vs iPad: Which is better for reading e-books? 

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For avid readers living in Singapore’s small HDBs and apartments, reading e-books on e-readers makes sense. Buying physical copies takes up space and collects dust and borrowing books requires a trip down to the nearby library. E-readers allow you to have and access an entire library on the go. 

E-books can be downloaded on an e-reader device like Kindle or Kobo, or on a tablet like an iPad. Sure, such devices need to be charged every few days, which is probably the main disadvantage when compared to a solid paperback, but it offers features that make up for it. 

For instance, you can change the font type and size of what you’re ready, and buy and borrow books wherever you are on the device itself. Yes, Singaporeans, you can even borrow e-books from NLB for free! The entire reading experience becomes so much more seamless on an e-reader.

So you’re here to find out which e-book device you should go for. We’re here to help. In this article, we outline the comparison between reading e-books on Kindle, Kobo versus an iPad. 

Kindle vs iPad 2022

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The main two contenders for people who are looking to venture into the e-book world or make an e-book reader purchase are usually between the Kindle Paperwhite vs the iPad

The main differentiator is obviously the price, which is linked to the number of features. With an iPad or iPad mini, you’re getting a powerful, full-colour machine. You can download many different apps on it to not only read e-books, but also to watch a Netflix show, edit a Google docs document, browse the net, play games, … the list just goes on and on. It’s no surprise then, that you should be prepared to shell out at least $500 for an iPad, even at the lowest range. 

But if you’re looking for something more designed for reading, like the Kindle (or the Kobo for that matter), you get a lighter device that is cheaper at around $150, with an anti-glare screen that makes it easy on the eyes when reading. The grayscale, lower resolution screen also means that the battery life is really long… we’re talking weeks-long. That is plenty of battery life compared to the iPad, which probably can last one to two days depending on your usage. 

iPad mini iPadKindle PaperwhiteKobo Nia 
Price (SGD) From $749 From $499 Around $150 Around $150 
Weight293g487g205g172g
Dimensions20.3 x 13.5 x 0.6 cm25.1 x 17.4 x 7.5 cm17.4 × 12.5 × 0.8 cm15.3 x 11.4 x 0.9 cm
Storage 64GB, 256GB64GB, 256GB8GB8GB
Battery lifeUp to 10 hoursUp to 10 hoursWeeksWeeks

What about Kobo reader vs Kindle e-reader? 

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While the Kindle Paperwhite is arguably the most popular e-book device out there, there’s another e-reader that should not be overlooked by Singaporeans — the Kobo e-reader developed by Rakuten. The hardware of the Kobo is very similar to the Kindle in terms of touch and feel. You can do almost the same things like changing font size, font type, and screen brightness on Kobo as well. Kobo doesn’t display ads on standby, unlike the Kindle too, which is a small plus.

The main advantage to the Kobo e-reader is that it is compatible with Singapore NLB’s Overdrive app. Within a few taps on Kobo, you can search for e-books on NLB, or even use the NLB app to borrow books and sync with the e-reader. 

On the other hand, Kindle e-book or Nook e-book formats are “not officially available to the Singapore market”. This means that our library, the National Library Board, does not support Kindle or Nook e-book format via Overdrive (the library reading app). Thus, if you’re based in Singapore, you’d want to consider the Kobo e-reader together with the various options to save money on buying e-books and effort trawling through the web to find Kindle e-books.

iPad eye strain for reading e-books

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Compared to an e-reader like Kindle or Kobo, which has anti-glare screens, the iPad or iPad mini is acceptable and optimal for short reads, as its screen is larger. But the screens have glare and blue light, which can hurt eyes when reading for long periods of time. Blue light is known to disrupt natural sleep rhythms. The glare means that iPads are also more suitable for reading indoors only.

Enjoy uninterrupted reading time with M1 SIM-only 

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Whether you’re using an e-reader device or an iPad, get a good data connection to ensure that you can download books wherever you are. 

Sign up for M1’s SIM-only plan to enjoy value-for-money packages. M1’s SIM-only plans offer 80GB for $17.95 or 100GB for $19.95 per month. Want more? Enjoy $15 off your first month as an mpowered reader-exclusive, limited-time deal when you sign up today with the code mpowered15.
You can subscribe to weekend unlimited data for just a monthly price of $6 on top of that! What can beat that? Hurry and get yours now!

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