E-reader vs Tablet – Sword vs Swiss Army Knife?


Today’s children probably do not know who MacGyver was. Nor would they know about his red knife, a Swiss Army Knife, perhaps not the first multi-purpose tool but sure as heck famous, about which Wikipedia says: “The most common tools featured are, in addition to the main blade, a smaller second blade, tweezers, toothpick, corkscrew, can opener, bottle opener, slotted/flat-head screwdriver(s), phillips-head screwdriver, nail file, scissors, saw (regular, wood), file, reamer, hook (parcel carrier, tightening aid for shoelaces, etc.), magnifying glass, ballpoint pen, fish scaler, hex wrench (with drive bits), pliers, gimlet, compass, ruler and keyring.”


Swiss Knife

Butchering a Swiss Army Cow would be much easier and quicker with an ordinary knife than a Swiss Army Knife, but if you still had to build a table or some other implement, the Swiss Army Knife is the way to go.

What would suit you better- a dedicated e-reader that can only be used for reading or a Tablet that brings a lot of other things to the table?


Good vs Good

This simple table compares both devices.

E-reader Tablets
  • Battery life – lasts for weeks
  • Monochrome
  • Virtually no eye strain
  • No video
  • Very light
  • Cheap
  • Limited audio
  • Single use
  • Very limited internet browsing
  • Battery life – lasts for a few hours
  • Color
  • Back-lit LCD can cause eye strain
  • Full color and even HD displays
  • Light
  • Can be expensive
  • Generally good audio
  • Multiple uses
  • “Normal” internet browsing


What we have here is a comparison of six features from amongst several possible. Both have strengths and weaknesses. These do not really help you to make your decision, because you must first know what you want to do!

In other words, it is time for some introspection! Self-knowledge will help you to make the best decision.


I, me, myself

We have compiled a few very simple questions to help you figure out what you want.


The: “Do I want an e-reader or Tablet”-quiz Column A Column B
Do you read a lot? x
Do you read mainly “text” based books? x
Do you read books with a lot of Graphics? x
Do your books have images that need color, like pictures? x
Do you want a continuous connection with the WWW? x
Do yo want to do more than just read books? x
Are you interested in so called “enhanced” e-books? x
Are you worried about eye strain? x
Is money tight? x
Do you want exceptional battery life? x


And the Winner is…..

You do not need a Harvard degree in “Quiz Interpretation” to figure out what will suit your needs best. If most of your answers are in Column A then it is an e-reader you are after, and if in Column B, it is a Tablet.


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