iPad and Kindle Reading Speeds

Reading on the beach

75 x served & 21 x viewed

In one of his WhatTheyThink Videos, Frank Romano alerted me on an interesting study on the usability of eBooks. The original article was from Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, July 2, 2010.  It was a fairly small study comprising only 24 people. Each person was tried on four reading conditions: a printed book, a PC, an iPad, and a Kindle 2.

The text was a short story by Ernest Hemingway, which according to Frank is easy to read, because it's all simple sentences, virtually no semicolons, no em-dashes, it is basic writing.  The result was that reading the e-book version was slightly slower than reading the print. Both the iPad and the Kindle rated as high in terms of satisfaction as the printed book.  But the test persons were not happy with the PC -- reading a PC felt like being at work.  The conclusion is that well-designed eBook readers provide as good a reading environment as the printed book. With the strong development of tablets, there is obviously a strong future for eBooks. This future is maybe already here, since Amazon recently reported that Kindle books are outselling printed books.

The printed book may still be preferred on the beach

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