One of the advantages to being in a town with a large college presence, let alone spending large amounts of time on the campuses, is the opportunity to informally poll students and get a first-hand account of the happenings in whatever field you happen to be curious about in the field of your choice. I figured this would be useful for all you college students stuck in the Kindle vs nook vs iPad debate. Depending on who I manage to run into, I’ll update this list from as more students from more fields become available!
Today’s accounts are taken entirely from a university satellite campus in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Everybody I talked to was an active user of at least one device in academic settings.
Kindle vs nook:
Kelli, an English Undergrad, said:
I was basically looking at what would save me money on everything I had to use. I knew I was going to get whichever one I wanted from my parents to help me out, but for books and things I was stuck with student loans. I narrowed it down to either the nook or the Kindle 3. They both looked good, but I got the Kindle because they had a thing where you could get ebooks from other places sent to your Kindle by emailing them. That made things really easy. It’s a little annoying to have to have to carry around a notebook inside my Kindle case(It looked to me like she had this one), but I doubt any of the others make note taking any easier and I saved a load by getting mostly free kindle books in all my Lit classes.
Kindle DX PDF Reading:
Markus, a Biology Undergrad, said:
My girlfriend got me one of these because she knows I love to read, but I would rather just pick up a book. It’s just more fun to feel the paper and smell the book. Last semester, though, I picked it up off the shelf when my printer broke in the middle of printing off articles for class. One of my profs had the bright idea that sending us lots of articles would save on our book costs. Apparently cheap laser printers don’t like printing hundreds of pages per hour. Anyway, I loaded everything I had left onto the DX and decided to make the best of it until they sent the printer back to me. By the time it finally showed up, I didn’t really case anymore. This thing is the perfect size for reading pretty much anything, it zooms in on charts and photos, and you never have to worry about where you set down the paper you were halfway through last night. I still do all my pleasure reading on dead trees, but I tell everybody to try a large screen Kindle.
Kindle for PC and Mac:
John, a Professional Studies Undergrad, said:
I haven’t quite talked myself into getting the physical Kindle yet, though it looks really cool. Right now I’m doing pretty well using the software Amazon put out for my Macbook. It’s easy to use and I can save what I was doing and all the notes I took. Hell, I even go home for the weekend and know where I stopped reading when I use my parents’ computer and can get some homework done. I tried out the nookStudy software and it was really nice, but I felt like it was just too bulky and tried to do too much all at once. Plus it kept trying to redownload my books every time I wanted to read them. What if I want to save some battery life and turn off the wireless connection?!
Kindle DX vs iPad:
Taquisha, an Early Childhood Ed Undergrad, said:
People in the program tried to get me hooked on the Kindle DX for like an entire semester. It’s cool, the page turning isn’t nearly as horrible as I thought it would be at first, but even when I got one of my own I ended up sending the thing back. You can’t use something like that when you’re working with little kids. It’s durable, but they just don’t care. All it’s good for is hitting stuff with, as far as they’re concerned. I finally saved up the extra money and upgraded to an iPad and it works much better. I can play games with them, show little movies, make slide shows, and still be able to just load the Kindle iPad app when I want to read a book. Everybody was telling me it’d be bad for my eyes, but I just turn it off for a little while when mine get sore and I’m fine. I’d definitely say to only go for the Kindle if you want to read on it alone. It doesn’t help at all when you’re working with kids or in groups.
Well, believe me, there’s plenty more. Kindles, nooks, iPads, netbooks, and even the occasional less popular eReader are becoming staples of the modern college classroom and it’s not likely to change. The convenience, especially for students with dozens of online articles to read or several huge textbooks to carry from class to class without a chance to set things down, cannot be beaten. I’ll try to come up with some fresh reviews from another campus some time soon. It’ll be interesting to have some first hand accounts of how these devices stack up as midterms and such put the pressure on their owners.