iPad v Kindle round 1
OK. First the declaration. I bought an ipad off eBay last Thursday – and I’ll write more about it later. But for the moment, let’s just say that the first device I’m turning to for almost everything is the new beast – *if* I can get it off my kids. My iphone and Macbook probably feel a little unloved at the moment. Which is why this post in the LA Times (and re-posted all over the place) rankles more than a little. In essence, the article quotes an expert saying that reading a kindle in bed is less likely to induce insomnia than an ipad:
Light-emitting devices, including cellphones and yep, the iPad, tell the brain to stay alert. Because users hold those devices so close to their face, staring directly into the light, the effect is amplified compared with, say, a TV across the room or a bedside lamp, said Frisca Yan-Go, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center in Santa Monica.
My instinct is that our expert has not actually used an iPad in bed. Because when you do, you don’t hold it close to your face (like you would an iphone for example) because it’s substantially bigger and quite heavy. For bedtime reading of ebooks, my (four evening) experience has been that it’s best rested further down, on my stomach or thereabouts, with the font size adjusted to be readable and the brightness turned way, way down. I don’t think iBooks has a ‘nightime’ mode which reverses the type like some iphone apps, but something like it will no doubt come. My partner, reading her kindle with the light on, is far more intrusive (and the page turning click is incredibly annoying in the dead of night). But, YMMV. Besides, noting puts her to sleep faster than a game or six of solitaire on her iphone (yes, held inches from her face. Although apparently that can’t be happening, according to our experts).
I’m not saying that there’s nothing in “the e-ink is better for insomniacs argument”, but it’d be nice to see actual research, rather than opinion being passed off as research, no matter who it’s from. So wake me when the double-blind test has been done.