While many enjoy reading on their iPad, the avid reader may notice a downside. A recent study on book reading methods by Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group, turned up one intriguing finding.
The study involved a group of subjects reading material on the iPad, Kindle, PC and in traditional book form. The subjects were timed, tested for comprehension and surveyed about their satisfaction. On satisfaction, the iPad edged out the Kindle and the traditional book, but all three faired pretty equally. Satisfaction with reading on the PC however, was much lower. That’s not the surprising part, though.
What is surprising is that reading speed was actually noticeably faster with a book than with any other method. Compared to a traditional book, reading speed dropped 6.2% when readers switched to an iPad and 10.7% when they switched to a Kindle. The study found no single standout reason why reading was slower. It is still worth noting, for high volume readers, that switching to an iPad will likely mean it takes them a little longer to make it through a book.
While traditional books ranked highest in all categories, subjects were generally happier with the iPad as compared to the Kindle when comparing the two devices. Survey results showed they liked the look and function of iBooks for the iPad over the Kindle and disliked the Kindle’s gray-on-gray E-Ink display. The only recurring complaint about the iPad however, was the weight. While the iPad’s weight may be comparable to a hardcover book, there is a significant difference for those who typically read paperbacks.
What do you think? Is reading speed a factor in whether or not to buy an iPad? Let us know in the comments.