Travel Rx: iPad AND Kindle on Flight to Denver

I’m on a Southwest flight, half way from Boston to Denver. In my “Life Is Good” cloth bag, I’m toting a Kindle 6-inch and the iPad on which I’m drafting this post in the Pages app.  I told Bryan Person last month that if I had to choose between the iPad and the Kindle for a long flight, I’d take the iPad. That’s still probably true, but the Kindle has been coming back up in my world lately, to the point where I would probably now reply, “Why do I have to choose?”

If I had checked my Kindle along with my laptops in the suitcase, I would have missed a great read that occupied me for the first hour of the flight. At a Logan Airport newsstand, I saw that James Fallows has the cover story in the current issue of The Atlantic, titled “How to Save the News.” I pulled out the Kindle and bought the issue wirelessly for $1.49. It’s a fascinating piece, in which Fallows explores Google’s quiet but significant initiatives to help print news publications break through to the Promised Land of renewed ad strength for digital content. I read the article slowly enough to think about it as I was taking it in.  I find that my Kindle is the perfect way to follow a complex article, because I see fewer words at a time than is the case with print on paper.  The Kindle made getting the article (and paying The Atlantic something for Jim’s good work) almost as easy as simply thinking about doing so.

As for the iPad, it’s the perfect magical tool for a tray table in coach. My Apple iPad case lifts the top of the screen to a comfortable angle for typing and grips the tray, so there is no sliding around. In addition to writing this post, I’ve done some MindNode brainstorming for a Western States Arts Federation tech presentation I will give in St. Louis in September, and I read some from my Financial Times iPad app, which has a smart and simple way to download the latest content for off-line reading.  I haven’t had time to play Plants vs. Zombies or listen to the any podcasts.

So I agree with Mike Elgan, who says there are good reasons for using an iPad and a Kindle. BTW, if you haven’t seen it yet, click here for Mike’s brilliant comparison chart for an iPad, a Kindle — and a Rock. It was great to talk with him for Kindle Chronicles #97 last week.

There are about 10 laptop computers on this flight, one Kindle, one iPad (mine) and lots of print books and magazines.

Life is good, and the news is worth saving.

[Delayed upload, after getting home in Denver.]

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