According to a recent study conducted by Dr. Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group (no relation to the Nielsen fametrics company), it will take longer to read a book on the Kindle or an iPad when compared to an actual book. Jakob compared the reading times of twenty-four users on the Kindle 2, an iPad using the iBooks application, a PC monitor and regular paper.
The study showed that reading on an electronic tablet was 10.7 percent slower than when reading straight from a book. Nevertheless, Nielsen’s test subjects favored reading on tablets over printed material and most everyone didn’t like reading from a computer monitor citing that it reminded them of being at work. Can’t really argue against that one.
While reading speeds were faster on the iPad than the Kindle 2, Nielsen stated that the differences were “not statistically significant,” and shouldn’t sway consumers’ purchasing decision. The subjects were told to decide how much they liked the reading experience based on a seven point scale and the iPad, Kindle 2 and book ranked 5.8, 5.7, and 5.6 respectively with PC trailing at 3.6 points.
I for one don’t care what the studies say; I’ll always prefer printed material to an electronic screen.