In the world of e-readers and Tablets, there are 2 clear winners, each with there own purpose and each can serve as a useful tool to travelers and backpackers.
The Kindle is the first light weight alternative to hauling around those oh-so-heavy guidebooks while your traveling.
The newer generation Kindle has several key improvements making it a better fit for the independent traveler. These include lighter weight, longer battery life, easier to read screen and WiFi.
And to add more value they also allow you to log into any AT&T WiFi Hot spot for free. No sign-in required. It just works.
Buy the newest version, the Kindle Fire which blows the pants off the old Kindle and gives the iPad some fierce competition.
Short Answer: Very good.
Long Answer: You can now find Kindle Guidebooks from Lonely Planet, Rough Guide and even Rick Steve. Yes, that is correct. So if you are going to Cinque Terre, then you better have your Rick Steve guide, because I think he has that place figured out.
Basically, you have a whole library available and each e-guidebook appears to cost less than its antiquated dinosaur of a hard copy. That means less weight on your back and more dollars in your pocket. Who new hundreds of guidebooks could way less than 9 oz? In theory, you could put the whole Offbeat Travel Guides Collection on your Kindle and be set for life.
What's the Selection of Guidebooks for Kindle?
You can find all you favorite guidebooks by Rough Guides, Off The Beaten Track, Adventure Guides, Lonely Planet and of course Rick Steve. These are just the same as the books you used to hold. Now, with fewer paper cuts.
Next we have the option to get the iPad, which is pretty cool too. iPad Tablets are much more expensive, costing $600 and up. For that price you also get the classiness of Apple's design and bragging rights each time your friend brings out his or her Kindle.
Like the Kindle, the iPad also has WiFi for the connected traveler. They have once again found a way to feed your obsessive compulsive email checking.
Great for Traveling, with the iPad you can use the map application to find your way throughout the cities you travel to. Other applications include language apps, city guides, and currency converters.
And don't worry about having enough hard drive space, as the iPad comes in a 64GB version. You will have plenty of room for Travel Apps, guidebooks and more. That is if you still have any momey left after buying one costing over $800 for the 64GB version.
The darker side to the iPad is their stealability. While both items might be a potential target, the iPad is a higher demanded item and it stands out. You See, the iPad is much more shiny so it will reflect light into the eyes of thieves, grabbing his attention.
The iPad with its sexy look and shiny ergonomic design is going to stand out and scream "hey look at me I have money". Actually what it should scream is "hey look at me I used to have money until I bought this iPad".
And don't forget, you can always uglify it based on my similar method of uglifying your computer.
And then there is the touchscreen. With the iPad having only the one large and sexy touchscreen, your greasy fried chicken fingers are going to mess it right up. Thus making it difficult to read in direct sunlight as well as making it hard not to lick.
iPad so tasty?
Whatever you decide, the forseeable future of travel guides will include Kindle and iPad . The real value here is being able to carry all of those books around in just one small machine. As to which machine you decide, only time will tell.
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