E-readers vs. Tablets: Which Side Are You On?

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People are passionate about their smartphone.  If they have an iPhone they’ll tell you how great it is and folks who have a Droid go on about how cool and under rated theirs is. You folks with BlackBerrys are cool too, keep telling yourself that.

So what are you people with e-readers doing?   Aside from policy wonks, university students and book geeks who purchases an e-reader?  Alas, more Americans are buying e-readers than tablets.  All the hoopla about the iPad, Playbook and Android tablets may lead people to think the opposite.  So who is buying what?

Well, 12% of adults have an e-reader, while 8% have a tablet.    Another thing that is new this year is that laptop computers are just as popular as desktop computers.  All of these gadget figures don’t even factor in your smartphone or any computing capacity that may have.

Men, Hispanics and people with some college education were some of the drivers in tablet purchases.  But the biggest increase was Hispanic adults and households earning over $75,000.

E-readers were more likely to be purchased by parents, Hispanics, college graduates and households earning less than $75,000.

Price is certainly a driver in the sales of these devices.  Tablets start around $400 and top out at $650 for a 3G iPad 2.  The e-reader costs $114 to $139, depending on if you want the Kindle or the Nook.

Functionality the tablet can go online, access countless apps, store photos, music and much more.  The e-reader can download thousands of books, magazines or other things to read.

It depends on what you’re buying the device for, are you really going to read that much?  If so, then financially it’s a no brainer, especially if you can find a used e-reader online somewhere.  The tablet line is still evolving with the iPad 3 supposedly having retina display, which will make images and text look amazingly clear.

Either way, both of these devices are great for social media on the go.  Do you have both an e-reader, tablet or both?  If so, why do you have both devices?

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Katie is the President of KWSM. Before opening the agency, she spent more than 15 years as a journalist, working for CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN and National Public Radio. Katie works with clients across the country and is a popular public speaker.