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Reading Speeds - Is the iPad Really Faster than Printed Books?

Answer: no, but the result is interesting. Basically, the guys over at UseIt wanted to see if tablets really come with faster reading speeds than printed books.

Is the iBooks or Kindle experience really more engaging than old paper?

“We ran a within-subjects study, testing each user on all 4 reading conditions — printed book, PC, iPad, and Kindle — rotating the sequence in which we exposed users to each device.

On each device, we asked each user to read a short story by Ernest Hemingway. We picked Hemingway because his work is pleasant and engaging to read, and yet not so complicated that it would be above the heads of users. On average, the stories took 17 minutes and 20 seconds to read. This is obviously less time than people might spend reading a novel or a college textbook, but it’s much longer than the abrupt reading that characterizes Web browsing.

The iPad measured at 6.2% lower reading speed than the printed book, whereas the Kindle measured at 10.7% slower than print. However, the difference between the two devices was not statistically significant because of the data’s fairly high variability.

Thus, the only fair conclusion is that we can’t say for sure which device offers the fastest reading speed. In any case, the difference would be so small that it wouldn’t be a reason to buy one over the other.”

I guess that discovering the interactions methods in iBooks for the first doesn’t help when it comes to speed tests. What about further tests after the first session though? I’d like to know how the iPad holds up in the long run.

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