A recent study has found it is quicker to read a print version of a book than it is to read on two of today’s highest-profile tablets, Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle. While electronic book readers are stampeding the market, printed books are quicker and some believe more relaxing to read.
Jakob Nielsen from the Nielsen Norman Group recruited 24 participants, who enjoy reading and frequently read books, to conduct a readability study. The study tested each participant’s skill of reading. Each participant was exposed to 4 reading devices, iPad, Kindle, PC and printed book.
The study required participants to read a short story by Ernest Hemingway. On average, the story took 17 minutes and 20 seconds to read. Study results found the iPad measured at 6.2% lower reading speed than the printed book. The Kindle measured at 10.7% slower reading speed than the printed book. The study was unable to determine which tablet offers the fasting reading speed.
While the iPad and Kindle offer higher resolution screens than desktop computers and provide a more comfortable reading position, many of the participants disliked that the iPad was so heavy.
Survey participants were asked to rate their satisfaction of the 4 reading devices on a scale of 1 to 7, 7 being the best score. Results were promising for the future of e-readers and tablets. The PC scored a mere 3.6, whilst the iPad, Kindle and the printed book all scored impressively at 5.8, 5.7 and 5.6 respectively.