Tests taken across a small (24-person) sample group suggest reading eBooks remains slower than reading paper, with the iPad being faster to read than a Kindle device.
Jakob Nielsen of the Nielsen Norman Group set out to determine reading speed differences between the different platforms (book, ebook, iPad etc).
His initial findings are that there are significant speed differences. Participants were required to read a short Ernest Hemingway story on their device.
Using an iPad to achieve this worked out to be 6.2 percent slower than reading the story from a book, while using a Kindle 2 was slower again, 10.7 percent slower in fact.
Test subjects disliked using a PC for reading, giving this a satisfaction score of 3.6. iPad scored 5.8, Kindle 5.7 and the book — the book threw a 5.6.
The researcher notes, “For example, they disliked that the iPad was so heavy and that the Kindle featured less-crisp gray-on-gray letters. People also disliked the lack of true pagination and preferred the way the iPad – actually, the iBook app – indicated the amount of text left in a chapter.”
He thinks the future of the eReader and tablet category for book reading looks good, predicting, “We can expect higher-quality screens in the future, as indicated by the recent release of the iPhone 4 with a 326 dpi display. But even the current generation is almost as good as print in formal performance metrics — and actually scores slightly higher in user satisfaction.”