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What device to get for learning?

Eka
Web developer, late bloomer. Can center an element with grace and style (pun intended). Mostly sensible (citation needed).
・1 min read

I'd like to get a device specifically for learning. I already have a laptop and a smartphone, but I feel my laptop is too large & phone too small to comfortably read on the sofa in my downtime, on the bus, etc.

Initially I was leaning towards Kindle Paperwhite because it is simple, has no distraction, does not require daily charging, and the e-ink screen would provide enjoyable reading experience (less eye strain = longer learning time!).

But I realize these days learning materials seem to be dominated by (or at least equal parts) video and audio. Not to mention conference talks & slides and podcasts which are, while not strictly learning materials, provide important insights that help in learning. So I'm now torn between a Kindle or an iPad Mini.

What is your experience with this?

Do you think learning from text materials (ie. materials I can access from a Kindle) would suffice or would I be better off with an iPad? My main focus is learning frontend development and basic computer science, although I'd also be using it to learn about non-tech materials.

Thanks!

PS. I'm getting either of those secondhand and I've found some items within my price range, so price is not a factor in this discussion.

Discussion (7)

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thomasjunkos profile image
Thomas Junkツ

It depends on my learning mode.

  • When I am in the intense learner mode where I actually read big chunks of text, I usually use my Pad (Huawei M3)

  • when I am in the scanner mode, reading articles, blog posts, watching conference videos etc. I do it on my phone or my pad

  • when I am in the hands on mode I read at the laptop with console and vscode open

My Kindle paperwhite is for non tech books.

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ekafyi profile image
Eka Author

It's interesting that you use separate devices (Pad and Kindle) for technical and non technical materials! Anyway I think I've settled on an iPad Mini... the best of both worlds I guess.

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thomasjunkos profile image
Thomas Junkツ

On top: I use my kindle only in the bedroom. That helps me separating the contexts of "working" and "relaxation".

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bosepchuk profile image
Blaine Osepchuk

I've had both an e-reader and an iPad and I much prefer the iPad. It can do so much more. And it just works (unlike the Android tablet I also had).

I read a lot on the web and feedly and pocket make that experience extremely smooth (and ad free). In fact, I'm replying to this post on my iPad.

The downsides you mentioned don't bother me. If you said you just wanted to read books and money was an issue, I'd recommend an e-reader. Otherwise, you won't regret an iPad.

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ekafyi profile image
Eka Author

"It can do so much more" is both good and bad for my use case, LOL. I already have two devices for emailing, browsing, messaging, calendars, entertainment (etc) and I don't need a third one — I'd like my brain to associate this device with learning exclusively. But I guess I could look into some SelfControl equivalent for iOS.

Thanks for replying!

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bigj1m profile image
Jean-Michel Plourde

I have a Lenovo T470 14 inches laptop with Ubuntu as my on the go machine, an old kindle for books/pdf when the laptop isn't convenient and a Nexus 6p mainly for audio/podcasts.

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ekafyi profile image
Eka Author

This post appears on my feed right after I posted this. dev.to/bosepchuk/29-must-read-prog... I immediately felt these would be more pleasant to read on a Kindle. Argh! 😅