New evidence indicates that tablets like the iPad, makes reading easier for senior citizens. Why the iPad, and not a traditional e-reader like say, the Kindle? The backlight makes a difference.
Traditional e-readers were no help: Reading a short page of text on a Kindle took the older group about 28 seconds, the longest of the three. Switching to the printed book shaved 1.5 seconds off the time. But reading on an iPad took just 24 seconds, that’s 2.5 seconds faster than reading on paper. While that may not represent a big timesaver when skimming news headlines, it could save hours reading War and Peace.
In the German study, published in PLOS ONE, people aged 60 to 77 were able to read material 2.5 seconds faster on an iPad than on paper.
Researchers concluded that the iPad’s backlighting adjusted to the brightest setting, was the difference. Tablet displays use backlighting while dedicated e-readers use an “e-ink” display that reflects ambient light, eschewing a backlight.
Sure, e-readers use less energy, and are easier to read in direct sunlight, (as any Kindle commercial will tell you), but now tablets have one more advantage on their side. They can help senior citizens get through their favorite books that much quicker.