The Apple iPad isn't an eBook reader, which makes it very hard to compare it to other eBook readers. It doesn't use e-ink technology, it's heavy, you can't read out of it in bright places, and the display will strain your eyes eventually. Still, it has some major advantages over other eBook readers in the market – color, touch screen interface, and internet browsing capabilities. If you're looking for a great device for multiple tasks and your main reading material is magazines and newspaper, go for the iPad. If you're looking for a device to enrich your reading experience , stick with a traditional eBook reader.
Amazing design | Most intuitive interface yet | Full-color screen | Wi-Fi and 3G wireless | Will do just about anything
LCD display is hard to read from in bright places and will eventually strain your eyes | Battery lasts only ten hours | Heavy | Costs almost twice as much as the Kindle 2 or Nook | Additional 3G wireless fees apply (around $130)
The iPad is ideal for gadget lovers whose main reading materials are magazines and newspapers. Basically, people who don't read for long periods of time and having a color display plays a crucial role in their reading experience.
How I conducted my analysis of the Apple iPad:
I conducted this review to see if the iPad is indeed the next big thing in the eBook reader market and to find out if it is capable of catching up with current eReader standards. Of course, the iPad can be great for many things because it's some sort of weird hybrid between an eReader and a computer, but my main focus was to check out how good of a job it does when it comes to reading eBooks and reading eBooks only. For this task, not only did I get my brand new iPad from Apple, which was a special treat all by itself, but I also read different expert websites (CNET, Gizmodo, Engadget and more listed below) in order to understand what they thought about the iPad as an eBook reader. Finally, I went into forums and read online customer reviews to see what people who bought the iPad, just like me, thought of it when it comes to reading eBooks. I have to tell you, my opinion changes drastically about this great new gadget before and after writing this review. Enjoy.
What I thought of the Apple iPad:
I must say, it was a much welcomed change to examine a device as "sexy" as the iPad. Apple sure keeps up its reputation regarding how to make you fall in love with a device. The sleek design, the stainless (at least at the beginning) touch screen, and amazing graphics are all part of what makes the iPad nothing less than intoxicating in my book, especially if you aren't familiar with past Apple products, such as the iPhone or Macbook.
Even when you try and compare the iPad's technical specs to other eBook readers, it's not a fair match. The iPad wins with a flawless victory almost at every round. It has the largest screen size (as large as the Kindle DX), it has anywhere from 16 to 64 GigaBytes of memory, which will probably never limit the number of eBooks that you can store on it and it has a colorful screen which you can read from in the dark as well as with the best resolution around. It has no problem supporting any file type because it's basically a computer. You can do so many other things with it instead of just reading. To top it all off, it's equipped with Wi-Fi and 3G wireless.
So, yes, it has amazing advantages that at first glance, make the decision of purchasing an iPad as opposed to a Kindle or a Nook a no brainer. But is this truly the case? Let's take a deeper look into the world of eReading.
"An ebook reader is an electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital books and periodicals and uses e-ink technology to display content to readers." (taken from Wikipedia). If you've watched our 60-second tour about eBook readers, you've probably noticed that e-ink, unlike normal LCD display, let's you read in bright sunlight, doesn't deplete battery life, and doesn’t strain your eyes. This is exactly where the iPad fails as an eBook reader.
Take your iPad outside for five seconds and you'll see why it will never match up with the Kindle or Nook. They just don't use the same technology. The iPad, like any other laptop, uses an LCD, which will eventually strain your eyes and won't give you the pleasure of reading in very bright places. Reading off the iPad is exactly like reading off your computer, only it's much easier because it's a much more portable device.
Other aspects involve the iPad's shortly lived battery (ten hours) when compared with today’s eReader standards, which is about two weeks. This is also due to the fact that the iPad does not use traditional e-ink technology, for better and worst. Also, the 3G wireless, while being completely free of charge in eBook readers that hold this capability, will cost money when used on the iPad. This is because most of the use you will have with eBook readers for the 3G internet is to download books and that doesn't take up valuable resources.
If you've made it this far, you can see that the iPad has some major advantages over every other eBook reader in the market, but also major disadvantages as well. Giving a bottom line, whether it is better or worse than other eBook readers, isn't possible because the iPad IS NOT AN EBOOK READER! It would be like comparing a personal computer to an eReader. The only thing that makes it resemble an eBook reader is its external appearance, but on the inside – it's the same as any other laptop.
So, when I conclude my own analysis, I will have to say this: If you're a gadget freak that has to own the latest buzz in technology, you're probably better off with the iPad – it's an amazing device. But if, on the other hand, you are looking for an eBook reader because you are an avid reader and want a device that will enhance your reading experience, stay away from the iPad. It's just like reading off any other laptop and that's not what eBook readers are about.
Online Experts’ Opinions of the Apple iPad:
After I gave you my own personal opinion of the iPad, it's time to go out and see what other online experts think of it. For this section, I went through reviews written by CNET, EndGadget, PC World, Tech Radar, and Gizmodo. Again, I did not focus on what they had to say about the iPad as a laptop substitute, but more on how it functions as an eBook reader.
Most of the websites mentioned addressed the iPad's iBook app (free to download, but not included), where you can browse an e-bookstore stocked with bestsellers and textbooks. At launch, the iBooks store includes content from five major publishers: HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster. There's no doubt that the iBook app is amazing in its design and in its intuitive user interface. Apple did its best in designing the ultimate eReading experience.
On the other hand, the lack of e-ink technology was also brought up, mainly from CNET's side, which argued that text on the iPad isn't as clear as it would be if it was displayed on a standard e-ink display. Shorter battery life issues, price (the iPad costs almost twice as the Kindle 2 or Nook and you also need to pay wireless fees), lack of annotation ability in the iPad, and the ability to read outside in the sunlight were also debated. Again, I couldn't get a clear answer, but the general idea was simillar to my own opinion.
What customers who bought Apple iPad thought about it:
All of the customer reviews I went over while reviewing the iPad talked about the iPad in general and not as an eBook reader. Other than being absolutely in love with the iPad's design and interface, the main issues that arose from these reviews were these:
In general, customers are happy with their iPad, as long as they keep their reading experience indoors and not for too long at a time. Both your eyes and the iPad's battery will find it hard to keep up reading over long periods of time.
The Apple iPad isn't an eBook reader, which makes it very hard to compare it to other eBook readers. It doesn't use e-ink technology, it's heavy, you can't read out of it in bright places, and the display will strain your eyes eventually. Still, it has some major advantages over other eBook readers in the market – color, touch screen interface, and internet browsing capabilities. Summarizing my experience in one paragraph is not an easy task, but I'll end with this: If you're looking for a great device for multiple tasks and your main reading material is magazines and newspaper, go for the iPad. If you're looking for a device to enrich your reading experience because you're an avid reader, stick with a traditional eBook reader.
For this review we have used information gathered from: