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Why Not Buy an iPad for eBooks and Everything Else?

April 25, 2010 | Comments Off

eReaders VS iPad and iBooksOK, so I’m really sick of the eReader VS. iPad articles – and yet, here I am writing one myself. Why? Because for the first time yesterday I played with an iPad and an eReader at the same time. I love eReaders (and yes, they are for “reading”), but after playing with the iPad, I felt very underwhelmed by the NOOK and Sony Readers that Best Buy had stocked.

eReaders As Multi-Function Devices

As I’ve stated before, I think eReaders will turn into multi-function devices that allow you to read, surf the Web, view videos, pictures and more. I’m even more sure of this after playing with the iPad at Best Buy – because if eReaders don’t adapt, they’ll die. Some disagree with me, stating that eReaders are for people who read, not those that want to view video or play games. Now I like to read – but I also like to surf the Web, watch videos, etc., and I’d like to do this on one main device.

Why The iPad and iBooks Aren’t There Yet

So why not just buy an iPad for reading eBooks (Apple-speak: iBooks) and doing everything else? Because reading for more than 30 minutes on the iPad’s LED screen will suck. the eInk screens on most popular eReaders are much, much better for reading.  As discussed in the best eReader post, technology is in the works to have color screens with eInk type displays for reading. But the speed, multi-touch navigation and beautiful display of the iPad might be a ways off for eReaders.

Another problem with reading on the iPad is it’s weight – coming in at 1.5 -1.6 lbs (depending on version) versus the similar-sized Kindle DX’s 1.17 lbs or the Kindle 2’s .638 lbs. When I picked it up, I felt like I’d need two hands to hold it while reading. Now I could be wrong (since I don’t own one), but the weight just seemed a little too much for hours of comfortable reading.

The verdict? For the time-being, I’ll stick with eReaders for my eBooks. However, in the next few years I’m hoping to get a tablet/eReader device that will let me do all my reading, surfing and everything else while still fitting comfortably in my bag and in my hands.

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