Thursday, April 22, 2010

iPad vs eBook Reader

The Jury is still out....

After a couple of weeks of using the iPad, I am still unable to make a categorical decision whether the iPad will be the eBook reader killer. So I will list the pros and cons of the iPad when you use it to read ebooks.


(a) The iPhone like interface is cool and the iPad offers many other applications as compared to a dedicated eBook reader
(b) All the books you bought for Kindle are available in the iPad for no additional charge
(c) The Book Directory is much better than that of Kindle
(d) Flipping pages is much easier because of the touch screen
(e) Pictures and tables come up much better in the iPad - you can enlarge them in the iPad by dragging two fingers on the screen, like in the iPhone
(f) Battery lasts for more than 10 hrs of usage - so this is not going to be as much of an issue


(a) The screen reflects light - so readability is not as good as the dedicated ebook reader
(b) The additional weight of about 800 gms (compared to an ebook reader) is a hassle
(c) The price is about twice as much

My conclusion:

Even if the iPad does not kill off the eBook reader right away, it will definitely reduce its market share. And when iPad begins to support multiple applications it will really start being a better value proposition than the ebook reader. One of the biggest challenges all of us face is to decide how many devices to carry - you are anyway stuck with a cell phone (maybe two) and a laptop. The eBook reader becomes the third device - well, if the iPad can provide the functionality of the laptop and the eBook reader it can become the eBook reader killer; Let us wait and see!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

iPad - the ebook reader killer?

The iPad is here!! As a geek I did make sure I got mine on the first day by preordering it. My first impression? - I like it a lot!.

There were many reports in the last few months that the iPad would challenge the ebook reader devices like Kindle and Nook, but I did not take that very seriously. But I am having second thoughts now. The iPad sold over 300,000 units in the first day and is expected to sell 5 to 7 million this year, but what caught my attention was that over 250,000 ebooks were downloaded by iPad users the first day!!! That is nearly 1 ebook per user which means most users are keen to try out the iPad for ebook reading too........

Amazon has been quick to release the Kindle software for iPad - well I guess they plan to hedge their bets and focus on their content sales if the Kindle device loses out the iPad. I installed the Kindle software in my iPad and frankly the user experience on the iPad is much better than the Kindle. I could access all the books that I had purchased on Kindle and the book arrangement is much better than how it comes on Kindle. I tried a couple of old ebooks and the reading feel is also better with the backlit screen. So will the iPad now replace the Kindle? - I guess it will depend on two issues:

(a) Battery power - how long will the iPad battery last on a single charge? Kindle battery lasts for over a week supporting more than 7000 page flips
(b) Strain on the eyes - for continuous reading will the iPad screen add more eye strain

We will find out - I will post my conclusions soon.....

iPad is heavier than the Kindle by a few hundred grams but I did not find that to be much of a hassle yet.