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.

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