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.

Pros:

(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

Cons:

(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!!!