So as pretty much everyone in the world knows, Apple announced the iPad yesterday. Unlike apparently everyone else, I actually don’t have a problem with the name. Legal pad, note pad, hockey pad, bachelor pad, launch pad…etc. etc. etc. Come on.

Anyhoo…while I’m crazily excited about the iPad (and I will be ordering one the second Apple lets me send them money), I don’t think it will be a Kindle killer for me. It could be for a lot of people, but the way I use my Kindle doesn’t really lend itself to immediate replacement by the iPad. It’s too big, for one, and too heavy. And the Kindle’s buttons are ideal — I often read my Kindle lying on my side (on the sofa or in bed) and the buttons are great. The iPad’s swipe-to-turn-the-page thing is just not going to work for that. As others have said, the LCD screen is a double-edged sword…while I desperately wish e-ink were more contrasty, I’m not sure I could spend more time staring at an LCD screen than I already do. I’m on my laptop or iMac 10-14 hours a day as it is — I use books and my Kindle as a way to rest my eyes, and the iPad won’t work for that either.

I also like that the Kindle is a single-purpose device. Like John, I’m able to read longer and more complex works on my Kindle than on my laptop, with a much better ability to focus. Reading on my laptop, I fall into the trap of responding to IM pings or just flipping over to check a quick email or jot down a note or quickly glance at my Twitterstream, at which point I get lost in the other distractions. The Kindle, on the other hand, is just for reading, a step away from the hurly burly of the internets and all the shenanigans therein. The iPad seems like it will split the difference — other apps will be available, but without background applications there won’t be IM pings and whatnot. I’m not sure what that will turn out to be like in practice.

We will see. I am going to get an iPad, and I am going to try reading some books on it. I’m very much hoping that Apple continues to allow Amazon to have their Kindle app on the iPhone and iPad because at that point they’ll have to compete on the price of content, and less expensive ebooks are something I’m Very Interested In. Once I’ve had a chance to do an actual comparison of both as an eReader device, I’ll post a review.

Honestly, this is all jetpacks and flying cars, anyhow. I like living in the future.


3 thoughts on “iPad

  1. iPad = (mostly) super size ipod Touch

    Yeh, the lying on your side doesn’t work with the iPod Touch. It tries to rotate the screen for you. On some apps turning it upside down (where it gives up rotating) works.

  2. I love living in the future, too. Who would have thought???

    I’ve been tenuously holding out on buying an ebook reader; seems everywhere I turn , there’s some seriously mixed reviews, and I honestly don’t personally know a single person that uses either a Kindle or some other brand. I was pretty excited to hear about Apple’s iPad, so I’ll be looking forward to your review.

  3. I definitely agree with you re: the “non-distractability” of the Kindle. I actually like the fact that the “experimental web browser” is kind of a pain to use, since it makes it that much harder for me to distract myself.

    The only thing I don’t like about the Kindle is that I don’t feel like I actually “own” the books I pay for. This isn’t a big deal I guess, since what matters most is the stuff that gets put in my head while I read a book, but it sucks that in paying for an ebook I’m not granted the right of first sale or, like, the right to be able to let a friend borrow the book, the latter of which I really miss. In fact, if I think I might *want* to let others borrow a book I’m about to buy, I intentionally get the physical version. Good at least to have the freedom to choose.

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