I have to say, the iPad makes a fantastic ebook reader...

Discussion in 'iPad' started by wikoogle, May 2, 2010.

  1. wikoogle macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009

    Why would anyone buy anything else? :)

    PS: Seriously though, why did apple make the screen so reflective. People don't want to use the iPad as a mirror, they want to be able to watch stuff on it.
  2. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    Let's see a comparison of the Kindle vs an iPad in a bedroom at night with all the lights off (so the other person in bed can sleep).
  3. ngenerator macrumors 68000


    May 12, 2009
    USG Ishimura
    +1, that's much more important [to me] than reading outside.

    edit: Sh**, I just realized I've fed the troll
  4. gwynne macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2010
    Sarcastic subject lines are fail. And I don't partricularly like the ipad for ebook reading.
  5. wombat888 macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2008
    I am going to guess you're being sarcastic based on the photo - however, I've been looking for a thread to talk about the iPad as a reader today, so here's my chance.

    As your picture shows, it's obviously not a good outdoors e-reader. which is a significant drawback depending on use patterns. I don't read a lot outdoors in the sun, but I'm sure I'd miss the ability to do so the first time I tried.

    That said - here's my quick opinion of the iPad as a reader, compared with a Kindle.


    Color and better graphics. This is vital for some types of books, unimportant for others.
    Easier to use in a dark room.
    More customizable page appearance.


    Difficult to impossible to use outdoors during the day.
    Too many distractions. This is a matter of discipline, but I am a reader, and I find it hard to concentrate on a book when I know all the other things the iPad can do are one or two motions away.
    I am not convinced an LCD is as easy on the eyes over hours.
    Heavier, bulkier and probably more fragile.
    Shorter battery life.

    I love my Kindle but am thinking about selling it if I find the iPad is almost as good overall as a reader. I do not expect the iPad to be 100% as good overall. If I feel it's, say, 85% as good, I am likely to sell the Kindle.
  6. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    The glare is a huge problem for me too at times. I find that the wide viewing angle of the iPad display makes it somewhat easier for me to find glare-free ways to hold it. I keep the brightness at 25% most of the time and turning it up in bright areas also helps. But I do hope apple offers a matte version one of these days.

    Btw, I do like the iPad as an ebook reader. I don't own any Eink devices so I can't make a fair comparison but it works very well for me.

    @wombat888: you are right on. It's a lot easier to fire up a roller coaster simulation or music app than to sit down and read. I really need to figure out how to focus on reading to get the most out of my iPad for reading.
  7. wikoogle thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    Seriously though, why did apple make the screen so reflective. People don't want to use the iPad as a mirror, they want to be able to watch stuff on it.

    Get a night light. :rolleyes: It puts out the same amount of light as the iPad's screen.
  8. ReviewPC macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2010
    I agree that one is more likely to read in bed or in the house than out in full bright daylight. Then again you would have the same issue with any netbook or laptop as well in bright daylight.
  9. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Mar 29, 2008
    Agreed. I use a flexy Mightybrite (or whatever the heck it's called). The iPad is not the best way to read books in my opinion, either. I have an iPad and a Kindle 2. I love both, but the Kindle 2 DESTROYS the iPad for reading novels. Lighter, easier on the eyes, sharper pixel structure etc. iPad is great, but an ereader it's not, for me. The fact remains that outside, the iPad is pitiful for reading on, and there's pretty much nothing you can do to fix that except an anti-glare screen protector that dulls the entire screen. For night time, a clip-on light is perfect for the Kindle 2. Actually, you'll notice people have been doing that with real books for years! :D
  10. PsyD4Me macrumors 6502a


    Mar 11, 2009
    under your bed
    In bed, a small mighty light attached to the kindle produces as much luminosity as an iPad, not hard to visualize that is it?
  11. gwynne macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2010
    After a month with the iPad, e-ink still wins for me for reading in bed by a landslide. iPad is too heavy and unwieldy for my positioning before sleep. But I suspected that would be the case. And while I have my library loaded on the ipad for the wow factor and long waiting room visits, it wasn't my purpose in buying the iPad anyway.

    By the way, the inevitable comparison made is kindle, but we picked up a Nook for my husband this week and it is shaping up to be a nice product, especially with the recent firmware launch. It's also half the price of a kindle dx, with built in wifi and 3G. And the big jealousy factor of my husband's nook versus my Sony ereader: it feels so nice and ergonomic in the hand. Has a slightly curved back. I think it's the most aesthetically pleasing one out there, but I always thought the kindles were butt-ugly. Nook supports epub, too.

    Short version: if you're in the market for eink, don't forget to check out the nook in addition to Sony and kindle.
  12. readsomething macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2010
    Norfolk VA
    A huge reason why I bought the iPad is because of e-reading capabilities. I never read outside -- instead, I wanted the backlighting for reading in bed. I have been using the Kindle app on my iPhone for a year or so now, but the screen is too small. (One screen is about 2 paragraphs of a novel.) So the iPad is my reward for holding off on buying a Kindle, since the Kindle would not have pleased me.

    I *hate* book lights. I hate extra gadgets added to things. I like all-in-one solutions for how I do things, and the iPad fits. I can read a bunch, surf the Web (if I like the book, I can go to Amazon's site and read reviews of the author's other works). If I'm interested in the film version of the book, I can dial it up on Netflix.

    Within 2 hours after getting my iPad Friday morning, I had read a couple magazines and had started to watch a Netflix movie. All in bed (hey, it's my day off!), and all with the lights off. No extra lighting, etc.

    I totally see why, if you read outside, it's not a great solution for you. But whenever I've tried to read outside, I get a headache. Can't read in sunlight. :)

    I was really worried about the e-reading capabilities, based on what I'd heard about glare and other people not liking it. But for what I need it for, it's awesome.
  13. ClaireL macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2010
    New Jersey
    Amen brother/sister
  14. wombat888 macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2008
    I guess a lot of people focus on the Kindle DX because it's the most expensive and newest Kindle, but the most direct comparison with the Nook is the Kindle 2. And I think it's pretty much six of one, half a dozen of the other, depending whether you want access to Kindle's catalog or B&N's catalog. The Kindle 2 is also very easy to hold/use with one hand for reading, though you'll need two hands for shopping in the wireless store or anything else more complicated.

    The more I think about it, the more I think I'll keep the Kindle ... basically due to the drawbacks I listed above.
  15. random person macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    I've owned the Kindle 1 and he Kindle 2 since they were introduced. The iPad is much much much better as an ereader! Using a separate light is awkward and causes as much eyestrain as a backlit screen, imho. And that tiny Kindle screen -- if you are a fast reader you are hitting the page advance every couple of seconds and then waiting for a refresh. Totally annoying.

    That said, while I knew the iPad would not be good in direct sunlight, I was disappointed to discover that it sucks in the shade as well. It is simply, in every way, thoroughly unusable outside. The eye strain from trying to use it borders on unbearable.

    As for why they went glossy vs matte I'm still trying to figure that one out across their entire computer product line. Glossy screens have great contrast but that's about all they have going for them. I hate them all! :p
  16. ReviewPC macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2010
    I have a Kindle 2 as well. Doubt I will ever use it again. The huge advantage of being able to read all my kindle books on the iPad was a big sell for me.
  17. BacklitFirefly macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2009
    Sandhills Area, North Carolina
    I don't read in direct sunlight, but yesterday I read for nearly 4 hours in a car during a road trip and had zero problems. Whenever I got a glare, I just tilted the iPad slightly and fixed the situation (call me Captain Obvious!). Seriously, iPad is a great e-book reader. Especially at night. :p
  18. ScrewTheDaisies macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2009
    I'm outside right now on my open-to-the-sky front porch The sun's subdued today, but I can still see myself in the glass if I focus on it--I just don't focus on it. I've read out here on the iPad on much brighter days. It's not ideal, but it's doable (for me). The bigger problem is the "too hot" warning popping up after 20, 30 minutes on a bright day. I wonder if a white case that covers the black bevel would help.

    Overall, for reading, I do prefer the iPad over the Kindle 2.
  19. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
  20. jaykk macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2002
    iPad is unsable outside, espcially in AZ summer :) Where as iPhone does a better job.
  21. caubeck macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2007
    I find it an excellent book reader. Its functionality surpasses anything I've used before and its ability to show PDFs is fantastic. The OP shows an eReader next to an iPad outdoors on a sunny day. He should leave them there till nightfall and take another photo in order to redress the balance.

    Both have their virtues and limitations, and I own them both. However, I hope never to try to read a PDF on my eReader again and I know which I would prefer to take with me on a long journey.

    I've just installed InstaPaper, too, and now I feel I've increased the iPad's potential by another 25% at least.
  22. raremage macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2005
    Orlando, Florida
    Indoors I prefer the iPad by a large margin. Outdoors, as you say the eyestrain is very rough. Went to the pool with my wife this morning and, though sitting in the shade, struggled to find a position and angle that let me read, surf, email, anything. Outdoors it's just very very tough to use for any functions - though IMHO serving as an dreaded might be the best thing it can do outdoors due to the contrast between text and background. Surfing the web for example, I find very tough to do outdoors during daylight.

    I guess for outdoor reading the K2 will continue to be my tool of choice, though that makes purchasing decisions in iBooks a little tougher since they won't transfer over. I prefer the iBooks store integration to the kindle app (which takes you to a website for buying books). Was hoping to be able to carry just one device - iPad - but on vacation where we might be on the beach or at a pool, I guess I'll be carrying both along.
  23. TNSF macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2010
    Did you post this from your Kindle?

    Oh wait...
  24. gwynne macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2010
    If you are willing to follow a brief tutorial to remove drm, you can get your kindle books converted and into iBooks. I know not everyone is comfortable with this but I like to mention it occasionally because it was a nice discovery for me. I may prefer e ink but the iBooks app is pretty.
  25. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    I'm in the same position. Owning both the Kindle and Kindle 2, I do prefer reading on the iPad. I don't do any of my reading outdoors, so how they look in sunlight doesn't affect me at all.

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