All iPads iPad air as PDF and ebook reader

Discussion in 'iPad' started by red321red321, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. red321red321 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2013
    Does anybody use the iPad air as mainly a PDF or ebook reader? How do you like it? In particular how sharp is the text. I am also considering getting a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, and the text on that is unbelievably sharp.
  2. AdonisSMU macrumors 604

    Oct 23, 2010
    Go to the Apple Store and see it for yourself. For me it works great. I prefer a 4x3 ratio for reading books and pdfs. Reading books feels great in either orientation.
  3. Fattytail macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    Text clarity is not an issue on retina displays. I read PDFs all the time on my iPad and love it.
  4. shadow puppet macrumors 6502

    shadow puppet

    Dec 2, 2012
    4th padded cell on the right
    Haven't tried PDF's yet but as an ebook reader, I love it. Nice and sharp and much clearer than reading on my trusty but old 17" MBP. I use the Kindle app and invert the colors to a black background with white text which is what I prefer.
  5. SsSsSsSsSnake macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2012
    yes prefer it to my kindle paperwhite which i have now sold as I hardly used it preferring the iPad kindle app.Pdfs are easy to read too.
  6. iFanboy Guest

    I use my iPad Air for reading pretty heavily. The retina display is super sharp for reading text, with literally no fuzziness whatsoever. You really need to see it.

    You also need to bear in mind that the iPad is 4:3 aspect ratio. This means that the screen is wider in portrait mode than all the other tablets out there that use 16:9 and 16:10 respectively. This is a big big thing when using a tablet for reading. That the iPad gets the text in a proper book format while the others like the galaxy you quoted are designed to primarily be used in horizontal landscape mode. The least optimal book position.

    Also, bear in mind that for reading and even official apps like kindle the text is smaller on android devices compared to iOS. So you'll need to manually amend, and I find that the text ends up being bigger or too small on the android tablets rather than being optimal.

    Hope this helps. After trying many devices for ebook reading over the years the iPad Air is literally the best I've seen.
  7. red321red321 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2013
    You make a great point about the 4:3 display and the superior formatting of iOS compared to Android. On the other hand, Samsung has the spen which is very useful. There don't seem to be comparable styluses for iPad.
  8. kristalsoldier macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    Absolutely! My iPad 4 (skipped the Air) is my preferred e-reading device and it is dedicated for that specific function. I attribute that to the aspect ratio and the excellent screen and to some of the excellent apps (particularly for PDF reading).
  9. ApplePhy macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2013
    While agree with everyone that the retina screen makes reading infinitely more enjoyable than the mini, I still prefer my mini for reading...

    The main reason for me is the ability to hold the mini literally for hours without even realizing I'm holding an's that light...and never feel like you need to adjust your holding position to counterbalance the awkward weight distribution due to the big size as you hold it in your hands...

    Where as in the air, a bit too big and unwieldy for holding hours on end...I find I'm resting it on my lap every once in awhile while reading...not to mention lying in bed and holding becomes a tad bit more difficult...
  10. xofruitcake macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2012
    heh heh, Red, you were asking people experience of using Ipad air as a ebook reader, but then you decide to throw in S-pen.. I would say that if you really need or want a S-pen type of input device, Samsung is your choice. So why bother ask the ebook question in the first place? :cool:
  11. isephmusic macrumors 6502

    Oct 31, 2012
  12. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Yes. I scan my books and read them, read journal articles, read PDFs, read e-books, read newspapers, and read magazines on it. I can annotate things (highlighted sections, margin notes, etc.), export those annotations into Evernote, and have all of my reading notes with me. I can read, clip, and file away web pages. I can use Audible to listen to books while i take notes. I can have thousands of books and articles in the palm of my hand.

    Only $500 for an e-reader?
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd personally opt for a smaller form factor, ***cough*** iPad mini ***cough*** ;) but the iPad air will work very well as a reader given the retina display. I think the form factor (at least for me) is a little too large to be a reader which is why I opted for the mini but I am waiting for the new retina mini as we speak
  14. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    I use my iPad 3gen extensively for reading pdfs as well as epub and other ebook formats. The text is very crisp on the retina screen.
  15. red321red321 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2013
    My primary interest in using the spen or any comparable stylus would be to use it to annotate pddfs and ebooks as I read.


    I actually own a Mini. Apart from the low res display and fuzzy text, another problem I have with it is that the screen is not large enough to support pdf files with small text comfortably. For epub format it is great though, since the text can be resized.
  16. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    The text on the iPad air is incredibly sharp. You should have no problem using one as an ebook or PDF reader.

    Actually, being able to carry around and read a whole bunch of PDFs (scanned from stacks of actual paper) was my first use for an iPad, and really proved how useful it could be to me.
  17. Tzuten macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2011
    Sure the iPad air makes a fine ebook reader however if your primary use case is this you may want to save yourself a few bucks and get a kindle.
  18. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I bought an iPad 3 for reading books since I'm having trouble with the small print they use these days on printed books. I use the Kindle and iBooks apps and it's great.

    Also I take the iPad 3 along when I travel and use it for e-mail and browsing and maps. Its a Verizon model, but I got them to unlock for overseas it so I could get a sim card in U.K. and that was fine.

    I've looked at the iPad Air, but I don't see anything that I'd really like enough to pay for a new one; the iPad 3 is just fine for me at the moment.
  19. phpmaven, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013

    phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    Oh, the humanity! :D

    Seriously though, if all you need is an ebook reader, you might be better off with some kind of a Kindle or Nook, especially if you like to read outside. Way cheaper and lighter. Of course if you want an all purpose device where reading is just part of what you do, the iPad Air is clearly the best choice. I'm loving mine and I do a lot of reading on. But purely as an eBook reader it would be overkill.
  20. caesarp, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013

    caesarp macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2012
    The much less weight of the air makes it an even better reader than the 3. I traded in my 3 for the air and couldn't be happier. I use it with the kindle app extensively. Much more comfortable than the 3, not only in weight but overall feel and comfort. Can also read holding it in portrait mode a lot easier now due to the thinness of the design. I also had slight lag in the 3 when using kindle app. That is now gone with the faster air.

    I got $252.00 for my 3 at gamestop and applied that cash to an air at the apple store. Trust me. Well worth upgrading from the bulky 3 to the svelte and speedy air.

    Also the 3 runs warm at times, making it less comfortable. The air stays cool. Finally the air is less reflective. So easier to read in all types of lighting. Should I go on? It's a world of difference.
  21. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    A 6" e-ink based ereader is pretty awful to use for fixed-size PDF's, particularly letter and A4. Even if you go to, say, the MobileRead forums, general consensus is to stick to LCD-based tablets for PDF.
  22. hajime macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    What applications can be used to read pdf files, white notes, do highlighting, etc? How about the corresponding applications for the PowerPoint files?
  23. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    I use GoodReader for PDF. Alas, it does seem to be a bit buggy on iOS 7.
  24. kap09 macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2009
    +1 on GoodReader AND the iOS7 bugs. Hopefully they get sorted quickly because it's a GREAT app - especially if you need to annotate.

    On the reader/PDF question - I've actually been using an iPad 2 for this for the last two years. I read more books on the iPad than in hard copy anymore, and that's on a non-retina screen. Having used the retina screens I can't WAIT for my Air to arrive to step up to that increased level of clarity. Point is that if it worked for me on the iPad 2 I'm sure you'll have no problems with the Air
  25. jmiddel macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2010
    Land of Enchantment
    I started out using the iPad just to read nooks and PDFs, now I read news and do research on it, using it more than I ever thought. It is really best in class by far, so you pay a bit more. Well worth it!

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