iPad as an e-reader?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Ruffian829, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Ruffian829 macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2008
    I told my husband I wanted a Nook (normal one not color) for my birthday and he's asked if I would rather an iPad. Since an e-reader was my initial want I'm curious as to what peoples experience with it as an e-reader is? Will I end up still wanting a nook as well? Do the size, weight, and screen really effect your e-reading experience?

  2. tmarks11 macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2010
    I like the ipad because all the major players have ereader apps available (including B&N).

    Primarily I buy Kindle, but for science fiction, I get a lot of Baen books using the stanza ebook app.

    Nook would leave you beholden to B&N, and that might leave you in a lurch if B&N goes the way of Borders...

    The only reason I bought my ipad was as an ebook reader. Now I use it for everything, and leave my laptop at home when I travel. Very convenient, since I have a 3G version, and travel 1-2 weeks a month.
  3. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    After playing with my friends' kindles, I have to say you'll want something with an e-ink screen if you plan on doing a lot of reading. Very different experience.
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If you just want an eReader, go with the Kindle. If you want a tablet and all the additional features (and cost) associate with tablets, go with the iPad.
  5. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    kindle. i would wait (if you can) for a few more weeks. i think they will be coming out with an updated one shortly.

    ipad is a great ereader. but, if you are a serious reader (we are talking books for long stretches), it isn't as enjoyable as the kindle. nevermind the size and weight issues (unless you are looking at a dx, which is about the same size as the ipad). i have both :)

    stay away from the nook. it is clearly the best small-sized ereader on the market today in terms of hardware. however, thinking long term, i'd rather have my ebooks stored on amazon's servers (sure to be around a long time) than b+n (on shaky ground).
  6. DeViAnThans3 macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Belgium (Europe)
    I quite frequently use the iPad to read books in epub or pdf format, and find it very comfortable to use.

    The big advantage of iPad is all the extra's it provides, it's not just an e-reader, but an actual computer with lots of different features. It excels at surfing. But for example, I also love to use it as a media center client. It can be used to take notes, chat with friends and family, etc etc. This advantage is also disadvantageous in your case - the iPad isn't built primarily as an e-Reader; it's built for a lot more. So there are some disadvantages you may encounter when going for an iPad.
    For one, an iPad is heavier than an e-Reader. I personally have had no problems with it, an iPad is quite easy to hold (though most of the time I use a cover to support it for easier reading), but I never experienced a e-Reader.

    Also, the glass makes it nearly impossible to read your books in sunlight because of reflection. I personally have had none issues with this because I always read inside, however it may be an important thing to consider. Some e-Readers use eInk technology which is far superior to the LCD technology in the iPad regarding the reflection problem and also "eye strain" if reading for a long time. Again, I have no problem with this, but most people are actually susceptible to eye strain with LCD screens, so be sure the try and read for a long time on a pc screen, and see if your eyes get tired. If they do, you may like the Nook's IPS screen more.

    In the end, you should look at what you need. As solely an e-Reader, I think that the Nook (or other e-Readers) will excel most. The iPad however offers much more of a complete experience (the web, surfing, mailing, chatting, ...), and does indeed, as pointed out by tmarks11, offer access to nearly all book publishers (contrary to the Nook). That's a point iPad excels in again. :)

    Good luck with your choice! :)
  7. fatbarstewar macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2009
    For lengthy sessions of linear reading, you can't beat e-ink imo.
  8. Ruffian829 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2008
    Just to be a tad more specific- if I do get an iPad it will "replace" my MacBook for about 80% of my "on the go" use (I'll bring the iPad to school vs the MacBook, but still have the MacBook available, etc) so I am aware of the extra uses and I totally realize it's like comparing apples and oranges but as my choices are:
    MacBook + kindle/nook (didn't think of b&n being on shaky ground thanks for that insight!) + iPhone (and my husband would get a netbook)
    OR iPad + iPhone (and my husband keeps my MacBook at home when I'm in school)

    So what it really seems to come down to (as I believe I have figured out the logistics of using the iPad to take notes in class and w/ the Bluetooth keyboard) is if the iPad will fill my want for an e-reader.

    Truth be told as I'm in school I don't read a lot for fun but I was thinking, or hoping, that an e-reader if I had it with me all the time would allow me to read more... Plus I have a 6 month old so I read during naps and at night, about an hour at a time max... So I'm definitely not a heavy reader but I would like to read more if that makes sense.
  9. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    I had a kindle and have tried my fathers nook but found that the iPad is best in the end. With the nook, there is a lot of lag so it really gets under your skin. The kindle on the other hand is a really good reading device - but again, it is reading only. The iPad is a great reader and can do so much more. I bet you will begin to use other features than the e-reading portion of it once you get it. I should state that the iPad's screen reflects a lot in bright light. I would suggest an anti-glare screen protector (don't know how well it works as I don't use them) or something that would reduce the glare if you read in bright light (such as on the beach).

    In regards to the weight, I find that my iPad 1 would become somewhat tiring after a while (I have a habit of holding with only one hand and that too at the edge so I don't touch the screen) however the iPad 2 has never caused any stress on my hands (maybe because it has a straight back so its easier on fingers... I don't know).
  10. miamialley macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I imagine if you got an iPad you would end up using it for much more than an ereader. If ALL you will do is read books on it, then get a Nook. Otherwise, get the iPad. I can't imagine you'd regret it.
  11. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    I use mine every day to read The Daily, Wired, and standard ebooks as well. If I only wanted to read "regular" books, I probably would have gone Kindle only. But for reading magazines, kids books, and news, you can't beat the iPad. Plus, you know, it's an iPad. I would say if you have the go ahead to get one, get one.

    BTW, I just finished reading the entire Dark Tower series on my iPad and never once experienced any eye strain or discomfort.
  12. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    For me, the iPad is simply more flexible. It handles PDFs really well. Even if you don't digitize books yourself and put them into PDF form, it is a good bet that your professors will have readings in PDF form. The tiny Nook screen is not made for that, and a Kindle DX lacks some really basic features, like the ability to annotate, zoom quickly, etc.

    Anyhow, to address a couple of issues that have been raised:
    1) weight is no problem if you use a bookstand. i read while i write and i might hold my ipad for all of 20minutes a week total while riding trains. the rest of the time it either sits on my bookgem (i consider this to be one of the best bookstands ever made--compact and inexpensive) or my incase origami workstation (i think this is the best way to use the keyboard with the ipad or ipod). if you have a kid, i think a bookstand is essential.
    2) you will likely read more IF you turn on airplane mode, because it is always with you, and you always have the book you want inside it. if people are honest and really evaluate how they ACTUALLY read, they'll find that they flit about from app to app checking email, surfing the web, etc. i love reading on my kindle dx, not only because it is by far the best reading experience, but it has the added benefit of having no features to distract me. if you make the tiny effort of cutting off your umbilical cord to the mindless blather on the net (including here in this forum!) you'll get some real thinking done.
    3) go to the apple store (or best buy), go to ibooks, and spend 15 minutes reading. play with the contrast (i think you'll find that dimming the screen a bit makes it quite pleasant to read) and see what you think.

    in the end, perhaps you will be like me and get BOTH a kindle and ipad :)
  13. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    I have a MBP, an IPad, an iPhone and a Kindle, they all serve different purposes. The MBP is for any serious development work I do, the iPad for everything else I used to do on the MBP, the iPhone is for the obvious phone usage plus when on the go when the iPad isn't convenient and the kindle is for when I want to do any amount of reading as the reading experience on e-ink can't be beaten except by actual printed books. I actually find the fact that the iPad does so much more than being an ebook reader to be a negative as I don't want those distractions when reading.
  14. vlasciar macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2011
    I think you should get an e-ink reader instead of those with backlight. I bought an iPad 2 three days ago and just returned it today. I plan to buy a Kindle for book reading.

    I own iPhone 4 and MBP... silly me to think an iPad 2 would serve a purpose for me, but it didn't work out at all and that's why I returned it today.
  15. nissan.gtp macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2007
    Kindle >> iPad for reading only, and it's cheap enough to just get both if you want to do stuff other than reading. the e-ink display on the Kindle kills the iPad, which has a terrific screen, but just nowhere near as good for reading "paper"
  16. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    I've had a Kindle for more than two years. I used it CONSTANTLY, read over 300 books on it...until I got an iPad. Now I never touch it, and I read everything on the iPad. Unless you read in direct sunlight, I personally think the iPad is the better device. And if you read at night, there's no contest; the iPad doesn't require a seperate book light to read in the dark.

    The weight's a non issue if you get one of the various iPad stands or pillows. I use a WedgePad, but the Peeramid is also good, and there's any number of alternatives in the Accessories section.

    But I would strongly recommend actually handling both before deciding. There's a very big difference between the iPad's screen and e-ink--I mostly prefer the backlit advantages, as does my husband, but as you see here, others adore e-ink. I would also second the rec to wait a bit longer if you want to go Kindle. The price on the current model is likely to drop if Amazon brings out a tablet/nook color competitor shortly, as expected.

    And I wouldn't consider a nook. They're bigger, heavier, and Barnes & Noble strikes me as a pretty shaky company to bet your library on.
  17. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    Ya, kindle is a pleasure to read on. If only it could offer all that the iPad can offer now...
  18. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Actually, that is incorrect. The Nook is clearly a better piece of hardware right now. Have you seen the new ones? They are fabulous. BUT, it is a trap (as you know). B+N simply put out their new version a few days before Amazon usually releases theirs. It's days are limited (if Amazon sticks to its update cycle). The Kindle will undoubtedly be a better product, and it is backed by Amazon. For only 100, I can't see why anyone wouldn't get both myself :)

    Yeah. But, that is impossible with the current technology. It's either eink or LCD. Fortunately, the Kindle is inexpensive :)
  19. Ruffian829 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2008
    I just don't like the keyboard on the Kindle... I feel like a touch screen is so intuitive at this point and it annoys me that the Kindle doesn't have one...

    all this being said the current plan is to get an ipad, and try to score a good price on an e-reader around the holidays. Not that I need much more of a "good price" but being a student with a baby we don't have a ton of money so at least I'll space the purchases out. Plus, I'm sure I"ll be one of the crazies hitting the stores on "Black Friday" as I now have a little one to shop for ;)

    Thanks for your input everyone! I believe that the iPad will at least be a good temporary e-reader, if not a permanent one :)
  20. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    I have a Kindle and an iPad. For 'pleasure reading', the Kindle wins - hands down, no comparison, wouldn't even think about reading a novel on the iPad. For tech/text books, the exact opposite is true - the Kindle is almost worthless as soon as the book includes a diagram, chart or text-box. I haven't used a Nook, but would expect it to have the same failing, which is basically that the screen is too small and is unable to scale graphics is a usable way. To be fair, this is why Amazon made the larger Kindle DX.

    I'm not sure if B&N does this, but Amazon offers a sample chapter of pretty much every book that is available for the Kindle. You might try stoping by a Best Buy and seeing if you can get a book that you might want to read loaded onto the various devices to compare.
  21. ninerfan macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2011
    We tried the Nook and found it laggy and frustrating! We do all of our reading on the iPad 2 (more than we have done in YEARS), and love it. Overdrive Media app lets us checkout and download library books directly to the iPad without using a computer.

    The iPad is superb for reading and for a trillion other things as well. Stunning how much we love ours!!
  22. bdhu2001 macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2011
    I have a Kindle 3G/ WiFi. What I'd like to point out, is that whisper net is free for as long as you own the device. So if you decide to stop using smartphones (ha, ha), you'll still download your books for free. In addition, you can download books from Audible over WiFi (Amazon bought audible) so you can read books and listen to audio books.

    You can also play music in the background while you read. The Kindle let's you surf the web, it's just not as comfortable as with a touch screen.

    If you want screen real estate, multiple apps, and reading in the dark, get iPad. If you want a book reader that light weight (weight of a paperback) and versitle, get the Kindle
  23. mariocapo macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2009
    Las Vegas
    Not trying to confuse things anymore, but I would like to add another option if I may. I know you said, no to the Nook Color. But I bought one a few weeks ago and am absolutely in love with it. I rooted it and put Android onto it. Now I have a very capable tablet along with a great e-reader. I don't have any issues with eye strain reading books on it. I downloaded this app Aldiko, it is an awesome e-reader app. It has Night mode to put white text on a black background. I prefer that due to less probable eye strain and better battery life. I got it on sale for $180, bought an 8 GB micro sd card for $15 making the storage 16 GB overall. I'm sure you can find it close to that price somewhere. It is incredible. I also love the 7" for factor for book reading. It is more intimate than a big iPad and plenty big for all the text of a page in a book. I had the first iPad and never felt an urge to read much on it. On this I'm reading all the time, it's much nicer to hold. Plus I still have all the apps and customizability of a full blown Android tablet, so it's not as limited as a stock Nook Color. It was a fairly simple process to root it as well. If you have any questions about that option, let me know. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Either way, enjoy your choice. Any of the options listed so far are good choices.
  24. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    Reading is the only thing I don't do on my iPad. For that, Kindle beats iPad every time (not all will agree, but most). I tend to read for hours at a time, and that's just not a comfortable experience on a backlit screen.

    But, seriously, if your husband is offering an iPad, go with it. You can always get a dedicated e-reader later, and you'll be able to do a lot more than read on the iPad.


    By the way, I consider myself somewhat of a Kindle expert - I bought the very first one when it was $499, and Oprah had never heard of it! I'm currently on the Kindle 3, and I have about 1300 books on it. I read almost every day, so I consume about 3-5 books a week, unless I'm really bogged down with other things and can't get much reading done.
  25. Kauai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2010
    I use my iPhone for impromptu reading on the go, for everything else I use my Nook. Couldn't stand reading a whole book on the iPad, the Nook allows me to 'sink' into the book just like with any paperback.

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