During the last week I have been using the iPad and its popular iBook’s application. What I like about this is that due to the backlit screen, it is perfect for late night reading sessions. I am the type of reader that I read mainly at night before I go to bed. Having the backlit screen in low light environments is amazing. With the iBook’s application you have many screen options to adjust the screen brightness settings, so the screen does not burn your eyes.
I also, used the Barnes and Noble Nook under low-light conditions and e-Ink is impossible to read with no light at all. Because E-Readers for the most part use E-INK and not back lighted LCD screens you need light in order to read. I did need to have a lamp on, in order for the text to be read.
On the counter point, I do find E-Readers perfect for being outside, and in the direct light. I have used the Nook on the beach and even with direct light; I found the E-Readers with E-INK outperform LCDS which do get screen glare, which makes them hard to read.
Having both used a Nook and an Apple iPad, I found the iPad having added benefits, as it is more computer then E-Reader. It is very fine indeed, to be able to read colored comics, graphic novels and Novels that are done via Blog format. Mainly due to the fact that you get full color, and it adds benefit to see full colored pictures.
Take the most recent addition to one of the free items that are given to you at the iBook store, the classic Winnie the Poo. On an e-reader, it is mainly black and white pictures, but on the iPad it is full color, which tremendously adds to the whole child book reading.
Despite the fact, that the iPad out performs an e-reader for me personally, I do find some issues with it, as a pure reading device.
For one, it is too easy to turn pages without meaning to do so, with the touch screen interface, and holding the iPad with one hand, it is too easy to accidently turn the page forward, or backward. With an e-reader, to turn the pages, is often accomplished with pressing buttons, which normally the accidental clicks are tremendously reduced.
As another, it is too distracting. When I am getting into a book, I keep getting distracted by emails coming in, or software updates, or the lure of games, surfing the internet or any number of applications on my unit.
For me, when I get into a book, I like to read for a few hours and immerse myself into the characters, story arc and zone out, almost Zen. I find a traditional e-reader more indicative of being someone with a passion to read. It is closer to a true book experience.
In the end, I used the iPad for a week, and decided to sell it, while the value is still high. I find myself going back to a more traditional e-reader, and I normally get into a book to get away from a computer to begin with. In my flat, I have 2 laptops and a main desktop PC, having an extra computer device does not really fit in well with my lifestyle.
One last deciding factor that influenced me to Skip the iPad and go with an e-reader is the weight and size. A 6 inch e-reader is very portable, fits in my pocket and is easy to roam around in public with, without weighing me down. The iPad is rather encumbersome and due to the 9 inch screen and weight, is not the easiest thing to carry around with you to the coffee shop or beach. It certainly does not fit into the pocket at all, and must be carried in a messenger bag.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.