Saturday, July 03, 2010

Is the pad an ebook-reader replacement?

My pal Glenn Fleishman from TidBITS has some interesting comments on this podcast.
For example he is asked whether the Amazon Kindle and the iPad are really in the same market. At first I disagreed with his statement that the iPad is not really an ebook-reader replacement, because it did replace the Kindle for me. But then he explained, and I agree: the iPad is basically too heavy to be really practical, and for some people, it is needlessly complex and expensive, if they only want a book replacement. If the Kindle had a better and faster screen, I'd probably still use it. (I'd like to see comparison photos of the old Kindle DX and the new one, to see how big that asserted contrast improvement is.)

I don't care too much to read with a book on a table. Or in any position where I have to bend my neck to look down at it. Not comfortable for long periods. I prefer to be very much leaned back, half lying down, and have the "book" above/in front of me. The iPad is too heavy to do this for long. I can use it as much as I do partly due to a solution which is to big and clumsy for most people: a book holder, simple a big floor-stand which holds a book or ebook reader for you.

That being said, though, if they could make an iPad at half the weight I would not have any want at all for another e-reader. (I don't like sitting in the sun, so the screen visibility is no issue.)
And I'll bet the Kindle has not inspired as many nice cases as the iPad already has. (This is just one of several companies' products I've seen this week. There are also this and this.) (Man, get a load of the video on the Targus page! Talk about perky and enthusiastic! Like she just can hardly contain her pleasure at this lovely product! Well done.) (Almost overdone. I think I would mock her if she didn't turn me on so much.)

Glenn also wrote this article about using software to block distractions on the computer, something I touched on once. I think I even found the "Isolator" app that he used while writing this article.


Bruce said...

Is the computer a replacement for a desktop calculator? No, but it's good enough for many people.

Is a PDA or smart phone as good as a handheld calculator? Again, the answer is no, but the advantage of the handheld calculator is not enough to motivate most people to go out and buy one.

People who read a whole lot may end up with dedicated book readers of some kind. I suspect that most people will find general purpose tablets good enough.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, I agree.
I think Amazon is quite concerned about, right now, what the exact percentages are of those groups. And about if and when a tablet will arrive which a Kindle can't beat in any meaningful way.

ganesha games said...

I think specific devices must be much, much cheaper to compete. I'm a heavy reader but the things I can do on an iPad greatly outnumber the things I can do on a Kindle. The recent price drops in th kindle are and indication that Amazon gets this.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I agree. How many people will not want to check the web or email on the device if they can?

Timo Lehtinen said...

When the next gen Kindle with e-ink 2 display is released in the fall the readers who were distracted by the iPad will once again flock to the Kindle.

Apple, of course, will respond to this with a retina display boasting iPad 2, after which the iPad vs. Kindle debate is on once again.

Timo Lehtinen said...

How many people will not want to check the web or email on the device if they can?

Why would you want to do that while reading a book?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

For when you get bored with the book and want to do somehting else. Hard core readers may not need this, but I do.

Have you heard anything solid about an improved e-paper? I hope for it.