I’ve been reading a lot about how the iPad could hurt sales of eReaders and quite frankly I don’t think this is the case. I personally own a Nook and I’m in love with the eInk screen technology. There is something about the non-glare screen that is very reminiscent of printed paper. You can read it in bed without blinding your spouse and the 6″ devices (Kindle and Nook) are easy and natural to hold. The battery life is amazing and you never have to worry about closing or powering up and navigating back to the last page you were on — the eBook reader experience seems pretty natural to me.
The iPad is a very innovative device that I can see serving a purpose in peoples lives but does not offer any compelling reason to use as an eReader. Sure, people are saying that you get more than an eBook reader, true. However, the key element in an ebook is the screen, otherwise, why don’t we all read books on our computers or iPhones/touches? The highly reflective glass screen used on the iPad/MacBook and iPhone is terrible (using a MacBook Pro with one right now) and will cause eye strain if used in areas where it can catch reflections — not good for reading a long book. Not to mention all the distractions fingerprints on the glass will cause while reading. The LED backlight will be too bright when used on planes and in dark rooms, when used outside in bright sun it will be worthless. The novelty of sliding to flip a page also seems like it will wear off rather quickly… there are no buttons to press to advance pages easily. The whole point of reading is to get enveloped in the story, not by visual elements that make what you are reading look like a physical book. I feel that the eReaders featuring eInk capture the analog pluses pretty well.
So where do I see the iPad fitting in? As a multimedia connected home control device of course! The form factor and price is perfect as the “second screen” we have been looking for in our living rooms and as this platform evolves I’m sure we will see more ways we can utilize this in our lives just not as an eBook reader — which is fine, because why is it bad thing to have a single purpose device that works very well?