eReader or iPad

Today, I finally got an iPad in my hands. Not only this, but I also played a little with Samsung Galaxy Tab! So in the next two blogs, I’ll describe my personal feelings on the the two gadgets.

First, few words about Apple iPad.

Apple iPad MC497LL/A Tablet (64GB, Wifi + 3G)

$877 (or $525 for 16GB WiFi)


I must admit, I had big expectations about it. We’ve heard a lot about iPad, seen a lot of ads about it and still, it failed to make me fall in love. I really expected something cute, sexy and useful. What I found was something kind of heavy and not very functional. I’m a practical person, above all I appreciated usefulness. If I want to buy an iPad, I need a reason to do so. And playing with the iPad today, I genuinely couldn’t figure what the iPad does better than my netbook (for example). I’m sure there are million of pretty cool applications for iPad. But what should convince me to buy it?

Good sides:

Clean design, simple to use, kind of intuitive. Endless applications. Multi-touch screen (Lovely!). Good battery life I hear.

Bad sides:

It’s heavy. Ok, it’s 680 gr/1.5 pounds. But it’s heavy! I had it in my hands, I checked it how it feels to read on it, well, it’s heavy! It’s not only its weight but also its shape and how it strains your hands. Sure, if I’m 90kg, I probably won’t feel its 680g. But I’m 45kg and I don’t feel comfortable reading on it. Not for long pleasant book-time on a cup of tea or coffee. It’s too heavy for that.

Also, it’s not very intuitive. I’m not very used to iPhones (played with one, but only that), but still, I found navigating trough it for somewhat odd.  On my Sony PRS-600 I needed 30 secs to get all the functionality of the menu. On the iPad, I had to move forward and backward for a while to figure out what what to do and how. True, my eReader is thousand times simpler than the iPad both in its hardware and software, but after all, the iPad is not a computer. So, I think navigation could be improved. Not so much in moving forward and backward – that’s easy, just touch it. I’m thinking more in the direction of grouping applications to be easier to find what you need for each occasion – business, education, play and so on. Maybe that option is already available, but what I saw, was a screen full of random applications. It was hard to find what you want or even to get an idea if there’s anything you might want.

I checked the apps for iPad. I see that some of them look interesting. But how well they deliver, I cannot say from one glimpse.

Which brings me to iPad’s best side, especially in connection with eReaders. What I find iPad best for is for technical literature.  As I already said, the smaller eReaders are not good for reading scientific textbooks, because of the formula and plots. They are just not suitable for pdf-format, even though they can read it and display it. So here comes the iPad. It’s perfect for pdf-s and textbook. It’s perfect for writing formulas on its mathboard app and I’m sure it also has some professional applications in this direction. I think the strongest side of that device is its educational purpose. If we don’t count the entertainment, that is. But it’s simply perfect for reading textbooks. A downside is that its reflective surface and back-lit screen may be unpleasant for the eye (in the least), but since it’s so uncomfortable for reading of normal books, I doubt people will actually feel it. But for textbooks – it’s great.

So this is my first glimpse – first touch impression from iPad. In short, it’s a good gadget, but nothing truly impressive. I disliked its heaviness and reflective display (not good for a general eReader!) and also its somewhat chaotic screen. I liked the ability to show pdf-s and textbooks well. And since I would use it only as an eReader or for games, this is important for me. The only question is is this enough?

Next time, my impressions Samsung Galaxy Tab…

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