Along with many others I was anxious to hear the details of the much awaited tablet from Apple. I followed the announcement by Steve Jobs on several blogs that were covering the details as quickly as they could. While the new iPad certainly has “cool” it is not the eBook reader I was hoping for. I have been looking to Apple for the innovation and design capabilities to create the eBook reader of my dreams. Unfortunately, I am left to dream longer.
The three reasons the iPad is not my next eBook reader are:
- No ability for mark-up. I want to use e-books just as I use traditional books. This includes the ability to write on the book — underline, highlight, and make notes in the margin or over the text itself. I was hopeful with a touchscreen display that the iPad would make this possible. However, without support for a writing stylus the ability to take notes in an e-book is not practical.
- Backlit LCD screen. Now that we have been introduced to electronic ink displays, such as Kindle, why would I want to take a step backward and read on a traditional computer screen? An IEEE article explains well why the iPad is no Kindle killer because of the display.
- Publishers. The number of publishers will no doubt increase, but the list is currently rather small. Further, with my teaching hat on I want to see textbook publishers support eBook readers. Until my first objection is addressed and we can “write” on our eBooks, electronic textbooks will continue to have low appeal.
Of course there are many things that make the iPad appealing as an eReader:
- Great form factor — just like a piece of paper.
- No keyboard — why waste the space when you have a touchscreen.
- Weight — less than most books I carry.
- Battery life — read all day without recharging.
- Music — enjoy music while reading.
- Price — $499 is very reasonable if this was my dream eReader
What do you want in your dream eReader?
Please let me know your thoughts in the comment area below.