Earlier this week Apple finally launched their tablet, the iPad. The launch was met with the usual crowd of fanboi adulation and ‘disappointed of new york’ put downs. From ‘Jobs has saved the world’ to ‘it doesn’t have this, or that (camera or multi-tasking, for example), it doesn’t run OSX, blah blah blah’.
I personally am somewhat underwhelmed with it. It’s a nice, slick, polished product as you’d expect from Apple, but the whole thing left me feeling kinda ‘meh. I can’t quite see how one would fit into my life: I have a smartphone, a computer and a kindle already. Where would this fit?
There has been lots of talk of the iPad killing the kindle, but the chances of that happening are zero, in my opinion, for three very important reasons:
The iPad is MUCH bigger than the kindle. I can slip my amazon device into the side pocket of my laptop back no problem. Size wise the iPad is basically a small laptop… am I really going to carry both with me?
Even the cheapest version (and who wants the entry level version?) comes in at $499, and the high end ones top $800. That’s a massive step up from the $259 kindle.
Amazon’s ereader uses the non-backlit e-Ink reading surface, meaning that reading it is as close to reading a real book as possible. I have one, and I can read it for hours at a time with no issues. The iPad’s screen is backlit… hello eye-strain. Good for watching movies or a quick scan of a magazine, very bad for staring at to read words off a screen.
I’m sure they’ll get the iPad right from an e-reader perspective at some point, but this version of the iPad won’t have Amazon shaking in its boots. It’s a fancy video/games playing device, but it won’t be taking much market share from the Kindle.
So, if you want a fancy schmancy device to watch movies and play games on (and that will make your friends go ‘oooooh!), get an iPad. If you want an e-reader that will give you as close to a book reading experience as you can get, get a Kindle.