Wednesday, August 18, 2010

iPads vs eReaders

A Picture of a eBookImage via WikipediaIn a past blog post, I was critical of iPad, not knowing how they fit in the marketplace. I have borrowed an iPad and have been trying to decide how it could possibly fit in my work or leisure activities. What I am discovering is that the iPad is a great eReader but I'm not going to be shelling out a minimum of $500 for an iPad and use it as an eReader.  That would be like buying an computer and use it as a paperweight.

I enjoy reading and have considered buying an eReader. As I see it, there are three problems with eReaders. Firstly, they are only black and white. That is not a problem for most people as eReaders are replacements for novels which are usually black text on white paper. But here's my next problem with eReaders - they do not provide a way to read Web pages. I would like a way to be able to read e-stuff (digital journals, e-newpapers, news feeds, my email) as well as novels and eReaders do not have this facility. Lastly, each book seller has it's own version of an eReader. Chapters/Indigo in Canada and Borders in the US  has the Kobo, Amazon has Kindle, Barnes and Noble has the nook. And to complicate things further, there are over two dozen other eReaders with many different file formats. I'm sure they will be standardized soon, just as VHS won over BetaMax.

So here's my message to the eReader developers - standardize your formats, upgrade to colour and Web browsing capabilities, keep it moderately priced, and I'll be first on the list to buy one
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