Monday, July 12, 2010

Which eReader Is For Me?

I won't lie - I'm not an iPad fan. Before you throw things at me, let me explain.

I've held the device in my hand and although I do believe that it is very suited as a device in which you consume content, I do not believe that it is a device which can be easily used to create content.

The iPad will never replace my laptop.  It does not have the capability to run the software I use to create in any medium.

Let's start with what I think it would do spectacularly.
  • Used as the information gateway for a high end hotel
  • Used to deliver your photography portfolio to a high end prospective client
  • Used as a way to collect survey information from high end clientelle
  • Used to read newspapers / e-books
And - for the last reason, I'll include it as I look to purchase an e-book reader.

There are many other uses, but to be honest, I'll listen to my music on my i-Pod, I already have a contact / calendar application on my Blackberry and it syncs with my desktop computer at work.  I'm not going to "browse the web" for anything that would actually require interaction on the i-Pad, because interacting with the device itself is not all that great.  I'm not going to type emails and if I want to run an application that was made to run on my i-Phone, I'll likely do that there.  With that said - the display is great, which makes me think that it would do very well in any type of presentation format or perhaps when using it as a book reader.

Just before the iPad came out, I almost bought a Kindle from Amazon for this exact purpose.  I had been reading quite a lot of books lately and found that it might be nice to have them all stored electronically, rather than stacked up on my nightstand.  Of course, the thing that stopped me from buying was the buzz about the "Kindle Killer" and the fact that the Kindle did only one thing, but let's not knock it - it does it very well!

The idea of being connected all the time and being able to grab a new title in an instant made it very interesting to me.

As I started to learn more about the two products, other requirements started to come to my list.  I wanted to be able to support not only Apple or Amazon purchases, but other formats of e-books as well, such as the ePub format.

My list of possible readers narrowed to the following

Apple's iPad - $629 (w/ 3G Wireless at $60 per month)
Amazon Kindle 2 -$189 (w/ 3G for connecting / downloading books)
Barnes and Noble Nook - $199 (w/ 3G Wireless, no contracts)

Let's talk about the iPad - it's pros are pretty simple.  If you buy it with the 3G plan, you're all set to consume media of multiple types, you can surf the web, watch a movie, read a book, it really can do a lot. It also has a nice color display. My question came when I asked myself if I'm looking for a replacement for the other tools that I have to surf the web, answer email, watch a movie, etc.  My answer was it might be nice, but it's not worth the price tag.

The Kindle came next and the benefit to this was the amazing screen and of course, the access to the entire Amazon catalog of Kindle titles.  It also came with wireless connectivity which you didn't need to sign up for an additional contract through a service provider, unlike the iPad. The 3G connectivity would be used to download the books, and little more than that. The Kindle does have contracts in place to deliver some of the periodicals and newspapers through the interface and network supplied, but had no web browser. The Kindle comes in two formats and to be fair the 9 inch version clocks in around $379.

On to The Nook from Barnes and Noble.  This was a recent find and the thing that attracted me to it was that it had a partial color touchscreen display, 3G included, web browser and the Barnes and Noble catalog of books for the reader.  The price really makes this one attractive, but the downfall is that it's only available in the 6" display. One of the things that I liked about this is that it's tied to a major "book store" so they can do additional marketing to get people who end up purchasing one back into the book store for special offers.  For example, walk into a Barnes and Noble and special offers will be available on your Nook for view.  Barnes and Noble also has contracts in place for periodicals and newspapers, similar to the Kindle.

So - as I type this, I'm leaning toward heading into Barnes and Noble and checking out The Nook.  If I pick one up, I'll post a review as well as pictures up on here.

Are there any others that you'd suggest I check out or that you are looking into?

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