ipad-air2-overview-bb-201410Whenever the big-screened iPad Pro shows up—perhaps in September or later this year—it will matter to the e-book world. Maybe not instantly. But in time.

A 12-13 inch screen would be a vast expanse of real estate by tablet standards.

My bet is on 12.9 inches. This would be noticeably larger than the iPad Air 2s seen in the photo.

Samsung has offered Kong-sized screens close to the Pro in size. But Apple is special, given the number of users and apps and its prominence in the education market.

While the Pro might debut in the area of $700-$800, a mere guess, its price will decline. And if nothing else, how about the trickle-down effect for e-book users? Apple almost surely will offer more affordable machines with 12-13 inch  screens and the 2,732×2,048-pixel resolution expected of the iPad Pro.

Here are the e-book angles on my mind:

1. Textbooks, especially those relying heavily on illustrations and interactive videos, could use the big screens to help students benefit from more details. A few more frogs might live. Interactive biology textbooks could compete better against the lab.

I just hope that publishers will someday get the pricing right and not think, “Let the gouges continue, now that the technology is friendlier to our content.”

2. If the Pro comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus, this could be good for interactive textbooks and others. It also could mean that lines between books and apps will be thinner than ever.

3. Art books in digital format could show more appeal.

4. If nothing else, perhaps the landscape mode will be more popular than it is now for e-reading. We’ll see more people taking advantage of multi columns.

5. As much as I hate PDF for recreational reading, yes, the big screens could help in that respect.

6. Given the attachment of so many elderly academics to images of paper books, as opposed to ePub books with reflowable text, the larger screens could actually help E win over a few of the remaining Luddites at universities and elsewhere.

7. Some new authoring and creation tools could appear to take advantage of the bigger screen size. With a sufficiently powerful chipset, the Pro could be a real winner in the area of speech recognition. Combine that with the larger screen, and more e-book writers could find themselves both reading and writing books on the same devices. Artists could also benefit, especially with fancier styluses.

So, TeleReaders, what do you think of the Pro? Are you possibility going to get one, and if so, why? If not, why not? Too big? Too expensive? While I’m excited about the Pro, it’ll hardly be the device for everyone, even when prices go down. I hardly doubt that the existing iPad will fade away as an e-reader (same for the iPad mini and phones). As usual, one size will not fit all.


  1. @Mary: Good choice! The Air 2 is one of my main e-readers, and the size and weight are just right for me. Still, I don’t just use the Air for reading books but also for writing e-mail, and the Pro’s larger screen and more powerful processor might in fact be worth it if the price is reasonable. More screen real estate and better speech recognition, as I’ve written, would be definite pluses for me. Fingers crossed! David

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