images.jpgThat’s the title of a Business Week article by Robert Strohmeyer, Executive Editor of PC World. He has problems with the unit’s weight, the fact that it is unusable in sunlight (or with a lot of bright lights around). He says he won’t be buying any books from Apple because he can only read them on the iPad and he’d really like phone and desktop versions of the software.

People who predicted that the iPad would kill the market for dedicated E-Ink readers are dead wrong. If anything, the iPad is the amazing, magical device that proves the value of E-Ink.

Don’t believe me? Take an iPad to the beach someday and try to spend the afternoon reading. You’ll be lucky if you can see around your own reflection long enough to finish a paragraph of text. …

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a device primarily to read e-books on, the iPad is likely a bad move. It’s more expensive than most other e-readers, and it’s less usable in a broad range of lighting conditions. But if you’re a light reader who doesn’t mind a little extra weight in your hands, and you want something that does way more than download and display text, the iPad is a remarkable option.


  1. So a quation that hasn’t been addressed in any of the reviews and blogs: with all the possible distractions available on the iPad, are people who read books reading more or less on the iPad than they did before?

  2. I don’t live near a beach, and haven’t for over a decade but is there any e-reader device that is built to survive more than brief contact with a beach environment? Or even a laptop (other than one of those ones designed to survive combat or an expedition in the Sahara).

    I cringe at the thought of exposing any consumer grade “computer” hardware to the wonders of salt water and abrasive sand.

    Of course, I’m also not the kind of person who sits outside in direct sunlight to read anything. The sun glaring down on a p-book is going to give me just as much of a headache as it would on some e-reader/iThing.

  3. *Imagines someone bodysurfing a huge wave while reading with an e-reader in one hand …*

    No, that’s not gonna work. But reading while sunbathing on the sand? I’ve done it countless times (I’m a SoCal native) and you only have to glance around on a crowded summer day at Newport Beach (e.g.) to see a dozen others doing the same. You wouldn’t read an ebook where you can be hit by salty spray any more than you would with a p-book. Sand isn’t an issue (the things are sealed from dust, how would sand get in?) unless you need to swipe the screen for every page turn. A bit of sand could scratch the delicate screen … but that’s not an issue for the Kindle, only for devices like the iPad …

    I wouldn’t get hung up on the “beach” thing either. Reading in strong daylight is a normal activity in many other places. Poolside, on a camping trip, boating, fishing, at the park, waiting for a bus … it goes on and on.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the iPad. It looks to be a wonderful gadget for those who desire or need what it does, and the added feature of being able to read on it is a nice bonus, albeit with limitations. But the potential buyer should be aware of those limitations and not be seduced by the “magic”.

  4. Such fantasy. 🙂 (Go ahead and enjoy it until you buy an iPad.)

    Has Strohmeyer ever weighed a book? I wonder if it is ‘No.’

    Many many many books weigh at least 1.5 lbs.

    The oft-repeated criticism that ‘the iPad at 1,5 lbs is too heavy’ is preposterous.

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