How well does an iPad work as an e-Reader?

Generally speaking this is right on, but he did mention reading as a primary purpose of the tablet, and I still say a 7" tablet is better for that. It will also fit in his wife’s purse, while the ipad probably won’t. I say probably because I know some women who could easily fit several bowling balls in their purses.

I’ll give you that much. My wife has an ipad with 3g that she likes to carry with her but she is about fed up with the size. I really do hope that apple comes out with a 7incher with LTE so I can move her over and fix the problem.

With the Agency Model being killed in court, ebook prices should be dropping again, there are sales all the time, and a lot of smaller publishers and selfpublished titles consistently price below $5. Also, library books are an option.

FWIW, I would not recommend any tablet as a primary reading device (battery life, weight, screen visibility outdoors, etc are all significant issues), but an iPad could function in that capacity adequately under some circumstances. I think it would be better to save a bit on the iPad (perhaps get a used iPad 2 or a smaller capacity) and add a basic model Kindle, perhaps refurbished if you can snag one, as they’re well under $100. I have both a Kindle and an iPad and get a good deal of use out of each, just with different purposes.

My Kindle broke down and as a stopgap measure I downloaded the Kindle app on my iPad until I could get the Kindle fixed. It has turned out that the iPad works so well as an e-reader that I haven’t bothered fixing my Kindle. For eyestrain issues, I turned it to white text on a black screen at which point the eyestrain went away completely. For wrist/weight issues, 3rd party protective cases allow you to prop it up at whatever angle you like so I find it mostly unnecessary to hold it for prolonged periods (the official Apple iPad cover is terribad and should not be purchased, by the way). For direct sunlight issues, I change the rotation of the earth such that the sun does not shine directly over my shoulder and onto the screen. Or I sit in the shade, whichever suits my fancy. I find the bigger screen and video capability is pretty nice for use on a treadmill/elliptical/etc. Using the Kindle on the elliptical meant blowing up the text super huge and having to flip pages every 30 seconds or so, which got annoying.

I’m not an Apple fan by any stretch of the imagine so it actually kills me a little bit to say this.

edit: Above testimonial is for the iPad2. I think. And I’m comparing it to a two+ year old Kindle (e-ink only).

Don’t forget about library e-book lending and the Kindle Lending Library if you are a Prime subscriber. There’s a lot of stuff available now, and that can keep your e-book costs down. And of course there’s all the free Project Gutenberg stuff too…

I love my iPad 3 but I would never recommend it to an avid reader. Compared to a Kindle it’s super heavy, the battery lasts a fraction of the time, you can’t read it outdoors, it’s hard on the eyes and you will constantly be interrupted by emails.

If I am heading out the door I don’t hesitate to take the Kindle and I don’t even have a case/cover for it. I just don’t have to worry about it getting damaged or the weight and size. On the other hand I really think two, three times before I bring the iPad.

On the other hand, if you could only have one, and you frequently read PDFs and/or comics then the iPad is the only real option.

I read all 5 George Martin’s A Game of Thrones books and a few door stop-thick Stephen King books using the iPad 2, and at night, simply because the Kindle doesn’t work well in low light condition. It works fine for me. My only complain is the weight. I can’t wait for the Kindle paperweight though because it now has its own light.

That said, the Kindle is so cheap these days that it seems unlikely that someone who can pull off the $500 for an iPad would have their bank broken by the <$100 a Kindle represents on top of that.

Yeah, that may well be the right option. Frankly, the issue is, I’m not sure we have enough need for an e-Reader to justify buying just an e-Reader, and I’m not sure we have enough need for a tablet computer that doesn’t work really well as an e-Reader to justify getting a tablet computer. So I was looking for something that works well for both roles.

I’m going to try to find a Nexus 7 to take a look at, though I really wish you could play Le Havre on it. :)

Huge +1 for the ipad3 as an ereader, although I also agree with all of the drawbacks (sunlight, hard to read with Ascension game notifications popping up, etc). I hear there are bears “outside” so why would you want to read out there, anyway?

We went through a few ereader generations (Sony, kindle, kindle) before iPad existed. Switched with iPad 1 and IMO there’s really no reason for ereaders anymore unless cost, sunlight reading are your prime concerns. Just too much other great stuff you can do with a tablet. As others have said you don’t know you need one until you have one. Then you’d never choose to be without.

Weight too.

The nexus7 weighs 0.75lbs, versus 0.47lbs for the kindle paperwhite and 1.44lbs for the ipad3.

The kindle is easily one-handable for extended periods-- it weighs less than a paperback book. But I’d argue that the 7" tablets are one-handable too. A bit more fatigue, maybe, but not bad. The 10" tablets are not.

Tablets are great, but they’re great at other things. I wouldn’t use an iPad as an ereader any more than I would use one as a camera, even though it’s technically capable of both.

There really isn’t anything that works well for both roles because the hardware functionality that makes an e-reader good for reading makes it bad for tablet functions and vice versa.

IPad mini?

I have an ipad 2 and a kindle and the kindle is so much better for reading, i’m an an avid reader reading on avergae 3+ books a week depending on size and while the ipad is ok it’s more of a it’s ok while a dedicated reader is so much better.

One thing I got which was costly was the case with in built light and it’s great, I can read late at night without disturbing the wife and it’s also useful in other low light situations eg when travelling etc.

An ipad cost £370 for the latest 16 gig version and the new kindle is £70 really isn’t a comparison. My wife and mother inlaw all have kindles as well as access to an ipad and none of them would pick the ipad over the kindle, size, weight, screen and the amazing battery life are all worth it for an avid reader.

If you read the odd book a month and also want what an ipad offers then i would say get one but if you are a heavy reader get a kindle and an ipad, mine still makes for a great back up reader as well.

My wife and I each have our own iPad 1/64GB. I use mine for .PDF reading and we each use them as well as e-books. I particularly enjoy Kindle on the iPad as my preferred e-book reading software for everything except .PDFs. For .pdf I use Goodreader.

We no longer use our Sony e-reader at all.

Do I like using it for reading? Damn right. You can have my iPad when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. While I may well eventually end up with a MS Surface Pro, I do love my iPad.

This topic just goes to show how subjective some things are.

Those of you who love reading on your iPads and never had an e-book reader, I can understand. But if you’ve used e-ink and you’re still fine with iPad reading, I don’t understand you at all unless you never read longer than 15-30 minutes at a time.

My stepmother got a Kindle Fire and shifted her reading from her Kindle Keyboard to that. I totally do not get how the original Fire’s screen, which is really crappy for eBooks, doesn’t bother her. But it doesn’t.

So, really, there’s not a good answer to the OP, because it seems to be a very subjective thing based on reading habits, your vision, what you notice about devices you’re using, etc. The iPad is a super-flexible eBook reader. You can read Apple, Kindle, Nook, library, and public domain books on it. It does a great job with magazines, which the e-ink Kindles and 7" tablets definitely do not. But that’s balanced by staring directly into a backlight for long periods of time, and increased size/weight. (The latter bugs me when I’m reading magazines on the iPad in bed, instead of eBooks on my Kindle.)

The Retina screen on the New iPad, though, is a must for book use. MUCH better than the 1,024x768 screen on the original iPad.

But the answer to the original question is, sure, get the iPad! Just don’t get an iPad 2 (you want the better screen). It’s a great device, and whether or not you find it a great e-book reader, it’s better than one you don’t have now. :)

I haven’t seen the Retina screen (quite deliberately), but I haven’t noticed anything noticeably lacking with book reading on my iPad 2. My e-ink Kindle is just much better because of the advantages of e-ink.