I have been thinking about getting a something to read on as I am running out of space for Books and Vinyl records (reluctantly being dragged into the digital age), one dislikes the Kindle for its Amazon branding, lack of color and plain ugliness. I have an Android phone so getting a tablet running it just means getting a bigger phone.
A few niners have iPads, are they any good, are you still using it frequently, and would you recommend getting one?
Yes, get one. Rather, get an iPad 2 as it is much thinner and lighter than the original. But at the same time I must advise you to hold out until Apple's media event in September where the iPad 3 (or "iPad 2 HD/Pro") is expected to be announced, along with the iPhone 5 with any luck.
I use my iPad a lot, I'm using it right now (CH9 team, please fix the text box on mobile safari!!) it's great for ebooks, reading MSDN, and real-life too, so make sure you get the 3G version, and then get the £7.50/month contract from Hutchinson 3G too.
@vesuvius: I went for a BeBook Neo, I'm still very happy,. Battery lasts for ages and you can read it in the sun, without constantly looking at yourself in a mirror or putting a towel over your head and the device.
So if you want something to read in the sun, any LCD back-lit display is awful.
If you want a device that you can use for inet, email, movies, etc etc,. then go for the iPad!
I have a classic Nook and love it for reading books. Battery lasts for a few days with WiFi on and weeks with it off.
I chose the Nook over the Kindle because of its Epub support (which my library makes available).
I have a nook too, but that doesn't fall into the iDevices category. The e-paper devices are definitely better on the eyes.
I have an Android phone so getting a tablet running it just means getting a bigger phone.
Here's a quick picture that should tell you a lot about iOS like devices, both Android and Apple
They are all essentially exactly the same. You can get reader software for any one of them and as long as you have a snapdragon processor or better they never lag.
They are all simply "big phones". This is also why W7P didn't have a chance. Aside from marketing and the difference between Objective C and Java which isn't noticeable to the end user, there is very little differentiation. Most people call Android tablets iPads for instance.
Most of the apps are for both platforms as well, which makes the difference even less noticeable.
Apple has blocked the sale of the tablet on the right in the picture in Europe.
Because that's how little of a difference there is between Honeycomb and iOS on a 10 inch screen.
With that little of a perceivable difference between hardware and software, the game is a game of marketing and legal, and Apple, now the biggest company in the United States, has won that competition.
Microsoft, no matter what they announce at build can only collect on patent licensing for now.
I wanted to add, that though most of you may not know this, you can now build cross platform native iOS, Android and many other targets withJQuery Mobile using PhoneGap.
You write once, compile everywhere like with Flex CS5, except it's free, and it's open source.
PhoneGap the Windows 8 of MonoTouch and MonoDroid.
I have a Kindle and absolutely love it. It's far more comfortable to read on than anything else I've ever used. I have an iPhone 4, but even its "retina display" isn't as pleasant to look at for long periods of time. Sure, e-Ink is not in colour, but for a device on which you want to read lengthy pieces of text I wouldn't recommend anything else (and none of the paper novels I own are in colour either).
The battery also lasts very, very long if you turn the wi-fi off (with it on I need to charge about once every week under my normal usage of reading during my commute).
I went with the Kindle because for someone who doesn't have US creditcard buying eBooks is an incredible hassle. There's very few places that actually have any kind of decent agreement with a good number of international publisher, and I was lured into the Kindle store as it was the only place where I could actually buy a book I was looking for.
I have been thinking about getting a something to read on
iDevices are overkill for reading.
Yep, iDevices are overkill for reading, and more importantly, not good for that purpose. Stick with an eInk reader. Don't like the Kindle, look at the NOOK (I have both the classic and the new "Simple Touch" reader which is really nice) or the Kobo (the Simple Touch and the Kobo Touch are nearly the same device). They use the industry standard and don't tie you into a single vendor.
As for the tie-in thing, I dislike it on principle, but in practice it makes very little difference. Thanks to Apple there's no price differentiation on the vast majority of books, availability is nearly the same for all vendors, and as long as we have DRM you always have the danger of not being able to read your book in the future. So the tie-in "problem" is only slightly worse for the Kindle, where the DRM is proprietary and Amazon won't license it out.
For reading, the Kindle is leaps and bounds better than any tablet device, the lack of colour isn't really an issue. The only real downside is the flexibilty you lose over a more fully featured device, but if you aren't intending to use it for anything else it really is the way to go.
If Waterstone's are still trading, they usually have a couple of the Sony eReaders on display (actually I think a big Tesco is likely to have them too). Spend 5 minutes reading on one before you write them all off. The Sony reader's case looks better than the Kindle and they have a touch-screen system (even if it's a bit slow).
If I was going to but a new eReader, it would probably be a Kindle (given that Plastic Logic seem to have sunk without trace).
I would get a real e-paper devices because if you want to burn your eyes, you can always use your PC / Smartphone. If you do a lot of readings, you want to protect your eyes with e-peper displays.
@W3bbo: Speaking with a Friend last night who extolled the virtues of getting one, he received an iPad 1 this evening after work (no HD or dual core), so your advice did not fall on deaf ears, I would have probably been sold the older version.
I will have to sleep over the rest of the advice, it seems to have made things harder, not simpler.
iPad 1 this evening after work (no HD or dual core)
The iPad 1 and 2 differences are negligible unless you use video chat.
I have a multitude of tablet, phone and ebook devices for development purposes, far more than what's in the picture I posted. ( though it was deemed not economically viable to even test on W7P )
They're very ambiguous, so unless you're specifically looking for e-ink, a scroll wheel for games, or another specific hardware attribute, you should probably go for the cheapest thing with a 1Ghz processor.
The best use of an iPad for developers is checking off a box that says "works on iPad" as you pass off to QA.
Otherwise an executive's son somewhere half way around the world will tell his ignorant and rich daddy that you are teh bad developer, and how you should be put into a basement dungeon at the corporation like Milton Waddams from Office Space.
I have both a Kindle and an iPad 2 and if it's novels you want to read then the kindle wins hands down. It's smaller, lighter, less delicate, the battery lasts for a month with wireless off, and the free worldwide 3G is handy if you're stuck in a foreign location and want to check our email. However if you want to be reading programming books and the like then the iPad is a better option. Neither mobi files or ePub files can handle complex layouts so for these kinds of books PDFs are still the best. Consequently getting a 10" tablet is your best bet. I guess alternatively you could get the kindle DX but that's almost as expensive as an iPad.
@andokai: +1 on the technical book issue with eInk readers -- diagrams often don't get scaled well in my experience. If they can crack that issue, then I'll read more than novels on my e-book.
A colleague of mine has a kindle and has complained that when getting textbooks from Amazon, the code samples are often images rather than text, so they don't line-wrap long lines.
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