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Apple Enters eReader Arena with New iPad

Apple iPad with iBooks AppEarlier this morning, Steve Jobs introduced the world to Apple’s latest technological marvel: the iPad. The slick new interactive tablet, which looks a lot like an iPhone on steroids, allows users to browse the web, get e-mail, view photos and video, play music and games… and read books.

Just .5″ thick and weighing 1.5 pounds, the iPad’s 9.7″ glossy multi-touch IPS display offers considerably more screen real estate than its competitors in the eReader space. Both the Nook by Barnes & Noble and the Amazon Kindle 2 have 6″ screens, though the Nook does also have a 3.5″ color nav screen. Like the Nook, the iPad will use the ePub format.

Apple’s new iBooks app (which works similar to iTunes) and its partnership with 5 big publishing houses: Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster, allow users to  access a wide selection of titles that are easily purchased and downloaded. In addition to books, The New York Times has already announced its new app for the iPad, and a number of other publications are rumored to be in talks with Apple to provide content for the device.

The 1GHz Apple A4 processor chip and smooth page turning animations should work to create a pleasant reading experience. Though unlike the Kindle 2 and Nook, the iPad screen is LED-backlit, so time will tell if reading for long hours will be harder on the eyes. As for pricing, the cost of eBooks will vary, but overall prices are expected to be competitive with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For the iPad itself, Apple is offering several options, the cheapest being a 16 GB WiFi capable base model priced at $499, with the top of the line 64 GB WiFi and 3G capable model coming in at $829. AT&T is offering two tiers of no-contract data plans for the 3G units: $14.99 per month for up to 250 MB of data and $29.99 per month for unlimited data. With all its internet and media capabilities, the iPad is much more than just an eReader, but it has the potential to revolutionize how the general public accesses and consumes the written word.

Read Engadget coverage and see iPad photos

  1. Jason Clarke
    January 28th, 2010 at 00:47 | #1

    I think the Apple iPad has potential. The slick touch screen and relatively fast processor should make it more intuitive to use than the Kindle or the Nook. Also, as you said, the device may not be as comfortable as an e-Ink display for long periods of reading. I’m also curious to see what it will be like to play games and watch movies on the tablet. Either way, I can’t wait to get my hands on it in person in a couple months to see if it is worthwhile.

  2. February 3rd, 2010 at 10:47 | #2

    I am a bit disappointed in the netbook replacement capabilities of the iPad, but as a reader and a content viewer for video…this thing will be awesome. I am pretty stoked about owning an ipad.

    Btw, if anyone is interested, I put up a news site about the new Apple Ipad at http://www.ipadfools.com


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