While the iPad has taken the technology world by storm, it still competes with an number of different devices. While other tablets attempt to provide a different vision of portable computing, dedicated e-reading devices such as the Amazon Kindle, Sony e-reader and Barnes & Noble Nook remain extremely popular. The iPad provides a similar experience through its iBooks app and apps from other third-party e-readers.
Advantages of Using the iPad as an E-Reader
The iPad has two key advantages over traditional e-readers. It has an extremely large, bright, full-color screen that is readable in low light, making it perfect for reading in bed or on a darkened airplane, and it is much more than an e-reader. Businesspeople can take not only their books on their iPads, but also their email and their presentations. With remote control applications, they can use the device to access their work computers and corporate networks.
Disadvantages of Using the iPad as an E-Reader
With its advantages come two disadvantages. The iPad's liquid crystal display screen is prone to glare and washes out in direct sunlight. E-ink readers, on the other hand, look almost exactly like a printed page and have little or no glare. The iPad's larger size is also a drawback. It can be awkward to hold with one hand for an extended period of time and is impossible to put in a pocket or in most purses. If you are already traveling with a laptop computer, a thin and light e-reader is a more convenient way to read.
Apple's iBooks Bookstore
Should you choose to use an iPad as your e-reader, you will likely take advantage of Apple's iBooks app. It reads books in Apple's format as well as displays PDF files in black and white or color. IBooks also taps into the iTunes bookstore, which offers a broad range of books at competitive prices. You can share your iTunes book purchases with other devices that use the same iTunes account.
Other E-Reading Apps and Stores
In addition to iBooks, a number of other e-reading apps and bookstores are also available in Apple's App Store. If you already have books in the Amazon Kindle bookstore, the Barnes & Noble Nook store or even in Kobo Reader, you can access them from your iPad. The apps integrate with their respective stores' websites so that you can purchase books online and have them delivered to your iPad.