Nowadays, you can walk into just about any public place across America (or even many locations around the world) and you’ll likely see at least a few people using an iPad. They’re used in everything from education to business and have generally become a ubiquitous part of our everyday life.
That said, how well does an iPad serve my needs as an author? Besides reading, what would I use it for? Is it really worth the money? Which model would fit my needs the best? Well, we’re glad you asked. Here at Knockin’ Books we’re huge fans of the iPad and use them for just about everything you can imagine. To help you make a decision that makes the most sense for you, we’ve put together a series of posts to explore how well (or not so well) the iPad handles a range of author-related tasks and provide model-specific recommendations for each.
E-Reading between the lines
As an author, the only thing more important to your craft—besides actually writing—is reading. For most authors, it’s like breathing. It’s just something you do without even thinking about it. Back in the day, that meant spending serious money at the bookstore or making lots of trips to the local library.
Thankfully, those days are long gone. E-Books have been around for more than a decade and consumers now have an extensive selection of e-reading devices to choose from with a wide range of prices and features.
The iPad is one of the most popular multi-purpose devices capable of handling a variety of tasks but for our purposes, we’re going to take a look at how it handles the specific challenge of being the primary e-reading device for a serious reader.
What are my options?
E-reading options on an iPad are almost limitless. In fact, it’s one of the platform’s biggest strengths. Besides the built-in Apple iBooks app, the Apple iOS App Store offers a wide range of e-reader apps (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc.), plenty of ebook apps (Wattpad, eBook Search, Free Books, etc.) as well as book-related apps including: OverDrive (library eBooks and Audiobooks), Goodreads (Book reviews and forums), Audible (Amazon’s audio book division) and BookBub (daily deals on free and discounted ebooks). These are just the tip of the reading iceberg and more are being added all the time. Bottom line: regardless of your e-reading needs, there’s most likely an app for that.
How’s it look?
All of the new iPad models feature a Retina display with at least 264 pixels per inch resolution. For e-reading purposes, this means on-screen text is ridiculously sharp and images are rendered in stunning clarity and detail. Since all iPad displays are backlit LEDs, outdoor reading is difficult at best. Apple has incorporated new screen manufacturing techniques in some newer models that reduce glare but they still won’t be as easy to see in bright sunlight as a dedicated e-reading device with a black and white e-ink display such as the classic Amazon Kindle or Kobo e-reader.
How’s it feel?
When you first hold an iPad, one of the things you notice is how solid and substantial it feels while simultaneously being surprisingly light and easy to grip. The Mini line measures roughly 5.3” x 8” and weighs about 0.65 lbs. The standard iPad models come in at 6.6” x 9.4” and 0.96 lbs. The beast of the family, the iPad Pro measures 8.68” x 12” and weighs a relatively hefty 1.57 lbs. Given it’s size and weight, this model probably wouldn’t be the best choice to use as your primary e-reading device. The standard-size iPads won’t be a problem for most people and the Mini is a great fit for anyone, even during extended reading sessions.
What’s the bottom line?
Any of the iPad models would serve well as your primary e-reading device. It really comes down to what other tasks you may or may not be using the iPad for. If you only plan to use it for surfing the interwebs, checking email and keeping up on social media, the portability of the iPad Mini models is hard to beat. However, if you plan to do some serious work with an iPad such as writing tasks, audio/video editing and creating original graphics, you might want to consider a full-sized iPad Air or even an iPad Pro. The speed of the latest processors and availability of larger storage capacities will serve you well.