Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm Back.

So what could possibly bring me back to this neglected blog? A few things, but mostly a certain exciting announcement by Apple today.

I have been enjoying my tumblr, but it works more as an online scrapbook than actual blog. It feels off to post personal things there instead of photos or quotes, so "Marvelous Things" wins that battle.


Today, Apple announced its latest product, the iPad. All inappropriate jokes about the name aside, it looks relatively intriguing.

1. Very low price point. Even if the cheapest option at $499 has no 3G, it's still pretty impressive.
2. It can run pre-existing iPhone apps AND they don't need to be re-purchased.
3. Accessories available include a full keyboard and stand, which would be essential.

1. Too small and too square. It doesn't even run widescreen video!
2. Unless you're using a stand/dock, it seems really awkward to hold, especially for typing. The angle would be wonky if it was place on a flat surface and typing on your lap, especially while in a car or a train, would be clumsy as well.

Now, the kicker: will this replace the Kindle? It does read books, and very elegantly. The page-turning action is quite nice. Still, it loses in the eBook reader world in one major respect: it's an LCD, not an eink screen. Therefore, it won't work well in the sunlight and it will tire out your eyes after a while. In addition, it looks like the price point for new books will be $12.99-$14.99, versus Amazon's general under-$9.99 price point.

Giles isn't going anywhere. Besides my enjoyment of the device's UI, I've already invested in books from Amazon (though I do get the majority of my books for free, since a lot of them are classics or just public domain). It would take a lot more from Apple to make me switch eReaders. The iPad seems fine for a more casual reader, but it is not a great device for those who intend to do a LOT of electronic reading.

I can't get over how great it is to use the Kindle for both pleasure/free-time reading and assignments for class. Here is its current state, by the way -- I acquired a skin to improve the pasty white border:


and this is the lovely Oberon cover I got for Christmas:


I will be curious to follow the iPad's progress and see how many Apple actually sells. For now, I won't be investing.