Apple only let a small, influential crew of tech writers actually review the iPad before the April 3rd launch day. GalleyCat Reviews has collected a few early reviews of the iPad reading experience. You can use this critical cheat sheet when some literary person in your life asks, “will the iPad save publishing?”
Here’s NY Times journalist David Pogue on the iPad bookstore: “The new iBooks e-reader app is filled with endearing grace notes. For example, when you turn a page, the animated page edge actually follows your finger’s position and speed as it curls, just like a paper page. Font, size and brightness controls appear when you tap. Tap a word to get a dictionary definition, bookmark your spot or look it up on Google or Wikipedia.”
Author Cory Doctorow bashed an iPad comic book application: “I can’t even count how many times I’ve gone spelunking in the used comic-bins at a great and musty store to find back issues that I’d missed, or sample new titles on the cheap … So what does Marvel do to ‘enhance’ its comics? They take away the right to give, sell or loan your comics. What an improvement. Way to take the joyous, marvellous sharing and bonding experience of comic reading and turn it into a passive, lonely undertaking that isolates, rather than unites.”
USA Today‘s Edward C. Baig looked at the iBooks store: “The covers you buy in Apple’s new iBookstore land on a handsome depiction of a wooden bookshelf, again more elegant and easier to navigate than Kindle’s clunky menus. But Amazon retains some bragging points for avid readers, starting with a cheaper $259 price that I suspect will need to drop a lot further. At 10 hours or so, the iPad battery life, while impressive, falls far short of the two weeks you might get off a Kindle charge. It remains to be seen whether reading on a backlit screen for hours will be as easy on the eyes as the Kindle is.”
Finally, Wall Street Journal columnist Walter S. Mossberg had these thoughts: “I consider the larger color screen superior to the Kindle’s, and encountered no eye strain. But the iPad is much heavier than the Kindle and most people will need two hands to use it. The iBooks app also lacks any way to enter notes, and Apple’s catalog at launch will only be about 60,000 books versus more than 400,000 for Kindle.”
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