CNET First Look
The Apple iPad as e-book readerAt first glance, the new Apple iPad includes most of the features we've been complaining are missing from the current generation of specialized e-book readers, namely the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. Check out our hands-on video.
>> Dan Ackerman: I'm Dan Ackerman and we're here with the Apple iPad, taking a deeper look at some of the iPad features. This time we're gonna take a look at the iPad as an ebook reader. Now at first glance the new iPad includes a lot of the features that we've been complaining are missing from the current generation of specialized eBook readers, namely the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook. Now if you're gonna build from scratch [inaudible] for reading books and periodicals onscreen you know what there's a pretty good chance it would include a touch screen for navigating and flipping pages and a color display for illustrations, photos, and book covers and an infrequently mentioned but still pretty important the ability to download books from a variety of sources. The current Kindle DX has a similar display to the iPad, it's a 9.7 inches, but it's got 4 gigs on internal storage and that's dwarfed by the 16 gigs and even the base iPad model and because the Kindle DX that's really only $10 less than the least expensive iPad, it's not really the most flattering feature to feature comparison. Now that said the Kindle DX does offer that 3G whisper net that provides some sort of you know limited always on connectivity and the Kindle's ePaper display certainly has a lot of fans and non form reading on the brighter color iPad screen may not be as comfortable over long periods. We're gonna have to spend some more time with it to make sure. So we were able to load up the iBook reader on the iPad and you know what we were impressed with a lot of the iBook features including the browsable collection of book covers, the ability to see 2 pages at once in landscape mode, and the easy to use timeline at the bottom which shows you the page counter as you fast forward through the book and there's also a cool page turning animation but that could get old pretty quickly. Still beats the full screen kind of flash that happens every time you the turn a page on a Kindle. Now the iPhone version of the Kindle app works as well even though it's blown up to fit the larger iPad screen, and I'm sure an iPad optimized version is no doubt forthcoming, so with that Kindle iPhone app you also get touch control just like on the iPhone version without the cool animations. There's also Stanza and that's an excellent source for free books and that iPhone app also works but again that's not optimized for the bigger screen. I got one last little eReading feature to show you. Much like Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal are all gonna have iPad versions, we found this really cool Marvel comics app that has iPad optimized versions of Marvel comics that's actually cool enough to kind of getting us reading comic books again. [ Background music ] So I'm Dan Ackerman and that is a deeper look at the eReading capabilities of Apple's iPad.