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Old 04-17-2010, 06:45 PM   #1
Sonist
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How I ended up NOT buying the iPad

I've been away for a bit, so I played with the iPad for the first time today.

I should say that despite my philosophical objections to the iPad, I walked into the Apple Store thinking I will buy it today, then sell it if/when a better Android tablet cames out.

I opened a book and read for about 40 minutes, since the reading part is by far the most important reason for me to get such a device.

I liked the look and feel of the pages. It felt very "book-like." Turning the pages by touch is more natural, to me, than using a button.

The dictionary feature is well thought out, easy to use. So is the changing of font size and brightness. Everything is at your fingertips. Turning pages was very responsive, although at times the page would appear blank and fill out a second or so later.

There were significant issues, though, which stopped me from betraying my principles and trading my soul for the instant gratification I desired:

1. Reading on the iPad did tire my eyes after about half an hour. I little bit, but it was there.

When I read on the iPhone for a bit, maybe 20 minutes or so, then look in the distance, any signs further than 10-15 yards appear blurry. After a few minutes the blurriness dissipates, but it tells me that my eyes get tired.

Reading on the Kindle, I may get a very slight blurriness after a couple of hours of reading, but it's slight. I also stare at an IPS monitor all day, and don't have a problem with it at all.

With the iPad, there was definitely slight blurriness after about about 30 minutes. Not nearly as bad as with the iPhone, but still, it was there.

I don't know the cause for the difference between the two IPS screens, but here is a wild guess: The backlighting of the iPad appears somewhat different, to my eyes, than the backlighting of the 24" Apple monitors. I may be seeing things, but IPS is pretty power-hungry technology (this is why some were surprised about it appearing on the iPad), and Apple may have tweaked something to prolong the battery life.

Whatever it is, the IPS iPad appears to cause more stress to my eyes than the 24" Apple IPS monitor (or, it may be something else, like the viewing distance). I wonder if others have had a similar experience.

2. Screen size is too small. Reading a book, it felt even smaller somehow than my Kindle DX, even though they are the same size. It may have been because the higher resolution of the Kindle allows me to read a smaller font size more comfortably, or it may have been just the layout of the page.

Also, the screen would definitely be too small for reading full size PDFs, be it books, or magazines. My Scientific American PDFs, for instance, would be unreadable in portrait mode, and I really don't like scrolling in landscape mode, no matter how responsive the screen is.

Finally, the screen was a little too small even for comfortable web browsing, for my taste at lest.

So, I didn't buy one. Of course, there are all the other reasons for which I didn't want to buy the iPad, like the lack of Flash, the walled off eco-system, etc.. But in reality, I would have swallowed my principles, because I am a sucker for a new toy. But this toy just didn't do it.

So, my hopes are on the Google tablet, or the Adam, or whatever.... But at least now I don't feel like I am missing something.

Last edited by Sonist; 04-17-2010 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:07 PM   #2
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Good luck with your possible future device!
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the review. It seems we are a lot of people in the same situation...

I may still buy one though (and sell it for something better after).
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonist View Post

I opened a book and read for about 40 minutes, since the reading part is by far the most important reason for me to get such a device.

With the iPad, there was definitely slight blurriness after about about 30 minutes. Not nearly as bad as with the iPhone, but still, it was there.

2. Screen size is too small. Reading a book, it felt even smaller somehow than my Kindle DX, even though they are the same size. It may have been because the higher resolution of the Kindle allows me to read a smaller font size more comfortably, or it may have been just the layout of the page.

So, my hopes are on the Google tablet, or the Adam, or whatever.... But at least now I don't feel like I am missing something.
Interesting - I've been **really** looking forward to one - mostly to sketch on. I've dreamed of an electronic sketchbook for years. But I'm curious about reading on it, too, so I'm interested in your experience with the screen. I do find that my laptop leads to eyestrain if I do too much reading at home, even though I'm fine at work - I think i must use the work screen less intensely or something.

Did you mind the weight? My sony reader is great - but it is much lighter - and I've been wondering if the ipad will be too heavy to hold in bed or when in relaxed reading postures. I have some arthritis in my neck, so have been wondering if will be a poor choice for reading.

Last edited by Victoria; 04-17-2010 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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I regard the iPad as a chic little toy now, and don't use it for reading, except for art books, and occasional internet surfing. Yesterday, I attempted to watch a video about artist Marina Abramovic's nude exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA):


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35873720/

Alas, the video could not play on the iPad. I guess I'll have to fly to NYC to brush against the nude models. Lol.

The raison d'etre for the iPad will vary by user, but the incomplete pdf support and the subtle differences between font rendering/presentation of the iPad vs. some of the better e-ink readers, has put me solidly in the e-ink camp. What should we have expected of the iPad toy? A very prescient blog was released a month ago:

http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/techt...bref=obnetwork

It's ironic that the same magazine, Newsweek, had the iPad on the cover of a recent issue, declaring the device to be a revolutionary creation. I don't see it that way. It is an evolutionary device. Yes, it is highly novel and easy to use. It functions as a tablet computer without a flip-out keyboard, and the display configures itself automatically to portrait or landscape mode. These are two handy features. But does that make it revolutionary?

Before we get excited about HD racing and stupid trick apps that let you play dog and cat sounds via the virtual keyboard, think about long lasting appeal. It's not there yet. Not for heavy readers like me.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Victoria View Post
Interesting - I've been **really** looking forward to one - mostly to sketch on....

Did you mind the weight? My sony reader is great - but it is much lighter - and I've been wondering if the ipad will be too heavy to hold in bed or when in relaxed reading postures. I have some arthritis in my neck, so have been wondering if will be a poor choice for reading.
The weight seemed about the same as the Kindle DX. I didn't particularly notice it, or mind it. The Kindle 2 is lighter of course, as expected given the size.

Come to think of it, one advantage of the Kindle shape is, that when I am in my usual reading position, lying down, I rest it on my lower chest - then the wider space allotted to the keyboard places the screen perfectly in my field of view The Sony 505 I used to have was similar in that way.

My advice would be to definitely try it before you buy.

Last edited by Sonist; 04-17-2010 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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I hadn't thought about the 505's line of sight, but that's a good point. Thanks for the info
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:09 PM   #8
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Hmm, my experience is about the opposite. I spend hours on normal screens without a problem, & the ipad was no different. It seemed larger than the kindle dx because it's so much faster. Anyway sorry it didn't work out for you.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:44 AM   #9
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Glad you made the right choice for your needs.

I'm pretty happy with my iPad and just gifted away my Kindle with accessories. I prefer reading on it over the Kindle but if I only wanted a reader, I may have been not as anxious switch. However, the many other iPad functions made it a good decision for me. Slingplayer and Sirius/XM work very nicely. I'm still evaluating the different reading options -- I can't say any one app is best at this point.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:11 AM   #10
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If your primary reason for buying the iPad is as a book reader then you are clearly making the right choice. Eventhough it has the iBook store, it is being used more for entertainment purposes than anything else.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:39 AM   #11
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i find books entertaining..
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonist View Post
Reading on the iPad did tire my eyes after about half an hour. I little bit, but it was there.

When I read on the iPhone for a bit, maybe 20 minutes or so, then look in the distance, any signs further than 10-15 yards appear blurry. After a few minutes the blurriness dissipates, but it tells me that my eyes get tired.

Reading on the Kindle, I may get a very slight blurriness after a couple of hours of reading, but it's slight.
I'm glad this is not happening just to me. I thought perhaps it was my bad, older eyes, but it seems like others notice it too. Since I started reading more from my Sony Daily Reader (eInk) and less from my tablet PC and iPod touch, I notice I don't have nearly as much blur. Before I could look up at the TV and not be able to read the menus or TV guide due to blur. Now I can read for hours and look up at the TV and read the TV guide perfectly.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:24 PM   #13
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All this talk about having blurry vision after staring at an iPad, or eBook or TV or computer or whatever. I'd be concerned about my eyes and off to see an optimist pretty quickly. Especially if I had a sensitivity to only one device but not others. But that's just me, I've had my eyes a good number of years and try to take care of them.

If the iPad caused such vision problems with the masses I think we'd be hearing about it on the news, but I haven't seen any reports of half a million people going blind.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:34 PM   #14
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Yes, lol i think you're right. These eye-strain issues seem a bit over-sensitive to me. I had an e-ink reader (bebook) and noticed that i actually prefer reading on the iphone. I think the big disadvantage of e-ink is its bad contrast. Because i'm living in europe i have to wait until end of may before i can purchase an ipad.
What a luxury to have an ipad in your hands and say no i'll wait for the next android clone.... i envy you
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:51 PM   #15
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Well everyone's vision is different, and sensitive to different things. But if it's enough to cause me concern and not buy any time I'd be taking a trip into a doctor to get my eyes checked out (besides my yearly exam). Refresh rates on modern LCD screens are high enough not to cause eyestrain, unlike what they were 10 years ago. Backlighting no longer uses CF but white LED's, which produce brighter light and do not fade out over time. The iPad was designed with the best possible display in its class and if it was causing me any problems I'd be worried. Now my 12" Powerbook is going on 6 years old and obviously has some dimmer spots as the CF backlighting is going, that's a whole different story..
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