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Old 02-05-2019, 12:52 PM   #1
maximus83
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On using Ipad as a large ereader

I've seen a number of folks here on Mobileread who in addition to owning an ereader, are also Ipad users.

I've never owned an Ipad, but am considering one. I also own an ereader as well as a smart phone, and an (aging) Android tablet I need to replace. This is where the Ipad might come in as a replacement, as the Android tablet scene is pretty bleak right now. My current use for the tablet is primarily web surfing, and reading larger documents with complex layouts or books (such as books with computer code) that don't work well on a phone or ereader.

With your Ipad, I'm super interested to know a few things.

1. What are your chief uses for it? As in, what kind of documents/activities do you prefer to do on your Ipad, versus your ereader?

2. What size do you find to be the minimum size that will effectively render larger/complex documents with good readability? For example, would the original 9.7" Ipad work, or did you try that and find it was a bit too small in screen real estate?

3. Do you find the Ipad to be too heavy for extended reading sessions?
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:17 PM   #2
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  1. I bought the iPad 2 specifically for reading Japanese manga. Over time as the devices got faster and iOS got new features, iPads have gradually replaced my laptop in most tasks.

    Colored comics, magazines and illustrated books are definitely nicer to read on the iPad. I've often used the iPad to read prose as well when I'm too lazy to fire up the desktop/laptop to DeDRM or convert books with Calibre. I find it too big for reading prose in portrait mode but 2-column landscape works quite nicely.

  2. The 9.7" works just fine for me for all my PDFs. I also have the 12.9" and while it's nicer to use for PDFs and Excel, I can easily get by with just 10-11" class iPads. The 7.9" iPad mini, however, is a bit too small for comfort for PDFs with lots of small print.

  3. If holding it with just one hand like an e-reader, yes, it's too heavy. I usually hold it with both hands or prop it against something when using it for long periods of time.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:29 PM   #3
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I use my iPad Pro 12.9" for most online tasks. Email, browsing, etc. I play games on it. I use an art app called Pigment, which also has an online community with a gallery for sharing art work. I have an iPad mini that I take with me to church, or traveling when I don't want to take my Pro. They stay synced so documents and spreadsheets are available on whichever one I have with me, even my iPhone 7+

I use spreadsheet and word processing apps for various tasks. We have Calibre installed on our Windows machine, and I have the Calibre Companion app installed on both my Pro and my Mini. Dropbox and Evernote are also on all my iDevices. Evernote keeps personal info, family medical info, all my recipes, and lots of other information we (my husband and I) may need, even when not at home.

I can pay bills using my bank's app. Our electric provider has a nice app that comes in handy during power outages. FaceTime is great for talking to grandkids who live 300 miles away.

I use the Texture magazine app on my iPad Pro for reading magazines. I have the Kindle app and the Overdrive app on all my devices, and those times a public library book is only available in ePub, I read it on my mini. I don't do a lot of pleasure/hobby reading on my Pro as it's just too big for that use.

I have a 2017 Oasis that I use for 99% of my pleasure reading. I prefer the front lit e-ink screen for long reading sessions, especially in a dark bedroom. I don't like use a backlit device in a dark room.

I use the Kindle app or iBooks for my study bibles on my mini, sometimes on my Pro, because I can have 2 apps open side by side.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:14 PM   #4
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My experience is close to ilovejedd's, though with Windows 10 tablets, a now retired 8" Dell Venue 8 pro (size match to an iPad Mini) and now a Surface Go (size match to the new iPad Pro 10"). I also have a older 6" Kindle 3/keyboard.

1. The Surface Go is my primary "consumption" device for casual surfing and videos. My desktop computer is used for more complex surfing and serious image (Ps, Lr, ...) and document work. The Go is often connected to the desktop's 24" monitor and used with a mouse and keyboard instead of firing up to big desktop box.
2. The Go is where my primary calibre library lives, though the desktop has calibre installed with a copy of the library.
3. The Kindle is my primary reader, though the old 8" Dell was frequently used since my Kindle lacks a lighted display. The Go is, for me, too heavy to use as a reader except when it can be placed on a table instead of hand-held or for only brief reading sessions (reading documents rather than books).

Since I need to do too much "real computer work" (Ps, remote control of office computers, full Office apps, full browser compatibility with a wide range of specialized websites, ...) with my portable device, I've used full Windows tablets since retiring my last notebook years ago. I find dealing with Windows on my tablets much easier than fighting the many workarounds required to do similar, but never completely the same, actions on either of the limited OSs, iOS and Android. The old rule still applies: First, find the software you need to do the job and only then begin to look at what hardware runs that software. For me, the search ends with Windows as there are no macOS tablets.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:28 AM   #5
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I bought a used Ipad and frankly, I hate the glare. I use it primarily for magazines and Pdf files. I've been trying to get it to read several comic book files I inherited, but so far, no go. Sigh. I could use a recommendation for that (.cbr). The Ipad is also HEAVY compared to an ereader. I'd get some kind of tendonitis trying to read a doorstop. That is why I never bought hard covers in the pre-digital age. Too darn heavy.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:17 AM   #6
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I find that my 10.5" iPad Pro makes the ideal PDF reader. I read a lot of academic PDFs and it's perfect for that. I travel a lot and when I'm away I also use my iPad for email, web browsing, etc. Great device - I wouldn't be without it. I prefer to read fiction, though, on my Kindle Oasis.

Last edited by HarryT; 02-06-2019 at 05:19 AM.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:47 AM   #7
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I have an iPad Pro 12.9 and use it for most of my reading. I use goodreader for PDF's, Marvin for regular ebooks, zinio for magazines and specialized apps for news. I don't find it too heavy, but I generally read with it in my lap. If I'm not at home, I'll typically prop it up on the table. The case that I use allows for that.

I do have an e-reader that I use for special situations, i.e. backpacking or when I'm going to be in a high glare situation. I also have an iPad mini 4 that I use when I'm walking to lunch since it's easier to carry in my vest pocket.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:50 AM   #8
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I did have a 12.9" iPad Pro, but replaced it with the 10.5" because I found the larger device just too big and heavy. The 10.5" is, for me personally, the best compromise between size and portability.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:01 AM   #9
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I read everyday on iPad Air and don't find the weight to be a problem. I read in bed at the end of the day and I either hold the iPad up or rest it on my abdomen. There have been times when I have used a little portable bean bag desktop with it. I have Calibre on my PC and use Calibre Companion to put the books on the iPad, where I use either the Nook app or Marvin or Books to read them. I also have the Kindle app installed. In addition to reading I use the iPad to read email, to text message, use the internet and use apps from places like ESPN. I keep the light level on the display on the low end when inside with and don't do any reading or other use outside so the glare is not a problem. I enjoy reading on it so much I have not picked up a print book except to do research since I got it. The apps I use all have adjustable font size but I usually use the font size a book comes with.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:02 PM   #10
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I also read on my iPad Air 2 and sometimes my iPhone 7 (not plus). It is convenient to have the same apps on both. I mostly use the Kindle App and WordSearch Bible App. For ePubs and PDF I mostly use the builtin iBooks app.

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Old 02-06-2019, 01:06 PM   #11
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All informative posts, thanks!

Another question I had, is that I see the Apple rumor mill has it that there will be an updated Ipad Mini sometime in 2019. Suppose that actually happens. Is the Ipad Mini a viable size, at about 8", for reading PDF's or larger docs? Or does that not have quite enough screen real estate? It seems like the magical dividing line in terms of "sufficient screen size" for most people on PDFs and more complex docs or graphics is about 10" minimum.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:08 PM   #12
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No, you really do need the larger screen for PDFs. There's a major difference in readability between 8" and 10" when it comes to that.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:14 PM   #13
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No, you really do need the larger screen for PDFs. There's a major difference in readability between 8" and 10" when it comes to that.
That makes sense. So it seems like for folks who do a lot of reading of many types of content (fiction, or other text-based, etc., and larger docs with complex layouts or graphics, etc.), you are often going to prefer 2 readers: something sub 8" for common text-based reading, and something 10+ for complex doc reading. I was hoping to get by with just 1 device besides my phone going forward, but it seems like that isn't really practical for most. A larger device seems too heavy for lengthy fiction or other text-based reading sessions. A smaller device is never going to be able to render certain types of docs with very good readability.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:10 PM   #14
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That makes sense. So it seems like for folks who do a lot of reading of many types of content (fiction, or other text-based, etc., and larger docs with complex layouts or graphics, etc.), you are often going to prefer 2 readers: something sub 8" for common text-based reading, and something 10+ for complex doc reading. I was hoping to get by with just 1 device besides my phone going forward, but it seems like that isn't really practical for most. A larger device seems too heavy for lengthy fiction or other text-based reading sessions. A smaller device is never going to be able to render certain types of docs with very good readability.
That's certainly my view. iPad for PDFs and web browsing; Kindle for fiction.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:14 PM   #15
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Personally, I can live with just the iPad. While I prefer the Paperwhite for reading fiction, if I had to choose between iPad and Paperwhite, I choose the iPad.

Prior to acquiring a jailbreakable Paperwhite 3 last year, I've actually been using iPads as my primary reader since, hmm, 2012? From 2007-2012, my primary reader was the iPhone (I need a reader with built-in lighting). I just gradually adapted to the larger, heavier device. Instead of holding it with one hand, I used cases, pillows, my lap, etc. to help carry the weight of the iPad.

I owned the iRiver Story HD, PRS-350, Aura HD, Paperwhite 2 and Paperwhite 3 during that time but it was just easier getting content to the iPhone and iPad (no need to get up and connect the device to PC/Calibre via USB, nor deDRM/convert first).

As for 10" being minimum for comfort, look at it this way:
8.5" x 11" (letter) sized = 13.9" diagonal

Is it any wonder why 7.9" (4.7" x 6.3") would seem too small?

Last edited by ilovejedd; 02-06-2019 at 05:41 PM.
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