Monday, November 8, 2010

Eyestrain, iPads, and e-Readers

I cannot understand the phenomenon of the Apple iPad. Many of the places that I go, my first instance was when I got stuck waiting for Jury Duty, I notice people over the age of 60 with iPads. Although I understand the benefits of an easy-to-use, portable computer, I simply cannot understand why I primarily see this crowd reading books on their iPads. I am sure that enhanced e-books are awesome, but I cannot imagine why someone would want to read off an LCD screen, and this is particularly important tho those of the age group I see most often with iPads.

Apple iPad MB294LL/A Tablet (64GB, Wifi) vs. Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 9.7" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally – Latest Generation

Having a visual processing disorder, I try to avoid reading off of LCD screens. I print a lot of articles into PDF with programs like PDF creator and read them on my kindle. When I work on this blog, read the New York Times, etc.,  I wear a set of computer glasses with a particular color and lens that relaxes the eyes (recommended by my neurologist). I definitely understand the desire to have a computer one can stash in one's purse or messenger bag, but I can check my email on my cellphone or my Kindle DX (and without the $15 per month of the iPad for 3G which is free on the Kindle DX) and I have an 11" laptop that is much more powerful and much less expensive than the flashy iPad.

The lack of e-Ink in something which one uses for reading boggles the mind. I know that the iPad was designed for much more than reading, but most of the people I see (and this is obviously anecdotal evidence) use it primarily for reading. Even more confusing is the Nook Color by Barnes & Noble, which is a dedicated e-Reader with an LCD display. An article on KindleWorld explains that people are claiming research has been done to show that LCDs are not as hard on the eyes as originally thought, but I cannot imagine that this is true, given my own personal experience.

According to KindleWorld, there will be a new "KinTablet," in which Amazon is the e-Reader with Android technology and creating a tablet. I guess this is not surprising is the tablet is the way of the future, but according to the same article on KindleWorld, most e-Books are still bought by those with dedicated e-Readers, and the there has been a recent upsurge in sales.

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