A reader left a comment this morning on another post, and after reading it I was inspired to respond to it in a post. The crux of the comment was repetition of a couple pieces of marketing nonsense created by E-ink:
Of course it is clear that if you really want to read for a longer period or let alone outside, the iPad (or any other tablet) is impossible to use.
I can say from personal experience that neither part of that statement is true, and I wish people would stop spreading it around.
I’ve taken a number of trips recently, including TOC ( few weeks ago), CES 2012 (January), and a number of trip to NYC last fall. As you can probably guess, I usually have one or more tablets and ereaders with me, and I read on them everyday.
I don’t usually blog about the devices I use on these trips, but I’m beginning to think that I should. It would give you a better idea of what you can really do with the gadgets, so you wouldn’t have to rely on the marketing hype put out by the gadget companies.
For example, my main reading device on the TOC trip was the IdolPad, a $99 Android tablet. I didn’t even carry an E-ink ereader (even though there were a bunch in my luggage). I saw no need because I’m fine with reading on an LCD screen and the tablet worked just fine outside.
And I had plenty of time outside, too. Navigating around Manhattan involves walking a few blocks both before and after riding the subway. Whenever I was stopped at a crosswalk, I whipped put the IdolPad and read.
And then there was the trip to CES 2012. For this trip I carried the Kyobo Mirasol eReader and my (original) Samsung Galaxy Tab. I didn’t mention it at the time, but I was running a battery life comparison. Even though I used the Galaxy Tab more than the Kyobo, it still lasted longer (2 days vs 2.5 days).
Getting around Vegas involves riding the monorail a lot (3, 4 times a day), and all the stations are outside. It is quite sunny in January in Las Vegas, and yet my Galaxy Tab worked just fine.
What’s more, I’m now back to using the Samsung Galaxy Tab as my main reader. There are times where I am tempted to switch to E-ink, but the sheer bloody usefulness of being able to switch quickly from reading to Twitter or email is enough to keep me on the tablet. And yes, I do carry the tablet while I am running errands outside.
So don’t tell me that one cannot read on an LCD outside, or that it cannot be done for long periods of time. I know that this is not true.