I like to read while I travel. But a couple of books and a stack of magazines add a lot of weight and bulk to my briefcase. My quest to lighten my briefcase by reading on an electronic device reminds me of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
My first laptop computer was created by adding an LCD screen to the top of an Apple 2C and my current laptop is a 13” Macbook Pro. While the processing performance, storage and connectivity have improved tremendously over the last 2 decades, the reading experience hasn’t changed much. A laptop is still too big, too cumbersome, takes too long to boot and requires charging too often to be a comfortable replacement for a book or magazine.
When I replaced my Palm Treo with an iPhone, I was hopeful that it could serve as a nice e-reader. I installed the Kindle app, several news site apps and a good RSS reader. My iPhone has warded off boredom and helped me stay productive many times when I have found myself waiting without anything else to read. But the screen is just too small for reading efficiently or enjoyably.
Now I have an iPad 2 and it is just right. It is small enough to carry and hold comfortably with a screen large enough to read quickly. It boots up instantly and holds a charge all day. With Kindle for books, Flipboard for news and several magazine subscription apps, I find little need for printed material.
The quality of the reading experience on the iPad and other tablet devices is certain to accelerate the trends away from printed newspapers, magazines and books.
What are your experiences with tablets or e-readers? Have they changed your consumption of printed publications?