9.7 inches (diagonal)
1024 x 768 pixels
Wi-Fi and a 3G option. Compatible with TCC's WPA wireless network.
VoiceOver screen reader, zoom magnification, white-on-black screen option.
Wide range of applications available from Apple's App Store, including e-reader apps.
Option to purchase SmartCover, wireless keyboard, and other accessories.
Language support for numerous languages.
The iPad functions excellently as an e-reader. In fact, since it is basically a tablet computer the iPad can serve as a platform for several e-readers, including its native Apple e-books reader, the Amazon Kindle app, the Adobe Editions reader, and the Bluefire reader that is compatible with many e-books in library collections. As a tablet the iPad can add a variety of e-book formats from the web, eliminating the need to download first to a PC. The full functionality of the touch screen makes iPad attractive for e-reading.
There is substantial flexibility for organizing content on the iPad - with a couple of caveats. Using the iPad's iBook app you can easily create bookshelves for each of your separate reading genres, projects or subjects. The Books app works well with both ePubs and PDF file formats so it can be used to organize any e-books that are in, or can be converted to, those formats. The caveats are that any e-books procured using the Google Books, Kindle, Bluefire, or other e-readers will be available only using those readers - not on an iBooks bookshelf.
To copy PDFs and epubs that you've saved on your PC to the iPad, you need first to add the files to iTunes on your PC. In iTunes use the "Add File to Library" option under File to load - the items will now display when you open the iBooks library (see left column in iTunes). Plug the iPad into your PC with the USB wire, the iPad's libraries will now be displayed in the left column of iTunes on the PC. Click Books near the top under Libraries and simply drag and drop files from your PC to the Books folder in the iPad.
The iPad uses Apple's Safari web browser. Using the touch screen you can easily navigate the web, type in URLs, and email PDFs and other content you find. Kindle has an experimental web-browser that is extremely difficult to use. At base you have a full blown browser on the iPad, and there are alternative browsers available through the app store.
The iPad has an incredibly good color LCD screen, perhaps not quite as nice as the Kindle for reading text. The color display adds considerably to the appreciation of color images. When viewing PDF files it is often best to switch to the landscape viewing mode. The touch screen makes it very easy to adjust the size of text and scroll.
iPad's keypad is OK - if you are used to the iPhone keypad it will be very familiar. The keys are a good size though standard typing is awkward because the keyboard is small. Switching from letters to numbers and special characters to enter passwords is also awkward.
Price: $499 - $829
Size: 9.5 x 7.3 x 0.3 (inches)
Weight: 1.35 pounds
Memory: 16GB - 64GB
Documents: all document formats
Audio: mp3, wav, aac
Image: tif, jpeg, gif