Way back when on January 27th, I got out of bed got out of bed while vacationing in Kauai, poured a cup of coffee and fired up my laptop. I immediately went to Engadget’s live blog of the Apple announcement regarding the much rumoured iPad.
My first thoughts on seeing what the iPad could do was that while it was a cool device, I really didn’t think I would get one anytime soon. To me it was just an overgrown iPod Touch. With it you could read eBooks, play music and video (not high def though), show photographs and use iPhone Apps. All in a device that weighed 1.5 pounds.
I use a Sony PRS-600 Reader and really like the experience of reading on that device (although the screen is not as good as my older PRS-505). It is fairly small, easy to handle and comfortable to read for long periods of time with it’s E-Ink screen.
As time went and more specs on the iPad were released there were a few things that really started to make me think it wasn’t the device for me. Apple was saying it would get 10 hours of battery life and I have come to learn with most manufacturers, you can take that number down by 20 or 30%. I think the real turn off in regards to this device was the fact that it wouldn’t support ePub books using the Adobe Digital Editions DRM scheme which is most of the books in my library and that Apple would have it’s own fairplay DRM on eBooks. Once again Apple was putting it’s users in a closed system and forcing users to buy from them alone.
One of the things that I really like about my Sony Reader is the fact that it does support the ADE DRM scheme. Last fall Sony’s own book store went all ADE ePub from a proprietary format and they have been supporting the ADE format on all of the readers since July 2008. This is very important to me as I am not tied to the Sony Store to purchase my eBooks! In fact I have bought books from Sony, booksonboard.com, Dieselebooks.com and Kobo as well as renting them from my public library. This open system has not tied me to one book seller and I can shop around for the best prices on my eBooks.
So what has changed over the last few weeks that I have re-sparked my interest in the device. Well there are several factors. I do have a iPod 3rd gen Touch device that I carry for pocket computer use more than as an iPod (I use a Microsoft Zune 120 and a 32 GB Zune HD hooked up to a Zune pass for music and podcasts). I have found several apps though for the Touch that I use frequently and that I feel would work very well on an iPad. These apps could also allow me to use the iPad instead of my Asus 1000H Net Book.