Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The iPad – A MID device not an eReader


Is the iPad a Kindle Killer?  I watched closely today as Apple announced their new iPad device and as expected it’s a pretty looking thing.  But is it compelling?  Is it a good choice as an eBook reader?  I don’t think it’s even close to being the Kindle-Killer and here’s why:

If you’re a reader of books, you want something that uses a miniscule amount of energy – hence better battery life, you want something extremely light and easy to hold in one hand, something easy on the eyes and ideally something that allows you to purchase books at a better price than if you picked one up from the local bookstore.  While the iPad and really all other MID devices, tablets and netbooks have advantages with other use cases, they really don’t compete (yet at least) with the Kindle or even the Nook eBook reader for that matter.

eReaders Advantages over iPad

  • Size – The Kindle is really perfect for reading.  You can hold it in a single hand, read in bed before going to sleep and easily slip it in your bag to carry with you.  The iPad is heave and too big for this purpose.
  • Battery Life – Everyone is raving about the Apple-expected, 10 hours of battery life.  The Kindle lasts about a week on one charge.
  • Wireless is free.  The Kindle gives you lifetime, free 3G coverage while the iPad requires you pay a monthly $15 - $30 fee or use WiFi.  WiFi is definitely an advantage though and an area where the Kindle must improve in its next version.
  • The Kindle does one thing well – very well and that one thing is to be a vessel for reading.  The iPad’s ability to act as an eReader is more of a “bonus feature” and the fact that Steve Jobs showed off the eBook features of the iPad later in the event as opposed to earlier tells that fact.

So what does the iPad have over the Kindle and Nook for the eReader functions?

  • Support for ePub (Nook has this, Kindle doesn’t)
  • Better for Magazines and Photobooks – Color, video albeit limited make the Kindle & Nook deficient for these purposes in my opinion and the iPad definitely will handle these tasks better
  • Faster and more powerful technology
  • If you’re a casual reader or just want to read your Kindle books on the iPad you can do that – Kindle books are supported by the iPad as well as many other devices.

I think Dave Zatz said it best with this tweet:

“Amazon/Kindle's got nothing to fear. It's Plastic Logic, and their pricey Que devices, who's in trouble in light of iPad pricing.”

I agree although I think Amazon’s goal is to make the Kindle compete with paper books, not with MID devices such as the iPad.  What we should watch for is to  see what Amazon does next.  Will they drop the Kindle DX for something more like the iPad device?  Will they announce a color and/or flexible screen?  Regardless of the feature set, I’m betting the next Kindle hardware will be focused on being a good e-Reader, not a great app store vessel.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

TV Premieres, Finales & Specials This Week 01/24/2010

The final week of January is here and we have some new shows starting this week. 

Don’t miss the Ultimate Guide to the 2010 Winter TV Season Premieres with free downloads by premiere date & by show name!  I’ve updated this guide with some additions and network changes.


      Damages retuns to FX on Monday

Sunday, January 24

Matchmaker-Masterpiece Theater (9pm on PBS – Available in HD) – Made for TV Movie with a new adaptation of Jan Austen’s classic “Emma”

American Paranormal (8pm on National Geographic – Available in HD) – A new series premiere with a team of experts using scientific means to either validate or debunk different paranormal happenings.  This first episode focuses on Bigfoot.

Ice Dreams (9pm on Hallmark) – A new movie about a former Olympic figure skater who agrees to coach a young student.

Cantore Stories (10pm on The Weather Channel) – This is a first for me – a Weather Channel premiere with meteorologist Jim Cantore exploring different areas.  This is not a new show but a new season starting with a backstage pass to the Winter Games.

Twins: What You Never Knew (10pm on TLC – Available in HD) - A special on TLC that looks at the phenomenon of twins.

An Evening of Stars: Tribute to Lionel Richie (10pm on BET) – As the title says, a tribute to pop singer Lionel Richie – an event to benefit the United Negro College Fund.


Monday, January 25

Handy Manny School for Tools (8:25am on Disney) – A series premier of a new kids morning show.

The Electric Company (5:30pm on PBS) – The new version of the popular childrens series returns for season 2.

The Inbetweeners (9pm on BBC America) – The series premiere (for BBCA) of a popular British Import.  The comedy is about four akward boys coming of age in a British public school.

Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders (10pm on PBS – Available in HD – an interesting take on a music-centric show

Damages (10pm on FX – Available in HD) – Season 3 begins with Patty Hewes and her nemisis Ellen Parsons continue their battle in this popular legal drama.

Greek (10pm on ABC Family – Available in HD) – Greek returns for 10 more episodes to close out season 3.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl (10pm on Showtime - Available in HD)

Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union (10:30pm on Showtime – Available in HD) – Season 3


Tuesday, January 26

24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona (10pm on HBO – Available in HD) – Series premiere

Wednesday, January 27

Big Chef Takes on Little Chef (8pm on Planet Green – Available in HD) – Season 1 finale

State of the Union Address (9pm on Most channels – Available in HD) – President Obama gives the official U.S. state of the union speech from Washington D.C.

Psych (10pm on USA– Available in HD) – Season 4 returns

Launch My Line (10pm on Bravo) – Season 1 finale (2 parts)

Spectacle: Elvis Costellow With… (10pm on Sundance) – Season 2 finale

Sports Jobs with Junior Seau (10:30pm on Versus) – Season 1 finale


Thursday, January 28

Live for the Moment (8pm on CBS) – Jeff Probst hosts this new realityTV series that focuses on how we live our everyday lives and the importance of doing it right.  An event inspires a person to share insights on how to change one’s life.  Produced by Mark Burnett & Jeff Probst.

Storytellers with John Mayer (8pm on VH1) – John Mayer does his round on the popular music “series” Storytellers.

America’s Best Dance Crew (10pm on MTV) – Randy Jackson’s dance contest realityTV show returns with the season 5 premiere

Soundstage: The Fray (10pm on PBS) This PBS music concert series has Denver’s “The Fray” singing several of their popular songs from the past year


Friday, January 29

Kitchen Nightmares (9pm on Fox) – Season 4 premiere of the popular realityTV show with Chef Ramsey yelling at everyone.

Dollhouse (8pm on Fox – Available in HD) – The series finale


Saturday, January 30

Four Weddings (10pm on TLC – Available in HD) – Season 2 premiere of this realityTV show

Miss America 2010 (8pm on TLC – Available in HD) – The 88th edition of the Miss America Pageant – this would be that “Trump” version of course.


Sunday, January 31

The Cleveland Show (8:30pm on Fox– Available in HD) – Season 1 returns.

Family Guy (9pm on Fox – Available in HD) – Season 8 returns

American Dad (9:30pm on Fox ) – Season 5 returns



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