Hardcore bibliophiles need their books. It’s part of the reason why the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook are such hot commodities right now. But would you pay for a Kindle or Nook if, for just a little extra, you can have an e-reader that supports over 140,000 applications and offers real web browsing and media playback? Probably not. The iPad features iBooks, an application that looks strikingly similar to the “Classics” app available for the iPhone now. Books are displayed on a bookshelf and selecting one opens the book, just like on the iPhone app. It’s a very slick and clean interface and easy to read. There is the argument that e-Ink is so much easier on the eyes, but we spend all day reading blogs and news on the Internet without too many complaints, especially with LED-backlit displays which the iPad makes use of. And with 10 hours of battery life and a month of stand-by time, you won’t be rushing to grab your charger just before you find out what happens to Alex Cross in the last chapter.
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