Apple iPad Review: Pros & Cons [2021]

Let’s review the Apple iPad today. The Apple iPad is not a traditional ebook reader but is much better described as a tablet PC, but certainly has the functionality of a dedicated eReader in addition to much, much more. At the same time, though, the iPad’s additional feature set detracts somewhat from the device’s ability to function as a dedicated eBook reader.

Apple iPad Review

To be sure, the Apple iPad and tablet computers like it represent a game-changer in the world of mobile technology.

The Apple iPad undoubtedly represents the most powerful eBook reader on the market thanks to its advanced feature set that makes the device so much more than an eReader.

Yet, it is this set of advanced features that in some ways causes the iPad to fall short of other dedicated eBook reader competitors in the realm of basic eReader functionality.

The decision of whether to purchase an iPad or other dedicated eReader will likely come to down to a question of what advanced functionality the to-be reader is looking for and, of course, budget.

Apple iPad
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Apple iPad
  • IOS 11 Operating System; A9 Chip with 64-bit architecture and embedded M9...
  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch Retina Display with IPS Technology...
  • 8 Megapixel Camera with Autofocus, Backside Illumination and Panorama (up to...
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 Technology, FaceTime HD Camera, and Four-Speaker Audio

What is good about the iPad: Pros

Read also: Nook vs iPad


The Apple device features a gorgeous and huge 9.7-inch, high-resolution LED-backlit color display made to be touched.

The web, photos, movies, and of course text, look great on its screen. With a built-in accelerometer, the tablet can sense whether it’s being held in portrait form or landscape, right side up or upside down — and change content’s format accordingly.

The screen is responsive and accurate to the touch of a finger. Because the display is backlit, unlike many other eReaders, the tablet can be used in low-light conditions.


Resembling an oversized iPod touch, Apple’s iPad is an undeniably sleek and attractive device. At just a half-inch thick, it is noticeably slim and weighs in at just 1.6 lbs.

While substantially larger than most dedicated eBook readers, the iPad’s large display and advanced functionalities make it a capable mobile computing device in an impressive new form.

Content & iBooks

Because the tablet is compatible with the ePub open format for digital books and publications, the readers have access to a huge wealth of content ranging from classic titles to bestsellers, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and more.

The device can also display most any other content you can think of, including photos, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files, and more.

Content is downloadable through the iBook store using either WiFi or 3G wireless (see “Wireless” in cons). The iBook app is sleek in its simplicity, and offers attractive animations, and provides the ability to set bookmarks, take notes, and more.


+ Applications: We already made reference to the fact that the Apple tablet can be described as a giant iPod touch. To that end, the iPad supports nearly 140,000 applications originally developed for the iPod Touch and iPhone.

While it may not be another “app gold rush,” users can expect a solid number of advanced apps developed specifically for the device to make their way into the Apple App Store.

Web browser & email

Apple’s tablet is loaded with a powerful mobile web browser with pinch-to-zoom and touch screen gestures similar to that of the iPod Touch/iPhone.

Web sites look great on the large display, and in most cases render perfectly on the mobile device (Adobe Flash Video, though, is not supported).

The device also has an enhanced email application and a usable virtual (on-screen) QWERTY keyboard, making it a capable alternative to a desktop, laptop or smartphone in the email realm.


The iPad was obviously designed with media playback at the forefront of considerations. While the device is not capable of true multitasking, applications like the mobile iTunes music player can entertain you as you work in other applications.

Movie playback is impressively smooth and sharp, and the device’s external speakers are decently loud as long as you’re fairly close to the device.


Armed with a specially designed 1GHz Apple A4 chip, the tablet lets you browse through media, navigate websites and work smoothly across applications with blazing speeds.

The A4 chipset is also designed to optimize power use and allows the tablet to get up to 10 hours of battery life (impressive for a tablet PC, but not as impressive when compared to other dedicated eBook readers as you’ll later see).

What is bad about the iPad: Cons


While you may have just finished reading about the pros of the iPad’s giant display, the device’s screen is also a major weakness when compared to other eReader.

Part of the allure of other eReaders including the Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook is the e-ink technology display used in these devices.

Text on an e-ink display looks almost exactly like it would on a sheet of paper, making the reader feel as though they are actually reading a paper book.

Because the tablet display has qualities similar to that of a traditional computer screen, the iPad isn’t as easy to see in direct sunlight and may also cause more strain on a reader’s eyes of extended use. The display will also lead to much shorter battery life than other dedicated eBook readers.

Battery life

The Apple tablet can squeeze in up to 10 hours of eBook reading, web surfing, video watching, and more on a single charge — and for a tablet computer, that’s a fairly impressive feat.

That battery as compared to the battery life of other eReaders, though, is not nearly as impressive.

In part thanks to its e-ink display, the Amazon Kindle, for example, can last up to 4 days with wireless on and up to 2 weeks with wireless off.

E-ink devices only use power when the image on the screen changes — meaning battery life is only diminished when a virtual page is turned.


Every Apple model is equipped with WiFi for browsing the web, checking email, and downloading new eBooks and content from the iBook store when in range of a WiFi network. However, models with a built-in 3G (allows mobile connectivity using AT&T’s 3G network) are more expensive. Additionally, 3G connectivity will require a monthly AT&T data plan.


Apple’s tablet is a slim and sleek device. When compared to other eBook readers, though, the tablet is a significantly larger device because of its sizable 9.7-inch color display.

This size will make it less portable than other devices that are dedicated to eBook readers.

Tablet computer shortcomings

Because the device is much more than just an eBook reader, we would be remiss if we didn’t also offer some cons through the leans of a tablet computer review.

With a 1 GHz Apple A4 processor, the device is undoubtedly a relatively powerful device.

Yet, the device’s operating system cripples its functionality.

The Apple tablet is not capable of multitasking, or effectively running more than one application at the same time. Carrying on an instant messaging conversation while reading an eBook, for example, is simply not possible as only one app can be running at a time.

Storage Space

While 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage space (depending on the model purchased) should be more than enough for the vast majority of users, Apple device has no memory for expandable memory. Users with endless video and music libraries may find themselves wanting the ability for more space, and everyday users may wish they could slip in a memory card to easily look at pictures or documents.

Flash video

– Flash video: Despite early reports that it did, the Apple device does not support Adobe Flash content. While Safari is otherwise is a powerful mobile web browser, much of the web’s best content is arguably Flash content. That means watching videos on Hulu on the device, for example, isn’t a possibility.


By now you surely realize that the iPad offers far greater functionality than other devices dedicated to just reading digital books — and that additional functionality comes with a price premium attached. When purchasing an Apple Tablet, you are purchasing a new breed of mobile computer that will cost you up to several hundred dollars more than a dedicated eBook reader.

Last update on 2021-12-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API