Mini tablets will bring mega wait times for ebooks at libraries

by Public Libraries on November 21, 2012

Tablet

Here we are on the eve of Thanksgiving about to celebrate the time honored holiday by doing what Americans do best…stuffing our faces and shopping.

After the food induced coma wears off, eager shoppers will head to the retailers to try and score some great deals on electronics and toys.  On the top of the wish lists this year are tablets from Apple, Amazon and Google.  The big change from last year is that there are now a wide variety of mini tablets available.

Barnes & Noble was the first company to gain traction in the mini tablet market with their Nook tablet in 2011.  Amazon saw how successful the Barnes & Noble was so they decided to launch their own mini tablet late last year.  Amazon’s Kindle Fire became the first real threat to Apple and their market dominating iPad.  The Kindle Fire did so well last holiday season that it inspired Google, Microsoft and even Apple to launch their own mini tablets this year.

So this is the first holiday season where all the major players in the tablet market have a mini tablet being sold.  This means that there is going to be a huge increase in the demand for ebooks in general and at libraries.

Mini tablets are the perfect size for reading ebooks.  They are lighter and more portable than their full size brethren.  They are very similar to dedicated ereaders as far as size and weight are concerned.  But the similarities with ereaders end there.

Try out one of the new mini tablets and it’s amazing what they can do.  You can do pretty much everything that you can on a full size tablet.  The user experience for browsing, email, movies and apps are almost identical on either tablet.  Everything is fast and easy to navigate.  There are a some places where the full size tablet shines, but overall the mini tablet holds its own pretty well.

The biggest advantage the mini tablet has over a full size one is portability.  The minis are small enough that you could easily take them with you everywhere you go.  They fit in purses, bags, backpacks and glove boxes very easily.  Full size tablets are portable.  Mini tablets are extremely portable.

This improvement in portability is exceptionally noticeable when reading an ebook.  If you’ve ever read ebooks on an iPad the first thing you notice is that the iPad is really big and really heavy.  Read the same ebook on a mini iPad or mini tablet and you’ll find that it’s a drastically better experience.

Reading ebooks on mini tablets is very similar to reading ebooks on dedicated ereaders.  The form factor is comfortable and the weight makes it easy to hold for hours on end.  The biggest difference is that the mini tablets have resolutions that are not as good as on dedicated ereaders and they are also backlit.

Add it all up and you can expect to see ebook sales grow even faster than they are now.  And that means you will see a lot more library patrons wanting to borrow ebooks from their local library.

So you think waiting lists for ebooks at libraries are long now?  Just wait until the holidays are over and millions of people have unwrapped their shiny new mini tablet that is perfect for reading ebooks.

Comments on this entry are closed.