Thanks to the New iPad, I Don’t Read Anything on Paper

Innovation, the Internet, gadgets, and more.
May 17 2012 7:04 PM

I’m Through With Paper

The new iPad finally made me prefer a screen to a magazine.

(Continued from Page 1)

But publishers fixed things surprisingly quickly. Now most major magazines have beautiful, technically sound apps. (The New Yorker’s hasn’t crashed in weeks.) Magazines have also begun to offer their digital content at a sensible price; indeed, many of them give you the digital version as part of a standard print subscription. That’s a terrific deal for everyone—magazines get to keep me as a print subscriber, which is good for their ad rates, while I get to read their stuff in a variety of ways .

The bigger surprise, though, is how much the Retina display has increased my enjoyment of the iPad. When Apple added the high-resolution display to the iPhone two years ago, I thought it was pretty but superfluous. A phone is a device that I glance at while on the run, not one that I bury my nose in when I’m looking to relax. However great the pictures and text look, I’m going to reach for a larger screen if I’m in the vicinity of one.

I used to think of convenience as the iPad’s main strength, too. Because of its shape and long battery life, it’s an easy way to browse the Web anywhere in the house. Plus, you can use it to play games in the bathroom. But the Retina screen has made the iPad more than just a convenient consumption device—now, for some uses, the iPad offers a qualitatively better experience than a PC. In addition to improving magazine browsing, the Retina screen has made the iPad my premier place for looking at photos. When I browse pictures on my much larger computer screen, and my even bigger TV screen, they look blurry by comparison.

Advertisement

This too-blurry thing has begun to haunt me, actually. When I switch from the iPad to a regular computer monitor, everything looks uglier, and it takes my eyes a few minutes to adjust. I put up with it because I have no choice—I can’t get a laptop or desktop with a screen as good as the iPad’s.

Apple seems to recognize the power of this effect—there are reports that it will soon add Retina displays to its laptops. This would be a boon to the many graphic artists and video producers who use Apple’s portable machines, but I think it would prove attractive to regular people, too, especially if the Retina upgrade comes at no additional price (as happened on the iPhone and iPad). No other computer maker has figured out how to add these super-resolution screens to their devices, so Apple has a chance to lead the market and force everyone to catch up. They’ll have to. Once you see how good these paper-killing screens look, you can never go back.

Farhad Manjoo is a technology columnist for the New York Times and the author of True Enough.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 20 2014 1:50 PM Why We Shouldn’t Be Too Sure About the Supposed Deal to Return the Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 20 2014 3:12 PM Terror Next Door Prudie advises a letter writer whose husband is dangerously, violently obsessed with the neighbors.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.