Picture of Home Theater magazine using Zinio iPad app

One of the tasks I thought the iPad would be great at is reading magazines.  After a tip from my brother, I decided to try out the Zinio Magazine Reader app.  The app itself is free and the magazines cost money.  You can purchase a single issue or a subscription.  There is essentially no price break on a single issue, but fairly substantial on a yearly subscription.  For example, I enjoy Home Theater, so I subscribed to Home Theater Magazine.

Price

The annual Zinio subscription (digital version) is $9.75, the annual print subscription is $12.97.  So the annual subscription is 25% cheaper.  Zinio got the pricing portion of this service right.  It should be less to purchase a digital subscription since there is no paper, printing, or shipping costs.

Reading Magazines

The experience of reading magazines on the iPad is a winner as well.  Text and graphics are very crisp and look better than a printed magazine.  Zooming in and out of pictures and text is also supported.  Websites in magazines are highlighted so if you touch a link in the magazine (has a blue rectangle around the link), it will take you out to the web so you can get more information.

Advantages

  • Ability to read the same magazines on iPhone, PC, Mac, and iPad and only paying for one subscription.
  • If you are a traveler and like to read magazines, you can download several magazines and have them ready to go on one iPad.  Eliminate the stack of magazines, at least two or three, right?
  • Green.  Eco-friendly since there is no paper.
  • Keeps your place in the magazine when you leave the Zinio app.
  • No annoying subscription cards falling out all of your house or the plane.  Big pet peeve of mine.
  • Instead of ripping out a page and storing somewhere for later, you can screen capture the page, send an e-mail with a picture of the page attached, and remind yourself why you sent this picture to yourself.  For example, take a look at this Blu ray player.

Disadvantages

  • Can’t share a magazine unless you give your friend your iPad.  Not going to happen.
  • Content is still somewhat limited.  BusinessWeek, Mac magazines, PC Magazine are some of the larger titles.  Where’s Time Magazine?  Oh yeah, each magazine is $5 in it’s own app.  Not good.

Summary

Overall, a great magazine experience, one that I prefer to the paper version.  Price is better, don’t have to lug around multiple magazines for a long trip, and eco-friendly.

For more information visit Zinio on the web.