Review: What's The Best Magazine Format?

Magazines: All the Fun that’s Fit to Read

Reading a magazine is a very personal activity. Whether you pick up a good trashy read at the airport lounge, or you reach for something insightful while sitting on the toilet, magazines draw you in. Good stories, fun pictures and great layout (even if you didn’t notice!) all add up to the experience that is reading a magazine. And in the past, the experience of a good ‘zine just couldn’t be replicated with gadgetry – unlike newspapers, whose layout and advertising design model translate easier to the smallest screen. But now, with a spate of e-readers on the market and more hitting the shelves soon, can we start to love magazines on computers? We put several different methods of consuming magazines to the test.

What are the Options?

We tested the iPad’s apps for Popular Science and Wired, the Nook version of Popular Science (Wired isn’t yet available) the web versions of those two magazines, and the paper versions. We tested other magazines like Technology Review on the Kindle and the Sony E-Reader; they don’t have Wired or Popular Science available, thereby exposing one of the problems – not all content is available everywhere. Those two publications were chosen because of their techno-phile audiences; they were among the first to built apps and try to replicate the experience of reading a magazine in an e-format.