Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jferreir

eBook Reader? Anyone?

Recommended Posts

Does anyone have any experience using eBook Readers like the Kindle 2? I'm constantly reading journal articles - or fumbling around trying to find them - and I thought to myself, there must be a better way! I like the idea of carrying a single slim device that can store all of my pdf files, thereby (significantly) reducing the amount of printouts I produce. It seems like a win-win situation - better on the environment, better on my wallet.

I have absolutely no experience with these devices (nor have I seen one in person), but I do like the concept. My only requirements would be:

- Decent battery life

- Ability to store, view, and edit pdf files

- Easy on the eyes (unlike computer screens)

To complicate matters, I live in Canada where the Kindle 2 is not available. So, any suggestions? I have absolutely no brand loyalties, but I am prepared to pay a little more for a quality product. Thanks for any/all advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd wait and see how this lawsuit pans out first:

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090731/tc_pcworld/kindlelawsuitfiledoverorwell1984ebookdeletionsbyamazon

As of right now Amazon can access your kindle and delete your books (and associated notes!).

Then I guess it's a good thing the Kindle isn't available in Canada! Oddly enough, the one day I decide to research ebooks, Sony releases two new models:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10303031-1.html

Now I have to decide if it's worth $300. I would say it's an investment, but that's somewhat of a gamble given that I'm not in a Ph.D. program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has got me interested in a portable PDF reader! However, for that price, wouldn't a small netbook be a better bargain? Some sell for around $3-400. I know they're not as sleek and small as a Kindle, but you'd be getting more bang for your buck (mind you, you'll have to take the physical action of opening it up...ugh..haha). I guess if you really hate sitting at a computer reading articles then this post is useless :cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread has got me interested in a portable PDF reader! However, for that price, wouldn't a small netbook be a better bargain? Some sell for around $3-400. I know they're not as sleek and small as a Kindle, but you'd be getting more bang for your buck (mind you, you'll have to take the physical action of opening it up...ugh..haha). I guess if you really hate sitting at a computer reading articles then this post is useless :cry:

eBook Readers certainly are tempting! I'm still waiting for Sony Canada to release the new models, but I don't think I could bring myself to pay more than $300 CAD. Unfortunately, only the high-end model is capable of highlighting/editing text (ridiculous!). I read on CBC that the new entry model ($199 USD) will be pushing $280 CAD here in Canada. Again, Canadians get the (inaccurate) exchange rate shaft!

[/rant]

In response to your suggestion, what principally differentiates eBook Readers from computers is their "e-Ink" gray scale technology. Essentially, the device reads like an actual book and doesn't transform your eyeballs into sandpaper. The viewing angles are excellent and it reads perfectly in sunlight as well. Netbooks are undoubtedly a better value, but they were built for an entirely different purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, wait until Pixel Qi releases their products into the screen market first. They have some innovative technology. The OLPC screen was one of the most amazing things about that device and though the OLPC project might die, the screen technology lives on and is getting commercialized.

My prototype OLPC remains the best screen I've ever read a PDF on, bar none. E-book readers are perfect for the types of screens there working on and their tech is supposed to start shipping on a "soonish" timeframe.

The difference is noticeable (*and* the battery life is better!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IMO, wait until Pixel Qi releases their products into the screen market first. They have some innovative technology. The OLPC screen was one of the most amazing things about that device and though the OLPC project might die, the screen technology lives on and is getting commercialized.

My prototype OLPC remains the best screen I've ever read a PDF on, bar none. E-book readers are perfect for the types of screens there working on and their tech is supposed to start shipping on a "soonish" timeframe.

The difference is noticeable (*and* the battery life is better!)

I'm not quite sure I understand what you're talking about. But if you're using a prototype, then I sincerely doubt this technology will become mainstream/commercialized to the extent of existing ebook readers any time soon. Besides, for the potential savings to outweigh the initial cost, I would have to invest in an ebook reader within the next year or two. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not quite sure I understand what you're talking about. But if you're using a prototype, then I sincerely doubt this technology will become mainstream/commercialized to the extent of existing ebook readers any time soon. Besides, for the potential savings to outweigh the initial cost, I would have to invest in an ebook reader within the next year or two. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

I was using a prototype of the display about 3 years ago. The project it was a prototype of hit production not too long after that. The screen technology will be commercialized in ebook readers starting at the end of the year and will be ready for laptops by next year. Even if they just take the technology they've already proven and used in a production line for the OLPC and put it in an ebook reader it would be a really nice screen.

So assuming their timelines are accurate: 3-6 months until products ship with this screen tech in them. Of course nothing is certain until actual products roll off the production line and ends up in a store, but if you were willing to wait 6 months you might consider it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So assuming their timelines are accurate: 3-6 months until products ship with this screen tech in them. Of course nothing is certain until actual products roll off the production line and ends up in a store, but if you were willing to wait 6 months you might consider it.

Hmm, interesting. Assuming the stars align and this new technology reaches the average consumer in 3-6 months, what do you think the ballpark MSRP will be? I'm apprehensive of the large price tags that usually accompany new technology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, interesting. Assuming the stars align and this new technology reaches the average consumer in 3-6 months, what do you think the ballpark MSRP will be? I'm apprehensive of the large price tags that usually accompany new technology.

Generally yes, but in this case OLPC = One Laptop Per Child. The goal of all development under this umbrella was coming up with a laptop for under $100, so technology coming from it tends to be very reasonably priced. Witness the slew of great netbooks for $2-300 that are available because of OLPC development.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the goal is cheaper screens with longer battery life and better quality that can quickly move from prototype to fullscale production. Which seems impossible, but the tech comes from a group of people that tend to thrive on that type of thing. I wish I had more specifics to give you, but it's all at the stage where they aren't really talking about it unless you're interested in buying hundreds of thousands of units. :)

If it doesn't materialize then you'll end up having to wait 3-6 months when you shouldn't have needed to, but maybe by then the kindle thing will be more resolved too and you can use that information.

I guess my only concrete advice for you is that if you haven't fallen in love with an ebook reader already, then give it a few more months and see if you can't find a device more worthy of your undying affection. (Given that it will take precious funds from a graduate student budget and you may well be spending more time in bed with it than any significant other you may or may not have.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.