E-Reader Procrastination & Comparison

I want an e-reader and I want one badly….and by e-reader, I mean an actual e-Ink screen. 

Can’t tell you how sick I am of reading reviews and comments of e-readers to see stupid comments by people stating “why spend that much money on a e-reader when you could buy an iPad or netbook for slightly more”….Why?   Because e-Ink is like paper, e-ink can be read in direct sunlight, e-Ink only uses power when you turn the page.  When your laptop is as easy on the eyes as paper, and can be viewed without glare in any light (even sunlight) and doesn’t need to be charged more than 2 times a month – then let’s talk.  Apples to oranges guys……If we were talking about needing a multimedia portable device – I’d go with the iPad, but I like to read, so any comparisons to any LCD-screen are moot for this conversation.

But……the e-readers are obsoleting the previous ones so quickly that its hard for me to pull the trigger and buy one since I know what I want and none of them are quite right and yet the promises of upcoming e-readers are getting better and better which makes the wait abit maddening.

This last week I tested out a Nook at Barnes & Noble (one of my favorite places to be alone) in Sioux Falls

Height: 7.7 inches; Width: 4.9 inches; Depth: 0.5 inches;

What I liked

  • I like the color touch-screen at the bottom for navigating features and collections
  • I liked the controls and feel of the device
  • And the page refresh seemed quick enough for me

What I did not like

  • Annotation – clumsy and not anything anyone would ever actually use – sales agent was embarrassed I think to have to show me this – as would I be
  • The newly added web browser in their most recent firmware upgrade – also worthless, if you can’t render a simple Google screen – can you really claim to have web browsing support…..you can make it work if you are patient enough and if I were trapped under a bus with it I am sure I could eventually get the info I wanted from the web but what I saw of it was not practical
  • PDF support was weak, I use lots of PDF white papers and if you can’t zoom, and allow for proper panning of a fullsize PDF page on a 6 inch screen – well, thats not going to work

Meanwhile the Kindle does not have native PDF support and has the stupid tiny button keyboard again at the bottom wasting real estate – and I have come to the conclusion that a simple 6 inch screen just won’t cut it,which is why the Kindle DX looks cool but it is missing most of the features of new e-readers including touch-screen navigation as well

I have checked out all of the e-reader comparison charts

http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/09/23/compare-amazon-sony-and-irex-wireless-e-book-readers-with-this-handy-chart/

And I have been monitoring the Kindle Rumor sites trying to get a feel for what Kindle 3.0 may reveal

 http://ireaderreview.com/2010/05/28/kindle-3-rumors-thin-black-no-touchscreen/

So what have I learned which is promising?

The Spring Design Dual Screen Alex e-reader is very close – it only has the 6” e-ink screen but with the 3.5” touchscreen for navigating collections, better browser support – its a nicer version of the Nook but at a pricey $399 , it makes you pause and consider other options since for that much money I want more than a 6” screen – I mean, I got some pretty big geek books I hope to use on this thing and I like to read fast, so 6 “ of real estate might get frustrating

But here is what I think the winner will be, maybe, the swiss-army knife of e-readers…..the Notion Ink Adam, dual screen

http://notionink.in/adamfeature.php

This YouTube video seems to agree 

  

But since its introduction at CES this year, no announced release date, no pricing, and as we approach 2010 Q3 and no new details, starting to feel like vaporware

Which will leave me on my birthday in August this year still with no e-reader and still waiting to pull the trigger – the Kindle rumors indicate a new Kindle 3 coming out in August so I am hopeful as I am certainly a loyal Amzaon customer as well

I want a screen larger than 6”, Wifi access, removable media card, simple web browser, ability to play MP3 mandatory (ability to play videos like the Alex is a huge plus), and I want a touch screen for navigation and bookmarking with native support for all of the major open document formats ePub and must have excellent PDF support – all modest wants and as soon as something under $400 appears like this, I’m probably sold

More than most people I think I certainly understand the rapid pace of technology but I simply want what I buy to be something I will use for a long period of time (like the paper books I already buy)

 

On a unrelated note

– I love the crazy things people have done with business cards but this is awesome – tell me when he hands these out that people won’t be asking him for a card – which is kind of the ultimate goal of promoting oneself, isn’t it?

http://t4f.org/en/projects/business-card

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2010/02/toolbox_business_cards.html

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About bradosterloo

.NET Software Developer working for Innovative Systems, LLC in Mitchell, SD
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