Originally Posted by bhartman36
I think 11" or 12" panels would make e-readers significantly less convenient to carry around. I'm in a special situation, because I'm in a wheelchair and would find rolling around with something that size difficult (whereas I could put a Kindle 3 in my backpack fairly easily), but I think the (non-DX) Kindles and Nooks of the world are closer to a size that someone would want to carry. And too much smaller than that, and you run into readability (as in, not being able to read enough at once) problems. (I know a lot of people read on their iPhones and other phones, but from what I understand, they do this in short bursts, and do their "main" reading on an e-reader or computer screen).
First, there is almost no difference between a 5" reader and a 6" reader...lots of folks love them for the superb portability. You might look at the Pocketbook 360 with it's integrated hard shell cover to protect the panel and eliminating the need for a overpriced cover. Seriously, had I not bought my K2i for a net $159 thanks to a $100 Amazon credit with an Audible subscription, I would have bought the PB 360 instead. It might be a nice fit for you.
As for small reading like a phone...I have two devices I have used for years, both about 4" LCD devices, a Sony Clie nx73v PDA and a Nokia N800 4.3" device. Both are wonderful for reading on for hours on end. I really like the Clie because it has a transflective LCD which means it is perfectly readable in direct sun though not as readable as the Vizplex and forward panels, still it's fine. Plus the PDA might actually be the best designed device I have ever used for recreational reading thanks to auto-scrolling and a very innovated "jog wheel" to let you control the speed on the fly as you read all while holding it on one hand. And it is around 6-yrs old now. I bought it used for $16.
For my needs mentioned in my post, it has nothing what so ever about a pocket sized reader. Everyone already has a portable reader. The "burden" you seem to perceive of a 12" device seems trivial to 2-3 boxes of books weighing in at that the 200-300lbs I mention. I have no issue with a large format reader's portability I already use a 17" laptop for everything so trust me, a 12" device is nothing. The current 10" panels are NOT large format, they do not even come close to being transparently useful for these references. I was not stating the 11"-12" panels should be the only ones made.
While I completely understand you need more portable devices and have a problem with large readers for carrying them around, those already exist...so who cares? So there!!
It's not like color will come ONLY to larger readers. Nor will a 12" panel device be made for a while yet, but once the color jinni is out of the bottle the other sizes will flow. The content dictates the size panel needed to use the material effectively and a 9.7" panel is quite honestly not in the ballpark. In matter of fact a 9.7" panel is about the size of a trade paperback which simply is not workable for 90% of the books I use on a regular basis. Nobody creates reference/research books that small, there are a few but not enough to matter.
My comment is that there are books which, based on the subject matter, simply cannot be scaled down to a panel that is smaller than the content area of each existing print versions. I am even removing the margins in the print versions as margins on a reader don't need to be as large as printed material. My references would need a 14" panel if the same printed margins were included in ebook versions (that is the diagonal of an 8.5"x11" page including margins of course). But without margins the scaling would be reasonable for an 11"-12" panel. There was a reason the Que (not pure vaporware but close) was a 14" panel and it would have sold well if they ironed out the software and ability to write notes within documents. If that size was in color I would jump on it were the color mature enough to give at least 16M colors but 32-bit color is what I really need as part of information references I use impart is accurate colors used for what I do...and small variations matter. I don't need video, but I do need color as accurate as possible. And so would millions of other potential users. It is just something that if you need it you know and understand but if you don't need it then you will never understand.
I re-read this and it sounds far harsher than intended...perhaps it's because it is such an old discussion. So many seem to assume that ONLY small readers make sense. They simply do not, in fact the lack of color full page size readers is holding back million of potential ebook sales annually. So don't take the somewhat terse tone of my response as personal...it's just it's that people need to think beyond recreational reading of novels as the end all purpose of ebook devices. Also there exists a finite-infinite number of existing PDF documents which will never be reformatted for smaller panels while people really need access to in our daily lives. This last was a need the Que was attempting to fulfill.
Many of us genuinely need a reader that goes beyond the current recreational readers which simply do not cut it for other types of content due to the small panel size let alone lack of decent color.
But something else readers need beyond even color, real software on the devices. We need a library management as well as a research tool to aid in using multiple open books/papers to create cross references and manage notes. Software such as Evernote and OneNote are close to what would be perfect if they added the ability to manage a reading library on the device or elsewhere. Right now the only devices which work OK, not perfect would be a tablet PC and those are nice but there are simply not enough users of those devices to entice publishers to create ebook versions. Though the Nook software as well as the Kindle4PC (or whatever OS) go a long way to help. it is just neither app is designed for anything beyond recreational reading but that is where the ability run something like OneNote or EverNote makes a true PC the best current option. Problem is the tablets are expensive. A $300-$500 reader device would be a much easier pill to swallow. I can buy a ton of books for the price difference.