Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Device: PRS-500, HTC Shift, iPod Touch, iPaq 4150, TC1100, Panasonic WordsGear
As I said earlier, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We're all simply stating ours. BTW an A4 doc at 800x480 on a 4" screen is murder on the eyes without magnification. I forgot to mention, I also have an OQO Model 01, OQO Model 01+, Compaq TC1000 Tablet PC, Panasonic WordsGear, and a fairly recently purchased HTC Shift (had to wait for the best price fit to jump on that wagon!).
As you can see, I've been pursuing the ultimate portable e-Doc device for quite a while... still haven't found the perfect one, though the current crop of eInk devices fit the bill quite well for all but comic & A4-size texts/magazines (not to mention no color... yet).
- The TC1000 is absolutely the best for viewing PDF's/A4 docs, though not practical for ebooks due to size, weight and heat. It's great because they didn't waste too much space on the bezel surrounding the screen and it goes straight to slate by simply removing the keyboard. The TC1000 also has conveniently placed navigation buttons right next to your index finger for when you're in portrait-mode, so that a simple flick down takes you to the next page or up to the previous page. The keyboard's a bit awkward, but you sort of get used to it over time... well, maybe not. Battery life started in the 6 hour range but after-markets are down around 2.5.
- The OQO's 4" display does 800x480 too and stuff I was viewing on it was way too tiny to be of practical use. When you zoomed scrolling it's a pain and not very smooth due to refresh & rendering. Next is the heat generated by this little guy & it's pretty darn heavy too. I don't even care for it too much as an Internet device either, the keyboard is just too small on a 4" device for practical use & most pages are set up for 1024 fixed-width now so there's always some scrolling to see the whole page.
- The WordsGear... well, it's a nice device too, but Panasonic hampered the heck out of it with all the DRM & conversion utilities to make it useful, not to mention it would have been perfect had it had smooth scrolling instead of jumpy/jerky 1/4 page shift's when viewing something in landscape mode. It's a nice device, but they should have put more time in it than to simply get it out for their proprietary format; i.e., not very open. If anyone wants to make me an offer on it, let me know. If you speak/read Japanese, it comes with a bunch of free Japanese-language books & the PDF-plugin.
- The HTC Shift is now my system of choice for portable surfing, dev'ing, office stuff, & the works. It's also pretty darn good with all those pesky A4 docs, since everything isn't scrunched up on a 4" screen. While it's a little on the heavy size, most portable Tablets even micro models are in relation to their size. It's actually a pretty slick system & I'm glad I got it, it's helped settle my search for a portable PC w/o compromising on a clam-shell design (I had to have a Tablet, slate or convertable), something that's too bulky/large, having a ultra-small keyboard, or worse yet, not having a "tactile" keyboard at all.
If the newer crop of Asus Eees had been out, I might have went for one of those or the new HP, but the Eee wasted a ton of space with a useless bezel and none were Tablets aside from the Khojinsha & Fujitsu's and their screens were/are a little on the small size. The Shuttle Tablet looked nice to me when I got a hands-on, but the keyboard was a bit awkward & cramped. I could pick up a fairly recent Fujitsu Loox today for ~$750 (a pretty darn good bargain!), but while it has a pretty high res for it's size, the screen looks small to me.
For me, eInk will reign supreme for novels, the Touch will keep my happy with comics, tech docs, & magazines on-the-go, and the Shift will keep me satisfied with A4 stuff at home & on long trips. Can't wait for the consolidated device, maybe we'll see it when the newer crop of larger eInk screens actually turn out, or better yet with the color eInk! I think I'm done now... :P