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Old 02-06-2009, 03:14 AM   #25
brecklundin
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Device: mine
Quote:
Originally Posted by CleverClothe View Post
Except that the convertables are $500-700, 2x-3x as heavy, and don't last nearly as long.

All depends on your needs. And for access to text, the e-ink readers are better.
I actually was comparing to all eink devices. Say you spend $300-$400 for a basic reader only device. You can buy a fully function netbook that will pretty much run any reader software you need, not whatever comes with the reader device. One does not really give up too much either in terms of content, other than the inability to buy from Amazon, you can buy DRM'd or none DRM'd books anywhere else. Limited only by the reader software available for the OS your netbook is running.

Additionally you can do email, word processing, web browsing, watch a video of some sort and for one of these newer convertible netbooks you are looking at a MAXIMUM price difference over a basic ereader device of around $300. But that difference buys a fully functional computer in only a slightly larger form factor.

And when compared to the devices wellcraft mentions the netbook becomes a much more competitive device. Though still no Wacom screens mentioned yet...{sniff-sniff}

You do make a valid point about weight differential. But ereading devices are a huge trade-off in terms of missing features for the price. And the weight differential is probably not as great as you might first think. Most folks don't exactly carry their reader around w/o a cover of some sort nor in their shirt/pants pocket. So they are carrying it in a bag of some sort as well as in a protective cover. If a 1-2lb difference matters to you...I suggest less Cheetos and more 12oz curls. And remember these netbooks do not need a special protective case as they, well, fold up. Still, you are right in pointing out there are times when the lighter weight device is really nice. It is one of the pros for my N800 over my Clie NX73v. Also, when the plastic/flexible eink screens hit the streets later this year the difference might be a bit more but, really not much.

And as I mentioned the ONLY real problem I have with a convertible netbook is the complete inability to read outside in the sun. In the shade, sure but that ability will vary by brand for sure. And the glossy displays will be all but useless outside. And I see no company that has offered a transreflective screen. Probably since they are far more expensive simply due to economy of scale in terms of sales. Again an advantage for eink readers as outside is the only place they really, ummm for forgive this pun...outshine shine a convertible netbook for my needs/wants.

But when I can buy a device that gives me not only the ability to read my ebooks, but also a large percentage of the functionality I need when mobile and want to go light the choice is an easy one for me...and I suspect many others.

Last a 9"-10" full color LED LCD display is a HUGE plus for the netbook...especially for a student who wants to use it to take notes which can later be transferred to their more powerful laptop/desktop...along with the potential to provide full color textbooks.

Battery life is not that much of an issue if you need the added computing power. So an extra battery adds 1lb to the junk you are already carrying...it also adds another 4-6hrs of use. But again for just reading, the eink battery life devices is generally better unless one is using the touch screen and/or wireless of some sort or, as in the case of the Kindle, using an SD card (but that has to be a poorly written bit of software and can be fixed).

This is not a knock against eink devices but rather an expression that these devices are not at a reasonable price point given the whole DRM, company-store, one-trick-pony nature of devices from the two major players. I think the iRex is a very nice device yet is still about $300 over priced. And the readers from Amazon and Sony are about 50% over priced. Looking forward to the larger format Astek devices in late Q3 or early Q4 of this year. But they are facing stiff competition from a netbook for my pennies.

In spite of the attraction of the netbooks due out this year, I will likely not take that jump either. At least not until I see their durability from the early adopters. But, given Asus has a big advantage over the competition I might be tempted at a $400 9"-10" convertible netbook with a standard HDD not an SSD drive. SSD drives are still way to spendy to make them worth while for most of us...a few more years and maybe they will be, unless a better option comes along. Do note the price of a netbook drops significantly by going with a standard HDD over an SSD. And for some of them using the earlier far less power efficient SSD's the battery life is not significantly better.

No matter what this will really be an interesting year as we might see a merging of the two devices moving close by the end of the year.
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