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Old 09-06-2006, 01:17 PM   #2
CommanderROR
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Posts: 2,022
Karma: 4924
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Device: STAReBOOK, iRex Iliad, Sony 505, Kindle 2
Well...I'll try to give you a brief overview of my opinion as an early adopter...

The Iliad, as it is at the moment, is not suitable for the mass market. This mainly due to the software. The menu structure is a nightmare, the whole process of finding something takes ages, the startup time, the power-down time, the low battery life and the counter-intuitive "automatic note naming" routine are all things that frighten even me sometimes, and I'm not easy to frighten when it comes to gadgets...

However, the Iliad has a lot of potential. It can be put to use for numerous ventures, it can benefit a lot of people in different situations. I use it as a book, I just load my content onto the internal memory or the CF card and read novels, first page to last. I've read that some of the early adopters here on the forums use it to take notes during lessons. also a cool option, especially with handwriting-recognition now available (at least as a PC app, not directly on the Iliad (yet)).
IF iRex manage to get their Software and their Service going, it could become posible to actually offer the device to the general public.

Then of course, you need content, the IDs is supposed to take care of that, so far there is nothing at all there, but since irex is a member of the IDPF, maybe that'll help them in getting publishers onboard.

Pricing is also a big one...for 670, nobody in their right mind will buy the device. Offering it cheaper with Newspapers bundled (Subsidy) could work, making production cheaper could also help...but it's a long way from 600+ to the 150-200 that should be the max. I could imagine Joe Average paying for a reading device...

So, basically it's all potential and no reality at the moment. The software is progressing, but FAR too slowly, there are still a lot of device failures and service hassles and the pricing won't drop for a while yet if I'm not completely mistaken. If They get all the right stuff together and the software guys work real miracles in the next few week (unlikely unfortunately) they COULD manage to get a toehold on the market. If Sony manages a good launch with their Reader,the US customers at least will probably decide they prefer the cheaper and easier device, they'll continue using their PDA or Tablet for Note-Taking and stuff. If the Hanlins (especially the new V2) get their Software going before iRex does, and if they get some content and distribution lined up, then the lower price will again lure many people that way. If the DRM discussion doesn't go well, all ventures might fail like those before did, so it's all still undecided.
We'll see...

I like my Iliad despite it's many shortcomings, and if the handling improves a little and battery life improves A LOT I won't regret buying it. Joe Average however won't be satisified so easily, and he's the one who's going to decide whether ebooks will work this time...
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