I've become quite interested in ebook readers the last couple weeks, and it seems to me that one can find any combination of two of the following three features in current readers:
- Advanced paper-like screen technology (e-ink or reflective LCD).
- Good annotation system--preferably via stylus.
- Price under $150.
If you want 2 and 3, you have the functional, but somewhat antiquated, eBookwise. If you want 1 and 3, you have the Ectaco Jetbook and its cousins. If you want 1 and 2, well, I guess there's the expensive IREX iLiad.
Is there any chance we'll see a reader with all three features by summer 2010? Maybe I shouldn't hold my breath. I feel that ebook technology is on the cusp of really taking off but is just not quite there yet (and I don't know if 2010 will be the year).
For those with eBookwise experience, is the $90 deal worth it? By that I mean specifically: is reading non-straining on the LCD screen, are annotations easily accessible on device and on computer, and finally, do you think it will be replaced by a reader in 2010 that boasts better screen technology, higher resolution stylus annotations, and an affordable price tag (a guess, I know, but I feel that some of you have a certain intuition about ebook innovation)? I'm not dying to get a reader yet, I can wait on the market for a while, but if there's no hope of seeing my "big 3" list on the immediate horizon (6-12 months), it might be worth it to play with eBookwise now.
(P.S. The vast majority of my reading is pre-1850, so I'm not overly concerned about DRM issues).