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Old 10-15-2007, 12:49 AM   #1
Flandry
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Pocket-sized readers

Greetings!

I found this forum while looking for information on e-paper devices, which i had heard in passing were on the market. Here's a bit of background so as to explain where i'm coming from.

I got my first PalmOS PDA in 1999, starting with the Visor Deluxe. I traded that for a Handera 330 a few years later due to its "soft graffiti" area that let the whole QVGA screen be used for displaying -- ebooks! More than anything else, i used my PDAs for reading.

I picked up a Palm T3 after my Handera was stolen, but the shorter (non-replaceable) battery life and such made it seem like a downgrade to me, and i got rid of it after a year.

I then bought a used Zaurus C860, a marvelously engineered device that is great as a tiny computer for linux hackers and such (part of the appeal for me); however, the short battery life again made it disappointing as a reader, and although the keyboard was wonderful, it was overall a bit too large to carry everywhere. In addition, acquiring a laptop computer reduced my need for a super-portable computer, and my phone now plays my music for me and has a calculator...

So, i've come full circle: i want a B&W device with incredible battery life, and the ability to fit in my shirt pocket. Geek chic has to give way somewhat to professionalism, so it needs to be less bulky than the PDAs i've had in the past. I want mainly to read on it, and ideally manage appointments &tc. (the only other PDA thing not really handled by my phone) -- basically, a reader with minimal PDA functionality. I would even consider knocking together a scheduler/calendar app myself if the device was based on linux and had a SDK. I had hoped that e-paper would make such a device possible in a way never seen even with the B&W LCD Palm devices back in the heyday of PDAs.

Sadly, it seems from what i've read here that nobody is making pocket-sized e-paper devices. Please tell me that i'm wrong!
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:54 AM   #2
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Please tell me that i'm wrong!
You're not entirely wrong. Have a forum search for the "Readius" -- it's Philips. product, if memory serves. But I think it's only in Italy at the moment ... or was it Spain? I'm also not certain that it ever really launched in much volume, we haven't heard much about it for a while.

Oh, and welcome to MobileRead, Flandry!
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:10 AM   #3
Flandry
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Hey, thanks.

Press PDF
Youtube demo
Better demo vid of a prototype
Engadget info

That's closer to the size i was thinking, but a very thin, flat device would be so much more useful IMO than a cell-phone shaped gadget that has to be rolled out every time it's used.

Still, i would consider it if it was available, and less than 600 euros! :O

Not even a touch-screen or any real input mechanism, and 600 bills... woah.

I think my dream will have to wait. :/

Last edited by Flandry; 10-15-2007 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:18 AM   #4
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I assume you are aware of the Nokia 770 and N800. They are exactly what you want except with a color LCD screen and (therefore) a battery life measured in hours. I have never formally measured the battery life, but it is at least 4 hours reading e-books (wifi turned off). It has a true standby instant-on mode, and if you use it every day it is entirely possible that you would never turn the device off. Extra Nokia batteries are available if you want to run all day, but there is no external recharger so juggling multiple batteries is a pain.

The N810 is rumored to be available shortly, and this has already caused price cuts for the N800. The 770 is actually a better e-book reading device that the N800 (better key layout), but is a bit underpowered for web browsing etcetera.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
You're not entirely wrong. Have a forum search for the "Readius" -- it's Philips. product, if memory serves. But I think it's only in Italy at the moment ... or was it Spain? I'm also not certain that it ever really launched in much volume, we haven't heard much about it for a while.

Oh, and welcome to MobileRead, Flandry!
Italy. Have a looksy here.

HarryT's just bought an interesting phone that can have Mobi on it, that's cool too.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:42 AM   #6
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I should point out, Yvan, that there are a dozen different Windows Mobile smartphones which will do exactly the same thing. There's nothing special about mine. I just liked the styling and small size of it.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:19 AM   #7
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I should point out, Yvan, that there are a dozen different Windows Mobile smartphones which will do exactly the same thing. There's nothing special about mine. I just liked the styling and small size of it.
That's what impressed me, the size of it, you're not carrying a soap bar in your pocket. BTW That's what impressed me most of the Nano.
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:03 AM   #8
Flandry
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Italy. Have a looksy here.

HarryT's just bought an interesting phone that can have Mobi on it, that's cool too.
I'm not up for a phone upgrade for another year, but i really like the design of that phone. Hopefully, it will be a bit less expensive by then.

Those Nokia web tablets are quite nice, indeed; i hadn't seen those before. The battery life kills it for me, though.

The thing is, i have a laptop and i have a cell phone. I need a pocket-sized device with a good screen for reading and simple apps (nothing that wouldn't work ok with a slow refresh screen like e-ink) with long battery life. I think a gadget sized just right to slip into a shirt pocket (maybe a 5" e ink screen?) could be stunningly slim and useful due to the lightness and small form factor of e ink. The majority of the device could be a display area. That's what i want -- a digital notepad.
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