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Old 04-05-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
rolexconfuse
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Is it really that hard to make a good Ereader

Is it really that hard for big companies to make a good reader for textbooks & pdfs? Or companies just lazy?

All the big players are either making 6 inch e-ink devices or tablets.

Is it really that hard to do this?

1. E-ink screen size equal to text book page diagonally

2. focus making page turning really fast

3. use a good/fast processor (and not something that's okay or passable)

4. 1 gig ram (stop with the barely getting by or workable)

5. light weight (no more than 1lb)

6. Don't need the battery life to last 1 month. 2 weeks is good, this is for educational use not for a trip to the safari/jungle

7. A physical button for TOC. no more digging around the menus.

8. A "reference" button that lets you jump back and forth between 2 books. Ex. you're readingbook A but you need to reference something in book B. Normally you'd have to go through the menu system/home screen to do this. But now you press the "reference" button and you're back to the previous book and on to the same page. You set the 2 books you want to jump between.

9. A physical wheel or slider that allows you to skim through pages/chapters. You set the amount of pages/chapters to skim through. Each time you flick the wheel/slider it skips X pages. Each time you push and hold the wheel/slider it skips x chapter. Image you were reading a textbook and needed to go back 7 pages for something. You would have to click 7 times back and then 7 times forward to get back to your current location. That's 14 clicks just to re-read something in a textbook. I mean in a real book when you're looking for something you don't flip page by page, you either flip section by section or chunks of pages at a time.

10. better bookmarking. When I book mark something I want to know what the heck I bookmarked. Give me the ability to name the bookmark

11. annotations

Please no extra junk that interferes with the reading experience

- no mp3 player
- no Wi-Fi
- no web browsing
- no apps

I don't get it
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolexconfuse View Post
1. E-ink screen size equal to text book page diagonally
I believe it has to do with keeping cost down, and also with portability. There is a Kindle with a larger screen if you want something like that, but for novels or other books with mainly text, a 6-inch screen is perfectly large enough to read on. Plus it fits easily in a pocket.

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6. Don't need the battery life to last 1 month. 2 weeks is good, this is for educational use not for a trip to the safari/jungle
I find that battery life is often greatly inflated. My Nook STR needs to be charged about once a week, for example. They usually figure out the battery life to be under optimal conditions, with the fewest number of page-turns, and reading only for a half-hour or so a day. I read several hours a day, often switching between books, so there's no way the battery will last a month. My wife likes to brag that she's only had to charge her Kindle a few times since buying it a year ago, but that's because she never uses it. It sits for weeks at a time without being turned on.

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- no Wi-Fi
The wi-fi in eInk ereaders is used for downloading books, and you can turn it off if you don't want it on. It's not like you're going to be using instant messenger while reading.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:25 AM   #3
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Is that all??? I would suggest that a) your demands are not "that easy" or not as in demand as you suggest or far more likely... just because that's exactly what you want, it isn't what enough people have demanded... I'd certainly have absolutely no interest in such a device and companies make things that they think will sell in sufficient quantities for them to make a profit on the cost of production (and that is linked to quantities to be sold) and they obviously haven't been overwhelmed with demand for the device you describe and want... oh and several things you list are already available on many devices such as your multi-page jump suggestion...
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolexconfuse View Post
IE-ink screen size equal to text book page diagonally
Very expensive, minimal demand, might be better served by LCD.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rolexconfuse
focus making page turning really fast
The latest generation is actually pretty good in this respect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rolexconfuse
use a good/fast processor (and not something that's okay or passable)
Faster processor = hotter processor = shorter battery life. Plus, it really doesn't need to do a lot of work, so it's not really needed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rolexconfuse
A physical button for TOC. no more digging around the menus.
Most people do fine with menus. Putting a button for everyone's pet preferred item would clutter the device.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rolexconfuse
10. better bookmarking. When I book mark something I want to know what the heck I bookmarked. Give me the ability to name the bookmark
Already included


Quote:
Originally Posted by rolexconfuse
annotations
Not ideal, but already included.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rolexconfuse
- no mp3 player
- no web browsing
- no apps
All these functions are easy to ignore; I've never used them on my device.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rolexconfuse
- no Wi-Fi
I definitely want wifi, since I don't want to pay extra now for 3G.


The problem isn't that no one puts out a decent reader, it's that no one is meeting one that is an absolutely utterly perfect fit for your personal preferences. C'est la guerre.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:22 PM   #5
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The large-screen eInk market is effectively dead; tablets have "won" that battle. I'd be very surprised to see any new large-screen eInk device from any major manufacturer again, at least not until or unless colour eInk screens become viable.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
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I think I've labeled my title wrong. I meant to say, "decent e-reader for textbook, pdf and educational material"

The functions I'm mentioning aren't meant for reading novels/everyday reading. The E-reader I'm describing is for textbooks. Reading textbooks, educational material and technical PDF's are very different from reading Non Textbook/educational material. A 6 inch screen is just not bigger enough for textbooks. A 6 inch e-reader is great for everyday reading since most of your reading is linear. You go one direction and 1 direction only. You won't be diving into the TOC often. For textbooks it's different, you may need to reference things, you may want to jump back between pages/books, revisit a term, a theory and etc. You many want to jump to different chapters or sections. So those buttons would make the reading experience more like reading a real text book.

While it's expensive I can't imagine it being more expensive than some of these higher end tablets. The biggest expensive for the E-reader would be the screen. Everything else should be fairly cheap.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:29 PM   #7
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While it's expensive I can't imagine it being more expensive than some of these higher end tablets. The biggest expensive for the E-reader would be the screen. Everything else should be fairly cheap.
The trouble is, though, that it's too specialist a market. Tablets are general-purpose devices which are bought by people in all walks of life. Students are a rather restricted market sector and, even worse, a sector which does not have a great deal of money to spend.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:18 PM   #8
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7.-9. are more or less implemented in the Pocketbook devices.

But I don't think that this market is too specialiced or restricted, quite the contrary, I see a huge market there. Lawyers, for instance, have a great interest in such devices, too.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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One thing that most folks forget is the “room to grow” factor. Apple has this concept down pat, as do most of the larger tablet/phone/computer manufacturers. If they make today’s product just good enough and priced to sell well, then next year’s model can be just enough better to create block long lines to get the “New” model; and blame it on advancing technology. All when the truth is; they could have done it in the beginning, but then there wouldn’t be room to grow.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:53 PM   #10
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Rendering PDF's is MUCH harder than mapping a text file to an e-ink screen in your chosen font with a few tag formats.

I suspect the hardware requirements make for a more universal device (a.k.a. tablet or laptop) so why would any manufacturer limit themselves to a 'PDF reader' when they can sell it as a tablet? I agree there are some software tricks you are asking for that could be applied to all devices in terms of notations and jumping around.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:27 PM   #11
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"Rendering PDF's is MUCH harder than mapping a text file to an e-ink screen in your chosen font with a few tag formats.

I suspect the hardware requirements make for a more universal device (a.k.a. tablet or laptop) so why would any manufacturer limit themselves to a 'PDF reader' when they can sell it as a tablet? I agree there are some software tricks you are asking for that could be applied to all devices in terms of notations and jumping around. "

No one is asking them to make a "Pdf reader". My point is why they can't they make an e-reader geared a little more suited to educational/research reading. Nothing is stopping them from supporting Epub and other formats. Nearly all current e-book readers support PDF reading one way or another so it's not like the manufactures are reinventing the wheel here.

For example, why can't Amazon take the Kindle DX and enlarge the screen a little more, take away the keyboard. Fix the refresh rate, and add in some of the navigation tricks?
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:39 PM   #12
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Honestly, if you want something that's good at reading PDFs, you want a tablet, not an ereader.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:42 PM   #13
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Oh internet, everyone else's jobs sound so easy the way you describe them.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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Honestly, if you want something that's good at reading PDFs, you want a tablet, not an ereader.
it's not just what I want, I think there's a good amount of people who would like to have a larger display E-reader. I'm not just talking about PDF's, I'm talking about Letter size documents, technical documents and etc.

Tablets are a little better for PDF/technical papers due to the fact that you can zoom in and out easily but they are far from perfect. Most tablets are still stuck at 10 or 9.7. Once you hit the 11 inch sizes you're looking at 2 lbs. Add in the fact that not everyone is comfortable with reading from a back lit screen.

Last edited by rolexconfuse; 04-05-2012 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:11 PM   #15
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Oh internet, everyone else's jobs sound so easy the way you describe them.
I never said it was easy to implement but the idea of how it could work isn't that complicated. The hardware limitation would be the screen size. The buttons/wheels/sliders and shortcuts are all programming related. I'm no engineer but big companies like Sony and Amazon should have people who are smarter than me who can probably figure it out.
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