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Old 10-22-2012, 06:04 PM   #121
CommonReader
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It does look like an interesting device. I just can't figure out who it's *for.* It doesn't matter how cheap it is if its target demographic finds it lacking some essential feature(s).
There is this company that sells this gadget that costs twice as much as a netbook despite being less capable. It has almost no interfaces and you can only buy software through the manufacturer's platform. It doesn't even support ubiquitous standards like Flash and it has a daft name being called "iPad". This thing just has to be a market failure.
I have stopped using myself as the standard to judge whether people may accept some device or not. I do consider some of the criticism as not particularly convincing. People upload stuff from their smartphones all the time, e.g. photos to Facebook and Twitter. Pushing a book over to the reading device via Bluetooth is hardly a major challenge.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:17 PM   #122
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not the type of ereader I'd buy for myself, but I can completely see myself bringing it along for my mum on holidays, or for a kiddo. Cheap, can load enough for holiday and yet not have to really set it up fully like a full ereader. only thing is whether the cheap price is for real.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:32 AM   #123
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Maybe it would be a decent solution for kids, but the biggest hold up in my thinking is the fragility and cost of an e-ink display... Last time I looked China was looking for somewhere between $50-65 shipped in single quantities for replacements, and yes I understand economies of scale and that entire (subsidized) readers are near that price point ala Kindle, but how cheap and durable are these displays alone going to get and really how functional a device is it if it can hold only 5 books and apparently none of the other features that make a reader attractive like dictionaries, highlighting, large library in a small form factor, etc. ? I'll give you the low power argument and the low risk of loss/damage, etc. I can't see something like this really being more than a novelty item, and quite possibly having a negative effect on anyone unfamiliar with what a real ereader can do.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:45 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by CommonReader View Post
There is this company that sells this gadget that costs twice as much as a netbook despite being less capable. It has almost no interfaces and you can only buy software through the manufacturer's platform. It doesn't even support ubiquitous standards like Flash and it has a daft name being called "iPad". This thing just has to be a market failure.
The iPad has an advertised 10-hour video-watching life, longer than any laptop on the market. It's small compared to a laptop, yet has a screen larger than most netbooks. It's terrific for *looking at* things, or listening to them, and is good for flash-like games. It's tolerable at limited input abilities--text, email, touchup some documents.

It's not aimed at *me*, but I can see that it's terrific for its niche: people who want to watch videos and play games for longer than most portable devices allow, and don't care about full computer abilities. There's a *lot* of people like that.

"Readers" are not a large group to start with. "Readers who want the convenience of an electronic reader, for only 5 books at a time" is a much, much smaller group.

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People upload stuff from their smartphones all the time, e.g. photos to Facebook and Twitter. Pushing a book over to the reading device via Bluetooth is hardly a major challenge.
If the thing allows you to push web articles, photos, your twitter feed for the last 8 hours, and online magazines to its ereader, I will happily admit myself mistaken. The market for those isn't as huge as the market for video game apps, but it's not small, either.

I was under the impression that it only worked on ebook-formats: epub, maybe mobi, probably some pdfs. And the people who want to read just those, *and* don't mind a 5-book limit and whatever bluetooth filter-time problems arise, is a very small group.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:19 AM   #125
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Does anyone actually know the price yet?
full price will be around 60€...
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:57 PM   #126
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People may use their phones for Facebook and Twitter, but they don't use their phones to upload to another device. For the most part, people don't sideload content onto their e-readers, they prefer to use WiFi or 3G. Sure, we could be wrong, perhaps people will line up to get this device. I don't think they will, but that doesn't mean that I am projecting my preferences onto other people. If you're not convinced by the arguments against this device, that's fine. But if we are projecting, then so are you. A great many products do fail, you know.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:07 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
For the most part, people don't sideload content onto their e-readers, they prefer to use WiFi or 3G.
we don't? ooops. I never got that memo
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:13 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
For the most part, people don't sideload content onto their e-readers, they prefer to use WiFi or 3G.
I know plenty of people who sideload--however, they're certainly not in the market for a device like this; sideloading's enough of a nuisance that it's often done in large batches of books. There's the occasional "ooh, favorite author has new book; must add that NOW," but otherwise, it's "I've got one from here, and one from there, and picked up 5 new short stories from Smashwords and a new backlist novel from CafePress, and that freebie bundle..." a reader that only holds 5 books is useless to many sideloaders.

I'd expect, with how little the ereader manufacturers are supporting sideloading, that it doesn't require that, but expects you to load your Amazon or Kobo or B&N ebooks to the device, by means of weird proprietary software that only works with a few major stores. It may not have *any* sideloading options.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:13 PM   #129
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we don't? ooops. I never got that memo


I never said you didn't. If I'm getting a book from a non-Amazon source, I will sideload the book. But just because you or I would do something doesn't mean that users of e-readers in general would. Anything that makes the process simpler makes people more readily adopt the technology.

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I know plenty of people who sideload--however, they're certainly not in the market for a device like this; sideloading's enough of a nuisance that it's often done in large batches of books. There's the occasional "ooh, favorite author has new book; must add that NOW," but otherwise, it's "I've got one from here, and one from there, and picked up 5 new short stories from Smashwords and a new backlist novel from CafePress, and that freebie bundle..." a reader that only holds 5 books is useless to many sideloaders.

I'd expect, with how little the ereader manufacturers are supporting sideloading, that it doesn't require that, but expects you to load your Amazon or Kobo or B&N ebooks to the device, by means of weird proprietary software that only works with a few major stores. It may not have *any* sideloading options.
I'm pretty sure you can't sideload books with this device, it doesn't have a USB port. Some die-hard e-reader users may sideload, but most people use WiFi. You don't see many e-readers on the market that don't have WiFi. I didn't mean to imply that this device uses sideloading, only that just as most e-reader owners do not prefer to sideload, I think most e-reader owners would not prefer the extra step of using a phone to load books.

Last edited by QuantumIguana; 10-23-2012 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:54 PM   #130
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I think I get the basis for this device. Tell me where I'm wrong ...

It contains no rendering platform; no xhmtl, no epub, no fonts, no text search, nothing but a store of images it displays one by one. It simply displays an image of each page as formatted by the parent off-board app (which acts as a server, of sorts) and stored in the books memory.

If the above is even close, it might have uses, but not any related to general reading. I certainly wouldn't have any use for it.

it is a photo frame device.any text is converted to pictures via the app.

you can buy photoframes for a few quid.

hence the cheapness.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:59 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
people don't sideload content onto their e-readers, they prefer to use WiFi or 3G.
Wait, I use wifi and Calibre Companion to sideload onto my tablet. Does that mean I'm backloading instead?
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:37 AM   #132
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It means you're not the average ebook reader, and not in the target group for such a limited device anyway.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:39 AM   #133
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It means you're not the average ebook reader, and not in the target group for such a limited device anyway.
I just think that such a limited device has a limited market.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #134
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The iPad has an advertised 10-hour video-watching life, longer than any laptop on the market.
How big would you have considered the market prior to the iPad? Many people wondered what the iPad was actually good for when it was announced by Apple. Well, now we know.

I don't claim that this thing is going to redefine the market. However, I do think that people are looking at the issue too narrowly.
On my commuter train last night about 60% of the passengers where toying around with some smartphone - checking mails, listening to music, watching movies, whatever. There was one guy with a dedicated reader - me.
Recently on the train an elegant elderly lady (probably in her seventies) started a spontaneous discussion with a girl about the advantages and disadvantages of various Android smartphones.
Based on these observations the claims raised here that the requirement to push books from a smartphone to this reader via Bluetooth is a major impediment fail to convince me.
Technological change powered by smartphones is coming in like a tidal wave. I can now ride the national rail service with a ticket on my smartphone, I can buy subway tickets via NFC or do banking transactions on my phone.
We may therefore start to see phones as the hub of all sorts of periphery devices.
Why shouldn't the phone provide storage and connectivity and take care of payment while the "reader" provides the essential service - the e-ink display?
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:26 PM   #135
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Yes, people are using smart phones. But the way people use smart phones doesn't indicate that they would be inclined to use this e-reader. People want simplicity, and this is a clumsy solution. All these things people access with their smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, train schedules etc, these are all things they directly access with their smart phones. They aren't using their smart phones to control other devices, that's just clumsy. And only having five books eliminates one of the biggest selling points of e-readers.
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