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Old 09-30-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
Nate the great
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My Opinion of the DR1000

I was one of the first to order a DR1000S, and because Irex won't deign to communicate with me I've had a fair amount of time to ponder the features of the Digital Reader. I've come to realize that it costs too much and does too little.

At $750, the DR1000S has to compete with similarly price laptops. I think it needs to be able to match the document handling abilities of a laptop. I know it doesn't have a keyboard, but that wasn't my point: it also lacks Wifi. And this shortcoming is the killer. I want Wifi because I want the Digital Reader to be able to match 3 abilities of a $750 laptop:

1. print using a network printer;
2. send and receive documents from an email account;
3. download and open files from a network hard disk.

The DR1000S cannot do this. Instead, it requires that you plug it in to a computer anytime you want to transfer a file. This makes it a $750 accessory to your computer. I don't want an accessory. For what this thing costs, I want it to be completely independent.

I know someone is going to counter with a comment about how Eink is a more pleasant experience. I agree, it is better that LCD. However, I must ask: is it the better experience worth $750 extra to add the DR1000S as an accessory to your computer? Since I am not bothered by LCD screens, I do not think so.

And yes, I do know about the DR1000SW and that it has Wifi. But until I know that it can do the 3 things I listed, my position will not change.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:55 PM   #2
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Certainly it's a "PC accessory". So is every eBook reader on the market (except, arguably, the Amazon Kindle). I have no problem with that, personally, since my PC is where I store my eBooks.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:56 PM   #3
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I originally indicated I would buy a DR1000S, but I now think WiFi is "worth" an extra $100 if the DR1000SW has a workable web browser. It would then support web-based email at least.

I like the fact that 3rd party apps run on the iLiad, and this would be a plus for me if the same is true of the DR. Note that a touch screen greatly expands the universe of existing Linux 3rd party apps, and so high-end devices from other vendors will likely have the hardware to support these apps next year too. On the other hand, I am also interesting in what Amazon will do in this area because they are probably not going to focus on the business user but perhaps instead on the college market. Also, they already have internet connectivity and a web browser. Their device will be closed to 3rd party apps, but it may be "good enough" with the provided software.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:59 PM   #4
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Sounds like you should have waited for the SW to be released.

I know the iLiad can already do #3, and #2 as well with third party software, so I assume it'll be similar with the DR.

With #1, do you mean printing from a PC to the DR as a network printer, or printing from the DR to another network printer? I know they've said you can print to it but I don't know if that will work over WiFi or if it's only as a USB connected device. Printing from it would be interesting. I don't know if they'll support that, but it sounds possible with third party software.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
I want Wifi because I want the Digital Reader to be able to match 3 abilities of a $750 laptop:

1. print using a network printer;
2. send and receive documents from an email account;
3. download and open files from a network hard disk.
If I could get a tablet format PC with a battery life of 20hours I would certainly prefer it to a DR1000 type device. This is due to as you say the capabilities of a PC compared to a dedicated reader.

However, format, weight and battery life are what you are paying the premium for.

Something like this would be nice: http://www.fujitsu-siemens.com/produ...listic_st.html but I bet that's gonna cost close to $2000.

BOb
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:07 PM   #6
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I can think of some situations where wifi would actually be an undesirable thing -- I'm thinking of ones where privacy considerations are very big.

Those folks may or may not be the majority, of course.

Personally, if it will do the stuff I need it to, the better visibility of the e-ink, and the greater battery life that goes with it would more than off-set the lack of "laptop" features. But I'm not looking for a fully stand-alone device in the first place, but rather a data appliance.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
I can think of some situations where wifi would actually be an undesirable thing -- I'm thinking of ones where privacy considerations are very big.
Do you mean people like doctors and so on? Modern WiFi security is pretty "robust" isn't it? Not much likelyhood of your data being intercepted, I wouldn't have thought.

The company I work for does military "secret" stuff, and they're happy to have WiFi networks with the appropriate level of security enabled on it.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:29 PM   #8
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Do you mean people like doctors and so on? Modern WiFi security is pretty "robust" isn't it? Not much likelyhood of your data being intercepted, I wouldn't have thought.
I was thinking about docs and lawyers, yes. And I agree that the encryption is pretty danged good.

However, if you'd like to explain that to someone who has both an M.D. and a Ph.D. (in fields completely unrelated to computers), and regards that collection of letters as proof that everything is exactly as he perceives it to be at first glance, and who has heard all about how you can sniff wifi with a Pringles can, thank you very much, and is making the infrastructure decisions here, you just be my guest.

I'm still trying to explain to them that they have to read user notices that I put up on the application, because not everything can be so obvious as to need no explanation.

Seriously, the number one (or two, depending on the year) Cancer Research Institute in the U.S., possibly the world, has only recently moved away from the position that "we will never have wireless networking here" because it's too unsecure.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:35 PM   #9
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Seriously, the number one (or two, depending on the year) Cancer Research Institute in the U.S., possibly the world, has only recently moved away from the position that "we will never have wireless networking here" because it's too unsecure.
They take an interesting approach to wireless at my office. Rather than having a WPA password that they have to distribute the wireless is fully open. However, it is outside of the firewall in the DMZ as they call it. So, if you connect to it in the office you can surf the web and such, but can't get to the internal stuff. If you want to do that you have to use the VPN. Of course, the VPN is secure end-to-end so even though the wireless is open, the traffic is encrypted.

I am aware of several places that do this. However, if you are talking about a reader I doubt it would be able to run the VPN software.

Anyway... I think the security risk with a WiFi device... assuming they are running WPA is weeker in the device it self. You steal the reader you've got access to everything on it. These things don't have security at all from what I understand. So, unless you are talking about ONLY using it as sort of a dumb terminal browser I don't think it would be the best choice for a portable browser device for say a Dr. or Lawyer's office.

BOb
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Personally, if it will do the stuff I need it to, the better visibility of the e-ink, and the greater battery life that goes with it would more than off-set the lack of "laptop" features. But I'm not looking for a fully stand-alone device in the first place, but rather a data appliance.
Agreed.

I don't look at these devices as an alternative to a computer or a laptop, but an alternative to paper. If I can do it with a piece of paper or notepad, I want to be able to do it with the reader.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:42 PM   #11
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You also have to think about the fact that for many companies, just having a device which could be 'potentially' used to get online is considered a distraction or dangerous.

In such places, the requirement that it be plugged in could actually be considered an advantage, with workers only plugging it in a couple of times a day to transfer in new stuff.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:45 PM   #12
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Anyway... I think the security risk with a WiFi device... assuming they are running WPA is weeker in the device it self. You steal the reader you've got access to everything on it. These things don't have security at all from what I understand. So, unless you are talking about ONLY using it as sort of a dumb terminal browser I don't think it would be the best choice for a portable browser device for say a Dr. or Lawyer's office.

BOb
How is someone stealing the device and somehow accessing a terminal window on the iLiad/DR even remotely likely?
Apart from the fact that you're going to stand out quite a bit carrying that thing around, it's not like you can do very much with the OS itself.
apart from that the thing is running linux, so having an open network connection doesn't automatically mean you're sharing everything you own with the world even while the WiFi is on.
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:02 PM   #13
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How is someone stealing the device and somehow accessing a terminal window on the iLiad/DR even remotely likely?
No I mean if someone steals the device and looks at the stuff on it. Light portable devices are pretty easy to steal.

BOb
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:19 PM   #14
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I don't look at these devices as an alternative to a computer or a laptop
I agree. An ebook device isn't a laptop, and isn't trying to be one. They serve different purposes.
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:11 PM   #15
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If you want a laptop like reader buy an Eee PC, 10" :>. For me the most important is the screen. I've tried reading on a laptop and after 2 hours my eyes hurt.
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