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Old 07-17-2007, 12:24 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by |2eason View Post
I'm unimpressed by the current selection of ereaders out there at the moment, because most seem to be geared towards fiction readers. Whilst there's nothing wrong with that per say, I think there is (or would be) a much greater demand for eInk readers designed for academic use.
I completely disagree with you. There certainly is a market for a larger-format device (A4 screen would be logical), but it's a different market to the one the Sony Reader and friends are intended for. I think myself that the market for fiction reading is enormously larger than the academic market. Compare the number of fiction books sold to the number of textbooks!
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:28 PM   #17
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I for one, have been on this bandwagon for some time. The Sony Reader is a great leisure device, but there is a massive market for a professional grade e-ink/e-paper device. As to why no one has jumped on it (except iRex, who look like they meant to jump, but seems to have missed), I couldn't guess. It's a mystery to me too.
No "mystery" at all. The answer is simply, I suspect, that A4 eInk screens don't exist, and the manufacturing yield for them would probably make them prohibitively expensive at present.

People have been quoting around $200-ish to get the screen on a Sony Reader replaced. That screen has around a sixth the area of an A4 screen. Let's be generous and suppose that the cost is proportional to the screen area (it probably increases at a much higher ratio, in reality!). Would you pay $1200 for an A4 screen?

I'm sure that we will see A4-format devices as larger screens become cheaper to manufacture.
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:28 PM   #18
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I completely disagree with you. There certainly is a market for a larger-format device (A4 screen would be logical), but it's a different market to the one the Sony Reader and friends are intended for. I think myself that the market for fiction reading is enormously larger than the academic market. Compare the number of fiction books sold to the number of textbooks!
True, A4 is perfect for academic, newspapers and comics. What we need though is a flexible display for A4 devices: much easier to carry such a device. Plastic Logic ? 2008 ?
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:29 PM   #19
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If I needed to read PDF that badly, for $1200 I'd get a good laptop and have leftover money as well.
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:08 PM   #20
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Or a tablet for that price ... if you like them that is.
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:50 PM   #21
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I completely disagree with you. There certainly is a market for a larger-format device (A4 screen would be logical), but it's a different market to the one the Sony Reader and friends are intended for.
Yes, that's what I said. It is a distinct market, a market with potential, so why are we not seeing movement/development
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I think myself that the market for fiction reading is enormously larger than the academic market. Compare the number of fiction books sold to the number of textbooks!
Whilst quantity is certainly in important factor, it doesn't define the usefulness and therefore market potential of each niche.

To me, there is little benefit to spending $400 dollars on a reading device just for reading fiction books; books that would cost the same as pbooks, books that I may have to spend time converting formats and such. I have no need for a device that can store hundreds of fiction books, because I read only one at a time. The most I'd need is the amount I could fit in a corner of my suitcase. To me it is neither cost effective nor time effective. You might disagree (in fact I expect flames), but I'd challenge you to put yourself in the shoes of an average reader who may read a book a week and only has a small grasp of computers and try to justify the expense of an ereader and 'hassle' that goes with it. (I know, that 'hassle' is the fun part for some).

However, as a student, the literature I read is free (after journal subscriptions are paid of course) so cost of e-books aren't a problem. And, to hell with the cost of the reader, I'm thousands in debt already. If it help me get a first class honors, then it's cost effective. And if it were powerful enough to replace my computer? then hell yeah! Also, I need to read many books concurrently, so the ability of an ebook device would prove essential (no more walking round campus with a bag that weighs a ton). The books I read aren't available next to the bestsellers at the local bookstore, so it would be of benefit to me to find hard to find titles on the internet. Anyways, the list goes on..

Point is, whilst maybe 1 in 100 fiction book readers would find a ereader useful, pretty much all students would, as well as teachers, professors etc. So the markets are comparable imo.

Quote:
Would you pay $1200 for an A4 screen?
YES!

ETA; I remember hearing about a study done to show the difference between learning from books and a computer. It showed that those studying from a computer screen showed much less recall and comprehension. I'd be interested to see a similar study comparing computer to EInk, with books as a control.

Last edited by |2eason; 07-17-2007 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:11 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by |2eason View Post
(in fact I expect flames)
Actually, we maintain a pretty low flame environment around here, I'm proud to say. Disagreed with? Yeah, you'll get lots of that, but folks are generally pretty respectful about it. That's the reason I've hung around so long.

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I'd be interested to see a similar study comparing computer to EInk, with books as a control.
That would be a very interesting study, I think.

It would have to allow some time to let the e-ink group get past the "wow-cool" phase, that impaired my own e-ink reading for a week or two.
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:58 PM   #23
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screen min 12" is a must, resolution min 600 DPI, gray scale 16
I don't think you'll have a 600dpi screen before long, current e-ink vizplex
screens hardly reach 170dpi.

Doubling current res. so as to reach 360dpi would already be a BIG step!

Quote:
To me, there is little benefit to spending $400 dollars on a reading device just for reading fiction books; books that would cost the same as pbooks, books that I may have to spend time converting formats and such.
You don't know what you are talking about. There are thousands of free ebooks
available on the internet. If you had to buy paperback editions you would spend
way more than 400$.
Of course maybe you are one of those who only read one fiction book a year,
during summer at the beach, but that's not the case of everyone here.

Last edited by guguy; 07-17-2007 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:56 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by |2eason View Post
You could even go further and just have immovable windows with a maximum of four, one in each screen segment. Even that would provide enough scope for file manipulation.

Ultimately, the important thing is to give the user access to large, remote libraries via the internet or LAN without the need for an intermediate PC or snickernet. If that can be done with an intuitive non-standard interface, then I'd be happy with that.
We used to do quite a lot with the Model 33 teletype as an interface. I think you are correct in saying that a usable interface can be devised. We can adapt the software to the slow screen.
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You might disagree (in fact I expect flames) . . .
It is good to hear your ideas. Many have expressed similar sentiments in the past. We all have a wish list. I hope the designers are lurking here. This is the place to stand up for innovation. Where else can we do it?

My daughter got a new Sony CZ370P/C yesterday. It is amazingly light. It feels like a hardcover book. I can imagine reading with it for long periods. Now we will have the Asus EEE for a really cheap reader -- and lightweight too!

We are on the cusp of a convergence. Soon we will have light fast devices that can do everything we need and can be toted in a book bag. They will combine most of the features described in this thread, and more. We probably won't call them eReaders because the new technology will offer all of the functionality of today's readers, plus the ability to access the internet, remote file systems, and more. And we will see our PDFs in full-page color.

Someday we will look at our Sony Reader and think, "Just for reading? How quaint!"
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:37 AM   #25
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@guguy
AFAIK, the majority of books available free online are 'out of copyright' and do not account for the majority of the market.
And, I read more than 1 fiction book a year. Maybe 1 a month. But, that's more than the American average of 6 a year. Of course that's less than most here, but then most here do not represent the 'average reader'. I think my point stands.
I'm curious though, what would YOU consider to be your perfect reader; ie the perfect reader for fiction? Surely the sony isn't it? Or is it?

Last edited by |2eason; 07-22-2007 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:08 AM   #26
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I can't speak for guguy, of course, but the Sony gets about 90~95% of it for me -- my primary interest is in reading, though, so I don't particularly miss features such as annotations or searching.

What's it lacking, for me? I think the biggest deal is some of the quirks of the OS/Apps, no folders, no "go to page," etc. Though I expect someone will figure out how to change those from home before too long. I would like a slightly larger display, but not too much larger, I like the overall size of the device for reading purposes. A built in front-light that I could turn on only when I needed it is about the wildest want I have on it (I know it would hose the battery life, but it shouldn't be too bad, what with the availability of low-power LEDs -- so what if I have to recharge it after 2 weeks if I use the light much, that's still not that burdensome to me).
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:42 AM   #27
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My perfect reader would support: Epub, PDF, Mobipocket, HTML and RTF
Screen size: A4
But based on a flexible screen ! This way, you can easily travel with it, AND you can easily read any PDF available on the Internet (academic, newspaper etc...).

I don't really need wireless connection or a touch screen, they drain too much power out of the battery.

The right choice would be 2 versions of such a device, one just for reading, the other with a touch screen and wireless connection.
With the right software and content available, wireless connection is pretty neat: download new books while you're sitting in a café, read your daily newspaper/website (the book and RSS part should already work on the iLiad, but not enough newspapers yet, although the e-paper version for Les Echos looks fantastic: http://aldus2006.typepad.fr/mon_webl...les-echos.html )
I don't need a touch screen that much but it can be useful for those who need annotations or more advanced software (nothing too interactive for the moment, but an email client could work for example).
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:16 PM   #28
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Quite a number of comments, I notice, center on the size and type of screen that should be used/is preferred.

Maybe modularity won't help matters, but it occurs to me that if the screen was an accessory to the device, users could purchase the screen that's best for them, whether it be LCD or e-ink, large, small, flexible, fast-refresh for motion/animation content, etc.

The device itself, without the screen, could easily be cellphone-sized, easy to take anywhere. You could even buy multiple screens depending on different uses at different times/places.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:38 PM   #29
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That's an interesting idea, Steve ... it would allow a lot of flexibility with the same base unit. It would also allow upgrading the base unit without replacing the displays. I like it.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:50 PM   #30
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My perfect reader would support: Epub, PDF, Mobipocket, HTML and RTF
Screen size: A4
But based on a flexible screen ! This way, you can easily travel with it, AND you can easily read any PDF available on the Internet (academic, newspaper etc...).

I don't really need wireless connection or a touch screen, they drain too much power out of the battery.
I'd go for the wifi and the touch screen as long as we can turn them off so we can save battery life.
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