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Old 10-17-2011, 02:24 PM   #1
leuvenwim
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Unhappy How soon can a 12-inch-eink reader be released?

I'm waiting desperately and impatiently for the advent of such a product.

As a post-graduate student, I have tons of research papers in pdf format to read everyday. I hope one day I don't need to print them out so that people will chop less trees or use the timber to build houses intead of making paper.

Kindle DX is not yet an ilde solution: vertical view is too small for an PDF file; horizontal view cuts the layout into half, which breaks the rhythm of reading and shrink the total words perceived at one glance. Several pages is fine. It can be an arduous reading experience after two or three hours.

An A4-size Ereader. Is it really that hard to produce or simply because the market is not big enough?

I hope I'll be able to use an iPad-size eink reader before I die.
(I'm in my twenties, by the way.)
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:34 PM   #2
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I completely agree that reading PDFs is just suckage.

The market just doesn't seem to be big enough. I read a lot of PDFs as well in university. It's just the way it goes. A better suggestion would be for the academic community to move away from PDF into something that is re-flowable so that people would have options of how to read things. But that will happen, probably after I'm dead.


Depening on what type subject area you are studying, you may be able to OCR convert some PDFs into other formats and just use a regular e-reader or a DX for convenience. But if you're in a field with lots of diagrams and charts it's going to be a struggle converting stuff.

Welcome to the forum by the way.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:45 PM   #3
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It would need a flexible backplane, which has been talked about for years but never seems to actually see the light of day.

See Older/Canceled Large Devices. The Skiff would have been about the size you want, but it is definitely dead. The Plastic Logic has a 2nd wind, see Plastic Logic introduces 10.7" reader in Russia and jetBook Color vs. Plastic Logic. The 9.7" color option seems more likely to have legs than a larger greyscale screen, but both have been somewhat sidelined by iPads and tablets.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:11 PM   #4
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I suspect the market is to small. Upgraded displays are on the horizon for ultra portables. With upgraded software this would seem a better solution except for cost? Could one of those screens be incorporated into an ereader and still meet weight and cost requirements.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:59 PM   #5
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It seems that the larger screens are very expensive, and since a lot of the use would be content already owned by the owner, there isn't much economic incentive for it to be done.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:05 AM   #6
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How soon can a 12-inch e-ink reader be released..?

Just as soon as a company stumps up the development costs for an e-ink panel that large to go into a device they've developed to fulfill a market that they've created for customers to buy the product they need at a price they're prepared to pay…

So not any time soon, I think.

Until then, most folks seem to be getting on pretty well with an iPad-sized iPad (other tablets are available, apparently) for reading PDFs; in the absence of a device made just for you, is there a reason why you couldn't get by with an iPad/tablet PC/convertible laptop/netbook/whatever for your PDF usage?

Cheers, Pete
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:09 AM   #7
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I also believe an iPad is a useful compromise today. If you really want an ideal device, I don't think twelve inch eink using today's tech will be worth it.

First let me explain the earlier comment about a flexible backplane. The issue is that a thin eink screen is likely to break in a large screen format. Flexibility is to help it withstand breaking. In addition, I imagine the ideal screen would fold or roll for transport.

Second, academic writing really calls for interactive features for highlighting and note taking. Eink is still best for static/unmoving displays. To be able to smoothly annotate you would prefer a touch screen interface with a display that can smoothly refresh.

It probably also needs basic multitasking so you can copy/paste or otherwise extract your notes and content to either email or a word-like document. This latter comment doesnt relate directly to the eink display, but to a characteristic needed if you decide to design and build such a device .

The bottom line is that I think your intent makes sense, but that the ideal tech just isn't ready. For me, the best compromise today is an iPad with iannotate software. In horizontal mode it displays a full page width. Although the page is cut in half, the fact that you can smoothly drag the page to scan it and pinch to zoom out offsets the page size problem. Of course these features aren't really possible with eink today given its relatively slow refresh rate.

Last edited by emellaich; 10-18-2011 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:25 PM   #8
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To answer the original question:

It depends.

If you're willing to accept a 2x2 array of 6" readers, you can have one fairly quickly, as soon as you pony up the bucks to design, certify and build one. If the joints between the 4 screens bother you, it'll be a while.

Regards,
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:46 PM   #9
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Every use I might have for a 12" bistable display also requires color.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:35 AM   #10
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I think the best thing out there for PDFs right now (and significantly better than iPad which is only 1024x768 @133ppi) are the 9-10" 1280x800 Android tablets (@180-200ppi). At least I like mine very much for that purpose. Next iPad should at least match this. DX was good in its day, but the PDF viewer is not nearly functional and nimble enough.

Still, I'd like to see reflective display on order of 9x12" @240ppi (for sheet music), flexible, light, and translucent (for backlighting option). Can't someone do that?
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