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Old 01-23-2013, 06:54 AM   #1
rchiang
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Gathering Thoughts on High-End eReader Requirements

Requirements

So, I've been reading around through these forums for a bit. I thought I'd gather up all the requirements for what people are potentially looking for in a High-End eReader.

I'm purposely excluding LCD/LED/AMOLED tablets since there's a huge variety of those to choose from for those whose eyes have no problems reading on tablets.

The list so far:
  • Large grayscale e-Ink screen OR color e-Ink screen
  • High DPI screen
  • Fast PDF rendering. Implies fast processor, large amount of RAM and/or quality PDF software rendering.
  • Android OS to allow custom apps
  • SD or microSD card. Preferably SDXC/microSDXC at this point.
  • Annotation capability (solved by using Android apps)
  • Wide-ranging format support (also possibly solved by Android apps)
  • Wi-Fi

Debatable Requirements
  • Touch or touch-like IR screen
  • Keyboard
  • Backlighting
  • Stylus support

Documents Requiring High-End Features

Not every document below will have these requirements, but these are some of the types that can be painful on a smaller or less-powerful eReader.
  • Comic Books (sometimes image heavy)
  • Technical documents and academic papers (fine text, diagrams)
  • Technical books (different font styles, images)
  • Role Playing Game Books (lots of color images)

Current High-End eReader Options
  • The Onyx Boox M92 is the current recommendation for the high-end eReader on several threads. This post indicates that Android is coming soon to the latest Onyx eReader family.
  • This post mentions that a new Onyx model is coming in March 2013. Hard to say whether it will be 6" or 9".
  • One enterprising forum reader has pointed to a fairly high-end spec 6" ereader (low DPI, but Android 4.0).
  • The Jetbook Color/Jetbook Color 2 are the only color eReaders that I can find.

Existence of Cutting-Edge Hardware

Question for Industry Insiders

On a final note, does anyone on these forums work in the eReader industry? While I'm sure there are cost related issues with getting all the features above, I'd be curious to hear more details about what else could be keeping a really high-end eReader from making it to market.

Finally

Please feel free to add to the discussion.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:58 PM   #2
John F
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What I would like ...

* High DPI
* Larger screen size (maybe 8 inch). I would have to try some different sizes
* Touch screen
* page turn buttons
* Good reading software that allows you a lot of customization (Font, size, line spacing, margins, paragraph indents, paragraph spacing, ...). If I can run something thru Calibre to alter its appearance, I should be able to do it on the reader
* Software with options: show book title while reading, show page numbers, ...
* front lighting
* good navigation within a book
* Shelves/collections
* fast
* EPub, txt, and rtf support

In general, I want something that is maximized for fiction reading. Since this is a high-end device, I want everything on it to be high-end (processor, screen quality, light quality, software, ...)

Although Android would be nice, if I have to download several reading apps to get a desirable reading experience, it is a fail.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:56 PM   #3
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You left off durability (can you drop it or pack it without breaking the screen) and battery life (if less than 20+ hours it might as well be a full-function color tablet).

Touch interface and built-in lighting aren't debatable for me. A high-end reader must have them now. I would prefer to also have some page turn buttons along with touch but not a huge deal (for me).
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:01 AM   #4
LindaR
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Your debatable requirements are really optional. If to use the device only for reading books, this is really not so required (from my point of view). If to use it broader, like email, surfing net, etc., yes, touch screen is very convenient.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:24 PM   #5
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I would like it to allow a folders view
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
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It sounds to me like you're effectively designing a tablet with an E-ink screen.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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I have no desire for my ereader to do anything other than read. Therefore, Android OS isn't a requirement. I would like to see a sleight increase in screen size to 7 inches. I highly value the portability of my Kindle and don't want that to change. A higher resolution eink screen would be nice. A built in light is also a needed feature. Wifi connectivity is also needed, as I want to be able to get books when I'm away from my computer.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rchiang View Post
Not every document below will have these requirements, but these are some of the types that can be painful on a smaller or less-powerful eReader.
  • Comic Books (sometimes image heavy)
  • Technical documents and academic papers (fine text, diagrams)
  • Technical books (different font styles, images)
  • Role Playing Game Books (lots of color images)
Well put. Books that work in paperback size are well served by the existing top of the range readers. Essentially high end readers for those purposes already exist (though I can see that some would prefer to push the size up to 7" with the device still easy to hold).

But for documents formatted for A4 or Letter, or with lots of diagrams and images, we still need a really top notch large size reader, and from experience with even high resolution tablets, a 10" class device is the minimum. That 9.7" display sounds fine.

I'd agree that Android OS is a debatable rather than necessary requirement. As long as the reader can handle the ebook formats and pdfs then additional apps are at best a 'nice to have' and at worse a complication and distraction.

I'd add that it needs good image handling so that you can seamlessly bring images and tables up 'full screen'.

I'd also like to see the ability to switch between books without exiting and reloading them - call it fast switching - or even a way to split the screen to look at two documents at once.

And, of course, as light as possible and reasonably priced.

Graham
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