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Old 03-24-2004, 05:43 AM   #1
Colin Dunstan
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Sony's e-Book reader LIBRIe to use E-Paper!

This is some great news from Geekzone :
Quote:
Royal Philips Electronics, Sony Corporation and E Ink Corporation announced today the world's first consumer application of an electronic paper display module in Sony's new e-Book reader, LIBRIe, scheduled to go on sale in Japan in late April. This first ever Philips' display utilizes E Ink's revolutionary electronic ink technology which offers a truly paper-like reading experience with contrast that is the same as newsprint.
This is soooo great for us eBook fans. Look at the features:
  • reflective display (can be easily read in bright sunlight or dimly lit environments)
  • black and white ink-on-paper look
  • a resolution of approximately 170 pixels per inch (PPI) - more than any other portable device has!
  • read more than 10,000 pages (imagine a standard book with 250 pages - this equals to 40 books!) before replacing the four AAA Alkaline batteries
  • compact and lightweight form factor
  • allows users to download published content, such as books or comic strips from the Internet
  • can store up to 500 downloaded books

I promise, once this thing is out and available in my country, I will buy it!
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Old 03-24-2004, 11:17 AM   #2
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SonyStyle Japan has some more info on the Sony Librie EBR-1000EP available (link)

Some more interesting facts:

- retail price in Japan: 41,790 JPY ~ 390 USD
- uses Sony eBook format called Broad Band eBook (BBeB)
- Sony's eBook distributor is Timebook Town (http://www.publishinglink.jp)
- protected Sony eBooks will stop working after 60 days of use

- display panel: E INK system electronic paper
- resolution: SVGA (800×600), approximately 170ppi (Pixel Per Inch)
- screen size: 6 inches
- display color: 4 grey scales, black and white (but hey, it is just a book reader!)
- battery life time: approximately 10,000 book pages
- interfaces: Memorystick (+Pro), USB, headphone
- other features: dictionary search, audio correspondence (speaker, headphone jack)
- power source: 4 AAA alkaline batteries, AC adapter
- built-in memory: approximately 10MB
- size: 126mm×190mm×13mm
- weight: approximately 190g (without batteries)

The question is, would YOU buy it? I probably would (and stick to my old PDA).
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Old 03-24-2004, 06:23 PM   #3
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Depending on the price....I don't think so. I like reading on my current devices, and the dedicated ebook reader would have to seriously compete price-wise for me to lash out and buy it. I will also flat out refuse to buy any book that expires in 60 days!

Having said that, if you can buy and use other book formats, and the price becomes reasonable (for a dedicated reader you can't do anything else with).... Who knows??

Craig.
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Old 03-25-2004, 11:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander
SonyStyle Japan has some more info on the Sony Librie EBR-1000EP available (link)

Some more interesting facts:

- retail price in Japan: 41,790 JPY ~ 390 USD
- uses Sony eBook format called Broad Band eBook (BBeB)
- Sony's eBook distributor is Timebook Town (http://www.publishinglink.jp)
- protected Sony eBooks will stop working after 60 days of use

- display panel: E INK system electronic paper
- resolution: SVGA (800×600), approximately 170ppi (Pixel Per Inch)
- screen size: 6 inches
- display color: 4 grey scales, black and white (but hey, it is just a book reader!)
- battery life time: approximately 10,000 book pages
- interfaces: Memorystick (+Pro), USB, headphone
- other features: dictionary search, audio correspondence (speaker, headphone jack)
- power source: 4 AAA alkaline batteries, AC adapter
- built-in memory: approximately 10MB
- size: 126mm×190mm×13mm
- weight: approximately 190g (without batteries)

The question is, would YOU buy it? I probably would (and stick to my old PDA).

At the moment I think you are better off with a "normal" PDA. This thing is only for reading and although the resolution is big step forward, I would miss the interactive features of a real os. In my opinion it is a nice to have, like all the other ebooks-read-only solutions, but not really necesarry. I wonder what the first PDA with ePaper-Display (ePD will look alike and how long its battery will last.
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Old 04-05-2004, 02:27 PM   #5
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Chad Sichello of Second Chance Publishers on his first experience with the Librie:
Quote:
They have one at the Sony Building in Ginza in Tokyo, I went there this weekend and played with it.

The display is superior in contrast, brightness and sharpness to any PDA screen. There is virtually no glare under lights and the words appear as if they are right on the surface of the screen, rather than behind a plastic filter (like current active and backlit screens).

When they say on their website that "moji ga kirei" (the words are beautiful), they really do mean it. The quality is 170dpi (low-quality laser print) and is superior to a newspapers quality. The screen is far superior to the Panasonic SigmaBook and Toshiba's new colour ebook (both standard lcd/active technology).
Thats all great news. I only hope it is not true that the official Sony software does not include tools to convert ebooks outside the officially approved format (BBeB)

Otherwise we'd have to wait until someone cracks the DRM...

Last edited by Morpheus; 04-05-2004 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 04-05-2004, 02:56 PM   #6
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Btw, just look at the quality of the screen even when viewed from a weird angle...amazing!
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Old 04-06-2004, 09:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheus
Thats all great news. I only hope it is not true that the official Sony software does not include tools to convert ebooks outside the officially approved format (BBeB)

Otherwise we'd have to wait until someone cracks the DRM...
Which probably wouldn't be too long. Slashdot links today to the Linux for iPod project, which has developed an operable Linux kernal for the extremely closed-source iPod through some reverse engineering and trial and error. And once the epaper technology is established, it surely won't be long before it is used for other readers. This reader is beautiful, but it's a bit big for me. I like my Palm because it's pocket-sized and I can read it anywhere...
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Old 04-06-2004, 09:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignatz
This reader is beautiful, but it's a bit big for me. I like my Palm because it's pocket-sized and I can read it anywhere...
But think about the future health of your eyes...
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Old 04-06-2004, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander
But think about the future health of your eyes...
It's true. I already can't read the "smallest" size in iSilo. (Can anyone?!)
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Old 04-06-2004, 08:09 PM   #10
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Smallest was my standard viewing size when I read on my Clie. Smallest size on the ipaq (even with cleartype enabled) is not so great, but "small" is absolutely perfect!

Craig.
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Old 04-07-2004, 08:47 AM   #11
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Does anyone know when the LIBRIe is expected to reach the US markets?
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Old 04-07-2004, 05:11 PM   #12
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Another preview(check out the pic!!!)

http://neasia.nikkeibp.com/wcs/leaf?...bt/news/298409

Haha...I love that pic. You know that it will eventually be the main use for using e-book. I can already see a potential market..........
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Old 04-22-2004, 02:27 PM   #13
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The Guardian Unlimited has a nice sneak preview of the upcoming Librie. Things that were new to me:

Quote:
The ebook reader (the Librie EBR-1000EP) launches in Japan on Saturday
Yeah! Expect more reviews coming next week then

Quote:
The quality of the display will come as quite a shock to any seasoned user of mobile devices; it looks more like paper than the computer screen it is.
I don't mind this kind of shock.

Quote:
At power-up, the Librie presents the ubiquitous Japanese cartoon character to guide you through the electronic library. The mascot is called Libro, after Ukita's three-year-old miniature Schnauzer, whom he acquired in 2001 just as the ebook project was getting off the ground.
Libro sounds like one of those very annoying Microsoft Office helpers

Quote:
A single book can handle up to 40 bookmarks, each of which can be annotated, while further notes and text excerpts can be kept in a separate clipboard application.
Not sure why there is a limitation of 40 bookmarks; anyways, it should be enough for the standard read (not sure about scientific works though).

Quote:
The BBeB specification was developed by Sony to shrink the text of a 250-page book into around 500kb and to incorporate Open MG copy protection to prevent unlimited content copying.
Open MG protection requires special memory sticks, right?

Quote:
The result is a 6in screen with a resolution of 600x800 dots at 170dpi, considerably sharper than the 70-90dpi of a regular computer display. This allows for increasing the text size up to 200% with no degradation.
My eyes will be grateful! I think I've starred long enough at those tiny PDA screens.

Quote:
One much-repeated fallacy about the Librie is that power is used only for turning pages. While it is true that the "ink" particles stay in position without consuming power, the electronic innards do drain the juice, hence the inclusion of a standby mode.
Question is if the standby mode is activated as soon as there is no user activitiy.

Quote:
In his enthusiasm, Ukita lets slip that flexible electronic paper which can handle Harry Potter-esque moving images and colour is in the research and development labs and may be just two to three years away.
I'm drooling...

Quote:
...transferred to the reader via its USB 2.0 port or by using a Memory Stick.
USB 2.0. Nice improvement.

Quote:
Sony offers the efficient Libriè LE for Windows ebook emulator as a free download...
Very interesting! Google -> http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer/LIBRIE/download/ -> http://www.aii.co.jp/contents/smojsd...llLIBRIeLE.exe
(haven't installed it yet, will report later)

Quote:
"For those of us who love the smell and feel of paper, the art of bookbinding, cloth covers with foil stamps and all the rest of the touches that make a book something to covet, ebooks just aren't a very exciting alternative. Nor are they a realistic threat - yet."
Whatever!


Btw, according to this NYT article, Sony wants to wait to see how well the Librié sells at home before deciding whether to offer it in the United States and Europe.
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Old 04-23-2004, 01:35 AM   #14
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Sony Linux OS! Hadn't heard of that before...
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Old 04-23-2004, 04:39 PM   #15
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Is there an English version of that prog?
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