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Old 12-31-2009, 09:18 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by charleski View Post
I think people are just tired (I certainly am) of the inevitable comment that's appeared whenever any tech site covered ereaders in the past few years claiming that they're all rubbish because they don't do colour. That makes as much sense as saying that a Sony 505 is useless because it can't make phone calls.
Except the Sony isn't purported to be a communications device. Reading inevitably means things beyond just unadorned text (unadorned is taken to extremes in ebook readers as well). People who are simply novel readers who care not one bit about color, quality, or speed shouldn't be so offended when more demanding folks start putting down those devices. They are rubbish in many ways that overlap significantly with the pretense of "reading device". If the nomenclature and marketing were more specific to reflect the very limited capabilities of the devices, I suspect they'd be easy for people to ignore and dismiss, rather than react harshly to.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:37 AM   #32
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As LCD cannot do what EInk does (and vice versa) it seems illogical to assume that either will totally drive out the other.

Also, while I find the battery life of an LCD device is often perfectly acceptable for a single reading session, where it really falls down is if one puts the device down and doesn't get back to reading for a day or two. That's where an EInk device shines and an LCD goes flat.

They do different things well - they complement each other.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:39 AM   #33
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It's Wednesday again already?!
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:51 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
Reading inevitably means things beyond just unadorned text (unadorned is taken to extremes in ebook readers as well). People who are simply novel readers who care not one bit about color, quality, or speed shouldn't be so offended when more demanding folks start putting down those devices. They are rubbish in many ways that overlap significantly with the pretense of "reading device".
Such as what for example? What can a simple eInk reader not do that other reading devices - let's take a paper book as an example - can do? Many can actually do more than a book - eg search for a word or phrase, or change the text size, or the font.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:27 AM   #35
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.....you know, just like a PDA...which millions of people still use daily even though their model is no longer made or supported.
....
you mean like my Sony Clie' ?
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:39 AM   #36
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you mean like my Sony Clie' ?
Used my Clie for nine years until it got the screen squashed by a turnstile in Rio; replaced it for twenty quid earlier this year, only to discover that the colour version I got instead of the mono one I had couldn't change the screen size.

It's batteries don't last for more than four hours of continuous use, though, but on the other hand it plays patience nicely!
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:02 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
Reading inevitably means things beyond just unadorned tex... They are rubbish in many ways that overlap significantly with the pretense of "reading device".
I'm not sure I'd say "rubbish," but there are definitely things that don't work well on eInk devices at the moment. I don't think it makes sense to pretend otherwise. However, color eInk should resolve most of those issues.

Otherwise, a 6" screen is a 6" screen; if that size of display doesn't work for what you're reading, a 6" tablet won't improve that particular aspect.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:27 AM   #38
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I'm not sure I'd say "rubbish," but there are definitely things that don't work well on eInk devices at the moment. I don't think it makes sense to pretend otherwise. However, color eInk should resolve most of those issues.

Otherwise, a 6" screen is a 6" screen; if that size of display doesn't work for what you're reading, a 6" tablet won't improve that particular aspect.
Well yes and no; a high-contrast LCD with a given method of font-smoothing (to compensate for the low resolution) will display finer text than will a lower-contrast screen. This is painfully obvious with traditional Chinese, but I see it with some of my favorite western typefaces as well.

Then there's the speed side of things, which is another problem too often dismissed by people with low standards.

Hopefully with things like Mirasol, speed and color issues can be largely resolved, leaving contrast and resolution as the biggest problems to overcome with reader devices. LiquavistaBright claims to get fairly high contrast compared to e-ink (like the image at http://www.displaysearchblog.com/200...international/) and could solve some problems on that end of things, and some LCDs have been done with resolutions approaching that of low-quality printing, so I think it might get tackled from a resolution angle as well, reducing the need for anti-aliasing in fonts.

The near future could very well be much much better than what is currently available, but then again, it's very possible that it'll go nowhere interesting.
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:07 PM   #39
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The real question is what will make it out the door as a production product. Nobody in the VC world wants to invest in display technology. E-ink made it out the door by building a small plant themselves to get product out commercially. Pixel-Q has been working out getting production product out the door for nearly 2 years, and that was after the product had been shown to work in the OLPC project. I listened to a conference panel at SID this spring. They all pointed out this problem. Will Liquidvista, Mirasol, et at. actually make it out the production door. Until they do, we're stuck with E-ink, LCD, and Pixel-Q. They each have their pluses and minuses.
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:18 PM   #40
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The real question is what will make it out the door as a production product. Nobody in the VC world wants to invest in display technology. E-ink made it out the door by building a small plant themselves to get product out commercially. Pixel-Q has been working out getting production product out the door for nearly 2 years, and that was after the product had been shown to work in the OLPC project. I listened to a conference panel at SID this spring. They all pointed out this problem. Will Liquidvista, Mirasol, et at. actually make it out the production door. Until they do, we're stuck with E-ink, LCD, and Pixel-Q. They each have their pluses and minuses.
Just thought I'd be helpful, it's called Pixel Qi (pronounced chee). Pixel Qi has fab access (I do not believe they own it), and Qualcomm Mirasol has a dedicated gen 4.5 production fab in Taiwan. Liquavista I believe recently set up a fab in China, and is being backed by Philips and other investors, along with a partnership with Plastic Logic. They're all commercially viable options. Mirasol has the best brand marketing behind it currently, while Pixel Qi is a gadget nerd favorite, though much less established and with weaker presentation (most public knowledge of it is from Charbax's interview videos and some low-quality snapshots of a prototype)

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Old 12-31-2009, 12:27 PM   #41
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I don't get the need for speed. You're reading a book, not playing a video game.
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:34 PM   #42
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I don't get the need for speed. You're reading a book, not playing a video game.
Not everyone reads like you do, and a faster display and reader is very useful for some of those people.
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:36 PM   #43
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I don't get the need for speed. You're reading a book, not playing a video game.

More! Better! Faster!

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Old 12-31-2009, 12:49 PM   #44
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Faster page turning is good if you want to "flip through" a book. The latest eInk devices can turn pages at about 3 or 4 pages a second, but faster would be good.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:46 PM   #45
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in December 2008, we took a trip for the holidays to Scotland. I took my 505 with me. That is not a short trip. And I was glad I had a device that the battery lasted the entire trip. I did read a lot and if I had only 4 or so hours of battery life, the thing would have died before the plane touched down and I would have been left with a useless device. So for some, battery life is rather important. And the ability to read in direct sunlight is actually more important then you think. When it's a nice day outside, I do like to go outside and if I take my 505, I like knowing I can read in the sun. As for screens, they do need to be easy on the eyes. And that is a subjective thing. I could read on an LCD screen. But the LCD screen would also have to be able to be viewed in direct sunlight and have good battery life for the device.

My point was to simply not think that everyone has the same needs you do. I seldom read for more than 2 hours in any once sitting (even on longer flights) so I'd be fine with 6 hours or so of battery life. For long trips, no big deal to pack a charger. Already do for my cell phone, laptop etc., so no big deal to stick one more in the luggage.

And sunlight--again, just matters if you read outside or not. With allergies, being a magnet for bug bites, sun burn etc. I never read outside and won't do anything outdoors unless I'm doing something specific like hiking or fishing--and obviously don't need to read during such outings.

Battery life and sun light readability ARE definitely advantages to e-ink. And they're huge benefits for someone like you. But they aren't deal breakers for everyone, so it's silly to go to far and act like tablets are useless because the battery life is less than e-ink and they're hard to read in the sun.

Some of us don't care about those and would take that loss of them to gain color screens, lag free stylus support, fast page turns for skimming documents, video, full net browsing etc.


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Multi function devices are nice to play with, but nearly impossible to do any real work on. If e-ink can continually progress the way that LCD technology has, I'm sure that it can keep it's legs.
Again, no reason for e-ink to go away. I'll keep my Kindle for leisure reading. I just want a nice tablet for marking up and flipping through academic PDFs, and would prefer it to have internet, PDA, and all that other Jazz as well.

It wouldn't replace my e-ink device, nor my laptop, but just be a supplement that I'd use mainly for reading and annotating academic PDFs, and also use on the couch for web browsing, use as a PDA/calendar etc.

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And sure, there's a market for a device that will display technical documents in full size with colour. But in comparison to the market for readers that will handle novels this market is tiny.
I'm not sure how tiny it is. For one, academia is a huge market. I read lot of scholarly articles and books and many need to be displayed in their original size so text is by tables/figures it describes, and so the tables and figures (often the most important part of the studies) display properly etc.

And I need to be able to highlight stuff and jot notes in the margins just as easily as I can on print outs currently. And to be able to flip through documents quickly to find sections to cite at later dates etc.--e-ink is mind numbingly slow for this.

And I know a lot of my colleagues are also interested in in such a device.

Then you add in business where they can be used to help go toward a more paperless market etc.

It is a niche item--I don't see it having main stream success with regular folks not using them mainly for work related purposes. But there's definitely a need for such devices in academia and segments of the business world.

As long as something comes out that suits my needs on this front, I couldn't care less if it sells 10 million or 1,000 units.

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I think people are just tired (I certainly am) of the inevitable comment that's appeared whenever any tech site covered ereaders in the past few years claiming that they're all rubbish because they don't do colour. That makes as much sense as saying that a Sony 505 is useless because it can't make phone calls.
Agreed. People need to quit saying tablets etc. will kill e-ink. They won't. There's plenty of room for all kinds of devices with the ability to access e-books.

Again, at the same time, the e-ink enthusiasts need to not overly bash tablets and other devices. It's fine to say such devices aren't for you. It's going to far to imply they're useless as the average person isn't an avid readers who read for hours a day every day, and thus the benefits of e-ink aren't as crucial to them, and many would prefer color, video, other functions they spend more time on than reading etc.

Different strokes for different folks, and the market needs to provide a wide array of devices to meet different people's needs.


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As LCD cannot do what EInk does (and vice versa) it seems illogical to assume that either will totally drive out the other.

*snip*

They do different things well - they complement each other.
Agree 100%. I'll keep an e-ink device around for leisure reading even after getting some tablet or other large screen device for work related tasks.


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I don't get the need for speed. You're reading a book, not playing a video game.
For my academic reading, I need to be able to quickly flip through an article and find the section I've read before and highlighted.

Even the first time, I more skim than read the vast majority of things since literature reviews etc. tend to be very redundant when you've read most everything they're citing etc.

E-ink is way to slow for that, vs a paper print out. An LCD tablet gets the page flipping closer to paper speeds.

For my leisure reading, i don't care so much. Page turns could be a bit quicker on my K1, but they don't bother me as I never flip back through (or ahead) pages in a novel.
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