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Old 01-11-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
kazbates
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I'm Back from the CES!

I'm finally home from my trip to Las Vegas and am SO glad to be back. Yes the house looks like a toy bomb exploded inside and I'm pretty sure the garbage hasn't been taken out since I left on Wednesday, but everyone is alive and well (including all 3 dogs) so I really have no reason to complain.

As for the CES, Nate has done a wonderful job (and a much better one than I could ever have done) getting the most up to date information out to everyone about the latest and greatest in the reading device arena that I'll leave all the tech news to him. That's not to say that I won't offer my opinion on some of the offerings, but I will limit my comments to my lay person's views.

The best word to describe the CES is "Overwhelming". The sheer enormity of the products displayed is. . .well, overwhelming. Four days hardly seems enough if you want to see it all. My husband's job is to look for the latest trends in technology, so we pretty much had to see everything! After awhile, it just becomes sensory overload. The big things at the show this year seemed to be 3D televisions, smart phones, and phone/iWhatever/laptop accessories. After 4 days, I was ready to go berserk on all the accessories vendors who want to sell you stuff to glamorize your cell phone. Sheesh, how many phone covers do you really need and wouldn't all those rhinestones you can attach to your phone make it heavier and less comfortable to hold?!? But, I digress.

I did manage to spend some time looking over the newest offerings in the digital reader arena. For the most part, I was fairly disappointed. A lot of what was being show was just a variation on a theme. E-ink display readers, some with touch screens some without but for the most part, nothing new to satisfy my gadget cravings. I've already commented on Plastic Logic's Que in another thread (I wasn't impressed) and on Entourage's Edge (I WAS impressed) in the same thread. But, nothing really jumped out at me to make me say, "I've got to have this," and for a gadget junkie like me, I think that says a lot. The trend in developing portable technology seems to be less about a one-use device and more about multi-function. Manufacturers such as MSI and ASUS are all about making smaller and more portable devices that allow you to do ereading, web-surfing, office productivity, in a device who's battery lasts all day. MSI in particular is developing a dual screen device that would have a battery life of up to 10 ours. ASUS had a slew of new netbooks that were lighter weight with batteries that lasted 12-14 hours and also had some pretty impressive looking tablet netbooks the size of my HE1000. Granted they all have LCD displays, but with today's economy, trying to get the most bang for the buck seems logical. I still think there are a lot of new developments on the horizon. I just think we're going to have to wait a little longer for something really NEW.

As for my stay in Vegas, let me just say it's a nice place to visit for a couple of days but anymore than that and it gets old really fast. I'm not a gambler (I have a 1941 Bronze Chief antique slot machine in my kitchen which belonged to my parents before they gave it to me, so slot machines are old news as far as I'm concerned) and seeing scantily clad (or NUDE, NUDE, NUDE ~ insert flashing neon sign here) women also holds little appeal (pun intended). Vegas seems to be geared more towards men with sign after sign telling you where to see the most beautiful and scantily clad woman on the strip. Even in the CES, some vendors used "eye candy" young women to draw people to their booths (it made me wonder whatever happened to Gloria Steinem and the woman's movement). We've come a long way baby, but not obviously in Las Vegas. I did get to see a couple of shows, one of them a Cirque de Soleil that was absolutely phenomenal and the food at the various restaurants (although expensive) is outstanding. The hotels/casinos are a wonder. We stayed at the MGM Grand which is like a city unto itself and we took some time to check out a few others just to see what they were like. I loved the New York, New York hotel and would gladly stay there if we go back next year. Any hotel that has it's own roller coaster is my kind of place.

Bottom line, we did have a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed the CES, but I am ecstatic to be home. I totally missed my daily dose of MR (the hotel charged $15 a day for a truly SLOW Internet connection so I only paid for it once while we were there)!
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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Welcome back Kaz. I did enjoy your QUE Review (see I made a rhyme).

I've removed both the Que and Alex from my wish list and I'm depressed now (though this is good for my pocketbook ). I'll just have to see what the rest of the year brings.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:52 AM   #3
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Welcome back Kaz!

Didn't you come home with any free stuff? What good is an expo if you don't? lol
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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As a matter of fact, I did get a copy of Broderbund's new Printshop2.0 Professional software. I was just installing it thinking it was a trial version, but it is the full blown version which will retail for $89.99 when it hits the market! I was shocked (and thrilled)when I realized what they had given me.

I also got some earplugs, a light wand (because, for some reason, I'm considered an Internet light weight ), a parrot keychain, a compass, several pens and a little pouch containing an eyeglasses cleaning cloth. Unfortunately, no one was handing out any digital reading devices! Although, I must say, I'm pretty happy with my Sony 600 and didn't see anything for which I would trade it.

I forgot to mention a new offering from M-Edge that I thought was pretty neat. They have a new waterproof cover that looks impressive. They only have the Kindle version right now and the thing makes your reader fairly heavy, but it was eye-catching to see the Kindle in it's waterproof case immersed in a fish tank full of water. The rep told me there is plans for a version for the Sony reader.

DGma ~ the Brother sewing machine people were there with their embroidery machines. :sigh: I would have taken one home in a heart beat!!
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kazbates View Post
I still think there are a lot of new developments on the horizon. I just think we're going to have to wait a little longer for something really NEW.
This was my impression too. I have decided not to wait and am going to buy a Kindle. By the time something new comes out, my stepdad may be ready to make up his mind, in which case I can give him my Kindle and buy something else
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:30 PM   #6
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I've removed both the Que and Alex from my wish list and I'm depressed now (though this is good for my pocketbook ). I'll just have to see what the rest of the year brings.
Daffy, did you remove the Que because of price or for some other reason?

I haven't removed it from my wishlist yet; I want to take a handson look at it when it becomes available at my local B&N store. Truth be told, I'm not in any rush to buy another device. My Sony 505 is perfect for my reading habits, except for newspapers. My sole reason (well, maybe not sole; a secondary reason is that my wife is interested in taking over my 505) for looking for a new device is that I want to be able to electronically download my daily New York Times and cancel my print subscription.

My problem is that after 50+ years of reading the NYT every day, I have grown accustomed to -- and like -- the physcial format of the newspaper and I want that experience reproduced electronically. I don't want a constantly updating web service and Calibre's newsfeed doesn't do the trick. If Que offers the experience I am looking for, I would consider buying it even at the $799 price. The difference in cost between the electronic and print subscriptions means the Que would be paid for in less than 2 years.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:48 PM   #7
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Well, the Que is way further down on my list than it was (but I'm a girl, things could change). I removed the Alex because I really don't need another 6 inch reader.

I want a large screen reader for book reading not for subscriptions. My 50+ eyes are getting tired even with my progressive lenses. The Que may be more than I really need (and I want the 8GB version for the 3G connectivity). I would get the DX but I want the ePub option and as much as I love my K2 keyboard, the DX just looks like it would be awkward to type on. I still plan to hit a B&N store to play with the Que when it becomes available in April.

Anyway, as I told Kaz, I much more interested in getting a DirecTV HD TiVo than another ebook reader right now.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:02 PM   #8
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As a matter of fact, I did get a copy of Broderbund's new Printshop2.0 Professional software. I was just installing it thinking it was a trial version, but it is the full blown version which will retail for $89.99 when it hits the market! I was shocked (and thrilled)when I realized what they had given me.
Nice swag!
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:26 PM   #9
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Kazbates,
I'm a man and I too am offended by Vegas demeanor. It's appeal must be to the basest of longings. If not for excellent shows like the CES, one trip there would be enough.

So... were there as many touch-screen devices as what the web predicted? Did you see any which stood apart from the rest?

thanks.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:50 PM   #10
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Welcome back, Kaz, and thank you for your "layman's" view. It will be nice to see you around here again.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazbates View Post
As a matter of fact, I did get a copy of Broderbund's new Printshop2.0 Professional software. I was just installing it thinking it was a trial version, but it is the full blown version which will retail for $89.99 when it hits the market! I was shocked (and thrilled)when I realized what they had given me.

I also got some earplugs, a light wand (because, for some reason, I'm considered an Internet light weight ), a parrot keychain, a compass, several pens and a little pouch containing an eyeglasses cleaning cloth. Unfortunately, no one was handing out any digital reading devices! Although, I must say, I'm pretty happy with my Sony 600 and didn't see anything for which I would trade it.

I forgot to mention a new offering from M-Edge that I thought was pretty neat. They have a new waterproof cover that looks impressive. They only have the Kindle version right now and the thing makes your reader fairly heavy, but it was eye-catching to see the Kindle in it's waterproof case immersed in a fish tank full of water. The rep told me there is plans for a version for the Sony reader.

DGma ~ the Brother sewing machine people were there with their embroidery machines. :sigh: I would have taken one home in a heart beat!!
If you want an embroidery machine, I've got a pretty high level Elna for sale. And a serger. Just sayin'...
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:31 PM   #12
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Daffy, did you remove the Que because of price or for some other reason?

I haven't removed it from my wishlist yet; I want to take a handson look at it when it becomes available at my local B&N store. Truth be told, I'm not in any rush to buy another device. My Sony 505 is perfect for my reading habits, except for newspapers. My sole reason (well, maybe not sole; a secondary reason is that my wife is interested in taking over my 505) for looking for a new device is that I want to be able to electronically download my daily New York Times and cancel my print subscription.

My problem is that after 50+ years of reading the NYT every day, I have grown accustomed to -- and like -- the physcial format of the newspaper and I want that experience reproduced electronically. I don't want a constantly updating web service and Calibre's newsfeed doesn't do the trick. If Que offers the experience I am looking for, I would consider buying it even at the $799 price. The difference in cost between the electronic and print subscriptions means the Que would be paid for in less than 2 years.
Richard ~ I didn't get to see a newspaper displayed on the Que but I did see Forbes magazine displayed with very nice results.

Don't misunderstand me, I think the Que is a very nice product but one that is very highly priced. If your main focus is reading newspapers and you want to be able to accomplish some business oriented tasks like reviewing/updating your calendar, displaying power point presentations, viewing documents, etc. and you can afford the hefty price tag, the Que is a good choice. However, if you are like me and are heavily into novel reading or prefer your periodicals in color, I would hold off a little longer.

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Nice swag!
I know. . .Right?!!!

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Originally Posted by pphilipp View Post
Kazbates,
I'm a man and I too am offended by Vegas demeanor. It's appeal must be to the basest of longings. If not for excellent shows like the CES, one trip there would be enough.

So... were there as many touch-screen devices as what the web predicted? Did you see any which stood apart from the rest?

thanks.
A lot of the companies are showing multiple versions of the e-ink devices, many with touch screens. I can't remember the exact vendors off the top of my head but will look back through all the brochures to see which are coming out with new touch screen editions. The strangest touch screen device that I encountered was the offering from Samsung. It is a touch screen but only works if you are touching the screen with the accompanying stylus. When I asked the rep about this she said people have a tendency to rest the side of their hand on the screen when they are making notes and they didn't want that to interfere with the notes. She also told me that it was an "e-ink thing" which required the use of the stylus. I didn't correct her, I just shook my head and moved on.

As for Vegas, I don't mean to come off sounding like a prude. I'm a firm believer in "to each his own" but it just seemed to me like they were trying to make it VERY easy for people to misbehave. And franklyto be perfectly frank, I can see all the naked women I want in the women's locker room at my local gym.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:30 AM   #13
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The strangest touch screen device that I encountered was the offering from Samsung. It is a touch screen but only works if you are touching the screen with the accompanying stylus. When I asked the rep about this she said people have a tendency to rest the side of their hand on the screen when they are making notes and they didn't want that to interfere with the notes.
Heard that line before. When Microsoft unveiled the whole Tablet PC concept several years ago, most of the units required a special pen... not true touch. Microsoft made it sound like a big step forward. I bought one and hated the pen. It's not the way to go.

Now I use a little Classmates computer which is true touch... and has technology for resting your palm on the screen as well.
Samsung's technology is old, and not the way to go.
No advancement here.
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