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View Poll Results: Are current e-paper readers adequate for daily use?
Yes. 10 62.50%
No. 6 37.50%
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:24 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Cut the hype and get us working e-reader devices!

For newspapers the promise of a reusable electronic paper device has always been that it would offer the ease and interactivity of electronic publishing while giving the customer a device as light as a magazine and as easy to read - unlike lumpy notebooks or low-res handheld devices.

But Dr. Stig Nordqvist, project leader of the Ifra eNews 2008 incentive, is rather dismayed at the current status quo of e-reader devices. From the latest Ifra "newspaper techniques" magazine:

"E-Readers have been hyped quite a lot in the press this past spring. In the last year we have seen a promising development in e-paper displays, black and white with rich contrast, good improvement in speed, for example, the E Ink v2.5 and Bridgestone QRP technology. We have also seen good enough color filter solutions from Toppan and iRex Technologies, and interesting new alternatives from, for example, Fujitsu. Despite all this, I still think the e-reader devices so far are disappointing."

Specifically, Nordqvist finds that the iRex iLiad reader doesn't live up to the hype. It's still too slow and impractical to be turned into consumer marketplace reality. This comes quite as a surprise since iRex is also an Ifra technology member.

So what's your opinion? Should we still wait for better alternatives or are current e-paper readers adequate for our daily consumption?

Last edited by Alexander Turcic; 08-29-2006 at 03:59 AM. Reason: added source; thanks ath
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:34 AM   #2
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:38 AM   #3
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I buy today, but I wish we had a greater choice in what to buy.
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:01 PM   #4
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I've been classified as a book-worm since second grade... I've tried reading my beloved books on my PC, tried it on my mobile (it has a big-for-a-mobile screen), and I gave up, both were uncomfortable... after a month of daily reading on the iLiad, I am perfectly happy with it and very unlikely to give it up, hehe. My only "bother"? Having to format the books prior to reading, but I must admit this is not only a lack of adequate ready-to-go content, but also my pickiness with formatting.
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Old 08-28-2006, 12:25 PM   #5
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When the new eink readers were announced I was more optimistic than now that something essentially new will happen in the ebook world. Leaving aside the inherent delays and glitches in new tech, I am more and more convinced that in the "chicken-egg" content-device quandary, content comes first so "epublish/digitize/pirate and they will come".
We can have all the new devices we want (and we started having more and more, considering the new higher resolution pdas, the tablets, umpc's, pepper, nokia, and the einks), but the commercial e-book market is not going to be more alive until enough drm free and reasonably priced ebooks will be available.

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Old 08-28-2006, 06:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
Specifically, Nordqvist finds that the iRex iLiad reader doesn't live up to the hype. It's still too slow and impractical to be turned into consumer marketplace reality. This comes quite as a surprise since iRex is also an Ifra technology member.
This sounds like good copy rather than a realistic article, since the iLiad is still officially not ready for prime time.

The iLiad is plenty fast turning pages and loading eBooks. The boot time can be better, but once the battery life is up, you will rarely ever boot it.
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
"E-Readers have been hyped quite a lot ..."
Where does this statement come from? Can we get a link or a reference?
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
So what's your opinion? Should we still wait for better alternatives or are current e-paper readers adequate for our daily consumption?
Daily consumption of electricity is invisible: plug the device in, and you're set. If it involved having to do one-hour spells on a treadmill or clean solar power panels, or maintain a water or wind turbine, and no longer be invisible, devices with high power consumption would be regarded as inadequate.

An e-paper reader must be equally 'pluginable'. If I have to spend an hour preparing a text in order to be able to read it on an e-paper reader, it has a long way to go still.

Language acquistion is sometimes described in terms of 'level of acceptance' and 'level of conformance' (I think those are the terms -- it's ages since I studied language). The first indicates that you can make yourself understood, but the listener/reader still have to make a mental effort to understand and process what you're saying. The other indicates that that effort no longer is required, and that communication flows more freely.

The current e-Readers seem to be at the 'level of acceptance'. When they're past that, we can discuss if they're 'adequate for daily consumption': just now they're strangers that are not up to standard speed when it comes to communication. So far, it's not so much a question of adequacy on their part, as tolerance on our.

Last edited by ath; 08-29-2006 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ath
Where does this statement come from? Can we get a link or a reference?
Sorry, I should have mentioned that, shouldn't I? It's from the Ifra "newspaper techniques" monthly magazine, August 06 edition. No link, and it's subscription only.
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Old 08-29-2006, 04:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
Sorry, I should have mentioned that, shouldn't I? It's from the Ifra "newspaper techniques" monthly magazine, August 06 edition. No link, and it's subscription only.
Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2006, 04:10 AM   #11
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Here is a link to a German article that talks about Ifra and the current situation on the e-reader market:

http://www.wissenschaftsblog.de/?p=116
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:20 AM   #12
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Well, iLiad changed my reading habits & this is cool. It's great to read articles of scientific magazines [which are subscribed by my university library] on iLiad.

The crux is there are few publishing companys who want to publish in a an electronic format. No content, no interest in buying an ereader.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yvanleterrible
If we don't buy we won't get others.
That's kind of a Catch-22 type situation : I haven't seen anything yet that I'm willing to spend my hard-earned cash on, but it I sit on my money too long, there won't be anything to spend it on?

--ryan
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Old 08-31-2006, 03:39 PM   #14
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I think the point is more that expecting the initial offerings to be what you really want them to be is a good way to find lots of opportunities to learn to tolerate disappointment.
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