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Old 08-15-2006, 06:43 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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PowerBook literally turned into an e-book machine

Sure, it's not going to turn heads at your high-school reunion the way the iRex iLiad would, but Jon Udell found an interesting way how to convert his PowerBook into a practical e-book reader. He also posted a How-to Quicktime flick.

My concerns:
  • Could it harm your harddisk if you flip your notebook up on its side?
  • Could the LCD still produce clear images from the "wrong" viewing angle?
[via Gizmodo]
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:34 AM   #2
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No damage to the hard disk, assuming you don't drop it or something.

The LCD image will still look fine; convertible tablet PCs look good at any orientation. I worked on a 17" PowerMac for three years and the screens on those things are quite gorgeous.

On the other hand, the form factor of these note books make this really inconvenient. I tried it with a 12" iBook for a while, but the weight really makes it a poor proposition...probably why people want the fabled Mac tablet (which I don't think is a real product we're ever going to see).
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Old 08-15-2006, 01:59 PM   #3
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I've been using my laptops like this for almost 10 years now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
  • Could it harm your harddisk if you flip your notebook up on its side?
Not directly, but if the air holes are on the side that you put down and thus get covered then a lot of stuff could overheat, including the harddrive. But very few laptops have vents on both sides, so you can usually rotate the image the other way, unless you have some pc-card, usb, ps2, video-out, etc. port in use on the other side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
  • Could the LCD still produce clear images from the "wrong" viewing angle?
This is indeed a problem, especially with the cheaper TN type TFTs, which are very common (even among the "tablet PCs", despite what rmeister0 claims above).
It's not that the image is unclear, but it makes the left eye see other shades than the right eye. Especially dark colors get very glossy on TN TFTs. IMO it looks slightly weird and I find it highly annoying. My girlfriend says she feels sick when she looks at such a display on its side.
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:35 PM   #4
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Sweet.

Adobe Reader allows for rotation also so you could do this with a PC laptop also. I know a lot of newer graphic cards allow for it also but not sure if ones that laptops come with would allow this or not.

Not sure how confortable it would be laying down with on the couch or in bed though. I might have to look at a few sub $500 laptops to see if their graphic card allows rotation and where the vent holes are located, I might get a sub $500 ebook reader afterall.
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:50 PM   #5
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Comics!

Ive got an aging Compaq Evo N600 laptop which I use when I'm out and about, and I've been turning it on its side for some time now to read comics with CDisplay.

Great for when I'm sitting in the rocking chair in the darkened nursery while the baby goes to sleep. Kind of like holding a heavy textbook. Takes a little getting used to, but well worth it. Great to read books as well if you can rotate the display with your reader software (I think MobiReader might let you?).
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