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Old 12-03-2006, 04:32 PM   #1
doctorow
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Newsweek positive on Sony Reader

Quote:
Big book: Sony's Reader

Feel like lugging 80 books to your beach vacation? Didn't think so. But if the books were downloaded into the new Sony Reader, maybe you'd do it. No bigger than a mass-market paperback--and a lot trimmer--this electronic reading device indeed holds up to 80 electronic books (and even more if you use an optional memory stick). Its E Ink technology makes for clear reading--you can read a book, uh, cover to cover without straining your eyesight. The battery gives you 7,500 page turns between charges. Besides books, you can load text files, photos (they show up in black- and-white) and music. It costs $350 (buy before the end of the year and you get $50 worth of books free). In some ways the Reader isn't quite ready for teatime: in our testing it couldn't adequately handle pdf files (thus you can't read the public-domain books available in Google). And the only way to buy books is from the Sony Connect Store, a relatively limited emporium (10,000 titles, and not easily browsed) that won't keep Amazon up at night. But to para-phrase computer scientist Alan Kay on the early Macintosh, after many tries by many people, the Sony Reader is the first electronic book device worth criticizing. And it's also worth taking to the beach.

--Steven Levy
Reviewed Oct 23.
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Old 12-05-2006, 06:01 AM   #2
William Moates
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From what I can tell, this is the whole article. (Navigating Newsweek's site was a real pain, because the page takes forever to load on my Mac's Safari and Firefox browsers. After much hunting and waiting, I was able to search for articles by Stephen Levy, and found it, but I couldn't open it, because that site thought my JavaScript was off, even though Firefox says it's on.

I'm tempted to become a university student for life, just so I can use its library to access magazine and journal archives.
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Old 12-05-2006, 06:15 AM   #3
William Moates
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But to para-phrase computer scientist Alan Kay on the early Macintosh, after many tries by many people, the Sony Reader is the first electronic book device worth criticizing. And it's also worth taking to the beach.

--Steven Levy
That best sums up my opinion of the Reader. I can compare the Reader to my Clie, and the e-ink display is better for reading text. However, I've never laid hands on a Rocket e-book or Fraknlin eBookman, so I can't opine definitively. It would be great to see them side by side to get a more accurate look-and-feel comparison.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:38 AM   #4
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I wonder if Mr. Levy's opinion would change if he were to peruse a copy of his own "A Perfect Thing" on the reader.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:42 AM   #5
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Since Newsweek is part of the Washington Post this speaks well for their influence to get more publishers on-board.
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:39 AM   #6
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A good review, although he slightly misses the point when he says:

Quote:
In some ways the Reader isn't quite ready for teatime: in our testing it couldn't adequately handle pdf files...
in that obviously there are many other ways than PDF files to get "public domain" content.
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