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View Poll Results: What features are required for a 9.7’’ e-reader ?
Wifi 378 64.40%
3G 121 20.61%
Touch screen 334 56.90%
Stylus 196 33.39%
Color screen 213 36.29%
Email 125 21.29%
Web Browser 231 39.35%
Document search 393 66.95%
Dictionary 413 70.36%
Music player 84 14.31%
Video player 58 9.88%
OPDS compatibility 104 17.72%
Just show me the results 28 4.77%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 587. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-08-2010, 08:59 AM   #16
mtravellerh
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OPDS and dictionaries for me
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:02 AM   #17
beachwanderer
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Voted for: Wifi & 3G (yes both please) with basic browser to access static online material, Touchscreen & Stylus, Document Search (absolutely vital), Dictionary, OPDS Compat.

A yes, and don't forget this oldfashioned SD(HC)-Card-Slot. Still worthy as todays floppy. And USB.

And (.pdf-)annotation (absolutely vital) with ways to export the annotated .pdf.

No need for mail and entertainment on an eInk device, thank you.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:03 AM   #18
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+1 To reading software above all.

But also...
1- Folder-based bookshelf with user-defined structure trumps flat-file listing
2- Multiple dictionary look-up
3- User typographical controls should override embedded typography; its *my* reader and *my* books
4- ergonomics: weight and button placement matter a *lot*; good one-handed controls trump touch-screens.
5- It's a reader! Not a PDA and definitely not a webpad.

US$0.02
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:03 AM   #19
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Most of the options are things that would be useful on a tablet computer, not an ebook reader. Nearly every feature on that list is one meant for doing something other than reading.

I'm with Mr. Ploppy. I want features for reading ebooks. I don't want color. I don't want video, audio, Web browsing, email, and all the rest; I have a netbook for that. I want features to make it a better ebook reader, not a half-assed computer. I want to read books. Oh, and I hate touch screens, and will not buy one.

What do I want?
  • a good, crisp e-ink screen
  • fast page turns
  • conveniently located, well-thought-out, and ergonomic controls
  • plenty of internal memory
  • SD card capability
  • fast library scanning/updating (I hate you Sony)
  • good PDF rendering (I don't need annotation)
  • multiple options for organizing my books
  • easy book browsing
  • a favorite book list (useful for often-used reference books, for instance)
  • the ability to get to any of my thousands of books in seconds
  • a text-based interface*
  • book status marking (unread/reading/read)
  • ability to read any common ebook format and many obscure ones
  • choice of text size and font, both default and per book
    (bonus if the settings can be managed in calibre)
  • some means of easily attaching any book light (a fold-out bracket?)
In other words, I want features that improve my experience reading ebooks. That's what I'm buying the thing for. The ability to do things other than reading ebooks is meaningless to me. Having a video player on an ebook reader, for instance, makes as much sense as having a dishwasher in my refrigerator. I want the world's best ebook reader, not the world's most half-assed ebook reader/video player/Web browser/music player/cell phone/PDA/pickle jar.


* Were I an illiterate moron only capable of pointing at pictures, I wouldn't be buying an ebook reader, now, would I?
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:07 AM   #20
Lemurion
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It really didn't cover the features that matter to me:

1) Format support: If it can't read my books it's not a valid choice to me. Currently that would mean at least ePub (Adobe and B&N DRM support - unfortunately), PDF (with or without DRM - since the screen is big enough they may be readable), and eReader at a minimum. I'd also want Kindle support if I could get it, but Amazon doesn't have a good track record with dedicated reader support outside their own.

I figure Apple iBook support is a lost cause, so won't even bother with it.

2) File System Access: I want to be able to put my books on my device without having to load some idiotic front-end program like iTunes or the Sony Library (or even Calibre if I don't feel like it.) Books are files; I want to be able to use a file manager. That's what it's for. Simple drag and drop makes me very happy. Let me mount it as a disk.

Everything else is less important.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:12 AM   #21
kralikba
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As current e-Ink displays have a very slow response time, I'm pretty sure that a touch screen for clicking links etc. is a must to replace a graphic cursor.

But the most important is the reading software with "intelligent" features - e.g. the PDF reader could determine that some text is typeset with such a narrow font that it is barely readable on the specific display and could use some other font.

ps. and user-replacable (or OTA downloadable) dictionaries would be also a useful feature; there is no way to include and maintain dictionaries for every language pair of the galaxy, but they do exist and they do help international sales.

Last edited by kralikba; 06-08-2010 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:13 AM   #22
netseeker
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Voted for: Touch screen, Document search, Dictionary, OPDS.

Just like Jellby i want: support for multiple formats and annotations (in some format that allows to see and edit them on and off-device)

Additionally: A good virtual keyboard and optional external keyboard via usb or BT. A modern screen with fast refresh and good readability even under direct incidence of light. It doesn't have to be e-ink but should be easy on the eyes and energy-efficient.

All in all: A device for reading, annotating and to a lesser degree writing too.

Forgot to vote for Wifi.

I wouldn't buy a 9.7'' device for reading only. I want work with such a device...
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:22 AM   #23
mikecook
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I should have read the comments before voting. I did not vote for a colour screen as I expected this would lead to an LCD device. Yuck!

A colour screen would be great, technical documents, magazines, etc. but an LCD screen is no good. I've been using the iPad this last week and it's rubbish when you take it any where near direct sunlight, which means even staying away from the window of my local coffee shop.

EPUB, PDF and perhaps RTF/DOC support would probably cover most of the documents I'd want.

I'm in two minds about a touch/stylus screen. I know there a advantages but it's not a deal breaker for me. Although....

Translator dictionaries would be fantastic feature, though I guess some sort of touch screen would be needed for quick access. In this case I'd prefer stylus, that way I don't have to worry about stray thumbs catching the side of the screen....which still happens on the iPad and Sony Touch.

Long Battery...I've got so used to these E-Ink devices that I find it frustrating now to have to keep charging this bloody iPad!

Last edited by mikecook; 06-08-2010 at 09:24 AM. Reason: added Battery
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:28 AM   #24
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thanks for your comments, mike. i will add your vote for a colour screen.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:29 AM   #25
tiggers7652
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E Book Requirements

I need a BACK LIGHT. I read mainly at night and hate those clip on lights. A back light with the option to adjust the light is needed. Multiple formats, SD card slot.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:30 AM   #26
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As important as some of the listed choices may be in an ebook reader, I really think that the ability to organize books into folders/collections is one of the most important (and unlisted) features on any device...it is difficult to wade through books based solely on "author name" or some similar and unimportant information, it is the reason why the Nook was not on my list of possible purchases.

Most of us are will choose a reader based on its ability to accept multiple formats, its battery life, and its ease of use...everything else is just a nice secondary that tips the scales. That is the reason that is the PRS-505 is so popular in spite of its lack of extras.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:30 AM   #27
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It's time for eReaders to start moving away from the E-Ink or LCD only options. Manufacturers need to start contacting some of these new color screen technologies and talking to them. I want to see more reflective color screens starting to make their way to market from Mirasol, Pixel Qi, Liquavista and Bridgestone.

I didn't vote for the color screen options because I didn't want it to seem like I was voting for LCD, but if you use one of these alternative screens I'm all in.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:33 AM   #28
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It's a shame there isn't an associated cost with each option. If adding 3G gave me free access to the internet (Wikipedia, RSS etc) and was just a small upfront cost then I'd go for it but if it added significantly to the price then I wouldn't. At the moment it's a bit like ordering off a menu and not knowing the price of any of the items.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:38 AM   #29
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I strongly agree with comments above re accepting multiple formats. Although this may not be a direct hardware manufacturer concern as much as screen type, etc. the ability to accommodate multiple formats on one unit will (IMHO) become increasingly important. Just look at the Apple forum threads on reading apps on the iPad.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:40 AM   #30
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You're asking the wrong audience...

You first have to describe the target market of the device, then get a focus group together from that sector.

At mobileread you're sampling from a population who are already interested in e-readers, most of whom own one. You'll be forever playing catch-up to your competitors. Also in terms of reading habits the population here is too diverse. E.g. ask everyone who owns a car what they like in a car. "Runs fast!" "Fuel efficient" "Looks rad!" "Doesn't stand out in a crowd", I mean, who will you listen to?

E.g., imagine if apple went to a tablet PC forum and asked what people would like in a device. Boom, they'd end up making the ipad like a tablet pc. The best possible tablet pc, but still a tablet pc.

Your dude needs to go back to business school, or if they're an engineer they need to find a savvy business guy.

Anyway, for my response, I want a pressure sensitive EMR pen (not a stinking stylus) and the ability to annotate and export PDFs.

Last edited by fishface; 06-08-2010 at 09:42 AM.
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