I LOVE the idea of a large format reader, but my single complaint is what do we truly gain that we don't over current distribution to users with tablets and slate PC's?
I think if you took the iRex concepts, the Sahara i440D by TabletKiosk and stirred in the 3Qi display...you win as an organization the student and corporate user-base.
TabletKiosk and their Sahara i440D
which if they slide a 3Qi display, Win7 into the system, offers a seriously attractive to corporations looking to minimized device pollution in the corporate infrastructure yet provide the low power, more paper-less, yet still powerful solution for their staff. I still feel there are a potential sleeper...only drawback there is true mobile broadband access to make best use of the web side of that equation.
Anyway, it is just an off-shoot I see as viable and could exploit the weakness of eink based devices. I sense there would be a bigger market for these over a large format eink type reader among students than something as poorly suited as the KDX is for how one needs to study.
I know Linux or even OSX(or whatever) would be super options, but there are complications and overhead that just seem to represent a huge hurdle to today's mass market devices...plus one cannot just license an aPplE OS as one can Linux or Win7.
Win& also has the advantage of being fully populated with all the hooks needed to serve as a multi-purpose device for both category of users...and Aero is IDEAL to manage multiple open PDF (or any documents) via finger control. Right now read about the Sahara i440D I linked to above...then consider the feature set of the iRex OS...it can be ported...couple in the Pixel Qi 3Qi display, even a gen1 display, and you see what this could give. A total solution to pretty much all short comings facing the current dedicated reader designers. yes, battery life will suffer. BUT, I suspect that all a user wants is a good 10-14hrs of use during the day before a need to change batteries.
The i440D has a dual mode touch screen...can use the newest 500GB LOW POWER HDD's...my adding a Hitachi 500GB 5400rpm HDD to my 3yr old HP running on it's original Li-Ion battery, it added another 45mins to the runtime and dropped the operating temp by 5C...this can serve the slate market...yes, SSD is an option but this particular Hitachi drive, is new and seems to show that rotational drives are still around with lots to offer. And to be honest I no longer keep up daily with the computer hardware tech and market...I did that for too many decades and no longer feel the fun in doing so...
I just see now as a really nice time to consider a more robust hybrid type device bridging the obvious gap between a dedicated reading device and a full on laptop/tablet/slate PC...I would be more than happy to drop $1500 or so on such a device (and YES it can be made for a low enough price to make that a reality...even $1200 is possible as a retail price.)