Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Technology is not the Point!

Henri Reynard weighs in on eBook Technology.  Henri presents his views on E Ink, the Kindle and what he really wants.


A spate of eBook readers has hit the market recently with one or two yet to follow. The display candidate of the moment is the technology based on E Ink which rhymes with pink but has the visual value of oink to my eyes.

The background is gray and slightly hazy.  I do not think that the visual effects of a book are very well presented. AND they all cost over three hundred dollars.  A sum of money for which these days you can get a fully featured portable PC. Or for that matter more than half of an Iphone if you really like technology that much.

I am not a fan of any of the current crop of eBook readers but they are getting better at getting the size and weight close to right for the avid reader. E Ink readers have one major drawback: they are fragile and not as capable of living through a good drop to the floor from the bed – a criteria for books in my house.

My wife is a technocrat of the first order so I get to hold a lot of technology in these hands. New technology is not likely to impress me unless I think it will actually move the market. Take for example the Kindle, well named if you believe in burning books.

I seldom have used a book to start a fire, notice I did not say never. But the Kindle suffers from some interesting drawbacks. It is totally proprietary and makes no apologies about that fact. It also loses in the cost derby since it has no price advantage to go along with its other restrictions. Note that it cannot read protected PDF which is one of the most prevalent formats for eBooks sold today.

No! I think I will wait on a better technology than the current oink -- ER, E Ink -- crop before I buy another reader. Maybe the tablet PC will be back in a solid and simple light weight form before this is all over. An open standard and a really large memory with a lot of computing capability. Now that would be an eBook that didn't depend on a lot of new untried technology.

Wouldn't that be nice?

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