I would rather read text books on an e-reader not a tablet.
The specs of most e-readers are low. Is the screen that costly? Is this the reason for them being that expensive? Or is it lack of demand?
In any case, I’m kind of bummed that the e-ink/ereader market has sort of settled on the current state of affairs.
What I’d really like to see is good e-ink laptops. First, because of battery life. I also think they could be great “focus machines.” A laptop you can use to write, code, read emails and maybe articles but without the full blown “multimedia PC experience” we were sold back in the early 90s.
A little “kindle PC” designed for writers as the canonical user could be a great contribution, and right up amazon’s alley. Way more interesting than the kindle-fire stuff. I guess content for kindle fire looks like a juicier market, but… no one is making e-ink laptops! We have plenty of app stores, music services and online video stores.
On the reader front, I was really hoping amazon would do more to change the business of publishing. When magazines or paperbacks became mass market, publishing changed. The type of stuff that got published changed. e-readers, a lot less.
Amazon seemed to be focused on making big publishers happy, and they were focused on keeping the industry’s structure intact. I wanted more of a shake-up.
Publishing could be more democratic. The writer-reader relationship could be more disintermediated. We could have more short stories by authors in their prime, maybe as trailers for novels. We could have more short/concise nonfiction, without the need to fill out a “whole book.” Some parts of journalism could have been changed. I know of no better platform for “micro payments” to writers than kindle's…. It feels like they left the job half done.
So, I’m with you on big readers. I’ll raise you one laptop and a small-to-medium publishing revolution.
Things like for example scrolling a document or moving a mouse pointer would be quite painful and streaky.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP2CVXzpK5s (not my video)
I just wouldn't expect what's going to be essentially a mid-'80s word processor (Xerox Memorywriter, not WordPerfect) style user experience, complete with the screen with the really low refresh rate, is something that would sell.
Besides that, circa 2000 hardware specs are embedded in £40 devices these days, even ereaders. Word processing has been fine for a long time. No need for bleeding edge performance, or even somewhat sharp.
And I also know that nobody actually liked working on those things; they just put up with them because because, at the time, an actual computer set up to do the same task could easily cost something upward of US$5,000 in today's dollars.
I think your first point on ereaders being a sufficient platform for iteration and working out kinks is accurate though. Scrolling and mousing we can work around. Typing, no. If the refresh is not fast enough for a nice typing experience... there is no workaround for that.
I still hope someone will make this. I really want one.
I don't think the eink screens are that costly. It may have something to do with the demand.
This is ridiculously expensive
And the Sony Digital Paper is expensive too.
I would love to see more phone cases with eink screens.
So I think to say that readers wouldn’t prefer larger screens to match typical paperback or hardback books is false, it is just expense that puts them off.
Not cheap, but for that niche it seems a good iteration on the Kindle DX. I don't know how much better/faster the screen is, but the weight reduction looks good ... (226 dpi, 350 grams vs. 150 dpi, 535 grams)
I think they are really worth it, though. Now some 13 inch models even accept video input, so you can potentially use it as a terminal / PDF screen.
Do you have a link/suggestions for a device? I've been wanting an eink monitor for text tasks for years (I'm not a gamer).
I've not gone through them recently but there are some things that sounded like that when I was on there a few months ago.
Basically, any PDF that had vector-based statistical plots would bring the poor thing to its knees. I wished at the time that there were a large screen PDF reader with modest computational umpf.
Nowadays, it sounds like the Sony reader is great, but costly and the Remarkable reader wasn’t vaporware after all... but it’s similarly costly. $350 feels like the right price to pay for such a device. I have no idea if that price makes them worth manufacturing.
It's $700. Also, it can take input from a stylus to annotate the documents on it. But otherwise it's what you want. I, too, wish there were cheaper options for this purpose - even if it was a thick, heavy monitor with a stand and built-in 120V power supply rather than a tablet (though I suppose the power characteristics of e-ink displays mean that the economics will typically prefer the tablet form-factor). Reading is just a lot more pleasant on an e-ink display.
I also thought they were going to be jumping to Android 6, but the site still looks like all 4.x.
Looking at the linked online shop, 9.7" is ~$380 and 13.3 ~$800
...but, Kobo in the last two years seem to have done pretty well with h2o and aura one models. I'd be very interested in seeing how the h2o in particular performs compared to their smaller models; 6.8 inches seems like a pretty ideal compromise between size and portability for me that 6 inches does not.
Colour would be nice too, but I guess that's impossible.
Well, not possible yet.
In a few years the technology might be refined enough though.
I also heard that the refresh rate is in the range of minutes for now, but let's hope that'll change soon :)
Edit: added quote I was responding to
They are really only useful for reference books, and mostly of interest in academia.
I'm a longtime iPad user but I have one of the cheaper Amazon Fire tablets (whatever was the 7-inch model that sold for $30 for last year's Black Friday). I mean, it's a tablet, but it's not very fun to use compared to my iPad/iPhone because of how clunky the multitouch is (among other things). And the screen isn't high res -- under 200 ppi IIRC. Even the new Kindle Fire HD 10-inch model maxes out at just 224 ppi.
The ebook reader I currently own is the Kindle Voyage, which apparently has 300 ppi on a 6 inch screen at a cost of $199. The Kindle that I would recommend is the Paperwhite, which is just $90, while also having the same screen quality as the Voyage.
(I owned the Paperwhite before getting the Voyage. I don't have any complaints about the Voyage but I honestly could not tell you why it's any better than I remember the Paperwhite being).
So if PPI is a large factor in cost of screen, it turns out that the Kindle e-readers aren't that much out of whack compared to the Amazon Fire HD tablets. Yes, it's just black and white, but for most books, that's all you need. And it is very legible black-and-white. I have an iPad Pro but I do almost all of my e-reading on the Kindle.
If you're a student, one thing I might worry about is whether the Kindles and their small screen can handle all of the textbooks that you might use. For books where layout is important, the small Kindle can be kind of a pain. And some books (purchased on Amazon) will refuse to open on the Kindle, so I have to view them on my iPad. I imagine the 10-inch version of the Kindle Fire would handle full=size books, but that is me just guessing.
You probably have seen these links, but just in case:
But... DX is phased out and has no replacement.
Also most eReaders are slow - due display. There is no needs for something super-fast but there is needs to be energy efficient. And mine Kindle Touch (ver. 5 i think) battery lasts few weeks (between 2-3).
Ended up returning it.
At some point, I'm going to have to replace my 1st gen Nook and would love to have a device that I can write on as well. So, the Remarkable product looks great despite the price tag. But, I'd want at least a 10-year life.
No tablet has less functionality than the reMarkable. "