E-book reader thoughts

Posted on 09/06/2010

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Been looking long and hard at the e-book readers lately, and I think I have a thought–I think. One brand is doing the exact right thing to succeed, while the others–not so much.

You’ve got your Nook,your Sony, your Kindle, iPad, Alex, eReader, Pandigital, Kobo, Cool-er, Astak, and of course smart phones. (Bet you didn’t know there were so many of them out there, did you? And there are even more.)

I’m only going to focus on a few of them, and even then, the focus is going to be laser tight, because I think one brand of e-reader (and maybe a few others too) have the right idea when it comes to e-readers. My laser focus? The Battery.  I will tell you why in a second.

Nook runs on a single charge for 10 days with the wireless off

Kindle runs on a single charge for one month with wireless off

Sony runs for two weeks on a single charge

Cool-er will last for 8000 clicks, which equivalent to reading 15 novels

Astak e-Reader Read up to 8000 pages on a single charge (similar to the Cool-er)

Astak

Now all other thing aside (formats, for instance, which is what gets most people’s hackles up) each of these e-readers can go for a decent amount of time, but of course, not forever.

Of course, you add the LCD screen of the iPad or the Pandigital in, and their battery lifespans drop to mere days, if not hours.  For this discussion, I have excluded them for battery life, simply because they can not compete

Now, why do I think batteries are such a significant peice of the puzzle?

Because, the role of an eb0ok reader is to MIMIC an actual book.  And books don’t take batteries. I can take a book anywhere there’s light to see, and I can read it. Readers should be as close to that as possible.

Sony had a chance to corner this market about ten years ago, and they chose not to. Now, instead of simplifying their ereaders, they’re adding on touchscreens. Neat feature, but it takes a step AWAY from a real book.  I understand that you want to add features your consumers want, but to be honest, I really think they need to keep it as close to an actual book as possible.

Go over to your bookshelf and flip open a book. Do you see colors? Do you see the internet? Can you touch a page and make it turn itself?  Nope. It’s black text on white paper and you have to move your hand to turn the page.  This is what all the ebook readers should be striving for: to be as “book-like” as possible.

Astak, Cool-er, and Kindle are three that seem to be going that direction. Instead of getting more and more crap added to them, they are getting simpler, more like a real book.

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Posted in: Ebooks, Writing