Posts Tagged ‘e-ink’

Sony Launches New Reader Line

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Sony has announced the next generation of its Reader line. Each of its Reader devices is getting a makeover, slimming down, trimming weight, and sharing a high-quality touch screen.

While the devices each have their own specialties, there were some across-the-board upgrades as well. These upgrades include intuitive content zoom; adjustable contrast and brightness control; and automatic multiple page creation. Users can now use photos as a screen saver and can sort favorite books into a group.

The new Readers are loaded with dictionaries. Among them are the New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition and Oxford Dictionary of English eDictionaries, and 10 translation dictionaries including French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch.

Previously only available on the Reader Touch and Reader Daily Editions, there is now a touch screen on the Reader Pocket Edition. All three devices feature an improved optical touch screen specifically designed for screen reading. This is designed to improve clarity and improve the user experience. Using a finger or stylus, pages can easily be turned with a slight touch.

The Reader Pocket Edition features a 5″ screen and 2GB internal memory. It can be purchased for $179. The Reader Touch Edition features a 6″ screen and the same 2GB of internal memory. It is expandable to 32GB and can play mp3 and AAC files. You can purchase the Reader Touch Edition for $229. The Reader Daily Edition features a 7″ screen and a wireless connection to Sony’s Reader Store using 3G from AT&T. New to the Daily Edition are additional Wi-Fi features and basic Web browsing. It features 2GB of internal memory and is also expandable to 32GB. The Reader Daily Edition will be available for around $299. The Reader Pocket Edition and Reader Touch Edition can be pre-ordered now at Sony Style. They ship September 16. The Reader Daily Edition should be out in time for the holidays.

While Amazon beat Sony to the punch on the slimmer Kindle design, Sony packed its Readers with new features that should stand out significantly among the other e-Readers. With a broad range of content and features, the Sony Readers easily rise to the top of the e-Reader genre. They are definitely worth checking out. You can view the full press release

Nook Review – Hands On

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

I reviewed the Barnes & Noble Nook last night, but I got to spend some time with it tonight so this is a follow-up to the original post.

I went in to my local Barnes & Noble to test out the free Wi-Fi feature and ideally the 3G connection. I succeeded in the Wi-Fi test, but not the 3G. I was using the floor model, so naturally it was connected to the Wi-Fi hotspot. I did confirm that the 3G is free and is offered by AT&T.

Upon picking up the Nook, I immediately noticed the light weight. I could comfortably hold it in my hand. The navigation buttons are offered on both sides of the screen to encourage one-handed use. You can turn pages either direction with one hand. The next thing I noticed, having just played with the Sony Reader again, was the inability to navigate the e-Ink screen. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but I had to keep reminding myself to use the buttons.

The Android-based navigation screen on the bottom was simple enough. It isn’t an Android OS as tablets go, but I would say it is more along the lines of the Android-powered washing machines. It offers quick scrolling through book covers, and provides the up and down navigation when scrolling through book titles in the store and in your collection.

I checked out the e-store, and the free daily book options. Both were simple enough, and were good features to have on a device. You get a free book every week, 52 weeks a year with the Nook. This is on top of the public domain books available, to the tune of more than 500,000 titles. The books were fairly easy to find.

I wasn’t as happy with the font choices though. You have a few sizes to choose from, and a couple of pre-set fonts, but there are no shading options to make it easier to read. Being e-Ink that is not a huge deal, but the Kindle does offer the black screen and white text. The nook is stuck on gray screen and black text.

All-in-all, I still think this is a good device. The free 3G and free Wi-Fi are great features. The books are easy to access, and there are lots of available titles. There are magazine options for single use or subscriptions. The Nook even outdoes the Sony Reader in some respects, namely being the color navigation screen. I am a fan of e-Ink, and that brings the Nook up on my list of possible purchases. I am interested in seeing what happens to the price in the near future though. With tablets gunning for it, regardless of whether or not they are comparable, the prices are likely going to need to drop significantly to keep e-Ink as a viable option. I hope that it can stand on its own however. It makes books much easier to read without having to worry about glare and eye strain. Having spent more time with it, I still recommend it. It may not be the ultimate gadget for tech-nerds like myself, but I did enjoy playing with it and seeing what it had to offer.

Best Buy Carries Nook

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The e-Reader Wars

Best Buy is now selling the Nook from Barnes & Noble. The Nook is a standard e-Reader, but has a touch screen navigation. Here are the basics:

  • 6″ e-Ink Display
  • 16-level Grayscale
  • 3.5″ Color Touch Screen for touch navigation
  • Quick Library View by book cover image
  • AT&T 3G plus 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Free Wi-Fi in Barnes & Noble stores
  • 2GB internal memory, expandable via mini-SD slot
  • Android OS
  • Interchangeable back cover
  • Digital Lending
  • Speakers and Headphone Jack

There are a number of titles available, both free and paid. You can get free content delivered daily to your device. The Nook claims to be the first Android e-Reader, and the first with color navigation. It also boasts compatibility with other systems, including the iPhone and Blackberry. All in all this looks to be a pretty solid device.

One of the interesting features is the combination of Android and e-Ink. The in-store Wi-Fi is another feature I like. Barnes & Noble has encouraged readers to stick around the store by offering comfortable reading areas. This culture is maintained by offering free Wi-Fi. I thought this was a good move on their part. People are used to reading in the stores and would likely want to continue doing so.

I can see why Best Buy would want to carry it in stores, but the online version makes less sense to me. If they are offering the Nook on their website, I would imagine they would want to sell it cheaper than Barnes & Noble. As it is they both offer the Nook online for the same price.

After reviewing the Nook, I think it deserves more press than it previously has received. Assuming its claims are correct, it broke ground on a couple of features, mainly involving navigation. Whether you pick it up at Best Buy or Barnes & Noble, the Nook will cost you about $260. I recommend checking it out and seeing if it is for you. I think it is definitely among the front-runners in the e-Reader Wars.