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Prices Slashed For Nook, Kindle E-Readers

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the free-falling dept.

Books 255

b0bby sends in a report from ZDNet about the sudden outbreak of a price war in e-reader devices. "On Monday, Barnes & Noble cut the price of the 3G Nook to $199. It also launched a $149 Wi-Fi version. Just hours later, Amazon responded by cutting the price of the Kindle to $189. At $259, the price of the Kindle and Nook just 24 hours ago, an e-reader purchase competed with an Apple iPad, which started at $499 for a Wi-Fi version. Below $200, a dedicated e-reader purchase makes a lot more sense." Sony dropped prices for its readers three months ago, but the move didn't kick off a price war at that time. Some believe that dedicated e-readers are doomed in the long run to lose out to general-purpose devices such as the iPad — and its coming imitators, many of which will be based on Google Android.

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255 comments

Niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32647756)

Fuck dah niggers.

e readers are insanely overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32647764)

what are we talking, a 5-10,000% profit on each sale?

Re:e readers are insanely overpriced (4, Informative)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647812)

e-Ink is more expensive than you think (I don't have a definitive price, but according to this link [engadget.com] the cost to Amazon for the e-Ink display on the Kindle is $60 by itself). Tack on the cost of the processor, memory, networking gear, battery, casing, quality control, etc., and the supposed cost to Amazon is $185. Given that prices have probably dropped a bit since that report, I suspect they are making a small profit on each device (though of course the cost of warranty replacements probably removes even that). The money is in e-Book sales; each sale may be for less than the hardcover, and the publishers may take a large cut, but what remains is pure profit; sale and distribution of pure data is effectively free.

Re:e readers are insanely overpriced (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32647858)

sale and distribution of pure data is effectively free.

Yeah it's not like they have to pay for bandwidth or anything...

Re:e readers are insanely overpriced (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647924)

Text is small, bandwidth has become cheaper, and at this point the eBooks are barely cheaper than the regular books. The nook can only use 3G for the B&N store on device, and the Kindle has only a very basic web browser (it's barely usable, good for a quick wikipedia lookup but not any extended browsing).

So the purchases more than make up for the 3G downloading.

Re:e readers are insanely overpriced (2, Informative)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648790)

I think what he is talking about is taking FedEx or UPS out of the map. Amazon usually offers free shipping on orders over $25. I'm in Canada so its around $40. Anyways, I remember because there's a lot more stuff on Amazon.com (partner resellers etc), that people would find $0.99 items or less when their order was nudging on the free shipping price. That second item will cost Amazon more than its worth FWIW.

A fair amount of bandwidth is gobbled up just browsing the Amazon website. Amazon has to upkeep their website anyways. So I think the cost of delivery of the digital goods which would probably be a few bits and bytes more than some other user is friendlier to Amazon's pockets than paying free shipping on parcel delivery regardless if its a minimum order or a $1000 order books or not. I'd wager digital delivery is also friendlier on the environment.

Re:e readers are insanely overpriced (0)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648426)

what remains is pure profit; sale and distribution of pure data is effectively free.

First you have to make the sale.

Maintaining the Amazon.com web site is not free. Marketing the Kindle e-book catalog is not free. The web page for a popular book or series could easily be many times the size of the e-book download.

There is no free lunch.

Sales have to be properly documented, payments processed through Mastercard and Visa, accounts settled with the publishers.

Re:e readers are insanely overpriced (3, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648646)

e-Ink is more expensive than you think (I don't have a definitive price, but according to this link [engadget.com] the cost to Amazon for the e-Ink display on the Kindle is $60 by itself).

GP is still fundamentally correct - e-Ink displays are overpriced. The reason why that is the case is that there is a single company - E Ink Corporation [wikipedia.org] - holding key patents on technology, and maintaining monopoly on production.

Then again, what is "overpriced"? I paid $300 for a Sony PRS-505 two years ago, and, given the amount of use the device has got over that time period - more than any other gadget I own, with the exception of cellphone - consider it money well spent.

So, YMMV - largely depending on what you read, and how much. For people who read fiction a lot (as in, 1 book per week or more), I'd highly recommend one.

A YEAR AGO (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648712)

Those prices were from over a year ago. They should be a fraction of that price now.

Re:e readers are insanely overpriced (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32647814)

what are we talking, a 5-10,000% profit on each sale?

The e-ink screens that ereaders use cost about $75-90, even in bulk. By dropping prices down to ~$150, they're cutting their margins pretty thin in order to gain marketshare.

Re:e readers are insanely overpriced (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647868)

Probably nowhere near that high. E-ink screens are an oddball in process terms, so they don't share economies of scale with LCDs(which is why the real cheap seats in the e-reader market are black and white LCD devices, and why E-ink, inc. probably says a prayer of thanksgiving every time Pixel Qi's stuff gets delayed again). A fully pixel-addressable one of reasonable size and resolution is not inexpensive(unlike the cheesy region-addressable ones, which are fairly cheap). As discrete items, 3G modems suitable for computer use seem to go for 30-80 dollars. I'm assuming that they are cheaper in bulk; but that is still something extra on the old BOM.

We are probably talking at least 100% above BOM; but I'd be surprised at anything markedly higher than the consumer electronics average. The real rip-off, though, is in the fact that you are paying all that just for the right to purchase a bunch of fancy bitstreams, generally for at least as much as the paperback equivalent, sometimes more, from somebody's proprietary storefront.

Re:e readers are insanely overpriced (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648660)

The real rip-off, though, is in the fact that you are paying all that just for the right to purchase a bunch of fancy bitstreams, generally for at least as much as the paperback equivalent, sometimes more, from somebody's proprietary storefront.

You can easily ignore the stores. Which eInk-based reader on the market today doesn't read books in open (as in, non-DRM'ed with a spec) file formats?

EBOOK PRICES (5, Insightful)

birukun (145245) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647780)

Until they drop Ebook prices, they can pound sand...... For those prices, Kindle/Nook should be free

Re:EBOOK PRICES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32647798)

I couldn't agree with you more.

Re:EBOOK PRICES (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647818)

Thats the biggest issue I have with ebook readers. The price of the ebooks. I get a less usable book (can't really share it) for the same price as a real book. And a real book has more overhead to cover. Materials used to make the book, transportation costs, book sellers fee. These aren't a factor in an ebook (well the sellers fee is). Am ebook is just information on a server's HD and for the size of the ebook, the bandwidth isn't really much of an issue. Until the prices go down to something more reasonable for the ebooks, I'm not going to buy a reader regardless of the readers price tag.

Re:EBOOK PRICES (3, Insightful)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648226)

Agreed, the prices on ebooks are far too high. But if you are smart, ebook readers can be a good deal. There are a ton of free (and legal) ebooks out there. Old classics out of copyright are free, but also a decent library of newer SF. What pushed me to make the purchase was the price of a paper copy of Peter Watts' Behemoth... over $150 new, but free on his site. There's also Charles Stross, the Baen Free Library, etc... and I've barely started looking. The Nook store also has a fair number of freebies, but for the most part you'll have to download books from various sites and use Calibre to convert to one of the supported formats.

Factoring in the free books, the average cost of the books in my nook is about what used books would cost, or a bit less. I haven't had time to get serious about filling it with free books, or it would be even lower. I'd be happy to buy many more books through their store, but I won't do so aggressively until prices are reasonable (at $5, I'd go nuts, and their profits would skyrocket; everybody wins. But I guess they don't like money). So the Nook will save me money over the year, though not as much as I'd prefer. I read a couple thousand pages during my vacation, so it saves on weight, space, and trees as well.

If they raise the prices more (dick move, Steve Jobs), torrents of ebooks will become much more popular.

Re:EBOOK PRICES (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648482)

Thats the biggest issue I have with ebook readers. The price of the ebooks. I get a less usable book (can't really share it) for the same price as a real book. And a real book has more overhead to cover.

I never really got this thing about "sharing books" being so important that it would choose your format for you. There is something about a physical object intuitively being worth more, but I have to say one of my favorite things about the kindle is the books you buy are stored remotely as well as on your device, so unless Amazon goes out of business (unlikely) you have the book forever. I can't keep track of how many books I've lost, read until they disintegrated, etc. The kindle book is always there.

Well you can slap Apple for that crap (1, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648078)

because they found a new customer, publishers. We are just the frill too line the publisher's pockets. Amazon was doing great with their pricing model yet people still yelped over the "high costs". Well for the time being we will have to look back on their model as the good old days.

I am disappointed that the larger Kindle is still held at its price. That is the one I am most interested in. Can't stand the iPad, totally useless in the sun; as in I like to read outdoors, I don't need another device to make a basement dweller. I compared both, the benefit of having geeks for coworkers and while the iPad has more function in the realm of books the Kindle just is it. One e-ink comes out in color that will remove one of the last complaints people have with it. Well that and the ability to easily annotate entries.

Re:Well you can slap Apple for that crap (-1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648176)

Can't stand the iPad, totally useless in the sun; as in I like to read outdoors

Translation: I haven't actually tried it, but some guy on Slashdot said so

Re:EBOOK PRICES (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648202)

The Nook can display PDF, EPUB and other files, and you can load up a Micro-SD card with all the ebooks you can find.

Re:EBOOK PRICES (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648400)

The nook has over a gig of regular internal space, which corresponds to about a thousand illustrated books, or about five thousand just text. It'd be difficult to read that much without ever being near a cell tower or computer. You certainly couldn't make it between charges.

But yeah, somehow the card slot is a selling point.

Re:EBOOK PRICES (1, Insightful)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648250)

Until they drop Ebook prices, they can pound sand...... For those prices, Kindle/Nook should be free

While I totally share the view that Ebooks are much less worth to the buyer (me) than "real" books, they're hardly cheaper to produce than paper books. Mass-production and distribution of paper books is *really* cheap these days and digital production and distribution isn't free either. This is an ugly and somehow absurd situation. But it's totally equivalent to the situation for authors: Most would make more money by flipping burgers instead of writing their books. Books are not an easy business.

Most books are a net loss for both authors and publishers and the very few which make money make lots of money and have to pay for many others which earn them nothing at all.

If you expect Ebooks to drop to a fraction of the price of paper books don't hold your breath. To make this possible you would have to cut out all the work that actually makes some text into a book; with most manuscripts (even good ones) this would mean you'd put out just crap that nobody wants to read. And that nobody knows about. Yes, there are exceptions but exceptions do not make markets. A book is a product and the author is only one part in the process.

Go and read self-published books if you don't believe me. You can only rarely make a good book by just writing it. Most of the work going into a book is exactly the same regardless of the format.

This does not mean that you couldn't make this more efficient. But books done the same way won't be cheaper just because you deliver bytes instead of printed paper.

Re:EBOOK PRICES (2, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648644)

"While I totally share the view that Ebooks are much less worth to the buyer (me) than "real" books, they're hardly cheaper to produce than paper books. "

I don't doubt you for a second.

But as a customer the reality is still that the ebook gives me a lot less value than the printed version. There is a solution, however. The marginal cost of distributing the ebook is just about zero once you've created it. So sell them as a bundle. Add, oh, 10% to the price of the paper book, and give me access to the ebook version as well.

Re:EBOOK PRICES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32648746)

Sorry to see you got modded down instead of an intelligent rebuttal that could potentially offset what you've said.

Slashdot isn't about intelligence and the exchange of ideas anymore, friend. It's a worthless cause anymore.

Re:EBOOK PRICES (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648556)

The prices are high, but I would be willing to pay it. My problem is the overbearing DRM. Do you really think all of these ereaders are going to survive? No way. None will be around forever. One day, you will lose all the books you have bought. I can't accept that eventuality with books.

Re:EBOOK PRICES (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648760)

Ebooks are generally cheaper than dead tree, but I would buy them even if they were more expensive. The convenience of having an entire library available to you anywhere is simply amazing. The ability to get a new book without getting out of bed is valuable in itself.

The Kindle just brings a better overall experience, therefore it is "worth" more.

That said, I do expect competition to eventually bring the price of these books down to something significantly below print costs (rather than slightly below print costs). But in the meantime, I will keep buying books on my Kindle (also reading them on my iPhone and PC when the Kindle isn't at hand).

Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (5, Insightful)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647804)

When you neglect the benefits of dedicated eReader devices with e-ink, such as...
  • The fact that they get battery life in weeks instead of hours
  • The fact that they use minimal power between page flips (vs. a relatively steady draw)
  • The fact that they are easier on the eyes
  • The fact that they are more easily read in sunlight...

It's a lot easier to say that it's over and the iPad/tablet rush will kill the eReader revolution.

Not to mention the fact that the nook/Kindle are much, much cheaper. That makes taking it to places like the beach (large zipper plastic bag keeps it safe and readable) or just on the go in general is something you don't have to worry about.

Yes, the iPad will have its fans. But there are people who don't want a "do everything" device, they want something that reads books really, really well. And the nook, Kindle, and other eReaders do that. Until there's a radical revolution in color screen technology that gains the benefits that e-ink has (which are great for a book reading device)

Not to mention that the 3G iPad is $130 extra, and doesn't include free 3G for the store so you can make an impulse book buy wherever you are. That's major in the convenience factor of the device.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (4, Interesting)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647854)

iPad meh... I've been reading books like a fiend over the past year with my iPod touch. It's readable outside without a problem (with sunglasses), it's small so my puny nerd arms don't get tired, fits in a pocket, supports Kindle software, as well as numerous others (I recommend Stanza - vertical swipe -> brightness adjustment).

Battery life of maybe a day without charging, but I can live with that.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647896)

I have an 8GB iPod Touch that's under a year old and I get maybe two hours of continuous use browsing the web indoors (where the backlight doesn't have to be full blast to be somewhat readable) and I get a couple hours of usage tops.

I know, anecdotal, etc...but at the price of these devices, they're great for people that read more than a book every once in a while.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648304)

I have an 8GB iPod Touch that's under a year old and I get maybe two hours of continuous use browsing the web indoors (where the backlight doesn't have to be full blast to be somewhat readable) and I get a couple hours of usage tops.

You should run the battery completely down (wait until the thing shuts down, start it up again, rinse, repeat) at least once a month. If you don't do this the power management has no idea about the charge the battery can actually hold and will shut down much too early.

Either that or your battery is junk. I have an 8GB iPod touch (first generation) that is nearly three years old now and still runs about 4 hours or more. I use it every day and I've read about 300 books on it now.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648418)

You should run the battery completely down (wait until the thing shuts down, start it up again, rinse, repeat) at least once a month. If you don't do this the power management has no idea about the charge the battery can actually hold and will shut down much too early.

Interesting theory, but you're better off not doing that and just putting up with an inaccurate battery meter. The deeper you cycle, the faster you consume the battery, and it's not linear. I'd expect advice like this from someone who makes a living selling batteries....

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (4, Interesting)

spinkham (56603) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648066)

I actually own both a Kindle (DX) and an IPod Touch, and can testify that the Kindle is much more eye friendly. Having both is awesome, because my iPod is always in my pocket for quick reading, my Kindle is much more eye and battery friendly for serious reading, and the software keeps both in sync. Well, when I buy kindle books anyway, with other DRM free ebooks that make up most of my collection I have to keep in sync myself, but it's not that hard.

And yes, the iPod touch is barely readable outside in the bright sunlight, but the Kindle is gorgeous, and only gets better the more light falls on it.Even indoors, the kindle is much easier to read.
.
Bottom line: Don't knock the benefits of e-ink until you've used an e-ink device for a few days.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648168)

Counter-anecdote:

I had a Kindle 1, have a Kindle 2i, have an iPod Touch, and have an iPad.

My house is apparently less naturally lit than yours, the backlight on my iPad is worth much more than the eInk's readability.

I further suggest color, which I hadn't realized how much I was missing, and the ability to CHANGE THE GORRAMN FONT.

Both the Kindle iPad app and the native iBooks reader allow font changes. Amazon clearly realizes it's wanted, so why one font only on Kindle?

Also, while the iPad loses badly to Kindle in direct sunlight, it wipes the floor with eInk while reading in bed. Now I can crank my brightness to the bottom notch, turn out all other lights, and read a softly glowing book. My wife with the K2i needs the bedstand light on, or has to try and perch an LED light just so.

While the debate of 'BETTER IN SUNLIGHT' versus 'BACKLIT!!' will go on forever due to personal tastes and eye ability, I leave you with this parting (cheap) shot: Comic books. Yeah. Rocks.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648428)

What part of "they're not really the same market, although there is some overlap" do people not seem to understand???

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648438)

Yep. I like having copies of books on both my phone and my Nook. The biggest use - grocery store line. Since I'm not a woman (with the benefit of a purse), carrying around my Nook for that purpose is not feasible. Something that fits in my pocket is great for the many such short annoying periods of time that no longer go to waste. Buying in a Palm Zire 6 years ago and the Centro 2 years ago were the best investments I've ever made (in terms of cost-benefit ratio).

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648690)

I actually own both a Kindle (DX) and an IPod Touch, and can testify that the Kindle is much more eye friendly. Having both is awesome, because my iPod is always in my pocket for quick reading, my Kindle is much more eye and battery friendly for serious reading

Seconded, only in my case it's Sony PRS-505, and Nexus One with Aldiko. I've only read from the former for a long time, but after buying N1 a few months ago, I found that always having it in the pocket is convenient for reading on the road and such. If I know in advance that I'll have to wait somewhere for a while, though, I'll definitely grab the PRS. It's also the one used almost exclusively at home, combined with a comfy couch and a well-positioned lamp with incandescent lightbulb (short of scattered sunlight, you can't beat those things at lighting that strains the eye least).

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648412)

Same here (Palm Centro - for over 2 years now). And I read at ~50% brightness in normal daylight (70-80% if it's really bright out). I still got the Nook recently, not so much for the sunlight reading but for the paper-like experience. I read a LOT more now, especially before bedtime (didn't realize how much the LCD screen was contributing to lower sustained reading time).

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32648010)

When making a comparison, how can you ignore the ONLY benefits of the e-reader (e-ink, battery life, and the free data on some models)? Tablets win for the same thing that all superior products win: for anyone looking for MORE than a decent platform for reading text, e-readers suck. If that's all you want to do, that's great, enjoy your e-reader. The price cuts certainly help. The problem is that there are *so many* disadvantages to an e-reader that you're neglecting, along with a complementary list of advantages for tablets.

Of your four "advantages", two are restatements of each other (battery life is a function of power draw) and one is highly subjective at best ("easier on the eyes"). The fact is that e-ink isn't realistically any easier on the eyes unless you're comparing e-ink in a fully lit room with an LCD on full brightness in a totally dark room. One could even argue that your fourth reason is also subjective: the sparkly/glittery effect of the e-ink screen and the relative low contrast between the green background and the charcoal text has been known to annoy people, too.

Then there are the disadvantages: page flips are slow and clumsy, artwork is terrible unless it's line art, there's no color (and the color e-ink prototypes aren't going to cut it, either), there's essentially no interaction other than scrolling, it has limited/no multimedia capabilities, and it is, in the words of Alton Brown, a unitasker of the first degree.

Compare a tablet, with a full range of information, Internet, multimedia, gaming, productivity, communication, and reading applications. Tablets done right have screens with good color, viewing angles, and contrast, and highly responsive multitouch interfaces. Battery life north of 10 hours is enough so as to make no difference to most people--they can use it all day, drop it into a charger at night, and use it all day again. The reading applications aren't limited to text, but fully-featured magazines, comic books, illustrated texts, and interactive content, all of which can be used without an external light source with a simple adjustment of background brightness.

People who complain about "headaches" when using an LCD are just doing so in an environment with insufficient ambient light, which e-readers only avoid because they're illegible without sufficient ambient light. Whining about staring into a "lightbulb" is only based on poor ergonomic choices that they've made themselves. There is no physical difference to the eye whether light is backlit or reflected; turn on a lamp and/or adjust your brightness in low-light conditions and your problems are magically solved.

That said, personal preference is personal preference. If e-ink is the fairy dust cure-all, then it counts against tablets. Does it count enough to give up all the other functionality? That depends on what you're buying it for. But there's little question that more people will find a tablet useful and worthwhile than an e-reader, even at three times the price.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648116)

When making a comparison, how can you ignore the ONLY benefits of the e-reader (e-ink, battery life, and the free data on some models)? Tablets win for the same thing that all superior products win: for anyone looking for MORE than a decent platform for reading text, e-readers suck. If that's all you want to do, that's great, enjoy your e-reader. The price cuts certainly help. The problem is that there are *so many* disadvantages to an e-reader that you're neglecting, along with a complementary list of advantages for tablets.

A tablet does many things well. The eReader is cheaper and does one thing well. As I said, the iPad will have its fans, but there will be people who want a single purpose device.

Of your four "advantages", two are restatements of each other (battery life is a function of power draw) and one is highly subjective at best ("easier on the eyes").

Not the same point. When you are sitting reading a page on the iPad, you are using just as much battery life as when you flip the page. Whereas you can leave an e-Ink page up for several minutes and the draw will be very minimal. e-ink uses big amounts of power to change the state, but keeping the text on screen takes virtually no battery power.

As for the allegedly subjective claim... [latimes.com] , you are right, there is debate [wsj.com] . Based on personal experience, that is my opinion.

Then there are the disadvantages: page flips are slow and clumsy, artwork is terrible unless it's line art, there's no color (and the color e-ink prototypes aren't going to cut it, either), there's essentially no interaction other than scrolling, it has limited/no multimedia capabilities, and it is, in the words of Alton Brown, a unitasker of the first degree.

As I said. Some will want everything and the kitchen sink, and others will want a good book reading device.

Compare a tablet, with a full range of information, Internet, multimedia, gaming, productivity, communication, and reading applications. Tablets done right have screens with good color, viewing angles, and contrast, and highly responsive multitouch interfaces. Battery life north of 10 hours is enough so as to make no difference to most people--they can use it all day, drop it into a charger at night, and use it all day again. The reading applications aren't limited to text, but fully-featured magazines, comic books, illustrated texts, and interactive content, all of which can be used without an external light source with a simple adjustment of background brightness.

Which appeals to some people and not others. A lot of people would enjoy the benefits. If I had infinite resources, I'd get some very nice (and expensive) technology, and my computer would have top of the line components.

People who complain about "headaches" when using an LCD are just doing so in an environment with insufficient ambient light, which e-readers only avoid because they're illegible without sufficient ambient light. Whining about staring into a "lightbulb" is only based on poor ergonomic choices that they've made themselves. There is no physical difference to the eye whether light is backlit or reflected; turn on a lamp and/or adjust your brightness in low-light conditions and your problems are magically solved.

True, to some degree. I would still prefer to read E-ink for hours over a regular display, even with a large amount of ambient light (either from bulbs or natural).

That said, personal preference is personal preference. If e-ink is the fairy dust cure-all, then it counts against tablets. Does it count enough to give up all the other functionality? That depends on what you're buying it for. But there's little question that more people will find a tablet useful and worthwhile than an e-reader, even at three times the price.

That was kind of the point I made to begin with. I never said "E-READERS RULE IPAD CAN SUCK IT", I said I doubted that (forgiving major advances in technology and price reductions) tablets would not kill the dedicated eReader.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648460)

But there's little question that more people will find a tablet useful and worthwhile than an e-reader, even at three times the price.

The biggest point in the e-reader's favor is that the tablet (as it exists today) is a replacement for devices I already have. Also, a finger is a poor substitute for a mouse for someone who actually wants to work on the damn thing. I'll agree that a tablet is a much better fun toy that any other multimedia toys out there.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648726)

the sparkly/glittery effect of the e-ink screen and the relative low contrast between the green background and the charcoal text

"Glittery effect"? Green background?? What "e-ink" reader are you smoking... er... I mean, using?

Easier on the eyes?!? (3, Insightful)

Isomorphic (241771) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648150)

I disagree. I've owned a Sony Reader and an iPad. The iPad is, hands down, easier on the eyes.

The Kindle and other eInk displays have a contrast ratio of 6:1 to 7:1. The iPad backlit IPS display is 750:1 to 930:1.

Other than perhaps directly under the sun, the iPad display wins. In dim light, the iPad owns.

Re:Easier on the eyes?!? (5, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648736)

I disagree. I've owned a Sony Reader and an iPad. The iPad is, hands down, easier on the eyes.
The Kindle and other eInk displays have a contrast ratio of 6:1 to 7:1. The iPad backlit IPS display is 750:1 to 930:1.

You do realize that overly high contrast is precisely what causes eyestrain? (in general, and especially common when staring at a computer/gadget screen)

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (3, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648190)

I have an iPad, and though I like it pretty well, I have to say that I don't like it for reading books. Part of the reason is the display. It's strange because I'm completely comfortable using it to read long web page articles, but reading a novel on a lit screen rubs me the wrong way.

I have another complaint, though, which is arguable a stupid complaint but it's much harder to solve: I'm too easily distracted. If I'm trying to read a novel and I have a device in my hand that can browse the web, I might just go to one of my favorite websites for a minute or two to see what's going on. If my iPad beeps because I received an email, then I will immediately stop reading to see what email I just received. In short, when I tried reading a novel on my iPad, I couldn't get any reading done.

Now in both of these complaints, there's not really an inherent problem with the iPad. It just doesn't quite work for me. Still, I doubt I'm the only one who would have these complaints. Personally I've gone back to dead-tree distribution for my novels. I might consider a dedicated e-reader if it was cheap enough, and if I weren't concerned about the DRM.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (4, Insightful)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648228)

I used to get frustrated when I'd come to tech sites and people are claiming the iPad has the better screen because it's color...

Then I put it in perspective. We're on a tech site dedicated to computer geeks. For the most part they're not looking to read, they're looking to browse the web. When you look at book enthusiast blogs, eInk readers are still highly preferred. The kindle and the like are for hobbiest readers, and serious readers aren't going to put up with an LCD screen. I don't think price is even the biggest issue, hobbies are almost always expensive, but comfort wins. I'm curious what a slashdot poll would show for how much readers spent on their keyboard/mouse.

If you read a few books a year, then you don't need an ereader. If you read a few books a month, you'll want eInk reader, maybe even if it's in addition to the iPad you use for other functions. Borrow one from a friend and try reading on both for a couple hours.

Neglect the benefits & netbooks win (0)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648288)

* The fact that they get battery life in weeks instead of hours

I don't need something to last weeks, 8 hours is fine.

* The fact that they use minimal power between page flips (vs. a relatively steady draw)

See above.

* The fact that they are easier on the eyes

For reading indoors, an LCD is just as good, maybe better. At least from my experience, and I have terrible vision. I have read my iPod Touch for hours without my eyes getting tired - wearing my readers, of course.

* The fact that they are more easily read in sunlight...

As far as I can tell, that's only real advantage of dedicated ebook reader. For the $498 price take, I would rather use a regular book.

Benefits of netbook:

* Much cheaper
* Far more powerful and flexible. Not just a uni-tastker
* Back-lit screen can be read in the dark.
* Color screen
* Can read any format: chm, doc, pdf, whatever. This is my biggest complaint against dedicated ebook readers, none of them read a pdf very well, and converters do not work very well either.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648478)

I think the battery life of an iPad is just fine. I charged it exactly a week ago and I still have 65% battery life left. I've used it for a few hours here and there and have not turned it off. There's a point when longer battery life further doesn't really add anything, it's not really a terrible inconvenience to charge a device every few days while sleeping.

Reading in the sunlight is supposed to be a selling point, but I've never read paper books in direct sunlight. I don't know why I'd read a Kindle in direct sunlight if I've never read a book in sunlight. eink screens really don't have much contrast (the maker's own specs say 6:1, LCDs easily get hundreds:1 without "dynamic contrast" trickery) and I find the eink page flip blink to be annoying.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (3, Funny)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648540)

Yes, the iPad will have its fans. But there are people who don't want a "do everything" device,

That's a bit redundant, you already said the Ipad will have fans.

Re:Neglect the benefits & tablets win... (1)

Ultimate Heretic (1058480) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648606)

I will keep saying this until I get tired of not seeing a reader that fits my needs: large, letter format that can show entire pages of scientific papers in PDF format. Preferably with a method for note taking. Not a laptop, lightweight and bullet proof, or at least lasagne proof. None of these fit (no, iPad is too small to show entire pages that can be read) as I don't want to spend my time zooming in and out; this makes reading a chore. In the meanwhile, I can buy a hell of a lot of toner for my printer for $499 and print all my PDF papers, sit in a comfortable chair and not give a d*mn if I get my dinner all over them. Match that and I will be first in line with my Ben Franklin's in hand! On the other hand, a very inexpensive, small form reader for novels is appealing. Don't forget manufacturers, your users will age too and need larger typefaces to read as they march toward their rendezvous with the worms.

My prediction (2, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647822)

Forrester projected that the $150 price point would jump start e-reader sales.

And I predict a $49.99 will make them take off like a rocket!

Now if only there was a price war with content.

I think subtracting the printing and distribution costs of a printed version from a dead tree version of a book would be a fair price for econtent - the publisher makes their money, the author gets the same royalty, and the consumer doesn't feel like their over-paying for content.

Example: $50 paper book - $20 for royalties, advertising, general administrative costs, publisher profit = $30 for printing, paper, trucking of the dead trees. Sell the book for $20 + retailer markup = $28.

I can live with that for the same content. Now if they'd allow for that content to be transferred easily ..... yeah, dream on. I guess if someone want's to borrow a book on the eReader, you would have to lend them the entire reader. That sucks!

Re:My prediction (1)

True Vox (841523) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647930)

I can live with that for the same content. Now if they'd allow for that content to be transferred easily ..... yeah, dream on. I guess if someone want's to borrow a book on the eReader, you would have to lend them the entire reader. That sucks!

Doesn't the Nook allow you to loan books [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:My prediction (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648012)

LendMe has to be explicitly allowed by the book's publisher, you can only lend it to once for up to 14 days (obviously, you can't read it until your friend "returns" the book or the 14 days elapses).

Re:My prediction (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648398)

Were they to fix the LendMe function so that you could do it multiple times for longer periods, that would give them a serious advantage over the competition. I've personally no problems with them make sharing books, like a book, but this whole you can share it once for up to two weeks stuff is bullshit.

Re:My prediction (1)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648372)

Forrester projected that the $150 price point would jump start e-reader sales.

And I predict a $49.99 will make them take off like a rocket!

Now if only there was a price war with content.

I think subtracting the printing and distribution costs of a printed version from a dead tree version of a book would be a fair price for econtent - the publisher makes their money, the author gets the same royalty, and the consumer doesn't feel like their over-paying for content.

Example: $50 paper book - $20 for royalties, advertising, general administrative costs, publisher profit = $30 for printing, paper, trucking of the dead trees. Sell the book for $20 + retailer markup = $28.

I can live with that for the same content. Now if they'd allow for that content to be transferred easily ..... yeah, dream on. I guess if someone want's to borrow a book on the eReader, you would have to lend them the entire reader. That sucks!

The manufacturing and distribution costs of a paperback book are not much more than half a dollar today. Printed paper is nearly cheap as dirt meanwhile and trucking goods around is also not exactly expensive (you couldn't afford even bottled water if it were otherwise). And digital distribution is not free.

I agree that Ebooks are much less worth to the buyer but they're not that much cheaper to make. If written text in digital form would be worth much all bloggers would be rich.

Re:My prediction (1)

smart_ass (322852) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648806)

re:
I guess if someone want's to borrow a book on the eReader, you would have to lend them the entire reader. That sucks!

In our area our local libraries have downloadable content ... ebooks with expiry dates for certain e-readers. I actually think that is a pretty sweet wat of using DRM "for the people". This still allows me to borrow a book from the library with no possible late fees and I don't even have to go there to get it.

Admittedly selection is still lacking, but in principle it is good.

Same could be done on a personal level. Copy could be lent with a set time and then my copy gets locked during that period.

Razors vs. razorblades (1)

starling (26204) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647846)

It doesn't matter to them if the profit on the reader is razor-thin (heh) or even negative, so long as people are buying overpriced e-books.

The lock in is more important (2, Interesting)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647866)

Everyone is learning from Apple (used to be the case with music, still the case with apps):

When you entice people to make a significant investment in your platform (via books with your proprietary DRM system - the nook uses ePUBs, but it's wrapped with their own DRM) so switching means throwing all of the books they bought away, you'll have them buying your device (and more importantly, the books) for years to come.

Some people would argue that you argue that you only read books once, but some people watch movies, read books, etc. multiple times.

Re:The lock in is more important (2, Interesting)

starling (26204) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647940)

What Apple did was invert the normal rules by being first to market with a credible MP3 player and leveraging their extremely loyal base. It was a beautifully executed coup, but not one that Amazon or B&N are in a position to duplicate. They gave it a go, but now they're having to fall back on the tried and true Gillette model.

Re:The lock in is more important (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647960)

The razor/blade model is somewhat applicable and somewhat not.

It's applicable in the sense that the eReaders aren't a major cash cow (like the iPod is), but it's not applicable in the sense that the blades (books) don't dull. There's a cost to switching that builds up over time as you invest into a library.

Re:The lock in is more important (1)

starling (26204) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648032)

There's something to that, but I'd say that the majority of books are read once or twice at most so in that sense they're disposable. Of course there are reference books too, but how much of a market will they be? When Amazon tried introducing the Kindle 2 to college students they found it unsatisfactory as a way to read and refer to text books so that's probably not going to be a huge market.

On the truly disposable side, newspapers and magazines are frothing at the bit to get digital subscriptions on the iPad, but e-ink needs colour to make it a compelling choice. My bet is that these readers will find their niche in recreational novels, where the content is effectively disposable leading to a revenue stream based on sales of content, not hardware.

Planning on using an Evo or Droid X instead (2, Interesting)

Nysul (1816168) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647870)

With a 4"+ screen it bridges the gap enough between too small and not portable. While e-ink may mean less strain on the eyes, I mostly read at night so I would need some sort of light anyways.

A dedicated reader makes more sense to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32647918)

With the ADD/ADHD world we live driven by technology which distracts and provides easier paths than focusing on a single task, a dedicated reader suits me much better for productivity in reading. iPhone, iPad, laptops, etc. provide too many distractions when I'm trying to read. I'd much rather be playing a game, listening to music, watching Youtube, streaming Netflix or almost anything else than reading a book if a device offers alternatives.

Most people nowadays spend more time context switching than productively accomplishing tasks all fed by devices that do more than one thing and do them well, interupt us with notifications and provide mind-numbing entertainment at the touch of a button.

When I want to read and really get into a book and enjoy it, I use my dedicated eReader (in my case, a sony which supports ePub). I've never been anywhere nearly productive reading e-texts on any other device.

Kindle DX? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32647928)

At the size of a Kindle DX a dedicated e-reader makes sense.. the standard versions screens are too small and don't provide enough value over cell phone screens for the price.

public library (1)

Zecheus (1072058) | more than 3 years ago | (#32647962)

I think there is an application for ebooks at the public library. It'll be cool to walk in with your ebook and then access the public libraries entire catalog. Research and magazine sections as well.

As an owner of an iPad and a Sony reader I say (2, Informative)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648004)

I own both a Sony reader and an iPad. The Sony reader is far better at reading fiction than the iPad. The iPad is great for more technical stuff and magazine like reading.

Re:As an owner of an iPad and a Sony reader I say (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648130)

I own both a Sony reader and an iPad. The Sony reader is far better at reading fiction than the iPad. The iPad is great for more technical stuff and magazine like reading.

Really?? Why? What's the difference between them. Just asking because I've got an iPad and I've been enjoying using it as an e-book reader -- both iBooks and Stanza. Quite a lot actually.

Just curious as to why the experience it better for fiction on the Sony. Because the iPad is better for multi-media kind of stuff, or because the Sony feels more like a book?

Re:As an owner of an iPad and a Sony reader I say (1)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648334)

Why? What's the difference between them.

A pound, or about the same difference as a paperback versus a hardcover. Not an issue for light reading, but big deal for reading sessions that last several hours. Kindle I can hold up naturally for long periods with one hand.

Re:As an owner of an iPad and a Sony reader I say (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648766)

Really?? Why? What's the difference between them. Just asking because I've got an iPad and I've been enjoying using it as an e-book reader -- both iBooks and Stanza. Quite a lot actually.

I'm not GP, but having used both (tho iPad only briefly), I can try to guess.

First is the weight. Sony Reader, depending on the generation, is either 250g or 285g. Non-3G iPad is 680g. That's 2.5x as much! I've tried to use iPad while holding it in one hand, and it seems that it simply isn't designed to be used that way for considerable periods of time due to its weight - but it's precisely how you read a book! In contrast, PRS can be easily held with one hand, with fingers positioning over any available set of page flipping controls.

The more subjective part is the eInk screen. This one is hard to explain, you just have to use it to feel the difference (or not, since some people seem to be unimpressed).

Re:As an owner of an iPad and a Sony reader I say (2, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648220)

The Sony reader is far better at reading fiction than the iPad.

That's because the iPad only deals in Truth.

good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32648018)

never looked much at the nook, will now, forget sony, I dont want to flip my reader on and be forced with "new firmware that removes features" or tough luck, no new content (that is IF sony is still in the content market, my psp seems to be gesturing no)

Not Doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32648022)

Actually, they're only doomed by uncreative people. I think folks like PocketBook can make E-Ink a popular item. There's really no comparison to the eye strain thing. The PocketBook 360 rotates to the 4 cardinal directions so you can hold it with either hand. Plus it is small enough to be a separate device that you can take for reading.

The ultimate device would be one which used the mechanics of Eink, but to include an OLED on the black side instead of black ink. You see that if the black spot were an OLED turned off, then the screen would behave like E-ink until you wanted to watch a video. Then the blackspot would turn on, and you'd have higher refresh for other apps.

I told E-ink about the above idea because I think it is probably something that is possible.

Uhhh - doesn't the Nook run the Android OS? (1)

MadHungarian (166146) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648050)

At least I thought it did.

I think Game Over (1)

hotfireball (948064) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648072)

I think, it is pretty much Game Over for dedicated readers.

You want that or not, but iPad won, even so far it is sold less in units in total. But still it will kill Kindle, I think. And devices that will be built on top of Android will replace Kindle and stuff like that. Simply because they can do more than just reading a book.

Especially last update from Apple to iPad on reading PDFs is really a killer feature. To be fair, Kindle is very nice gadget, but unfortunately, not enough good anymore.

Android apps (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648080)

I'm waiting for two things: an e-ink reader that has nice contrast (actual BLACK on light grey or preferrably on white-ish), and for e-book reader Android apps for Kindle/Nook/etc ebooks for my new htc EVO 4G.

The last time I had to move, my 120+ boxes of books nearly killed me, and I've filled many more boxes with books since then. *sigh*

Re:Android apps (2, Funny)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648144)

You might try another hobby or social activity besides reading. That'll make moving less strenuous and maybe provide people to help.

What makes Android tablets "coming"? (1, Insightful)

gig (78408) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648102)

One thing that seems to be true with Android is it's always "coming". There's always a really great Android moment on the horizon.

But there are already many Android tablets. They're not coming. They've been here a while. Last January's CES was infested with them. They all just suck. They get reviewed and they ship 10 units and they go away. The Nook which is mentioned in this article is an Android tablet!

The idea that manufacturers are going to just copy iPad is asinine. Look at the Sprint EVO, which had 3 iPhones to copy and it gets 8 hours of standby battery life. In other words, if you don't use it at all, it still dies in 8 hours. A key feature of iPad is the 10-12 hours of actual use, and 30 days of standby. I've gotten on a train in Silicon Valley with a fully-charged iPad, surfed on 3G the whole way, and when I'm putting it away in San Francisco, it still says "100%" in the battery meter. I've had the device for 3 weeks and never even seen a low battery warning.

And iOS is not a phone OS scaled-up, it's desktops-and-servers OS X with a touch interface on top. Android doesn't have that kind of graphics layer, multichannel audio, advanced typography, C API, and other desktop-class features that only become even more important as you scale the display up. Being able to port desktop C apps over rather than rewrite in Java only becomes even more important.

And the bag of parts on an iPad approaches the retail price point. There is no room under there. A big display and battery is a big display and battery. An iPad 3G 16GB is $629 retail and Nexus One 4G with 1/4 the screen size and 30% of the battery volume is $649 retail. The biggest problem for Android v2 has been it's more expensive than iPhone! That's why it only sells on the closed networks in the US. That's why 75% of Android devices run v1.6.

In tech, it is a fool's game to try and predict the future anyway. But if you are doing this Android-is-coming-soon thing, that is something you should talk to your therapist about. It's just become so tiresome. Any mention of iPad or iPhone online and the next thing you know "Android will be better next year!" Sheesh. It's like a reflex. If only it was as easy to actually make functional, consumer-ready devices.

Re:What makes Android tablets "coming"? (2, Informative)

bflong (107195) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648206)

You only got one of your android facts right. In your quest to find out which one it is I'm sure you will learn much.

Re:What makes Android tablets "coming"? (4, Insightful)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648256)

"Android will be better next year!"

In my opinion Android is better _this_ year.

For phones: My girlfriend updated her iPhone 3GS to the new OS last night. I see that she now has a phone that still can't compare to my HTC Desire with Android 2.1. (2.2 upgrade due within 2 weeks)

For tablets: I don't want a locked-down tablet like the iPad. There are some sucky Android tablets out now, yes, but inevitably there will be some very good ones. And even if they aren't as pretty and slick as the iPad, they will be _better_ than the iPad because, whichever one I choose, it will be my device to do whatever I want with.

I'm surprised that anyone would currently think Android needs to catch up with iOS. Android is far ahead. It's just that a lot of Android devices lack the "shiny factor" of the iDevices.

Re:What makes Android tablets "coming"? (1, Insightful)

coryking (104614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648414)

I see that she now has a phone that still can't compare to my HTC Desire with Android 2.1.

But does she think that way? Does she know exactly what version the operating system her phone is running? Do you keep telling her about how awesome your phone is and she just shrugs it off?

Besides, why the fuck should she care exactly what version her operating system is? Who really gives a shit?

It's just that a lot of Android devices lack the "shiny factor" of the iDevices.

It is a hell of a lot more than the "shiny factor" that sells the iDevices. And even if it was the shiny factor, why the hell has nobody else in the market even come *close* to matching the build quality of an iDevice?

But really, I suspect the reason so many of you are so intent on proving how awesome "Version 2.2" of your operating system is might be because you and I both know the iDevice is the future. And it pisses you off because for the first time ever, "computers" dont need you and I to maintain them. They just fucking work, instead of barely work.

Let me tell you, it is about damn time too. The Wii did it with the game console market, and apple has done it with the "computer" market. The "computer" has come of age. And they are iPads and iPhones.

Re:What makes Android tablets "coming"? (1)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648480)

For tablets: I don't want a locked-down tablet like the iPad. There are some sucky Android tablets out now, yes, but inevitably there will be some very good ones. And even if they aren't as pretty and slick as the iPad, they will be _better_ than the iPad because, whichever one I choose, it will be my device to do whatever I want with.

Yes, but the price for that is that now Google does what it wants with all your data you happily give to them with Android. At least Apple wants just my money and offers good products for it. Google offers you shiny glass beads if you give your digital soul away. What a deal.

I don't know if the iPad and Apple is a problem but Android and Google is not the solution to it.

Re:What makes Android tablets "coming"? (1, Interesting)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648780)

For phones: My girlfriend updated her iPhone 3GS to the new OS last night. I see that she now has a phone that still can't compare to my HTC Desire with Android 2.1. (2.2 upgrade due within 2 weeks)

I think you're full of it, because iOS 4 wasn't available until today. But, on the odd chance that you aren't trolling, what specific features in iOS 4 are missing that you have in Android 2.1?

Let History repeat itself! (or not) (2)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648286)

Yeah, just like how consoles were replaced by those general purpose PCs (and imitators, *cough*). It's gonna happen soon, right?

Re:Let History repeat itself! (or not) (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648698)

Used to have a laptop, G5 Tower, and Mac Mini at home until a little over a year ago when a storm destroyed my house. Now I have a MacMini hooked up the TV that acts a media center, a Wii, and an iPad 3G. And I see a lot more of my friends going Xbox/PS3/Wii and an iPad with a laptop they have from work. I'm to the point where the last thing I want to do when I come home is mess around with computer. I deal with computer shit at work all day and even then I'm down to my iPad3G + docking station.

I don't code anymore, all I need is the mac mini to download and compile the latest versions of our software to test and sign off on. We have a iPhone/iPad App for our bug reporting and then the iPad does pretty much everything else I need. In fact, if the iPhone could use an external keyboard, I wouldn't even need the iPad.

Barnes & Nobel Library (4, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648312)

Reading the details the Nook will allow you to hook up for free to any B&N or AT&T WiFi hotspot. If you're in a B&N bookstore, you can "read" any of the ebooks for free. You can't take them with you if don't buy them. So, you can just come in and kill a few hours drinking over-priced coffee and reading like at a library.

They also have a "lending" function, as long as you use their software. I won't buy DRM books, but for people who don't mind you can "lend" an e-book to a friend for 14 days. Works with the iPod, Android, Mac & PC as well as some other platforms. Oh, and the Nook runs Android.

Re:Barnes & Nobel Library (1)

hawk16zz (960734) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648376)

Oh, and the Nook runs Android.

I'm surprised it took this long for that come up. Also with the latest updates I hear it's even easier to gain root access to the nook.

Got one on order now (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648422)

Just ordered a wifi one...hope they come in stock soon so I can have it by the end of the week. A price drop was all I had been waiting for to jump on the ereader bandwagon. Android is pretty nice too!

Re:Got one on order now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32648550)

You'll love your nook. I have one and it's incredible!!

It does not matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32648442)

They all still utterly SUCK at viewing PDF files.

I have nearly a terabyte in PDF files. All my back issues of "Nuts and Volts" and other magazines that back in the early 2000's were not stupid and started offering E versions of their magazine. I would love to be ableto read them on the ebook reader... Problem is the Nook, Sony and Kindle all utterly suck at PDF reading.

Even the ebook reader made by the PDF reader alternative the "foxit" reader sucks horribly at PDF. I dont care if I have to scroll. I would love to be able to get a e-reader that the display is 8.5X11 or a solid A4 size. Because most technical stuff needs to be full page.

I havent tried a iPad... Only 1 person I know has one.

Re:It does not matter... (1)

ihxo (16767) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648464)

Goodreader on iPad works great with PDFs, you can even crop out those white spaces so you get larger text.

I bought a Nook a month ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32648474)

and I love it, but I feel I could have saved $110 if I would have bought it now (the 3G doesn't work were I live, so I'm ok with the wifi version).

We're getting there. (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 3 years ago | (#32648702)

These will be worth buying once they're at $50. And they'll sell billions. I don't really see why Amazon isn't just doing the $50 deal today to take out the market and get people buying ebooks. This is another market that's waiting to be flooded with either overpriced Apple hardware or commodity hardware that can read books from anywhere. If Amazon wants to be "the eBook store" they need to make their reader ubiquitous.

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