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Amazon's Android Tablet Expected This Fall

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the all-the-cool-bookstores-have-their-own dept.

Portables 109

According to the New York Post — among many others — Amazon is expected to launch its long-anticipated color tablet in late September or October, and the device is slated to sell for 'hundreds less' than the iPad, which implies a price of $300 or less. MSNBC says much the same, but adds some (their words) "generic looking mockups" to illustrate. I expect millions of Kindle owners will happily skip the added weight and shorter battery life of a full-fledged tablet, but it's good to have options.

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109 comments

Great! (1)

jason777 (557591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227402)

Thsi is great. I was considering buying a Kindle because now I read Kindle books on my Android phone. I'm also in the market for a tablet, which I would like to be android. So, this is perfect for me.

Re:Great! (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227466)

Or you can just get a nook color and jail break it. B&N has shown no interest in prventing folks from doing so, and there's already firmware available for it. . For instance Cyanogenmod.

Re:Great! (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227638)

Don't get me wrong, I love my Nook Color, but I am going to sell it. Why? Because Barnes and Noble refuses to manufacture a Nook Color docking station. Accessory manufacturers refuse to make a docking station for the Nook Color. NOBODY is making a docking station for the Nook Color. Is it too much to ask for a docking station? Really?

Re:Great! (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227872)

Now there is a complaint I don't think I've heard, much less with so much reiteration.

I haven't had a docking station for anything I own since I bought some old HP digital camera. I didn't think people used them anymore, for much of anything. It would be basically a large, expensive, block of plastic with a USB cord poking through it. Most people used stands, it seems, or at least looking at the large consumer frenzy surrounding the iPad. I'm pretty sure any stand for the iPad would work for the Nook Color, as well.

Unless I'm completely misunderstanding you.

Re:Great! (2)

onjulic (1716296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228260)

I'm pretty sure any stand for the iPad would work for the Nook Color, as well.

The Nook Color comes in a box that can be used as a stand. Flip it open and it clicks into place and is designed to hold the Nook Color, at an angle, in portrait mode. It was clearly design that way, yet they don't publicize it very well.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37230030)

The Touchstone stand/dock for the HP Touchpad is kind of cool. It charges through induction so you just put it on it and it charges. No need to plug it in. Also acts as a stand, if you can't find anything to prop it up with, and also switches it into Exhibition mode where it can automatically cycle through various programs. (Mine is set to alternate between a live stock feed and a clock.)

Re:Great! (1)

joshamania (32599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227912)

You could make one? Like the other poster said, expensive piece of plastic with a usb cord poking through it. Docking station...I'm just not seeing it here. How about a photo stand and an extra usb charger? You could put a magazine rack on the side of your computer and cut a hole in the bottom of it?

Re:Great! (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228006)

Docking stations suck. iPads, iPhones and iPods have to use a proprietary port to do it and I'd personally rather know that I can plug the thing into most computers using a standard cable and have it work. My Nook can be plugged into either my Windows laptop or my Linux desktop and it just works and I can do it with a standard microUSB cable.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37228704)

I don't get the current crop of e readers; they're monochrome and look ugly. I have a android phone (droid x2) and it functions as a phone, e reader, wi fi enabled computer, gps device, mp3 player, etc. Get a proper phone with a standard usb hook up, plus maybe with an hdmi port, and you can do away with 90% or your other devices. Still keep the notebook around for work, but my droid x2 is great. Don't need 10 other devices around.

Re:Great! (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 2 years ago | (#37230122)

Have you tried to read on your phone for days in and days out without recharing?

Re:Great! (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37230226)

I have a docking station for my Droid X2, and it just runs on USB, plugged into the same port that the charging and data cables go into. I can charge it with my Kindle's cable if I so choose. I don't see why you think you need a proprietary port for it to work.

Re:Great! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37231364)

Technically speaking you don't. But if you don't use a proprietary port then you're stuck being limited to just charging and connecting to the computer. If you want more than that, then you're faced with the choice of implementing a USB host port or going proprietary. Proprietary is a lot easier to do because you can decide what you want to do and just design it for that without having to worry about capabilities that other hardware devices have.

In practice, it's not something I see very often because you so often end up with a doc that can connect to multiple device provided you operate on it. Which is generally not particularly desirable to anybody but the consumer.

Re:Great! (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37231860)

I get the impression you may be frustrated about the lack of a docking station for your Nook Color.

Ah! That mythical beast, the Nook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37227726)

Like the Zune and others, domed to fail as they are not sold worldwide.

At least Amazon sells the Kindle outside N. America.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37227990)

Yeah, I second this - BN should get some love for being so damn cool about the NC. It's absolutely trivial to install your own ROM on it - it's not locked down in any way. You just put in a bootable SD card and run the installer, piece of cake. Alternatively, you can boot off the SD card and run a dual setup if you don't want to void the warranty. The initial releases of CM7 were a bit buggy, but the current release candidate and nightlies are very, very fast. Netflix works, Flash works, Angry Birds works, what more could you ask for? Oh, it's also a great e-reader too.

PS - why are people so obsessed over the need to have a 30 or 40 hour battery life? In what day are you using a tablet more than 10 hours straight without being somewhere that you can plug it in to recharge? About the only way I see the need for e-ink is if you're doing a lot of outside reading on the beach, or camping, something like that - and in that case the extra battery life would also be nice. But is it really worth it to have that much battery life at the expense of being stuck with a screen that can only do black and white and has a horrid refresh rate?

Re:Great! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37228148)

Have you tried it. I have a tablet... and I NEVER read books on it. I always read the on the Kindle - the screen is just so much better, it's the right size, and I rarely if ever think about the battery. It's like a paper book with pages that magically rewrite themselves.

I'm sometimes loathe to admit it - but with the Kindle 3 Amazon really got it right. It's the first ereader I've seen that I would consider a replacement for a book - for like, normal, people and not tech-head weirdos like me.

Kindle is already available on Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37227420)

I'm not sure why I'd specifically get an Android tablet from Amazon, given that there's already an official Kindle app for Android [amazon.com] which makes it so you can read your Kindle books on whatever Android tablet / phone you want. Well, unless this new Amazon tablet also comes with a lifetime unlimited wireless Internet connection, I suppose - but somehow I anticipate some limits... :)

Disciples (1, Funny)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227428)

It really doesn't matter if the tablet is any good or Not. In fact it could be a total piece of crap and the millions of hipster Amazon disciples will empty their wallets for it.

Re:Disciples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37227482)

Funny to hear that coming from an Apple fanboy. Just hold your phone correctly, OK?

Re:Disciples (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227558)

I have a feeling that there may have been a whooshing sound involved here in some way. In any case, if it's a decent tablet for $250-$300, it'll be interesting to see if the "people don't want a tablet, they want an iPad" theory is true. Personally, I think it's not. People want a functional device who's price is more in line with what they're willing to pay.

Re:Disciples (1)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227794)

Funny to hear that coming from an Apple fanboy. Just hold your phone correctly, OK?

Ha. My LG works no matter how I hold it.

Re:Disciples (3, Funny)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227554)

No no, you must be confused, Amazon is making this tablet, not Apple.

Re:Disciples (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227580)

hipster Amazon disciples

Wait... what?

I hope this is an Apple joke. :)

Kindle != Tablet (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227438)

The Kindle, along with the Nook and every other e-reader out there is distinctly different from a tablet, because they have one goal, make it easy to read on a screen. With e-ink, it looks just like paper and doesn't give you the eyestrain that an LCD or CRT does after reading for a few hours on it.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227474)

I'm guessing that Kindle Color will be like Nook color in that it will be sporting a color LCD rather than e-Ink. Making it a step closer to an iPad than a real ereader.

I'm not really sure why folks are waiting for this when B&N already has a color reader that can readily be loaded up with custom firmware.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227684)

I would guess that Amazon's Video On Demand/rental services could be part of a draw, though would like Netflix too, wouldn't expect it. I was considering rooting a nook color when the gTablet was on woot this past week, and got that instead.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37230916)

I'm not sure why everyone else is waiting but I am waiting for a nice 10 inch tablet with a real USB port that can handle external hard drives.
I would love to see a 13 incher but Im not holding my breath anymore.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227556)

Damn straight. It always amazes me when people insist on putting the two in the same category. I don't think it would be impossible to produce a tablet that's a good e-Reader, but it'd need to pull off the same trick that, say, the One Laptop Per Child does, and have a dual mode screen. I don't know if the OLPC's screen is too low in quality, or if there are patent or other reasons why nobody's done it yet, but the bottom line is that there's no tablet out there with a non-eyestrain-inducing screen.

My other concern about the article is that it suggests low price is the only trick to getting tablets "out there". I think the jury's out on that right now, but fundamentally the device needs to usable and functional. Is Amazon the right company to do that? I don't think so, based on the Kindle, which is the major piece of hardware they have out right now. The Kindle is controlled using a dreadful keyboard, and using side buttons that are easily pressed by accident. The fonts are also utterly abysmal. The Kindle doesn't win any awards for usability, in my book. I suspect the new Nook is a better device, but as the damned thing is always running in a locked demo mode in stores I've been unable to really evaluate the thing.

I'm waiting this one out. My only major incentive to get a tablet right now is that as a software developer I absolutely need to be familiar with the environment. But the tablets available right now are not that. I really want to see the following:

  • Sub-$200 price for a "full" tablet - 10", 1024x768 or better, capacitive screen, webcam, HDMI
  • An open source, well supported, operating system (Icecream Sandwich I guess will solve that problem
  • A good user interface - from what I've seen, Honeycomb, iOS, and webOS seem decent, but there's a lot of garbage out there

Will Amazon produce that? I'm not seeing any evidence they will. I would imagine we're talking about a device more in line with the Nook Color. Moderate hardware (but not full tablet level), a customized semi-proprietary operating system, and a customized user interface by people who haven't proven to be that good at user interfaces, probably in the $200-300 range. It'll be aimed at those people who have avoided the Kindle because they think tablets are "better". But I might be surprised.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37227584)

My guess is that they'll dump the cameras, sensors and 3G for a slimmer, lighter, cheaper unit with better battery life, but won't skimp on the screen.

The jury is out? (2)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227660)

The jury is out searching for more of those discounted hp touchpads. The jury don't give a tinkers cuss for open source, etc... they want something usable and inexpensive.
Shocking, I know, but you can't account for the behaviour of the commoners.

Re:The jury is out? (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228004)

The HP Touchpad may well be selling just because it's something selling at $100 that's perceived to be worth $400. Or it might be selling because people think it'll sell for $250 on eBay. Or many other reasons. Add to that the fact that non-geeks don't seem to be talking about is as geeks are (in my neck of the woods at least), and you can't really rush to judgment based upon the Touchpad alone. That's why the jury is out.

It's a shame HP didn't hide the "fire sale" part of it, and, say, cut the price in half (eg to $200) for a couple of weeks before announcing its discontinuation. That would have given us a little more information on whether the problem is price or something else.

I'm not sure why you thought you put a jab at open source in there BTW. I was describing why I wouldn't get one, I never suggested that was a universal sentiment. That said, I'll make two important points here:

First, as general advice, anyone who tries a completely new platform that carries a severe risk of being completely discontinued without ensuring that a mechanism for third party support exists - ie that the code is open, is making a grave mistake. Take this as someone whose first computers were a Dragon 32, a Sinclair QL, and a Commodore Amiga.

Second, right now one thing that's holding tablets back is the fact that the "open source" operating systems available for that kind of form factor (essentially, Android 1.x and 2.x) aren't optimized for the system. That's why there's a lot of crap from ViewSonic, Archos, et al. Look at the hardware they sell, and it's not bad at all (at least, the hardware in the $200+ range), but the tablets are hampered by ugly half-assed UIs designed to replace the phone UIs on the versions of Android they're using. That's why Icecream Sandwich is so important, it'll be the first completely open tablet operating system that virtually any manufacturer can pick up and install.

Whether consumers care isn't the issue here, even though they should What matters here is getting a quality, affordable, usable tablet out there, and in this environment, I think that's going to be very difficult without an free and open operating system with a quality UI.

Re:The jury is out? (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228102)

The only reason that the TouchPad sold out at $100 is because many people thought they could sell it on eBay for $150.

Re:The jury is out? (1)

HereIAmJH (1319621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37229902)

Out of curiosity, I just looked at Craigslist. It's amazing how many TouchPads are posted with "I bought this for my wife, husband, grandfather, etc and they didn't want it. I already have one so I want to sell this one for $300". My favorite was (dated the 27th); "I bought this yesterday, then found out my wife bought me an iPad". There hasn't been any place in town that has had the Touchpad in stock since last Saturday (20th) morning. And the only places I've seen online that have stock are the ones that are still advertising it at the original price.

Although I would modify your statement a bit, the only reason it sold out so fast was because people thought they could resell them.... I think they would have sold fairly well at $200 retail for the 16g. Simply because it has the HP name and would be priced with the bargain brands. I'm considering a similarly spec'd Viewsonic gTablet at $250. Of course the Viewsonic also has a slot for an additional 16g card and there is a dock available with HDMI.

I should probably just save my money though, and re-purpose my retired Moto Droid. It makes a pretty expensive alarm clock. I had to chew an arm off to get out of Verizon's trap.

Re:The jury is out? (1)

rwa2 (4391) | about 2 years ago | (#37233692)

Yeah, I bought the G-Tablet earlier this year from Craigslist for about $400. Runs great with the VeGAN Tab 7 ROM... working Market, Dolphin Browser HD + Flash, Google Maps / Earth (using BlueGPS to share the GPS from my Android phone), Netflix (sideloaded) and Amazon Kindle. Also has stereo speakers and works with most (simple) USB keyboards and USB storage, which covers just about every major gripe I've heard from people with other tablets. If I could find a nice tablet mount, I'd probably get another one for the car... if you can live with the limited screen viewing angles and lack of GPS / 3G (which you can get by tethering to your phone), it's still one of the highest-spec Android devices out there, for half the price of more limited ones.

Re:The jury is out? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228470)

The Touchpad is selling well because it's dirt cheap, selling way, way, way below cost. I don't think you can draw any more conclusion from it than that. People bought HD DVD players when they were on sale too. Doesn't mean the tech has a future.

I do think the price of tablet is exhorbitant though. It should be lower and perhaps in the run up to Christmas some manufacturers will pay a visit to Mr Clue and start pricing their devices so they are more affordable.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37232516)

Perhaps not for you, but for many people they are in the same category. I don't particularly want eink and compared both when looking at reading devices (and yes I have tried reading with both).

I'm writing this on an LCD tablet which, unlike a kindle, is useful for reading the web, watching video etc. When I decided on an ereader, using the web and email were also important to me and eyestrain was not an issue ( I use LCDs all day, so do you probably). I also read a few chapters of a book on it this morning - I haven't experienced the mythical 'LCD eyestrain' that people often attribute to LCD ereaders, and for me a multipurpose device is a much better fit than an eink device because the trade offs with eink are just huge - the refresh rate is too low and they are useless for anything but reading a simple novel. Another factor was that, as you say, the design on the kindle is abysmal.

So for many people the two devices directly compete, and LCD loses on battery life but wins on everything else.

As to amazon I expect them to move to android for a colour device and bundle their android software and own market - anything else is a huge ongoing investment for very little gain. They will probably undercut competitors too so you may get your wish, minus stuff like hdmi which will not go into early tablets.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227616)

The issue is that studies have shown that a tablet actually doesn't give you eye strain. That yes, reading from a tablet/eBook reader is significantly faster than reading from a laptop/desktop, but that the difference appears to be in positioning, not in the screen type.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (3, Interesting)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228050)

The issue is that studies have shown that a tablet actually doesn't give you eye strain

...but the comparison isn't tablet vs. laptop, it is reflective e-ink vs. illuminated LCD.

I have both a tablet and a Kindle: the tablet is better for reference books, because it has a larger screen, color, and the navigation/zooming/panning/following links is far better with a touchscreen and a rapidly updateable display.

However, for sitting down and reading a novel, the kindle is far more restful: apart from any "eyestrain" issues, it has better visibility in sunlight (tablets aren't brilliant outdoors) is smaller, lighter and the battery lasts far longer than a tablet. You could add a touchscreen - but because e-ink is so slow to update you couldn't make it as tactile as iOS/Android.

Tablets and readers aren't going to converge until there is a display that combines the clarity and power consumption of e-ink with the speed and colour reproduction of LCD (e.g. the electrowetting system that is in development). I haven't tried an OLPD-style hybrid display - if Amazon go for that they might have something.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227824)

Maybe the Kindle is easy on the eyes (it does appear to be the best of it's class IMO).. but for a few weeks I had a Sony ebook reader with the touch screen, and it flat out sucked, a tiny, poor contrast screen. And (IMO) nearly all ebook readers have too small a screen (except the Kindle DX), or too large a font, even at that smallest setting. I want to be able to read more than two small paragraphs a page. But probably more importantly to me, the Sony, known for it's supposed compatibility, wouldn't display several to most of my PDFs. That's my main issue with eBook readers. I don't care about current best sellers, et al, I have an existent PDF library I want to take with me to reference. So in my case, I'd prefer a tablet, even a cheap one, and then the fringe benefits of a tablet sort of seal the deal. That said, if Kindle DXs were cheaper and in color, I would probably settle for one, but for $379.. I'll take the cheap tablet.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37231078)

With e-ink, it looks just like paper and doesn't give you the eyestrain that an LCD or CRT does after reading for a few hours on it.

An LCD is certainly undesirable in direct sun-light. However, I'm an LCD convert myself. In a dimly-lit room, a high-DPI backlit LCD with auto-brightness adjust is awesome to read off of. Paper is inferior, where eye-strain is concerned.

Re:Kindle != Tablet (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37232108)

I try to avoid reading in the dark anyway, and having a lamp on while reading isn't too arduous of a task. If you need more clarity, you can increase the font size.

What about... (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227454)

Improving colored Kindles? Amazon seems to be doing fine with progressing with the E-ink in their Kindles, why on earth would they want to try to compete with Apple? They should try to complement Apple. This Android Tablet will be yet another HP Touchpad boondoggle. As everyone knows, Apple has the supply chain fixed, no one can under price them. It just seems odd to me, that a wholesaler discounting website seems to think they can compete at Apple's bread and butter. Unless of course that it is not meant to really compete, just distract.

Re:What about... (3, Informative)

David_Hart (1184661) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227524)

Yes, Apple's strength is both the design and the supply chain. The design is being copied, as we knew it would. However, supply chain is also Amazon's forte. The other thing that Apple has going for it is iTunes store, which provides content updates and keeps the iPad, iPod, and iPhone relevant. In order for amazon to succeed it needs to replicate this integation.

Amazon is one of the few companies that has the necessary infrastructure and resources to succeed. Will they? Only time will tell... But I wouldn't be so quick to write them off...

David

Re:What about... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227564)

Apple insists on a very large profit margin. They can be underpriced by someone with the money to commit to large volume production.

Re:What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37227800)

Or just willing to put up with regular margins, and not 30% on every transaction.

So what.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37228134)

For their 30% that take care of promotion, selling and collecting the money. Stuff I don't have either the time or the inclination to be bothered with.
I'm not a salesman or a marketeer. I'm a developer.

Oh, and I get regular payments from Apple.

Result?

One happy developer with $$$ in the bank that I wouldn't have otherwise. How can I begrudge Apple their slice of the pie?.

Re:What about... (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#37230334)

Or just willing to put up with regular margins, and not 30% on every transaction.

Yeah, because Amazon is SOOOOOO much fair-er to the developers on THEIR app store.

[rollseyes]

Re:What about... (3, Insightful)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228208)

Apple insists on a very large profit margin. They can be underpriced by someone with the money to commit to large volume production.

Yes, Apple does enjoy it's profit margin, but that doesn't mean that anyone else can make an equivalent device cheaper and at a profit, Apple has a number of things going for them that no one else has.

1 - Buying power. Apple has been the largest consumer of flash memory since around the time that the first Nano came out. Not to mention the buying power from using a lot of the same hardware across multiple devices and selling more than any other single company (iPads+iPhones+iPod Touches and to a lesser extent Macs).

2. Huge cash reserves -- Apple can invest billions in other companies and buy out all of their capcity for year.

3. Apple retail stores/online store (not a problem for Amazon obviously). Apple captures the wholesale and the retail markup for many of its products. Besides when you walk into an Apple store there is no competition from other companies -- unlike Best Buy or even Amazon.

Re:What about... (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#37230312)

Apple insists on a very large profit margin. They can be underpriced by someone with the money to commit to large volume production.

Except for the fact that, in two years, NO ONE has beat the price of the iPad by any significant margin.

If the Amazon tablet sells for $300, it will either be an overblown Kindle, and/or be sold as a loss-leader to sell some "content" service.

No one in the world has Apple's electronic-component buying power right now. And least of all Amazon.

Re:What about... (1)

quickgold192 (1014925) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228744)

As everyone knows, Apple has the supply chain fixed

And, as everyone knows, Amazon has the demand chain fixed.

Tablet Battery Life? (2)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227464)

> I expect millions of Kindle owners will happily skip the added weight
> and shorter battery life of a full-fledged tablet,

I buy that the Kindle could have a less eye-strainy screen than an iPad, but how good ARE the batteries in these things? My iPad will a full day of use, and if I'm only using it casually, it goes a couple of weeks between charges.

As for weight, I always thought that was battery-related. The iPad, when put in a book-like case, feels a little denser than paper to me. Feather-light would be nice, but it's not like it weighs 15 lbs.

Re:Tablet Battery Life? (1)

J Isaksson (721660) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227532)

About 30 hours of reading with wifi on, a bit more with it turned off.

Re:Tablet Battery Life? (4, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227550)

The Kindle goes for weeks without being careful about battery life. One of the cool things about e-ink is that the image persists passively, so when you turn the page, it just powers up for a moment to flip then goes back to sleep.

Re:Tablet Battery Life? (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 2 years ago | (#37232560)

That's great. For me it's the only selling point of the kindle, and everything else (slow response, clunky keyboard, no touchscreen, no video, no colour, no apps, etc) counts against it when compared with a tablet. 8 hours is good enough for battery life, though days or weeks would be great, however it is not essential (for me). I'm much happier reading on a tablet than an eink device, partly because I can access much more content ( on the web). I suspect if amazon had not backed eink it would be niche already, but I will be interested to see how long they continue with the eink readers when they have an LCD device as well, and how the sales compare.

Re:Tablet Battery Life? (1)

subreality (157447) | about 2 years ago | (#37232890)

So am I! Clearly a tablet is better for your use. We were talking about this, though:

I expect millions of Kindle owners will happily skip the added weight and shorter battery life of a full-fledged tablet

I personally think there's room in the market for both kinds of devices. I wouldn't mind having one of each, really.

Re:Tablet Battery Life? (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227632)

With the wireless turned off, my 2nd gen Kindle lasts about a month between charges. That's with me reading about 90 minutes a day.

It's the only device I own that I don't need to pack a charging cable for.

Re:Tablet Battery Life? (2)

Oakey (311319) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227744)

I bought a Kindle 6 weeks ago. It's probably my most used device. I use it for a few hours every day. I haven't charged it since I bought it! There's still about 20% battery remaining and I've had Wifi enabled from day one.

Also, it's unbeatable outdoors. I recently picked up a cheap Touchpad. Tried using it outside, it behaves like a giant mirror. It's either covered in grimy fingerprints which makes it barely legible, or it's polished clean which just reflects myself in it.

The Kindle is an amazing bit of kit for the price, but as people keep saying, Kindles and Tablets are two different things. Prior to my Kindle I used the Kindle PC app and read a few books on my laptop and seriously, now I have the Kindle I can't imagine going back to reading on a colour screen. The e-ink displays just feels so natural.

Re:Tablet Battery Life? (3, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228044)

Depends on whether 3G/Wifi is on or not. It usually lasts about two weeks with moderate use if wireless is on. If wireless is off, well, in my experience the battery life is measured in months.

Re:Tablet Battery Life? (1)

p0p0 (1841106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228254)

It's more than just "less eye-strainy than the iPad". I'm fairly sure it is almost impossible to get eye strain on the Kindles e-ink screen. It gives off no light or anything different than a piece of paper. Though you probably could get eye strain if the font is too small or something similar, but that is user adjustable.

Battery life is crazy on the Kindle. I'll typically go a month before needing to charge it, maybe 2-3 weeks if I have WiFi on and I go to the web browser to check something.

Comparisons between the Kindle and any tablet are null since the Kindle is meant to be a dedicated reading device with some bare-bones extra features, like web browser or basic music playback.

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is it less than 200$? (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227500)

if not go fuck yourselves I am not paying more for a weak ass toy tablet than a multicore HD laptop

end of story

Re:is it less than 200$? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37227880)

Amazon really cares about your sample of one.

Re:is it less than 200$? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227958)

its not just one dingbat, how many HP tablets sold for 99 bucks and how fast?

Kindle = very good ebook reader. (1)

CallNElvis (575407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227530)

As a Kindle owner, I can say that I bought it because the Kindle was a great eBook reader. I would not consider upgrading unless their Tablet was also very good, and not just good at being an electronic book reader, but a great tablet.

Re:Kindle = very good ebook reader. (1)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | about 2 years ago | (#37235380)

As a Kindle owner, I can say that I bought it because the Kindle was a great eBook reader. I would not consider upgrading unless their Tablet was also very good, and not just good at being an electronic book reader, but a great tablet.

I would not consider a tablet of any kind an upgrade for reading, as they eliminate the best selling factors for an e-ink reader: No eyestrain, amazing battery life and convenient size. I have a Sony PRS-650 myself, both it and the later versions of the Kindle are excellent readers. I might get a tablet at some point, but not for reading.

Bigger, please! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37227606)

These folks aren't getting it. Bigger is better. I work with many businesses and they would all love a bigger tablet - the size of a piece of paper - like a 13" model. They'd snap those up so fast, it would make the HP fire sale look amateurish.

Re:Bigger, please! (2)

galaad2 (847861) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227650)

These folks aren't getting it. Bigger is better. I work with many businesses and they would all love a bigger tablet - the size of a piece of paper - like a 13" model. They'd snap those up so fast, it would make the HP fire sale look amateurish.

bigger is better? then how about a 21-inch or a 24-inch one? not exactly portable but they work almost like a tablet if you don't need to move around.

here:
24 inch: http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/18/wacom-cintiq-24hd-approved-by-fcc-makes-us-wish-we-went-to-art/ [engadget.com]

21 inch (and 12 inch) ones:
http://www.wacom.com/en/Products/Cintiq/Compare%20Models.aspx [wacom.com]

Re:Bigger, please! (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227748)

The issue is the weight and size can become more difficult to manage. If you've held a macbook air, imagine holding that as a tablet (closed), it's a bit bulky, and costly to pick up with one hand and carry around for reading. Though more room for batteries would mean better life in that regard. I only wanted 10" over a 7" tablet for better readability. At 13" it might be nice, but I have a feeling that they'd be priced way too high.

Re:Bigger, please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37228832)

The added weight of a 13" model would be fine. Keep in mind, I'm talking about business use. Imagine laying a 13" model across your forearm while in a meeting or during a sales presentation. The price wouldn't be an issue for most businesses - it's an investment. Doing nothing more to the capabilities but increasing the screen size by a few inches shouldn't be a price killer. These things would sell like mad.

To the other poster - the wacom stuff isn't the same. No go.

Amazon is a great company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37227652)

I have had such a great experience with Amazon and the Kindle that I'm really waiting for the Amazon's tablet to buy it!

More products for consumers (1)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227704)

Does anyone make a tablet that allows you to create things like music/art/literature? It seems like the tablet's I've seen on the market are all designed to push their app store or media store or whatever the fuck else kind of store. Maybe everyone doesn't want to spend their free time buying things.

Re:More products for consumers (2)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227866)

Re:More products for consumers (1)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228860)

I'll cop to never having played with garageband, but here is what I don't get:

If you're going to design a guitar or drum set to be played on a iPad screen, why would you draw them exactly like their real life counterparts? They are just buttons and GUI controls, why not arrange them in a way that makes sense for a hand tapping on the screen? It strikes me like those bad real world object analog GUIs that were so common in the 90's, shit like this: http://imgur.com/JML1H [imgur.com]

Re:More products for consumers (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228942)

If you're going to design a guitar or drum set to be played on a iPad screen, why would you draw them exactly like their real life counterparts?

Because garageband is primarily a toy, not a tool.

Does that mean that you can not create interesting and complex music with garageband? No. People compose music for toy pianos, but they are still toy pianos, which are ultimately limited to mimicking the real thing. Working around the universally acknowledged constraints is part of the fun/challenge, but I doubt anyone would claim that a toy piano is just a good for composing music in general.

Re:More products for consumers (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227952)

Does anyone make a tablet that allows you to create things like music/art/literature?

That's not what they are for, although I don't see anything to stop you writing a book on a tablet and there are music/sequencer and sketchpad Apps around.

The overwhelmingly useful application of a tablet is an instant-on email terminal and web browser that you can use while sitting in a comfy chair. For creative work, you'll soon be reaching for the "proper" computer.

You don't have to buy one if you don't want it.

I have a kindle (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227808)

I have a kindle, and it's a fantastic device. I'm certainly not an "Amazon hipster" (I didn't even know there was such a thing) I don't buy anything from the amazon store, my kindle is rooted and I do with it as I please. It's best features are not found anywhere else: The screen is amazing and I charge it once a MONTH at most. I read every day and the kindle lets me blaze through books. I have it filled with automotive service manuals, emergency guides, maps, all of which combine make it perfect for emergencies in which the power could go out rendering all other devices useless.

I'm sure there are people out there that buy them just so they can sit in starbucks and look cool, but that's not the magic of the device. If they can improve the screen by adding color and improved refresh rates, add more tablet features like improved web browsing, some more basic applications like a calendar, calculator, maybe even GPS, while keeping the battery life significantly longer than other devices, I think they'll destroy the tablet market. All this superfluous stuff people are doing with tablets right now, like games, videos, etc, are just driving the market in the wrong direction. High power use, low battery life... Phones already do all that, we don't need a big cellphone. We need a computerize book/map/encyclopedia/notebook. THAT is where tablets will win big in the long run and the only company doing that right now is Amazon.

Re:I have a kindle (3, Interesting)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228184)

There are plenty of Kindle-like devices on the market. Sometimes the Kindle will offer things they don't (keyboard, 3G, etc.). Sometimes the competition will offer things Amazon doesn't (touch screen, SD slot, etc.).

Here's the thing: I think Amazon wants to have a tablet to avoid becoming irrelevant in the ereader space because it is literally fighting a two front war: you have the special purpose, typically e-ink based, readers on one side; and you have the general purpose, large format, colour tablets on the other.

Is it going to work for Amazon? I'm not a businessman so I don't know. But I do think that Amazon is going to be crushed in the tablet market and that they should be working on perfecting what they have (e.g. ePub support, functional PDF support, colour reflective displays, higher refresh rates on displays, etc.) to combat their ereader competition.

Re:I have a kindle (1)

caywen (942955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228196)

I would like to add formatting to things I write in my notebook as well as work with tabular data sometimes. I would like to be able to doodle pictures, and maybe refine them and apply effects. And also maybe bring my photo collection with me and organize/fix/enhance photos. Oh and maybe watch some movies as well.

The line between casual use and full pc functionality is very blurry, in fact, almost a perfect gradient.

Re:I have a kindle (1)

Optic7 (688717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228936)

Would you care to recommend some automotive service manuals, emergency guides, and maps that you use on the kindle? I would be interested in checking some of these out. Thanks!

Re:I have a kindle (1)

rwa2 (4391) | about 2 years ago | (#37233742)

Hmm, we went to hit a half-dozen national parks this summer with the Frommer's guide loaded onto the Amazon Kindle app loaded our tablet + cellphones. The text was very helpful, but the greyscale maps were a bit too low res to be useful. The text part of the Frommer's guide was great for planning the handful of highlights to hit at each park, and how crowded to expect them, though.

I'd recommend WikiDroyd, though, which would let you download 2GB - 6GB of wikipedia-en text (or other languages) to your device, so you could always look up something about just about anything.

Re:I have a kindle (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37229770)

I have a kindle, and it's a fantastic device. I'm certainly not an "Amazon hipster" (I didn't even know there was such a thing) I don't buy anything from the amazon store, my kindle is rooted and I do with it as I please...

**** fuck*** shit, I wish I could bitch**** you with a -6, pretentious bullshit.

Back in the 1980s and 90s, I bought the latest greatest gear, not to impress other people, but as a geek I JUST LOVED playing with it. That's what geeks and nerds do. That's why they are geeks! To play and learn to manipulate this stuff.

I don't know when, maybe when Apple or some other company showed that computer electronics didn't have to be housed in boxy beige metal boxes, but some morons got it in their head that unless you got your electronics from the cheapest source possible, you didn't qualify as a geek or some bullshit. (It has nothing to do with what you own, but what you do with it.) But, of course, the cockwagging about owning the "right" electronics in one form or another is just another form of the hipster mentality, which should be completely eradicated from the geek world. Geeks were never about the cheapest or caring what other people thought, electronics from the beginning were expensive.

I can't even go into the Apple/Android stories because of these ePenis measuring contests anymore from all sides.

I'm sure there are people out there that buy them just so they can sit in starbucks and look cool,

Please, STOP, JUST STOP!!! No one buys a kindle to look cool. No one. That's like buying coveralls to look stylish. They buy it to play with and it has use to them. You're not special and alone in this. Stop this pretentious, hipster "I didn't buy into it because it was cool" garbage. Just stop.

Nook Color is brilliant (1)

joshamania (32599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37227860)

I have the B&N Nook Color. I have to say, it's brilliant. I've had it for 8 months now and my level of reading has increased significantly. I always thought I'd be a paper guy forever, and until recently, I owned hundreds of books, and over the years I've bought thousands. I received my NC as a gift and was given the leather cover/protector-thingy with it. I found this significantly added to the tactile experience...it made it much more like holding a book than a tablet. Also the 7" size is perfect...any larger and it would be cumbersome to hold in one hand, like a folded over paperback...I read when I'm doing other things...cooking, etc.

The processor is a bit slow, but if you look at it for usage...one is (mostly) apt to use a tablet for one of two things...gaming or reading. Angry Birds is probably a shedload better on an ipad or Galaxy 10", but it's usable on my NC. I've watched the Al Jazeera live feed app on it and it works pretty well. I've rooted it, installed Kindle for a couple of books. But for reading, especially with one hand, the 7" screen is the way to go.

I've also spent more on books in 8 months than the tablet cost. The e-ink idea is cute, but I can read in the dark...and often use the white on black text with the brightness turned all the way down. IMHO, eye strain is a myth....just turn the brightness down. I turn it all the way up for bright sunlight and that works great too. I don't charge it more than every 3 or 4 days....and I use it every day.

Okay, enough blah-blah-blah about the Nook Color. What I mean to say is that an Android tablet makes a fantastic reader, especially at 7" with some sort of cover to give it the tactile feel of a book.

Re:Nook Color is brilliant (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228142)

And Nook Color has a great Sudoku game!

Kindle's screen is the killer app, not the battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37227932)

I'd rather read a novel on Kindle with a battery life of 5 hours than an iPad with a battery life of 50 hours.

Once they get around to adding proper PDF handling (and maybe a table-sized screen) the tablets won't get a look-in for reading any books.

Color tablet? (1)

Flipstylee (1932884) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228076)

As apposed to their black and white tablet? or is this a racist remark?

The Real Reason the Color Kindle is Secret Weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37228194)

No one ever talks about why the Kindles are Amazon's secret weapon and how the color Kindle will be the beginning of a new generation. The Kindle, of course, is a book-selling machine. The color Kindle will be an Amazon Store selling machine. Yes, I predict, you or your compadre will soon be buying TVs and other commercial stuff from your Kindle.

Content is keeping me away, not prices of readers. (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228332)

A lower price is neither necessary nor sufficient to get me to buy.

I would love to be able to switch a lot of my book buying to digital. My house has as many paper books in it as it can comfortably hold, so when I get a new one, I have to throw out an old one. But two things are holding me back: (1) Formats like epub are basically html without support for mathml, which means that for math and science books, they're not an option. (2) Nobody has a large selection of DRM-free books. Historically, all DRM schemes have tended to exist for no more than about 3-5 years, after which the buyers have lost 100% of their investment. (I have ideological issues with DRM as well, but this purely economic and practical issue is enough make digital books a no-go for me.)

The price of the reader isn't a huge issue for me. If the DRM-free content was available, I'd be willing to pay $500 for a reading device. Since the DRM-free content doesn't exist, I wouldn't even be willing to take a reader if someone gave me one for free.

Re:Content is keeping me away, not prices of reade (1)

jmottram08 (1886654) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228888)

Its been 4 years since the first Kindle, and there is nothing to suggest that their DRM format is going away anytime soon.

1)Get the free Calibre to remove amazon DRM, it also is a great ebook manager / backup. Seriously. You are whining for the sake of it. The Kindle reads most formats, DRM or not, books you buy can be de-drmed with ease, and you dont have to use the amazon store.

If you honestly want an ebook reader, DRM is not a good reason not to have one.

Re:Content is keeping me away, not prices of reade (1)

fatrat (324232) | more than 2 years ago | (#37229140)

If you buy Kindle books from Amazon, there's Calibre plugins that will automatically strip the DRM. All the O'Reilly books are available (directly from O'Reilly) DRM free. There's also other sources but, yes, there's no general DRM free store yet.

Re:Content is keeping me away, not prices of reade (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37229622)

Historically, all DRM schemes have tended to exist for no more than about 3-5 years, after which the buyers have lost 100% of their investment. (I have ideological issues with DRM as well, but this purely economic and practical issue is enough make digital books a no-go for me.)

Of course, to make that argument you have to ignore iTunes. Their music DRM scheme ended several years ago, yet you can either keep playing the DRM-ed files you originally bought or pay a fee to upgrade them to a higher bit rate, DRM-free version of the files.

I don't like DRM either, and I only buy DRM-ed files if I have the means to remove the DRM - but I had to point out a large exception exists to your "rule".

It's too bad Linux netbooks died (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37228614)

The sub-$200 Linux netbook market seems to have completely disappeared, killed by Microsoft [zdnet.com] . There's some MeeGo crap, but that's tethered to an "app store", so it's like buying a subsidized phone. ("Creates a direct connection between your wallet and our bank account.")

I do enough input that I want a keyboard. Tablets are for passive consumers; you know, TV watchers.

Desperately trying to keep prices up (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37229126)

The average selling price for subnotebooks rose to $521 last july from $343 in July of 2010." [forbes.com] The industry is desperately trying to stop generic $200 machines from taking over the industry.

Re:Desperately trying to keep prices up (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#37232340)

The average selling price for subnotebooks rose to $521 last july from $343 in July of 2010." [forbes.com] The industry is desperately trying to stop generic $200 machines from taking over the industry.

So that is primarily due to the Macbook Air (2 successive releases of Air subnotebooks)? No wonder Intel is shitting bricks trying to clone the air with it's Ultrabook initiative.

Re:It's too bad Linux netbooks died (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37230406)

There's some MeeGo crap, but that's tethered to an "app store", so it's like buying a subsidized phone. ("Creates a direct connection between your wallet and our bank account.")

Wow. If I ever need something to highlight as an example of "talking out of your ass" then I'm going to use your post. MeeGo is a rather standard Linux distribution, and is in no way "tethered" to an app store. Frankly, if MeeGo is "crap" then so is every Linux distribution out there.

Re:It's too bad Linux netbooks died (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 2 years ago | (#37231164)

Agree. I have an 900A eee pc and it's great, but somewhat showing it's age with a 4gb SSD. I think I bought it on sale for $149. In order to upgrade the ram and the SSD I'd be paying ~$100, so what I'd really rather is to just buy a more recent $200 netbook.

Like you, I also want a keyboard. And netbooks are a great size for throwing into a backpack and heading off to the library or someplace.

VGA out please (1)

glide (97627) | more than 2 years ago | (#37229156)

Hey Amazon!

No Android tablet has a VGA out and most installed conference room projectors still don't have HDMI! Id like to get an android tablet right now, but the ipad is the only one that you could actually do a presentation from.

It makes sense (1)

steveha (103154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37229300)

From TFS:

I expect millions of Kindle owners will happily skip the added weight and shorter battery life of a full-fledged tablet, but it's good to have options.

That was just flamebait. A color book reader makes sense.

I have been reading ebooks for years on my old Palm TX PDA, but I finally bought a pair of actual ebook readers: a Nook Color and a Nook Simple Touch (a/k/a a Nook Second Edition).

I bought the Simple Touch for the crazy long battery life you get with e-ink, and the readability in bright sunlight, and I took it with me camping last week.

But most of the time I am not camping, and most of the time 8 hours of battery life is plenty, so the Nook Color is great. I got it for my wife, and she has been reading magazines on it. With a responsive multitouch high-resolution display, she can zoom in on the magazine and pan around; and each article has a GUI button that pops up just the text of the article in a convenient font in a popup box. So, one can see the magazine as the graphic designers intended, but one can also read a magazine article conveniently without needing to zoom and pan.

A Nook Color is a $250 Android tablet. The 7 inch display is a good size for my wife: small enough it is convenient to carry around, big enough to read conveniently. It doesn't have Bluetooth, GPS, a camera, etc. but her phone has all that and the Nook does what she wants. Not only is the Nook Color an Android tablet, it has good e-reading software built in. So it's going to attract customers who want to read things (such as magazines) in color, and it's going to attract people who want a $250 tablet device.

I have no plans to root the Nook Color and install a real Android ROM image. The Nook Android system works well, she can surf the web and watch Flash videos, and the special Nook app store has plenty of apps.

And, I'm hoping that the Nook DRM will make Netflix offer their streaming client app for the Nook Color sometime soon. (I already have Netflix streaming on my phone, with its tiny display, but I want it on a tablet device!) If Netflix came out with the streaming client for Nook color and it wasn't out for Galaxy Tab or Xoom, I might just buy another Nook Color, for me.

My wife has very little interest in my e-ink Nook. She really likes the bright, sharp screen of the Nook Color. If something happens to her Nook Color, she will want to immediately replace it, which is the test of a good gadget.

In short, there is a legitimate use case for a color ebook reader with "only" 8 hours of battery life.

Amazon, by not having a color ebook reader, is losing sales to the Nook Color and possibly to real tablets like the Galaxy Tab or Xoom. It absolutely makes sense for them to jump in to this market.

steveha

There are other imperatives at work... (1)

blinking_at (126502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37229310)

... in the e-reader space. From a recent B&N mailer:

"Among the new features, NOOK Color v1.3 now offers access to special edition NOOK Magazines(tm) with enhanced interactivity and bonus features." Even without these special features, some magazines work very well indeed on the nook color -- I subscribe to national geographic, for example, and it is really quite nicely done. (I have one each of the other B&N readers, BTW, and the experience on the color version is vastly different than on the eInk ones.)

There are also interactive childrens ebooks that the color nook supports. Things like this give an opening for publishers and B&N to monetize content in a different way, and I think they may just be on to something.

Not ANOTHER lcd, please (1)

cavehobbit (652751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37230138)

I will continue with my current Kindle, or it's successors: e-paper, whether b/w or color. I prefer it to LCD's, and their power hungry, can't read in daylight issues. I suspect Amazon is just jumping on the bandwagon, so I do not hole out hope for anything more than a well designed LCD e-reader to compete with the NOOK LCD. What I am waiting for is color e-paper with a refresh rate fast enough for video, 60 cps or faster. Then add a flexible, wireless keyboard embedding in a cover, so I can replace my kindle, and I can replace my laptop. Maybe even flexible e-paper. The new Lenovo think tablet comes close as you can with current tech, with the optional hard portfolio case, but it still uses an LCD.

I'm (conditionally) sold (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37230642)

For a 10 inch tablet with quad core CPU and Android 4, I would pay $300 in a trice. I have some Kindle books, so integrated Kindle and Amazon Marketplace are fine.

Assuming there isn't something stupidly defective with it like coming with no real Android Market and not being able to add it.

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