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B&N Nook Tablet vs. Amazon Kindle Fire

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the when-books-compete-you-win dept.

Android 138

DeviceGuru writes with this excerpt: "Barnes & Noble is expected to announce a 7-inch color tablet on November 7th, positioning it head-to-head with Amazon's recently announced Kindle Fire. B&N's Nook Tablet is rumored to have a slightly faster processor, twice the RAM and flash, and a $50 price premium relative to Amazon's tablet, among other differences. The quick-reference table in this article compares key features and specs of the two 7-inch Android tablets, based on a combination of leaked data published at Engadget.com plus some additional data from B&N's existing Nook Color specs, which seems to have much in common with this new, higher-end Nook model."

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Amazon abandoning what was good about their platfo (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957334)

I've been following the announcements of the Kindle Fire [amazon.com] and I'm sort of wondering if Amazon is abandoning what was so good about the platform, namely electronic ink. One has always been able to read a book off the LCD screen of one's smartphone or notebook, but the Kindle was a pleasurable experience because e-ink really is easier on the eyes. If the Kindle is going LCD, then it's just like any other tablet out there.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957346)

Abandoning e-ink by introducing new e-ink Kindle Touches? Really?

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957602)

Facebook has also committed to support the e-ink Kindle Touch
Press release [facebook.com]

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (2)

yelvington (8169) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957368)

I I'm sort of wondering if Amazon is abandoning what was so good about the platform, namely electronic ink.

Five E-Ink Kindles vs one video-capable tablet doesn't quite add up to abandonment.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957370)

if they had stopped selling and coming up with new models of them, then sure, you would have a point.

but there's plenty of stuff the eink displays suck for.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957438)

But I think what people were hoping for with this generation of kindle was a kindle with just a tad more improvements. Basically, the kindle fire isn't a kindle. The Kindles they did come out with are identical to the last kindle with the exception of a touch screen that's nothing more than a gimmick. I think what everyone was expecting was COLOR e-ink first of all... then maybe a decent web browser... better PDF support or at least a way to convert PDFs into something readable. Maybe some tools, a calculator, calendar, I dunno, something to add some utility.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (2)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957596)

Perhaps what you are hoping for just isn't possible with eink?

I'm sure if amazon could use eink for colour and *responsive* web browsing they would have done so. The fact that they have moved to LCD in order to cater to the people who do want exactly what you say you want should tell you something about the capabilities of the different screen techs and whether they see eink as ever doing well for web browsing and colour or interactive media.

Also, the addition of a touch screen to the normal kindle definitely is not a small step- it's a huge change in the way you interact with the device. If it weren't for the fire everyone would be more interested in it. If the fire does well I imagine they'll move all their eink readers to android too (hence the new touchscreen) so there's no point them developing lots of apps for an older kindle platform at this point. The kindle as a separate software platform from android will probably die off at some point, so really the fire is closer to future kindles than the kindle.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957946)

I highly doubt the things the gp was talking about couldn't be done an eInk display. I'd be especially interested in better PDF support. I don't know why I have to pull out a device that eats batteries if I want to read PDFs on an electronic device.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

bmuon (1814306) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958312)

I'm not sure there can be anything done to improve the "support" of PDF files by the Kindle. I think we need better tools for mungling the PDF file and returning a good combination of plain text and images.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958392)

PDFs definitely could (and should) be done.

However as to everything else, colour is neither satisfactory nor cheap on eink just now, web browsing which works well is impossible due to refresh rates, video is similarly impossible, and stuff like a calendar etc doesn't really make commercial sense for Amazon when they are also pushing android apps via their store. Given the resources put into their android store I'd expect to see them move entirely to that at some point soon. So you may see android devices with an eink screen which can view PDFs etc, but at that point the limitations will become even more painfully apparent; stuff which requires scrolling is not going to work well if the refresh rate is still slow.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958634)

Web browsers that display static stuff well is viable and quite easy to imagine on e-ink. Any refresh rate that is enough for reading a book is also enough for reading an article on the web. Yet, it would need some developper time for customizing the browser (hight upfront costs, for a feature that is demanded from several people, no, big corportations aren't fit to that market).

Calculator, calendar and a few other tools are quite viable, and just common sense. I can't really understand why no e-reader comes with those.

Now, for color and video you are right. Those aren't fit for e-paper, at least for now.

What would be a killer feature of the newer devices is a highter refresh rate on non-epub files. Now that we have better bateries there is little reason not to put a faster processor on them and deal well with every kind of file. But I really don't expect that feature to come from Amazon.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (2)

unrtst (777550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958422)

The "better PDF support" line has been mentioned a bunch, but I can't tell what it means.

I've had a Kindle since v2, and have the graphite one with the keyboard now. I don't read many PDF's, but on the rare occasion I need to, it seems to do the job. I could see a larger screen helping. Other than that, what needs to be better about it?

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

unrtst (777550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958558)

*Responsive* color web browsing wouldn't work in e-ink. Everything else is possible though, including color (which is needed if it is to make more headway on comics/graphic novels and children's books).

The Kindle e-ink devices already have some apps. The technical underpinnings are there to support many more very helpful and useful apps, and I for one would love to see that happen. Some examples of apps that already exist:
  • scrabble
  • sudoku
  • minesweeper
  • mahjong
  • a lot of silly games
  • calculator [amazon.com]
  • calendar [amazon.com]

IMO, the other replies to this are full of crap. Not only are these apps possible and useful, but they already exist.

One I would personally like to find ("find", because it'd surprise me if it didn't exist already) is a better music player. The one that's built in basically has no GUI. I'd love for one to be integrated so it could popup a mini gui on the top of the page with a menu press. I'd also love to see micro sd card support in one of the e-ink models, and more file format support (I don't care much about PDF myself, but adding support for non-drm'd epub would save me a lot of calibre time).

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37960446)

Needs Zork.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959162)

The touch wasn't probably a huge step for Amazon as Sony already has had it on older models. Sony even treaded the water with a touch overlay on top of the eInk screen, which everyone hated, which meant that Amazon didn't have to fumble with it.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (2)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959158)

Amazon doesn't create the eInk displays, so if a color eInk display isn't available, how will they make a color eInk Kindle? The Fire is just another device, likely for Amazon to sell and sell subscriptions to streaming/downloadable media, in addition to ebooks.

And touch isn't a gimmick. Double tapping a word to get the definition or selecting a paragraph for highlighting beats the pants off of doing the same with a d-pad.

Its the silk (2)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957420)

The amazon tablet, as opposed to the amazon readers, is just another tablet. What is special about it and why it will win is Silk backed by the Amazon cloud. Now you have awesome power in a cheap tablet. B&N is trying to compete on specs at the low end and there's almost no amount of minot spec improvement that will rival the added power of the cloud. Amazons silk web pages will almost always open faster. Amazon can add a Siri like personal assistant. B&N can't add those things. some third party might do it for them but it won't be as integrated.

Re:Its the silk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37958458)

Except the Kindle Fire has no expandable storage and no microphone.

Re:Its the silk (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#37960014)

> The amazon tablet, as opposed to the amazon readers, is just another tablet.

Nope, the Amazon product is, like all Kindles, totally tied to Amazon. No memory slot because you are supposed to keep everything in Amazon't cloud. No standard Android because you are supposed to depend on Amazon for everything. In other words it is a total loss leader to drive sales of other Amazon services.

Compare to the Kobo for $199 and the B&N for $249 that are actual Android tablets with the things you would expect in one. The amazing thing is Goggle wouldn't allow either of them access to the Market or Android 3.x.

It really is time for someone to ask Google some hard questions as to just what the hell sort of game they are playing. They SAY they only wanted to keep cheap crap out by imposing a minimum standard, to keep 3.x off of phones where it wouldn't work well, etc. But the Kobo is apparently good hardware and B&N certainly isn't a fly by night Chinese vendor, right? But neither could get Android 3.x and being tablets 2.3 seems to be an automatic exclusion from the Marketplace. If the Kobo & B&N had the 3.x and the Marketplace (and thus a high probability of quickly getting 4.0) the fight with Amazon would be over before it began.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (2)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957840)

Amazon is hardly abandoning e-ink, because you can still buy a Kindle with e-ink -- at lower prices than ever if you can accept their screensaver advertisement scheme.

As far as whether LCD or e-ink is better, I happen to have both a Kindle and a rooted Nook Color with the Kindle Reader software installed. So I always have a choice when I want to read a Kindle book of reading it on e-ink or LCD. There are some situations where e-ink wins hands down (reading in bright ambient light), others were LCD wins (photos; diagrams of almost any kind; reading in darkened rooms or in bed), and others where it is the touchscreen that makes the difference (highlighting text and entering notes).

So given a free choice of reading a book on a e-ink Kindle or an LCD tablet, most of the time I choose the LCD. With a larger, higher resolution touchscreen e-ink display, it might be about even. There's no question that e-ink in bright ambient light is the best for reading text, but I find the UI on the second generation Kindle irritating even after owning it for a couple of years. The semantics of "back" seems to be a bugbear in many UI designs; touchscreen reader UIs tend to use screen gestures to flip pages and buttons to back out of books. I find this works well, so the Kindle Touch probably brings the Kindle up to parity with reading a Kindle book on an Android tablet in the UI department.

Reading a Kindle book on my wife's iPad is even better, because the iPad's rendering is better -- at least if you read books with lots of math in them like I do. The Kindle mangles equations and makes tables a pain in the neck to read. The iPad reader also allows you to zoom in to photos, which as yet neither the nook reader nor the Amazon reader software for Android allow. Sometimes I keep an iPod touch handy when reading on the Nook or Kindle in case the formatting is messed up or I need to get a good look at a photograph or diagram.

As much as I hate to say this, it seems the bet choice in terms of convenience and user experience is using Amazon and Barnes and Noble's reader software on an Apple device.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959228)

Well, you're comparing apples to oranges really. eInk readers are meant for one thing: reading. They are book readers. Tablets are tough-based computers. Different technologies, and obviously the LCD will allow you to display PDFs better, allow for zooming in, etc. eInk is just not for that, and I don't know why people have a hard time keeping that in mind. As far as math equations, they'd render finr on eInk if they were published in ePub for eInk devices, but they aren't. Blame the publishers, not the device.

Also, for reading in bed, there are many covers out that have LED lights. You can buy a clipon LED light for $7. And they work great. They illuminate the text perfectly and evenly. Really, it comes down to one's preference and what type of reading they do. If I stare at an LCD all day, I'll likely choose an eInk display for a novel. If I want to read a service manual for my car, I'll use an LDC based device, even a laptop, over eInk (even though reading that manual would be fine on my Sony PRS-650, if I knew which pages I wanted for reference, but simply browsing and flipping from page to page is more arduous.)

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959560)

Might want to give the touch-screen e-ink nook a try, then. The touch screen accepts swipe gestures, touching sides or middle, and there are two buttons on the side for flipping pages. You don't leave the book itself without touching the n button which is located in a place that you are not likely to hit accidentally across a number of different ways of holding the device. Also, the buttons on the sides can be flipped as to whether the top advances or the bottom advances, to allow the most comfortable holding position.

It actually has fewer features than the first gen nook, but the features it has are pretty well thought out. Also, it accepts ePub natively, which Amazon has yet to allow without wonky conversions for some reason...

And using the software on an iPad, B&N syncs your last page across the devices for purchased books.

\end{shill}

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958404)

Amazon is offering a wide array of products to meet the needs of different market segments, which is a perfectly normal thing for companies to do.

Want a cheap e-reader? The entry level model is just $80.
Want easier text entry? Choose between the touchscreen version or the keyboard, both at $100.
Want to access the internet away from WiFi? Pay $40 extra for Whispersync.
Want a big screen for reading PDFs without pan & zoom, and have money to burn? Get the DX for $380.
Want to watch videos and play games and browse the web? Get the Fire at $200.

Here's your car analogy of the day: Chevy offers the electric Volt now, but that doesn't mean that they're going to pull all their gas-engine cars from the market.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37959626)

I just ordered both the Kindle Touch and Fire. So why is it either/or? You can get both e-ink and a media player for less most tablets.

Re:Amazon abandoning what was good about their pla (1)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37960444)

E-ink is fine in sunlight or bright indoor lighting, but a backlit screen has many valid advantages as an e-book reader screen. A crappy analogy is that some shoes are designed for indoor use and some for outdoor use. You can use either wherever you like, because they all cover your feet, but you'll be making compromises.

I do about three quarters of my reading on Kindle and a quarter on a Palm TX - yeah, I'm in need of an upgrade but it's an ideal adjunct to my cross trainer. And don't tell me backlit screens are bad for your eyes - it's like claiming music is bad for your ears when you have the volume turned up to eleven. Read gray text off a dark background with brightness at minimum and you have a display with similar contrast to e-ink that you can read in bed with the lights out. I swear so many people who claim to hate reading off a backlit screen have used some pretty program that attempts to emulate a bright white page and slapped it across their face like Geordi's visor.

Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957416)

Why the fuck are e-books so expensive? Many of them are just slightly less than the actual book! Why the hell am I going to spend almost as much money buying the e-book, but not actually get anything physical out of the deal?

It was one thing when it came to buying digital music. You could spend $1 to get the song that you wanted, rather than paying $25 to get a CD with the song that you wanted. That's a big enough price difference to make it worthwhile. But with e-books, it's just stupid to spend $15 on a e-book, while the actual book is only $17.

There's no excuse for e-book prices to be that high. While authors and editors do deserve to get paid, e-books reduce the manufacturing and distribution costs to almost nothing. I just don't buy that the $2 more spent on a real book will cover the costs of harvesting of the trees used to make the paper, the manufacturing of the paper itself, the shipping of the massive paper rolls to the publisher, the cost and setup of the publishing equipment, the ink used to print the book, the typesetting, the creation of the cover art, the printing of the cover (especially for hardcover books), the cutting of the paper, the binding of the book, the packing of the finished books, the shipping to the publisher's and/or distributor's warehouses, the storage costs at these warehouses, the shipping to the individual bookstores, and the salaries of the many people involved with all of this.

I will not buy an e-book as long as it's clear that I'm getting blatantly ripped off.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957472)

You also dont get the option to loan your book to friends. That crap system they call loaning is nothing of the sort. So we are expected to pay more for less.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (2)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958448)

You also dont get the option to loan your book to friends. That crap system they call loaning is nothing of the sort. So we are expected to pay more for less.
cough.. ignoblekeygen.py ... ignobleepub.py ...

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957604)

Why the fuck are e-books so expensive? Many of them are just slightly less than the actual book! Why the hell am I going to spend almost as much money buying the e-book, but not actually get anything physical out of the deal?

This is my thoughts on the matter, as well. I just can't see the justification for what most of the big publishers price their eBooks at.

It seems like they are saving a metric shit-ton of production costs but not passing any of those savings along to the consumer whatsoever. Plus, with eBooks, there's no paperback you can wait for...

Yeah, I think I'll wait until I'm being charged a price for a product more in line with the actual cost of producing and distributing it...

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957644)

Origination costs (including cover art, typesetting etc) are by far the highest costs when producing paper books. Then there are publicity & promotions etc. None of those costs go away when publishing online. Publishers don't typically make a lot of money from books (paper or not) unless they happen to publish someone like Dan Brown,and their costs for digital publishing are not significantly lower, but they are obviously slightly lower. Probably the biggest bonus is not having to deal with storage, shipping and warehousing.

It's interesting that you mention hardback books as a fair markup as typically the extra cost to produce those is negligible - they are simple a way of making money from early buyers who want the book badly. The markup on them is nowhere near proportional to the costs of production.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958008)

That's not true. The cover art costs precisely the same amount of money whether dead tree edition or digital edition, assuming you want people to actually want to open your book. You really need a good cover, good title and hopefully name recognition if you want people to read your book without a recommendation.

Typesetting is cheaper on ebooks, but it costs quite a bit more than you'd expect to hire somebody to make sure that the ebook functions properly. Making sure that tables function and that the images look right isn't exactly cheap. I'm sure we'll get to the point where that's not needed in the near future, but we're not there yet.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958476)

Read the first two sentences again; I didn't say paper covers cost more to design, I said the origination costs were the largest part of making a book (digital or paper), NOT the printing costs, unless you are selling hundreds of thousands. I'm sure we'll never get to the point where it isn't necessary to design a book properly for print or the web.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37958050)

Baen sell EBooks for $6 each, I don't see why Amazon has to charge so much.

But the main reason I wouldn't touch a Kindle Fire is that it has no memory expansion. I keep my MP3's on SD or microSD cards.

(And don't go calling it The Fire Tablet. That is a Prayer that starts:

Indeed the hearts of the sincere are consumed in the fire of separation:
  Where is the gleaming of the light of Thy Countenance, O Beloved of the worlds?

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958196)

Baen is a publisher. They could sell the books for a penny if they wanted. Amazon is a reseller. They are not going to sell the books for less than they paid for them.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957648)

Even more puzzling is that B&N tries to charge $1 for books in the public domain. There is no content to pay for, the author has been long dead.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957986)

I'm assuming that much(probably most) of that is simply convenience pricing, possibly with some for somebody to look it over and correct any serious aesthetic issues with the epub. Since they put no barriers in the way of loading most common ebook formats, they have no way of stopping you from getting them from Project Gutenberg for free; but they are presumably happy enough to take the money if you feel like downloading it from them.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958024)

The content might be in the public domain, but that doesn't mean that B&N's cost of providing those books is zero. There's the money for attorneys in many cases to identify works that are legitimately public domain, and then there's the money that it costs to run the book store and don't forget about bandwidth.

If you want those books for free, just do like I do and side load them off of Project Gutenberg or Google.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958114)

It's probably takes all of a minuet or 2 check the copyright status. Most e-books are a couple hundred KB, so the bandwidth the transfer the book is less than a penny.

Yes, I do get most of my books from project gutenberg, and manage things with calibre. I was mainly pointing out that they are making pure profit, on something that amazon offers for free.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959542)

There are plenty of public domain books that are available on Nook for free. But I usually find myself plenty willing to pay a measly dollar for a readable, corrected copy of a book than a bad OCR job that someone slapped up there.

I've never seen a public domain book in the Nook store with a cost attached that was published by B&N, so I'm not sure why you're blaming B&N. It's the publisher who put it in the store who decides the price, or lack thereof.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959586)

But B&N offers you the option of getting them from PG, whereas amazon does not natively support ePub. If amazon didn't offer them for free, you couldn't get them for free.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37960088)

PG offers it's books in the MOBI (kindle) format.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959324)

They went to the effort of scanning it, or converting it, or typing it, or paying the company that did the work, or something to get it into a format that can be displayed on their reader. They deserve a bit of profit for that - a buck might be high, but would a quarter be okay? And if you don't like their version, just get a text file from Gutenberg for free.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (3, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957668)

The same reason why music companies wanted $2 a single song download.

They don't want digital disbrution cutting into their existing models so they are pricing them out of the park.

unfortunately there is no apple for ebooks who will stand up and say this is the price suck it up.

Also the difference between a ebook and real book is the printing, binding, and distbution costs. Since every ebook still needs to be typesetted for the given format. (pdf, epub, etc)

don't bring apple in on an eBook analogy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37960108)

maybe they made things better for music, but they actively did worse things for prices on eBooks in order to build up support for iBooks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/technology/11reader.html [nytimes.com]

http://www.idealog.com/blog/apples-disruption-of-the-ebook-market-has-nothing-to-do-with-the-tablet [idealog.com]

Get a real Android tablet (0)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957736)

There are decent tablets out there for under $200 - such as the Vizio 8" ($189 at Costco). Or the Lenovo Ideapad A1 ($199 on Amazon, and includes GPS, cameras, and many other features).

With Black Friday coming up, there will probably be even better deals.

With a tablet, you can read any format. Plus use it for games, etc.

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3500884

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958158)

Why the fuck are e-books so expensive? Many of them are just slightly less than the actual book! Why the hell am I going to spend almost as much money buying the e-book, but not actually get anything physical out of the deal?

Agreed - I own a Kindle (and a Nook), but buy 80% of my books as used paper copies because they are cheaper. Often I can even find a *new* book cheaper than the eBook (including shipping costs).

I'd much rather read an eBook, I find the Kindle to be very convenient (especially when traveling) and I don't end up with a big pile of books that I have to take somewhere to donate after reading. But I'm not going to pay a 20% - 100% price premium to read something that cost practically nothing to deliver to me that I'm reading on a device that I had to purchase.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

unrtst (777550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958890)

Another nod in this direction. ebook prices are too high.

One solution I really hope to see come about (which I first saw with O'Reilly books that included a cdrom's with their books) is selling a combo of paperback + ebook, with zero or very very small extra price to get the ebook. That'd still let me loan out the paperback, or resell it, or read it in the tub, or whatever other benefit paper books have, and I'd still get the digital version which I like reading much much more and HAS SEARCH (which is indispensable in tech docs).

There are lots of parties to blame here too. Lot's of people point to the distributor (ex. Amazon), and many others point to the publisher. While both of those are valid, Apple should also get a lot of the blame. Their app store rules regarding pricing and no in-app purchases are hurting the entire industry (ex. AFAICT, you're not allowed to sell your book on Amazon for less than you sell it on the Apple App Store even though the Apple App Store takes a larger share of the profits, so you either have to raise your prices everywhere, or take a bigger loss on your App Store sales, or avoid the App Store altogether). Regardless of what red tape is in place, ebooks definitely need to find a way to come down in price.

Use the Library (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958966)

Until Amazon makes them change, the library doesn't charge anything for e-books.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959220)

Apparently it doesn't cost much at all to print a book. Ebooks are just revealing how overpriced books are in general.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959750)

Considering 70% of the cost of a real book is wrapped up in printing and distribution, costs that are effectively zeroed once digital (not completely, but effectively) you're absolutely right. Its the same thing publishers of newspapers are trying to pull... they want a windfall by desiring to charge the same subscription prices as with physical periodicals. If publishers were even remotely intelligent, they'd be pushing customers away from physical books towards digital by offering massive incentive, namely, drastically reduced prices. Even if ebooks were priced 50% of the retail cost of physical books publishers stand to make much more profits with ebooks. It is indiciative of a fundamental misunderstanding of the profitablity of new technology by old school fossils continuing to promote those broken and dying business models.

Re:Why the fuck are the e-books so expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37960096)

Actually I prefer digital over physical books for the following reasons:
your book will last forever (if ur kindle broke you still have it on your Droid, PC, etc)
the digital book will be like new all the time, the pages are not going to be scratched, ripped off, etc
the digital does not need a full shelf to store them, even if you already read it you need to save it for future reference
if you loan your book to somebody you could be sure you'll get it back
You could transport your full library with you all the time

I agreed that the price should be lesser, but actually I think I received more for less everytime I buy an ebook

Cost is secondary to one's freedoms with the work. (1)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37960158)

It was one thing when it came to buying digital music. You could spend $1 to get the song that you wanted, rather than paying $25 to get a CD with the song that you wanted. That's a big enough price difference to make it worthwhile. But with e-books, it's just stupid to spend $15 on a e-book, while the actual book is only $17.

But you're merely haggling over price, as the old joke goes. I don't think digital handcuffs become acceptable at any price because I don't want to be taken advantage of. The physical book confers rights of ownership DRM is designed to take away regardless of how little one pays for the DRM-riddled alternative. As George Hoteling saw first hand years ago, one might not have right of first sale anymore [hotelling.net] . Even ostensible advantages one might imagine come nearly free in digital format aren't necessarily there like they should be as Wil Wheaton saw when he updated his iPod software with Apple software and lost all of his tracks [digitalcitizen.info] only to learn Apple would restore them in what Wheaton called a "one-time only do-over to replace all of your purchased music, free of charge". Magnatune.com [magnatune.com] , on the other hand, lets you restore purchased tracks as many time as you want, share tracks with others, and Magnatune always sold its wares DRM-free. Inexpensive digital media doesn't become more attractive with restrictions management.

Bah! (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957432)

I'm not interested in owning a Nook unless it uses proprietary file formats and locks me into getting ALL my content from Barnes & Noble.

Re:Bah! (0)

suprcvic (684521) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957616)

Then you should be VERY interested in owning a Nook as you can buy books from B&N or Google Books and you can read any ePub or PDF and a multitude of other file formats on it.

Re:Bah! (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957790)

Does it make a whooshing sound?

Re:Bah! (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957830)

But why go for a lock in that only applies to books? Amazon will also sell you movies that will only play on the fire, and your entire cloud drive full of music.

Re:Bah! (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958038)

Watching movies while on fire? That doesn't strike me as being particularly safe. I suppose I have to waive my right to sue if I buy one.

Re:Bah! (0)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957822)

When a slashdotter thinks he is being funny but is only displaying his ignorance, then he is funniest of all.

I collect epub's, mobi's, azw's, lit's, pdf's, and even cbr's and read them all on my Nook.

Re:Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37958014)

Again with a whoosh!

Re:Bah! (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958806)

What's the joke supposed to be then? The Kindle supports other formats. So does the iPad. What is this supposed to be a reference to?

Re:Bah! (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959262)

Care to explain the whoosh in this case? The parent recognized the grandparent's humor, and responded that the Nook doesn't in fact lock you into B&N's own format.

Re:Bah! (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 2 years ago | (#37960574)

And the OP said he didn't want a Nook because it didn't lock you into B&N.

That comparison has a glaring problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957486)

Kindle is customized Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread), not 3.x.

Rather large difference there.

Nooks #1 Feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957498)

The best thing that the Nook tablet has over the Kindle is that it has an SD card reader. This is what made the Nook color so easy to hack. Just put in an SD card with an alternate OS and boot. Easiest hack ever, no risk of bricking, AND tons of extra space available for installing apps/media. Once hacked, you not only have access to the android market but the Amazon market as well. Without an SD card reader, I have zero interest in the kindle. Im not suer the new Nook has enough advancements though to justify an upgrade from the nook color, but once an alternate OS is available I may pick one up and relegate the nook color to ereader functionality.

How to write (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957532)

"and a $50 price premium relative to Amazon’s tablet"

Human beings would say "and is $50 more expensive than Amazon's tablet". You don't have to write in an unnatural way to justify your position as a journalist.

Viewsonic G Tablet (1)

transami (202700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957564)

You can get a Viewsonic g tablet for about the same price and it has more ports:

    http://reviews.cnet.com/tablets/viewsonic-g-tablet/4507-3126_7-34431221.html?tag=mncol;subnav

Re:Viewsonic G Tablet (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957656)

Unfortunately, Viewsonic doesn't make anything any more, so it's all just cheap rebranded crap, with the only change being their logo. Most of it doesn't even have the cute embossed logo, let alone any quality worth mentioning.

Re:Viewsonic G Tablet (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957864)

I'm curious what type of display this tablet is using. If it's TN then no way, if it's IPS than it might be interesting.

Re:Viewsonic G Tablet (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958580)

Nope. I had one of those, and while the hardware was somewhat interesting about a year ago (one of the earliest Tegra 2 devices) the TN panel basically made it suck. Then to discover that the early Tegra 2 platforms had flawed silicon that impacted the behavior of a critical register, I gave up on hacking the thing and took it back to the store.

Now I have a Nook Color, whose better screen and smaller form factor have made it a much more interesting hack target. I'm very interested in the Nook Tablet if it's as readily accessible as the Nook Color was.

Re:Viewsonic G Tablet (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959272)

1.5lb, holy heffer batman.

Kobo Vox (1)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957576)

Don't forget the Kobo Vox [kobobooks.com] - 7" colour eReader w/ web browser and Android apps for $199. The big advantage of Kobo is that you can run their software on the Kobo, iPad/iPhone, Android, BB, Palm or computer. Each title is fully transportable so you don't need to worry about device lock-in.

Nook Color running CyanogenMod? (2)

slick50 (136573) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957580)

I wonder what the difference between the "new" one and my existing Nook Color running CyanogenMod?

Re:Nook Color running CyanogenMod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957610)

Better hardware... thats about it as far as I can tell. I think I'm going to get one and give my old rooted one to the wife.

Re:Nook Color running CyanogenMod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957636)

Dual processors... ;)

Re:Nook Color running CyanogenMod? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958086)

I was wondering why TFS was implying that B&N was introducing a competitor to Amazon Fire, when Amazon Fire was introduced as a competitor to B&N Nook Color. This is just a case of B&N releasing a new product revision to replace their previous model.

It does look like you get a fair amount for that extra $50. If this leak is to be believed, you get a 1.2ghz dual core processor rather than a 1ghz dual core processor. 1 gig of ram versus 512mb of RAM and 16gb of built in storage versus 8gb. Not to mention slightly more pixels on screen.

The only two things that Amazon Fire appears to win on are having a stereo head jack and price.

I would be really tempted to get a B&N Nook Color if these turn out to be correct. Especially if B&N remains so neutral towards jailbreaking their products.

Re:Nook Color running CyanogenMod? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958592)

About the only thing it'll win on are some aspects of battery life and the price, I'd be surprised if the Nook Tablet didn't have a stereo audio jack considering even the Nook Color has one.

Re:Nook Color running CyanogenMod? (1)

basotl (808388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958606)

I'm a current NC w/ CM7 owner myself. I currently use my device while deployed in Afganistan. While I obviously get some net access it is infrequent enough to make cloud centric devices useless to me. If I can install CM7 on the new NC and it has that much expanded storage... well I would find it tempting to upgrade.

The new Color Nook is less worth it (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959326)

A few years back, an Android tablet for $249 was a BFD.

Today, you can get a real Android tablet, with GPS, and cameras, etc., for under $200.

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3500884

Today, it's silly to fuss with rooting/hacking an ebook reader to get a sub-standard Android tablet. Just buy an Android tablet, it's better, and cheaper.

Premature (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957696)

Shouldn't this story run after B&N releases their nook tablet? What's the point of comparing the Kindle Fire to this vapor tablet?

Re:Premature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957802)

Yes, why are we comparing one unreleased tablet to the other unreleased tablet? It's like comparing vapor to vapor!

Too expensive - get a real Android tablet (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957708)

Why even mess around with something that can only read one format? You can get an 8" Vizio at Costco for $189. Or you can get a Lenovo IdeaPad A1 with GPS for $199.

Here is my quick-n-dirty review of sub-$300 Android tablets.

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3500884

Re:Too expensive - get a real Android tablet (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958104)

Nook Color is a real Android Table, the only difference is that it's optimized for books. You can install apps like you would on a normal Android tablet. If you really insist upon using stock Android, you can always jailbreak the thing and install it.

I'm not familiar with the Vizio or IdeaPad, but the build quality on B&N Nooks is quite good. If you look at your list, those cheaper tablets also cut down quite a bit on the specs to do it. Now, I'm sure there are folks that need bluetooth or GPS, but your being a bit obtuse if you don't notice that the cost comes with a significant improvement in performance.

Re:Too expensive - get a real Android tablet (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959204)

I have a B&N Color Nook. I have set up to boot from CM7 on a micro-SD chip.

In some respects, it is an okay tablet. But the performance, especially for web-browser, is not very good. I suspect the the kindle fire is much better for web browsing.

Also, the B&N Nook Color lacks many features that are common in tablets, such as GPS, or cameras.

Check the specs, and features, of those cheaper tablets, and compare then to the Nook. You will find the Nook is clearly overpriced.

The new Nooks at $300 - $350 are a total joke. Spend a little more and get an iPad.

Re:Too expensive - get a real Android tablet (1)

Slyfox696 (2432554) | more than 2 years ago | (#37960288)

I have a B&N Color Nook. I have set up to boot from CM7 on a micro-SD chip.

In some respects, it is an okay tablet. But the performance, especially for web-browser, is not very good. I suspect the the kindle fire is much better for web browsing.

Also, the B&N Nook Color lacks many features that are common in tablets, such as GPS, or cameras.

Check the specs, and features, of those cheaper tablets, and compare then to the Nook. You will find the Nook is clearly overpriced.

The new Nooks at $300 - $350 are a total joke. Spend a little more and get an iPad.

1) Perhaps I'm just misunderstanding you, but it's my impression you're running CM7 from the micro-sd card. If that's the case, of course the performance will suffer. Flash CM7 to your internal memory, and even if you don't overclock the Nook Color, you'll see a definite performance (and stability) upgrade running from internal memory as opposed to micro-sd card.

2) The Kindle Fire also lacks GPS, camera and mic as well. Not that you were comparing Nooks and Fires, but just pointing it out.

3) I'm not sure where you're seeing Nook Colors for $300-350, but the price for a current Nook Color is $250, and from what I've read, that is expected to be the price for the next Nook Color as well. Furthermore, you can purchase a refurbished Nook Color for $170 or so. Comparing a $250 Nook Color to a $500 iPad, and I'm not so certain one would say the Nook Color is overpriced, especially when flashing CM7 to the Nook Color.

4) As far as those other tablets, I cannot say I've used any of them, but I do know the Nook Color is solid, dependable, with good performance and lightweight. I've not regretted my purchase once.

Re:Too expensive - get a real Android tablet (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959350)

As I said in a previous post:

A few years back, an Android tablet for $249 was a BFD.

Today, you can get a real Android tablet, with GPS, and cameras, etc., for under $200.

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3500884

Today, it's silly to fuss with rooting/hacking an ebook reader to get a sub-standard Android tablet. Just buy an Android tablet, it's better, and cheaper.

Wait until real people have real machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37957772)

I think that I'll wait until I see some comments by ordinary users with the mass delivered machines. I seem to remember people being excited about vista before they actually got to use the final delivered thing.

Posting from my rooted Nook Color (2)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37957896)

How rootable is the Kindle Fire? It's trivially easy with the Nook Color; that's why I bought one.

Re:Posting from my rooted Nook Color (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958120)

Kindle Fire hasn't been released so nobody really knows, same goes for the new Nook Color. I would expect it to be a lot easier to jailbreak the Nook than the Kindle, just because the Nooks are all sold at a profit whereas the Kindle Fire is reported to be sold at a slight loss.

Re:Posting from my rooted Nook Color (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959264)

One big difference: the kindle has no micro-sd slot.

I can pull the micro-sd out of my color nook, and it's right back to factory condition. You will never be able to do that with a kindle fire.

But today, for my money, I would get a real Android tablet. Then I can read any ebook format, and I don't have to fuss with rooting and/or hacking. Plus, I get way more features like GPS and cameras.

Real Android tables are cheap. For example the Lenovo Ideapad A1 is only $199 at Amazon. And you can get a Vizio 8" at Costco for $189.

Re:Posting from my rooted Nook Color (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959396)

You don't have to jailbreak the current Nook. Just install CM7 to an external micro-SD. The original Nook software is untouched.

But, today, you are much better off buying a real android tablet, instead of buying an ebook reader and trying to use that a make-believe andorid tablet.

You can get a real android tablet for under $200. A real android table will have features like GPS and cameras, etc. No sense in fussing with ebook readers anymore.

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3500884

Re:Posting from my rooted Nook Color (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959234)

I did the same with a $149 refurbished Color Nook that I bought from overstock.

It's okay, but just barely. Performance is sluggish, and web browsing is horrible. I suspect the kindle fire is far superior for web browsing.

Also, the B&N Color Nook lacks features like GPS, and cameras.

Re:Posting from my rooted Nook Color (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959930)

Also, the B&N Color Nook lacks features like GPS, and cameras.

Considering that the first thing do with any new android install/device is to turn off the battery-sucking data leak that is GPS, it's lack isn't a bug, it's a feature.

Re:Posting from my rooted Nook Color (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959402)

Me too. But I would not do that today. Real Android tablets are cheaper, and better, than a converted Color Nook.

Poor Australians (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37958206)

There is no point in an Australian buying these devices, since it's impossible to download e-books in Australia from either Amaxnone or Barnes&NotNoble.

How fucked is that?

Re:Poor Australians (1)

Alfred (16073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959876)

Your local library may offer e-books you can read just fine on a Nook, the Canberra library system does. All you need then is a friend in the US with a credit card ;-)

Library Compatibility (1)

imunfair (877689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37958244)

The deciding factor for me was that the nook was compatible with the library lending systems around here, and the kindle was not. If you pirate your ebooks that isn't an issue obviously, but if you want to check them out online from your local library it's a good thing to look into before purchasing.

Re:Library Compatibility (1)

unrtst (777550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959004)

These days, the Kindle supports the same library system that the Nook does. Public Library Books for Kindle [amazon.com]
Personally, I strongly dislike the way the support was implemented on both of them. They could both use an Overdrive app built into the device to make it easy and accessible to average users. But they do both work (my g/f has a nook and I've got a kindle, so I've tried both).

Re:Library Compatibility (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37959284)

Get a real Android tablet. Then you can use ePub, or Kindle, or whatever format. Plus real tablets have features like GPS, and cameras.

Here is a list of sub-$300 Android tablets:

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3500884

Blatant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37959216)

plug. My book is available in paperback, kindle and epub format here [paullee.com] ,

I think that, compared to the paperback version of £16/$23 (US), about £8/$12 (US) is about right. There are various matters that dictate the price of an electronic book; do you exclude the printing costs that are inherent in the printed version? The ethical answer would be yes, but how much do you exclude? Do you want the ebook to subsidise the sales, or lack of, of a printed book? Also, how much do you want to charge compared to competitors books? Too little and you'll never make a profit; too much and you'll price yourself out of the market. Then theres the pricing structure that Amazon and nearly everyone else imposes under the Independant Publisher Programme (if you decide to publish your books yourself without a publishing house to do all the work); if you want 70% of the royalties, then your book is limited to be within a certain pricing band, which suppresses any potential profits.

I can't help but think that if you try and publish a book yourself, you're almost certain to be doomed to failure. You don't have the overheads of printing and distribution but then again, you don't have the clout of a marketing house to do all the hard work. Writing books
does not pay very well, unless you're Dan Brown or of his ilk. A friend of mine writes books on the same subject matter as mine, and his books sell for about £16. When his sales hit 1000 copies, he gets £1000. This doesn't seem fair to me; the author did all the hard work
and without all his work, there'd be no book for any other organisation to milk in the first place.

One more point about electronic books; they seem to be the future, but that doesn't mean printed versions will die away immediately, if at all. I used to work for Cambridge University Press, proof reading their electronic books; the process of scanning and processing electronic books, particularly very old texts, resulted in a lot of errors creeping in. We were told that the Press was cutting back on its
printing processes, and closing its warehouse down, the staff who work there being told that they would work at DHL many many miles away (they were not happy at this news!). The business objective was not to print, stockpile and distribute books, but to adopt a "print on demand" model. The electronic book market has grown so much that it seems to have dominated the business models of the future.

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