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Last post Author Topic: Are my EBook Reader dreams going to be answered in 2010? A full size reader?  (Read 18035 times)

mouser

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Today I read something that made my heart fill with joy.. The possibility of a full sized ebook reader:

Quote
First on the list is the QUE, from Plastic Logic, a company with e-reader technology that we've been covering since at least 2007. Like many of the others that will debut at CES, the QUE's display is E-Ink-based. But, unlike other E-Ink readers, the QUE's display is printed on a flexible, plastic backplane that will make the device lighter and more robust. QUE also sports a 8.5x11 inch screen, so that it can display printed business documents at their full size without scaling.

Aside from its form factor and enormous screen size, the other advantage the QUE has over its non-Sony competitors is a touch-based interface. Users will flick a finger across the display to change places, or tap to select items. Unlike the Nook, the action takes place on a single screen.

There's no word yet on pricing or availability, but Plastic Logic has had a factory working away on producing their displays since September of 2008. The QUE will be sold at Barnes and Noble (where it will compete with the bookseller's own hardware), and the latter is actually a content partner for the device, as well.

From the information released so far, it's clear that Plastic Logic's ultimate target isn't the Kindle, but the laser printer. The QUE aims to replace the stacks of print-outs in your briefcase, and not the paperback in your carry-on. In this respect, the Kindle DX, another device that's sold as a laser printer replacement, will compete with the QUE for business customers.

As a DX user, it's already clear to me that the QUE will be the superior option, barring any showstopping technical glitches or reliability issues. The DX's screen just doesn't work well for 8.5x11 documents—because it can't render them at their native resolution, the DX forces you to either scale or scroll. The former is hard on the eyes, while the latter is very awkward thanks to E-Ink's slow refresh rate.


This is the only tech product i've really been craving badly for years.. I've been waiting so long to be able to read full sized 8.5x11" academic papers.. This just can't come fast enough for me.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 06:31:50 AM by mouser »

Nod5

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I've longed for an A4 sized ebook reader for some time too. It is weird that so little of the ereader buzz is focused on large size screen readers. Maybe my first ebook reader will not be a standalone device but instead an ultrathin netbook/laptop with swivel and a screen with ebook mode. PixelQi screens are said to reach markets early 2010. Check this link for some amazing looking preview photos of their screens. http://pixelqi.com/b...ice-lighting-part-2/

xtabber

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This is the only tech product i've really been craving badly for years.. I've been waiting so long to be able to read full sized 8.5x11" academic papers.. This just can't come fast enough for me.

I read somewhere (don't remember where) that the Plastic Logic QUE will be an 8.5x11" tablet, but the screen size will be 10", whatever that means (diagonal? length?). We should know soon enough since Plastic Logic will be unveiling it on January 7 at CES.  Given that it is supposed to be aimed at business users also indicates that the price will be high.

In any event, while my aging eyes demand a bigger screen than those available in ereaders today, what I consider far more important than physical size is screen resolution. An 8.5x11" screen with 1024x786 pixels is not going to be as useful as an 8x10 screen at, say, 1280x1024, or even a wide screen that can rotate.

The biggest problem I have with all the ereaders I have seen is primitive and poorly designed software. They all flow text, but none can zoom and few can pan, both of which are essential for reading many PDF files.  Also, most have minimal organizing ability and little or no search capabilities.

I have little use for buying books via a cell-phone network, à la Kindle, but would like to have WiFi access to my own computers and the Internet to download materials.


mouser

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My desires are:
  • 8.5x11" Screen
  • Native PDF rendering
  • Reasonably fast page turning
  • Basic ability to add notations

cmpm

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mouser

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a 10.1" screen is no where near large enough - an 8.5x11" paper is about 13.75" diagonal.

cmpm

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Yes, too small, I know.
I think they will get bigger.
Not necessarily this brand either.
More talk and competition will bring it around.

mouser

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Watching videos (http://link.brightco...693?bctid=1778578839 and http://link.brightco...693?bctid=1778578839) i'm afraid that xtabber might be right, that the form factor of the Plastic Logic device is 8.5 x 11" , but the screen is a lot smaller.  Also looks to be incredibly slow.  :down: :down:

More dreams crushed.  :(
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 04:47:39 PM by mouser »

xtabber

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My desires are:
  • 8.5x11" Screen
  • Native PDF rendering
  • Reasonably fast page turning
  • Basic ability to add notations
I can agree with points 2-4, but why are you so hung up on the idea of a physical 8.5x11 screen? The only thing I can think of is that you might want to trace images from the screen onto a standard letter sized sheet of paper.

Size certainly matters to those of us of a certain age -- I'm certainly not going to read books on an iPhone or Droid, as my nephews do -- but given a reasonably large screen (e.g., 8x10"), what matters far more to me is resolution, competent software and the ability to organize the contents of the device so I can find what I want easily.

My main interest in an ereader is to read journal articles and technical books, and these are nearly always in PDF format, but they are not all text files -- many are scanned -- which is why my priorities are, in addition to high resolution, the ability to zoom and pan. Also, since the greatest attraction of an ereader is the ability to carry a lot of reading material around, I simply don't understand why none of the current devices provide a folder tree to organize contents.

mouser

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its not that it has to be exactly 8.5x11, it's that i need to be able to open a pdf file of standard printed page size, and see the whole page and be able to read it comfortably -- and not need to pan and zoom.

now my eyes are ok, i could live with print size a little smaller than that found in standard scientific journals, but not too much -- this is already small type.

the main point is being able to show a full page on the screen and read it comfortably without having to pan and zoom.

cranioscopical

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the main point is being able to show a full page on the screen and read it comfortably
You have to look beyond the obvious and consider the potential... ;)
Uses.jpg

mouser

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 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

xtabber

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Acrobat Reader on a PC has the ability to scale any document, whether text based or scanned, to fit the window size on screen.  I don't know if ANY ereaders available today do that, but I do know from anecdotal reports that many do not. That's a software issue, and as I said before, the software on all of these devices appears to be primitive. Sincee most are Linux based, one should expect better.

Screen resolution is the most important element in being able to read pdf documents that do not flow text, like journal articles. 1024x768 was the standard resolution for many laptops and CRT monitors, and that is pretty much the absolute minimum resolution that I would ever consider. However, since I would want to use an ereader in portrait mode, I would like to have at least 1024 for the shorter dimension, so I'm thinking more of 1024x1280 or greater.  As a yardstick, consider that low fax resolution is 100 dpi, so faxing a full 8.5x11 page at low res requires 850x1100 dots.

Here is a site that provides a comprehensive and frequently updated overview of what is available in ereader technology: http://wiki.mobilere...E-book_Reader_Matrix


Nod5

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its not that it has to be exactly 8.5x11, it's that i need to be able to open a pdf file of standard printed page size, and see the whole page and be able to read it comfortably -- and not need to pan and zoom.
Agreed, but if the device has decent white space cropping then it can be about 4x4 cm smaller and still display common text documents at 1:1 compared to printouts.

The new Skiff Reader is 11.5 inch. That just might be large enough.
http://www.engadget....itting-a-sprint-sto/
skiff-20100104-489[1].jpg

f0dder

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nod5: that's obviously a 3D render and not a live photo, but damn it looks good :)

Ideally I'd probably want something that's a mix of e-ink "paper" and a smallish TFT screen... e-ink for the crisp and wonderful text display, and the TFT for interactive purposes like annotation, searching, selecting crop/zoom stuff. TFT would be turned off most of the time, for regular next/prev page and features like that, buttons on the reader device would suffice.
- carpe noctem

xtabber

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The Skiff Reader is being developed by the Hearst Corporation and is obviously what I have heard some Hearst insiders (including the executive editor of one of their publications) refer to cryptically as the device they expect will save the newspaper publishing industry from being destroyed by free news on the Internet. To me, that says that it will be crippled by proprietary DRM. Reports also say that the software running it will allow advertising to be "injected" into content.

It does look great, but looks aren't everything.

zridling

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Seems like a perfect opportunity for Adobe to create this exact device. But I think the device that really wins this market during this decade will be the one most open; that is, the one that can natively read the most formats from PDF to ODF to .doc/rtf to .txt to even spreadsheets without the expected DRM. The second feature would be its power supply, i.e., could it be recharged using any light source rather than needed to plug a battery recharger in somewhere.

Joe Wilcox had some thought on this recently with regard to Apple's tablet. Man, did he catch hell for it, too.

mouser

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Quote
Seems like a perfect opportunity for Adobe to create this exact device.

That's a really good point.. It would seem like a very natural thing for them to do, and a real win-win for them.

Nod5

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The Skiff Reader is being developed by the Hearst Corporation [...] it will be crippled by proprietary DRM. Reports also say that the software running it will allow advertising to be "injected" into content.
I didn't know about that. Disappointing if they'll try to DRM-cripple it. I'm not too worried though. Look what happened when the industry tried to push DRM for portable audio players. Plain non-DRM mp3 players won. The same is bound to happen with ebook readers. That said, I hope we don't get a whole year wasted on failed DRM attempts before reasonably priced, large size and DRM free devices show up.

f0dder

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Look what happened when the industry tried to push DRM for portable audio players. Plain non-DRM mp3 players won.
They did? I see most of the sheeple around here running iPods... while those fortunately do support plain old MP3s, where' the high-quality non-DRM support? Where's the online stores to get the music legally? Where's the support for transferring files back and forth freely, without relying on a DRM-heavy closed-source application? File format is only part of the problem :)

But yes, at least most players have MP3 support... the Creative Zen X-FI2 looks like a nice product (up to 32gig, FLAC support, micro-SD slot, should pop up as an external drive rather than requiring special software). It's a shame that they dropped the non-2's great WLAN feature, and moved to touchscreen rather than buttons...
- carpe noctem

Mark0

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On a slightly different note, an interesting idea:

YouTube - CES 2010 video - enTourage eDGe beyond ebook readers
A TFT + ePaper dual screen combo, Android based, to be used for reading, annotating, surfing, etc.


f0dder

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On a slightly different note, an interesting idea:

YouTube - CES 2010 video - enTourage eDGe beyond ebook readers
A TFT + ePaper dual screen combo, Android based, to be used for reading, annotating, surfing, etc.
The device looks slightly clumsy, and I think I'd prefer a slightly bigger e-ink display... but (2:37 into the video) I'll have to say this sounds very++ promising! Keyphrase: "easy to bring your own content"!, PDF support, how it folds, available in february... AND he has some book open on chapter 42. Gotta love it ;)
- carpe noctem
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 06:10:08 PM by f0dder »

mouser

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boo hiss to plastic logic  :down:

from their new web page:
Quote
"It’s large 8-1/2" x 11" shatterproof display looks and reads like paper."

but look closer down the page at the details:
Quote
# Display (viewable area): 10.5-inch diagonal, 944 x 1264 pixels at 150ppi, 8 gray levels
# User Interface: Full Touchscreen, Virtual Keyboard
# Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, charging via computer or wall charger
# Dimensions: 8.5" x 11" x .3"

in other words, the actual display area is NOT 8.5x11, it's considerably less -- and their description seems designed to trick you into thinking the display is full page size -- which might explain why the arstechnica article seemed to get it wrong.

definitely not something i'll be buying.

Mark0

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The Skiff Reader seems promising:

Engadget - Skiff Reader is largest yet, will be hitting a Sprint Store near you

1600 x 1200 11.5-inch flexible touchscreen. Still not big enough tough.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 11:04:59 AM by Mark0 »

mouser

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if someone can find where there is an official description of the actual screen size, i'd love to see it.