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Amazon's Android Tablet Expected This Fall 109

Posted by timothy
from the all-the-cool-bookstores-have-their-own dept.
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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Amazon's Android Tablet Expected This Fall

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  • 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.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      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.

      • 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?
        • by Omestes (471991)

          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 Co

          • by onjulic (1716296)

            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.

        • by joshamania (32599)

          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?

        • by hedwards (940851)

          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.

          • by artor3 (1344997)

            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.

            • by hedwards (940851)

              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 s

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

  • Disciples (Score:1, Funny)

    by wsxyz (543068)
    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.
    • by ChinggisK (1133009) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @10:59AM (#37227554)
      No no, you must be confused, Amazon is making this tablet, not Apple.
    • hipster Amazon disciples

      Wait... what?

      I hope this is an Apple joke. :)

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @10:39AM (#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.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      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.

      • 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.
    • 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 ot

      • 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.

        • by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:20PM (#37228004) Homepage Journal

          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.

          • by Relayman (1068986)
            The only reason that the TouchPad sold out at $100 is because many people thought they could sell it on eBay for $150.
            • 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

              • by rwa2 (4391) *

                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

        • by DrXym (126579)
          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.

      • 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'm writing this on an LCD tablet which, unlike a kindle, is useful for reading the web, watching video etc.

          I'm writing this on a laptop, which unlikely a Kindle or a tablet, is useful for reading the web, watching video, and writing content. That doesn't mean I'd say the three are comparable devices, and while a small minority might see the three as competitors, I don't think it's a universal sentiment.

          Yes, in many cases people feel the need to make choices between two largely unrelated devices. Someon

          • Nonetheless, for the majority of users of either device, they're not in the same category. As yourself this: Are Kindles selling (and they are, extremely well) because:

            I'd add another reason to your list -

            They have a huge backlist of content in the store which comes with the device

            That's something key to the success of both the kindle and the iPad, and I'd say it's at least as important than the screen and explains their success over rivals. The iPad has been massively outselling the kindle, so either people who buy iPads just didn't consider kindles, or they considered them and found them wanting, mostly because of the feature that defines them - the eink screen. I suspe

          • Are Kindles selling (and they are, extremely well) because:

            1. They're the easiest to use e-readers out there?
            2. They're fast and have enormous functionality?
            3. They're cheap?
            4. They have a screen people love, and a battery life measured in months?

            I'll throw in - "Because their advertising/marketing point is viewed more often than......."

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      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 (Score:4, Interesting)

        by itsdapead (734413) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:27PM (#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.

    • 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 disp
    • by evilviper (135110)

      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.

      • by fafaforza (248976)

        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.

  • 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 t
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by David_Hart (1184661)

      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

    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      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... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Karlt1 (231423) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:50PM (#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.

      • by macs4all (973270)

        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.

    • As everyone knows, Apple has the supply chain fixed

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

  • by multipartmixed (163409) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @10:43AM (#37227464) Homepage

    > 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.

    • About 30 hours of reading with wifi on, a bit more with it turned off.
    • by subreality (157447) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @10:59AM (#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.

      • 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 alre

        • 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.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      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.

    • by Oakey (311319)

      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 k

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by squiggleslash (241428)

      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.

    • by p0p0 (1841106)
      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.

      Compariso
  • 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.
    • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

    • by galaad2 (847861)

      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]

    • 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.
  • 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.
      • 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]

        • 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.

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      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 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @11:50AM (#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 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MacTO (1161105) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:46PM (#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.

    • by caywen (942955)

      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.

    • by Optic7 (688717)

      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!

      • by rwa2 (4391) *

        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 devi

      • Emergency guides:
        http://www.google.com/search?q=emergency+guide&btnG=Search+Books&tbm=bks&tbo=1

        Service manuals:
        http://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&tbo=1&q=automotive+service+manual&btnG=

        Maps you have to be more creative with. You can either get Gazeteers or go to google maps and save it as an image.
    • by rolfwind (528248)

      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

  • 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 perfec

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

    • 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.

    • by fatrat (324232)
      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.
    • 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".

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @02:02PM (#37228614) Homepage

    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.

    • 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.

    • by Microlith (54737)

      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.

    • by taxman_10m (41083)

      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.

  • 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 sunlig

    • by steveha (103154)

      I spent some time last night playing with my wife's Nook Color, and found that Flash videos are too slow to be useful. Each Flash video had a note appear above it, "This video is not optimized for tablet playback"; I never did figure out any video that did not display that tag.

      So, it rather sucks for watching YouTube. I have seen video playing back smoothly on the Nook Color, so I know it is possible, but the general case for playback of web video sucks.

      Other than video, the web experience is good.

      steveha

      • by steveha (103154)

        Recently the Nook Color got an update. The 1.3 software update seems to have significantly improved speed. YouTube videos are now watchable. They are still a bit slow, but not completely unwatchable like before.

        I think a YouTube app would help a lot, but there isn't one in the Nook store yet.

        Oh, and now that I've spent $250 on a Nook Color, a real Android 3.2 tablet is shipping for $100 more:

        http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/12/acer-iconia-tab-a100-review/ [engadget.com]

        But my wife likes the Nook the way it is, and we ar

  • ... 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 eIn

  • 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 ki
  • 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.

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller

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