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Books Displays Handhelds

Will Tablets Kill Off e-Readers? 333

Posted by Soulskill
from the give-me-e-ink-or-give-me-death dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Are e-readers doomed? A research note earlier this week from IHS iSuppli suggested that, after years of solid growth, the e-book reader market was 'on an alarmingly precipitous decline' thanks to the rise of tablets. The firm suggested that e-reader sales had declined from 23.2 million units in 2011 to 14.9 million this year — around 36 percent, in other words. The note blames tablets: 'Single-task devices like the ebook are being replaced without remorse in the lives of consumers by their multifunction equivalents, in this case by media tablets.' Even Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the reigning champs of the e-reader marketplace, have increasingly embraced full-color tablets as the best medium for selling their digital products. Backed by enormous cloud-based libraries that offer far more than just e-books, these devices are altogether more versatile than grayscale e-readers, provided their users want to do more than just read plain text."
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Will Tablets Kill Off e-Readers?

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  • However, I don't think that e-readers will die completely. Those hardcore people who prefer reflected light for reading books will likely cling to their devices (I'm one of them).
    • I don't own either type of device - e-reader or tablet - but imagine that e-readers offer a simpler experience for the user - no/fewer software and security updates, etc - and that will always appeal to various consumers. Tablets are more powerful and capable, but also more complex.
      • by SomePgmr (2021234) on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:07PM (#42294575) Homepage

        I have a couple of both.

        You're right, an e-reader of the simple sort is better than a tablet for reading in a number of ways. Epaper (are we still calling it that?) is easier to read, assuming you have a light source in or near the reader. Managing the device is obviously simple... updates are pretty rare. Battery life far exceeds a tablet. They're usually much more compact. They're simple to operate and they're less expensive.

        That said, I rarely use mine anymore. It's just simpler to carry around the tablet that will do whatever I want. And they've come down in price now so much that some are pretty competitively priced, compared to an ereader.

        So yeah, I think tablets will all but kill the reader market. As with most tech the readers won't go away entirely. At least not for a good, long while.

        • I have both (Kindle and Nexus 7) too. If I had bought the tablet first, I wouldn't haven't bought the Kindle. While reading text on the Kindle IS nicer than on the tablet, reading PDFs on the Kindle is a nightmare -- the page renders are slow and hard to make out, and moving around on a page isn't exactly a breeze. A PDF on the tablet is totally straightforward and renders perfectly.

          What would be interesting however, would be a tablet with an Epaper touch display. Most of my beef with the Kindle is that for PDF applications, it is slow and clunky. Take that away by giving the device some processing power and a good resolution, plus the ability to run other apps, and the only downside to Epaper would be a lack of color. In other words, an Android tablet with an Epaper display might be interesting -- not for games -- but for reading the web, books, documents, emails, and stuff like that.

          • I have a pretty good experience with PDFs on my Kindle. I'm reading a book in PDF right now and I didn't notice any problems with rendering speed. The text is easy to read, as usual.

            • by Nyder (754090)

              I have a pretty good experience with PDFs on my Kindle. I'm reading a book in PDF right now and I didn't notice any problems with rendering speed. The text is easy to read, as usual.

              Some PDF's are just images (usually jpegs) of pages, those are slow as hell on Kindles. PDF's that are text, not images are a lot faster.

          • by Cinder6 (894572) on Friday December 14, 2012 @10:13PM (#42297927)

            I have a Kindle Paperwhite. Before that, I had a Nook and a Kindle Touch. Before that, I had a first-gen iPad. Way before that, I had a Compaq iPAQ on which I once read Dracula, so I'm counting it here.

            Reading ebooks on the dedicated eReaders is superior to a first-gen iPad (and the iPAQ, natch). However, I recently got a new (retina) iPad, and, well...in some ways it's better than the Kindle. Despite the lighting and battery issues, the iPad has clearer text. This is a combination of vastly superior contrast, perfect screen refreshes, higher DPI, and a more even backlight. It also switches pages faster than a Kindle, and thanks to the perfect refresh, it never has text artifacts (you can enable this in the Kindle, too, but the screen flickers black every page turn and it eats up battery faster).

            The Kindle, though, still has some advantages. You don't need to look at it straight-on; it's clear from any angle. Its battery lasts longer, though I find I still need to recharge every 7-10 days. There's less eyestrain--but I think a better way to describe that is it's slightly easier for me to focus on the text than it is on an LCD. The device weighs less, and I can easily hold it in my hand (I could probably do this with an iPad mini or a 7" tablet). You can read it in direct sunlight--in fact, it looks better this way!

            The point to all this is that tablets have made strides in the eReader field. They used to suck, but they've gotten quite a bit better. I wouldn't be surprised if they supplant the dedicated readers altogether at some point. They're good enough for most people. I think the ideal situation would be an LCD/eInk hybrid screen, an idea that has seen something of a resurgence of late.

        • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:33PM (#42295179) Homepage Journal
          So maybe the right answer is a tablet... with an Epaper screen on the back.
          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            But why a tablet in the first place? I don't honestly know many people who have them, and those that do have them are the sort of people who always buy something new merely because it's new (they have desktop computer, laptop(s), tablet, ereader, and more than one smartphone).

            • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:32PM (#42296281) Homepage Journal

              Because they can be got for $90-150 plus tax, delivered? And hold thousands of books, magazines, reference documents, play games, browse the Internet, provide video chat, play Netflix, work with Office documents and such, have an accessible library of 600,000 apps - most free? For $90?

              It's not like the price is a huge barrier to entry. You can get a pretty decent Android tablet for under $150 now. Go ahead: treat yourself.

              • by Paracelcus (151056) on Friday December 14, 2012 @08:24PM (#42296985) Journal

                And my E-book reader can go two weeks (of heavy usage) on a charge (you don't even need to turn it off!

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by tftp (111690)

                  And my E-book reader can go two weeks (of heavy usage) on a charge (you don't even need to turn it off!

                  It's not a useful metric. A paper book can go even longer without a charge. What does that prove? If a tablet lasts whole day of regular use, who would lose sleep over the need to drop it into the cradle for the night? Most tablets, as designed and as used, last several days.

                  • by technomom (444378) on Friday December 14, 2012 @11:07PM (#42298257)
                    If you travel though, it's one less charger to bring.
                  • This is why I think E-Readers are doomed. My family and friends that like books like more than the LOOK of the book, they like the feel, they like the smell, they like being able to just chunk it around, dog ear a page, etc. Whereas those that like digital devices will naturally like something that can read AND surf AND check their email AND watch videos.

                    If the price of E-Ink had dropped a LOT faster, if they would have come up with even 16 bit color, then maybe E-Readers would have some life left, but when you can get a 1.2Ghz Cortex A8 tablet with ICS for $80-$100? Well its obvious to me which one is gonna be the winner. Mark my words, tablets with dual core CPUs for less than $60 this time next year for a 7 inch, which will be the final nail in the coffin.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by demonlapin (527802)
                      #1 market for e-Ink readers: beach books. iPads are barely usable at max brightness in the shade - no chance against the sun. Tropical noon makes an e-Ink device look better
                    • My counterpoint to this is simply the bulk; I love my Kindle Keyboard that I've had for about two years now because I travel a lot... both personally and business. Carrying books around in a carry-on is a pain and as my girlfriend discovered when we returned from Ireland two years ago having a large number of books really confuses TSA agents. I wish I were kidding!

                      Now having said that, there is an argument here that a tablet would be even better still since it can do so much and is really small. I would a
                  • by chrismcb (983081)
                    But it IS a good metric. The main reason I bought an kindle is because of its battery life. When I travel, I don't always get a chance to "drop it into the cradle for the night" Besides, how many times have you forgot to do that? And then you had nothing the next day?
              • by dbIII (701233) on Friday December 14, 2012 @10:27PM (#42298005)
                That's a good example as to how eink is pricing itself out of a market. It's taken years of being difficult to get hold of a non-kindle eink device and now LCD tablets have taken the niche that could have been filled with cheap eink devices four or five years ago.
      • by frinsore (153020)

        I own both types of devices (gen 1 kindle and iPad 2) and I vastly prefer my iPad. I realize that I'm comparing old tech to ancient tech but the feature set in the Kindle software on the iPad still beats the newer e-ink kindles. My problems with e-ink is the slow refresh rate and lack of color. With the original kindle I had to learn to press the next page button when I was a couple of lines before the end of the page as by the time I had read those remaining lines then the display would transition. The

    • by Brucelet (1857158)
      If ereader users are the hardcore traditionalists now, what do you call those of us who still like to read on paper?
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Well, single function devices tend to do better at that single function. Unless we can get 30 day charge tablets, there will still be somewhat of a use for them. I don't see that happening yet - although I wouldn't say that it won't happen. That's not to say that it couldn't be a small enough dwindling demand to completely kill the e-readers margin off completely - it certainly could.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        I think tablets will also dwindle quite a lot once the shiny has worn off and people realize they can just use their phone or laptop or computer instead.

        • The trend has already started to "Phablets", phones with a screen large enough to be a tablet. The rationale is to only have to carry around one device when you are moving around. So you may as well pack in all the features you can.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      My local iFan ended up using an e-ink reader. She likes it a lot better. It is smaller, better suited to reading, and has killer battery life.

      She started out with an iPad.

      It's a bogus question probably written from the point of view from some fanboy ninny that things that "Apple is inevitable".

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Not everyone will get a tablet or even want one. An ereader is not the same thing, they're typically smaller, cheaper, and designed to be easier to read. If someone already has a computer or laptop there's not much need for a tablet. Now certainly the size of the ereader market will shrink (as well size of the market for actual books, the market for laptops, the market for televisions, the market for paperweights, etc). But it won't necessarily "kill" the market.

      Ultimately the market for both types of d

  • e-Ink (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:37PM (#42293921)

    The only reason I bought a Kindle is that I can't stare at a backlit tablet for hours on end.

    Isn't it also reasonable to suppose that eReaders are on the decline because all the people most likely to buy them have already bought them?

    • Re:e-Ink (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rhywden (1940872) on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:14PM (#42294757)
      Also: Please try to actually use such a fancy tablet outside in the bright sun. I know, this is Slashdot, what with the aversion of the daystar and all, but still...
    • See, I've always had problems with the e-readers compared to a dead tree version. I've tried a bunch of them but they just don't work for me.

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        If you only ever want to carry a single book or don't mind lugging around all the books you want to take with you and like killing trees so much that you're willing to pay a premium for it, then an e-reader is not for you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ereaders are not like a cell phone or computer; they don't change that much from model to model, so people that bought an ereader four years ago are probably still happy using that same ereader. On the other hand, I know lots of people that upgrade their phone/ipad as soon as a new model comes out

      eReaders will stick around. Not the sexiest technology, but they will remain available.

  • This is one reason why I got a Nook Color. I mainly wanted an eReader, but people had rooted the NC, provided instructions on how to fully 'open up' its copy of Android to essentially use it as a full tablet, and it perfectly suffices in that role for my uses.

    I've known people who have done similar getting the really cheap no-name Android-based eReaders to use as an entry-level or small tablet and have worked just great.

  • No! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:39PM (#42293959)

    No eReaders are not doomed by tablets.

    eReader prices are doomed.

  • Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rainwalker (174354) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:40PM (#42293979)

    Bring a tablet, I'll bring my e-ink reader, and let's go sit in the sun and read for 4 hours.

    Yes, they're a niche item, but it's a substantial and highly useful niche.

    • What I want is the ten inch paper white touch screen at a reasonable price ($200 - $300 or so)

      I also want the weight to be somewhat less than my ipad3.

      I also want my kindle to support epub without having to do crazy side loading.

      I don't use the kindle that much because it really is only useful for reading on the train and such, which I don't do that often.

    • by idontgno (624372)

      Bring a tablet, I'll bring my e-ink reader, and let's go sit in the sun and read for 4 hours.

      Exposing yourself to a powerful emitter of deadly electromagnetic radiation for hours at a stretch is a terribly slow and indirect way to kill yourself. Casually reading as you boil away your life only adds confusion for your grieving next-of-kin.

      I'll kick back in the shade with my full-color full-capability portable computer, thanks. Maybe I'll read. Maybe I'll play a game. I certainly won't be gratuitously short

      • by bhagwad (1426855)

        I carry my nook around in my hand wherever I go. Literally wherever. If I need to wait in a queue, I pull it out for a few minutes worth of reading. Waiting for a movie to start? Do some reading. And a single charge lasts for almost a month.

        There is no way I'm carting around a heavy tablet double the size. Not to mention I want to keep my eyes from exploding after a while.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      I think tablets are still trying to figure out what niche they are in.

  • by morcego (260031) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:40PM (#42293997)

    There is no question: anyone who spends more than a few minutes/day reading will agree reading books on LCD is really tiring. That is why I love my e-book reader, I can read for hours and my eyes won't get tired. Before it, I used to read on LCD, and after about 20 minutes my eyes would start bothering me.

    On the other hand, I don't think most people read enough to be bothered by it, which is sad in many different levels. But hardcore readers won't give up their e-readers for LCD. Too bad we are a minority.

    • by rts008 (812749) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:53PM (#42294263) Journal

      Speak for yourself.

      I deliberately chose an ebook reader with an LCD, gleefully.
      I've had it for a year now, and would not give it up willingly. Before I got the reader, I would download my ebooks in HTML format to read on my nice PC monitor.

      And I'm not some young whippersnapper with good eyes....I'm 54, wearing tri-focals. I have never experienced the problems you allude to, and I am a voracious reader.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        Sounds like a case of someone who's never used a good e-ink display.

        No question a LCD tablet is better than reading on your computer. But if you think it provides comfortable eyestrain free reading for long periods of time then you need to be enlightened.

      • by xlsior (524145)
        And I'm not some young whippersnapper with good eyes....I'm 54, wearing tri-focals. I have never experienced the problems you allude to, and I am a voracious reader.

        I can't find the link anymore, but a few weeks ago I read a study that showed that aging users with poor eyesight fare better with LCD screens since their eyes can distinguish less contrast, and benefit from the emitted light. For pretty much everyone else e-ink is far more comfortable to read on, especially for extended times.
    • by DogDude (805747)
      On the other hand, I don't think most people read enough to be bothered by it, which is sad in many different levels.

      Funny, I think the same about people who use "e-readers" instead of actual books. Sad on many different levels.
    • There is no question: anyone who spends more than a few minutes/day reading will agree reading books on LCD is really tiring

      Having recently read the first two Game of Thrones books entirely on my iPad, I cordially disagree. That said, I'll readily agree that the eInk reading experience is a superior one. I wouldn't say that an LCD is tiring for me, but I would say that eInk is more pleasant. Maybe some people keep their tablet's brightness set way too high? Mine has never caused me issues with extended viewing.

      As for the quantity of reading most people engage in, I was actually surprised by the results of a GameFAQs poll [gamefaqs.com] that in

    • hardcore readers won't give up their ink-and-paper books. Too bad we are a minority.

      There, fixed that for you.

      • by morcego (260031)

        hardcore readers won't give up their ink-and-paper books. Too bad we are a minority.

        There, fixed that for you.

        Thank you. You are, of course, 100% correct, and I stand corrected.

    • by Ecuador (740021)

      Exactly. People who read a lot will stick with e-readers and most heavy readers probably already have their Kindles.
      We have 2 Kindles at home (for me and the wife) and I can honestly say for readers it is a revolutionary device. For me, it cannot be compared to a tablet at all. It is lighter, the battery duration is greater by several orders of magnitude, and, above all, it is as relaxing to read as a regular book! No eyestrain!
      I have an Ipad 4th gen (for development), which, as I understand it, has about t

      • by morcego (260031)

        And as you don't upgrade your e-reader every 6 months like some people do their tablets ( although I am thinking to go Paperwhite ;) )

        Careful there. I've read some very loud complains, about being unable to turn off the backlight and all that. I know of one person that went back to their Kindle v4 and actually returned the paperwhite. If you can, find someone who owns one and check if you are comfortable with it. From what I've read, I'm sticking with my v4.

        On the other hand, I've seem some people who loved it. So YMMV.

    • by Is0m0rph (819726)
      Not true, I'm a software engineer I spend all day looking at LCD screens. I read books on my phone (while not tablet size it's 4.7" screen is big enough for me) all the time and backlit screen does not bother me at all. The people that are bothered by it will stick with e-ink. I don't like having to turn on a light at night if I want to read. But the cool reader android app I use lets you set the back light as a slider so it can be very dim for reading in the dark. If it didn't have that feature I woul
      • by morcego (260031)

        Not true, I'm a software engineer I spend all day looking at LCD screens. I read books on my phone (while not tablet size it's 4.7" screen is big enough for me) all the time and backlit screen does not bother me at all. The people that are bothered by it will stick with e-ink. I don't like having to turn on a light at night if I want to read. But the cool reader android app I use lets you set the back light as a slider so it can be very dim for reading in the dark. If it didn't have that feature I would not like reading in the dark with a bright backlight.

        Until I've got my eReader and used it for a few days, I would have agreed with you. Of course, having a nice leather case with light on it for night reading for my eReader helps quite a bit. Having to turn on a light at night to be able to read would have been a major problem, I give you that, but I imagined that would be the case, so I've got my leather case with light.

    • by knarf (34928)

      There is no question: anyone who spends more than a few minutes/day reading will agree reading books on LCD is really tiring.

      Says whom? I've been reading on LCD screens since I started using my original Nokia 'Taco' N-Gage as an ebook reader, and I've never - ever - felt tired from it. From the N-Gate I went to an HTC Prophet, from there to the current Motorola Defy. LCD screens all, not a tired moment, and many books have passed under my thumb. I use a tablet (Ainol Novo 8 with an 8" 1280x800 LCD screen)

      • by morcego (260031)

        There is no question: anyone who spends more than a few minutes/day reading will agree reading books on LCD is really tiring.

        Says whom?

        How about ophthalmologist, as well as most people who comments on such subjects on goodreads, as well as other book and reading clubs ?

        Of course, for people who read 3 or 4 books/year, it doesn't make much difference. However, people who regularly read 2 or 3 books a month (sometimes more), will start feeling the strain after a few years.

        To give you some idea where I come from, I spend 15+ hours a day in front of a computer, and I read an average of 2 books/month (actually, a little higher than that, but le

  • Tablet != eReader (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CodeheadUK (2717911) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:42PM (#42294043) Homepage

    The e-Ink display gives insanely long battery life, is viewable in most light conditions and is easy on my ageing eyes. A tablet is heavy and chews through it's battery in a day.

    However, web surfing on my e-reader is painful and apps/games are non-existant.

    Just because they are similar looking doesn't mean they can (or should) do each other's job. Each has it's strengths and they are cheap enough that there's no need to worry about combining their roles.

  • E-ink covers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:49PM (#42294169)

    A multimedia tablet with an eink capable covering would be the best of both worlds.

  • As long as there are avid readers, I don't think tablets will kill off e-readers. However, I think both tablets AND e-readers may eventually kill off printed books. Back to the first argument...E-readers use e-ink which is easier on the eyes for extended periods of reading. E-readers also last much longer on a single battery charge...up to several weeks. Also, the multitude of apps and other functions in tablets and smartphones provide a plethora of distractions for even the casual reader. Most avid re
  • Rather, they will merge. Once a color e-ink screen with an adequate refresh rate comes out, all previous tablets and e-readers will become horribly obsolete compared to the new, combined version. Until then, e-readers will continue to fill a niche market. They might not be as popular as they once were, but they aren't going to go away.

  • It's not that tablets are "killing" e-reader sales - it's that, for the price of a feature-rich e-reader, I could just buy a damn tablet that does a lot more than display text.

    Case in point: Amazon's Paperwhite Kindle is $130 (without warranty or any accessories), and only functions as an ebook reader. The Nexus 7, for $120 more, is a full-fledged Android powerhouse.

    It's easy math.
    • by broggyr (924379)
      That means that if most people follow the same logic, then tablets are killing e-reader sales.
    • by chispito (1870390)

      It's not that tablets are "killing" e-reader sales - it's that, for the price of a feature-rich e-reader, I could just buy a damn tablet that does a lot more than display text. Case in point: Amazon's Paperwhite Kindle is $130 (without warranty or any accessories), and only functions as an ebook reader. The Nexus 7, for $120 more, is a full-fledged Android powerhouse. It's easy math.

      The kindle weighs less, is more durable, lasts longer on a charge, is easier on the eyes if you want to read a book, and is viewable in all lighting conditions. I love tablets, but not for prolonged reading if I can help it.

  • If e-readers like the kindle can be priced down low enough, say under $50, then you will see lots of them. I can see schools buying up huge lots to hand out to students.
    • In areas where people have limitless funds through taxes, schools, government, military etc very rarely buy anything because its good value, practice, fits a purpose.

      Look at this recent selfish plan to roll out of iPads in a UK school, Where Teachers have been treated to free iPads, and the cost to them is nothing; they are spending taxpayers money, so don't choose the affordable, open solutions. I can't justify the expense of an iPad, expecting partents to is insane http://www.harrogate-news.co.uk/2012/12/ [harrogate-news.co.uk]

      • by na1led (1030470)
        I agree, I've seen schools here in Maine purchasing laptops for kids, and iPads for kinder-gardeners. I can see buying an e-reader if it's cheaper than buying books though.
  • I'm so sick of these "Will technology X die because of technology Y?!?" stories, the answer is almost always the same.
    NO.
    • Apple shares are took a beating because of a massive slump in ipods [Now they are just simply dropping], which are being replaced with modern smartphones, and I believe those usurped the cd-players, and tape players that were so universal.So the answer is often Yes

  • I have an iPad2, which I use for all indoor reading with the Kindle and Bluefire apps. I also had, before the iPad2, a Sony PRS-300 and I still use it for outdoor reading. The iPad2 is already bordering obsolete, but the Sony still does what I want. It's only function is e-reading, and I just don't see how, except the battery being too expensive to replace, I would justify replacing it in the next couple years. When we get something like a piece of paper (a killer form factor) for e-readers, I will replace

    • Yes. In other words the useful lifetime of the eReader is much longer than the tablet. Every few months there is an incremental improvement in tablets and eventually your apps stop working. The EReader will keep displaying files as longs as I keep putting them in there.
    • I have an iPad2

      I'm not sure that really justifies you to have an opinion. The oversized iPad is very much an "at home" device...its cumbersome.It not a [as] mobile device. The really threat is from better value 7" tablets that are price competitive to e-ink readers with out the trade-offs, of price and portability, while still keeping most of the advantages of a multi-function smart device.

  • I know its possible, albeit dubious to move move between devices, and Applications for the Kindle means you can be locked into their furry handcuffs even in an Apple Gaol, and I know you can switch between the numerous and confusing formats [ignoring the awful PDF]...but it all seems a little too technical, and not always leads to premium results, my personal experience is epubs [The DRM free not the crippled ones from Apple] are not appearing in Android Books. Considering how ebooks are so overpriced [and

    • You haven't looked in the right places! if you like the stuff I like then Baenebooks.com has there's in multiple formats for just about every ereader out there, and they are DRM free, so you can move them from device to device with no problem! I still have and use my old Sony PRS-505 whenever I either run out of library books, have a Doctors appointment or have to wait while the wife shops, in other words whenever I leave the house and find myself with time on my hands. I have 460 books on it at the moment!
  • It has to be faster, thinner, longer battery life and cheaper. Initially these are the edges against laptop/tablet in the beginning but the gap has shrunk quite a bit.
  • Another theory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:17PM (#42294833)

    Maybe the people who wanted an e-book reader (typically the technically minded with a great love for books) already have one?

    Tablets have gone through significant upgrades, but e-book readers are very damn similar today than they were 2 years ago. They still have predominantly black and white e-ink screens of roughly the same size. They still are incredibly thin. They still have a battery life of about a month or so. There's no fast paced upgrade cycle like there is with tablets or phones.

    Everyone I know with an original iPad has ditched it for the iPad 2 or the iPad !3. Yet everyone I know who bought an ebook reader more than a year ago still has that ebook reader and has no intention of upgrading.

    Am I missing something? The 6th generation Kindle Wi-Fi looks very similar to the 4th gen models of yesteryear. It's hard to take the marketing of it being lighter than previous models seriously when they were already lighter than paperback novels to begin with. And as for the touch experiment, why the hell would you want touch on a Kindle? I actually know people who went out of their way not to get the Kindle touch.

  • e-ink screen for PC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Stonefish (210962) on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:23PM (#42294969)

    I really want a large screen e-ink display for reading at work, led/lcd screens are really inferior to paper whereas e-ink screen is less so. This would be in additon to my exiting screen. The current crop of tablets really such for reading a novel or event short papers.

  • What happened with mirasol [wikipedia.org] display? I for one would certainly prefer this to tablet light on my eyes.

    Surprisingly recently I spend more time with kindle than with ipad.
  • Amazon has done something right with their Kindles. While there are others out there that work amazingly well, the Kindle 4 with the ad-supported option is the closest I've come to ever treating a fancy electronic gadget as a "consumble" - if it gets stolen, it's not going to make me *that* upset, since it's only $69 and does everything I expect it to. That's the price of a few hardback books, and it can hold gigabytes worth of literature; I don't know about you guys, but I can't read more than a few dozen
  • And probably cameras, gps devices, and robot puppies too.
    Next question.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx . b c.ca> on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:46PM (#42295385) Journal
    ...they can invent a full-color passive display that can match the screen update speeds of existing active color displays, and is perfectly scalable to at least tablet screen sizes.
  • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125) on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:49PM (#42295443)

    The problem with E-readers is that there seems to be very little MUST-UPGRADE-NOW mentality in the users. There is no real reason for me to buy the latest-and-greatest E-ink reader when my current device works just fine.

    Compare this to a smartphone/computer/tablet. Most people I know wait for their contract to expire and get a new "free" phone immediately. I know people who get new laptops every 3-4 years. Both from a hardware and software point of view, upgrading offers significant benefits for these devices (I can't personally speak about tablets, having never owned one). For some devices, the software upgrades aren't available on older devices (either due to a hardware limitation, or to get people to upgrade their devices).

    I bought a Kindle DX soon after it was launched, and I have a smartphone. The collections "feature" was the latest good update I recollect for my Kindle. Sure, it might be nice to have lighting on the device, but I can just get a clip on light if I really want to. My Kindle DX is a device I use regularly, but unless they make great software improvements in handling PDF documents/improved page refresh, I don't see any reason to upgrade (especially since I don't really care for a smaller E-reader).

    My phone on the other hand runs Gingerbread (flashed my own ROM), and I don't think it can support the latest Android OS. It doesn't have two cameras, or the best sound, or the fastest hardware. So I clearly see the benefit of upgrading to a new phone.

    E-readers seem to be like toasters/microwaves - if it works, I'm not going to buy a new one. They are, in a way, dull devices. A tablet/smartphone is like a car. Sure, last year's model might be sufficient, but this year's model gives some improvements that (while not central to what I want a phone for) make it feel that upgrading is worth it.

  • Maybe, but only once I can actually buy a device with a damn PixelQi screen!

  • E-ink display manufacturers are closing their factories already
    And such a shame.
    Maybe a tablet with e-ink display on the back could be a good idea, like the recent Russian phone.

  • I don't use either tablets or e-readers.

    I thought the point of ereaders is that they have non-computer -like, non-bright, non-glaring screens.

    I also thought e-readers are lighter and consume less power.

    Both important things for someone who reads a lot of books.

  • by technomom (444378) on Friday December 14, 2012 @10:59PM (#42298213)
    Until tablets come out with a display that can be as easy on the eyes and a battery that lasts 2 months, I don't think I'll be ditching my e-reader.

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder

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