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MacRumors
Nov 19, 2007, 01:35 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Newsweek provides (http://www.newsweek.com/id/70983/page/1) an early scoop for a device coming from Amazon called "Kindle". The $399 device attempts to deliver a complete eBook solution, unlike existing products, and is described as "the iPod of reading".

Indeed, the feature set is impressive, with EVDO and WiFi connectivity allowing customers to browse, purchase, and download from a library of over 88,000 digital books at launch. Aside from digital book content, you may also subscribe to newspapers and select blogs. The device also incorporates web browsing, email, and the ability to read Word and PDF documents. Other features as said to include:

- Has a keyboard
- 30 hour battery life
- 2 hour recharge time
- 10.3 ounces
- 4.9 inches x 7.5 inches x 0.7 inches, 800x600 pixel (from early spec sheet (http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/11/amazon-kindle-meet-amazons-e-book-reader/))
- SD Slot for storage (from early specs)
- USB 2.0 (from early specs)
- Uses E Ink technology
- Adjustable Font size
- Can hold over 200 books
- Can search books for phrase or name
- 3.5 stereo headphone jack

Amazon has reportedly been taking cues from Apple's iPod launch, planning on using similar videotaped celebrity testimonials at launch.

Dedicated eBook readers, however, have not yet seen a commercial success, with early attempts by Sony to create a market for the devices. Apple has been rumored (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/09/26/the-return-of-the-newton-apple-pda/) to be working on a similarly sized tablet, though not intended specifically to be an eBook reader, there appears to be much cross-over functionality (web, email) between the devices.

Final specs and official announcement is expected later on Monday.

Update2: Official announcement and product page:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Famazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2FB000FI73MA%3Fpf%5Frd%5Fm%3DATVPDKIKX0DER%26pf%5Frd %5Fs%3Dgateway-center-column%26pf%5Frd%5Fr%3D1BXFM5Z34D80MM9541MX%26pf%5Frd%5Ft%3D101%26pf%5Frd%5Fp%3D329252801%26pf%5Frd% 5Fi%3D507846&tag=weeno&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/11/19/amazon-enters-gadget-market-with-kindle-an-ebook-device/)



DMann
Nov 19, 2007, 01:39 AM
Looking forward to Macworld 2008 in January.....

arn
Nov 19, 2007, 01:42 AM
before anyone says that this isn't apple related... let me cut you off.

I think this is very interesting and affects Apple. Certainly a company the size of Amazon entering a market like this which certainly overlaps some iPhone and/or iPod Touch functionality.

Also, there's talk of Apple going into the mini-tablet market in some form or another.

Based on the early description of the Amazon service, I think it's a potentially compelling solution. Wireless everywhere, downloadable books and web. Service charge remains an unknown.

arn

dannychang
Nov 19, 2007, 01:43 AM
this is so ugly -.-. oh my god..

how can this relate to iPod??

the Design...the UI.....

the keyboard??? LOL....gosh.....

techmonkey
Nov 19, 2007, 01:43 AM
Looking forward to Macworld 2008 in January.....

What does MacWorld have to do with Amazon releasing this? I think the device they speak of from Apple is the rumored tablet, correct?

this is so ugly -.-. oh my god..

how can this relate to iPod??

the Design...the UI.....

the keyboard??? LOL....gosh.....

LOL, fugly. Some of the comments on Engadget are hilarious.

"Who knew Tandy computer was still around"

"Looks like something out of Buck Rogers"

http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/11/amazon-kindle-meet-amazons-e-book-reader/

pamon
Nov 19, 2007, 01:46 AM
Kudos to Bezos and Amazon on this. An integrated ebook reader + ebook downloader + newspaper reader that can fit in a briefcase or laptop bag.. brillant..

So you can download a book on the go, read it on a plane, and then when finished download another book and read it on the way back. No need for books in your bag or anything like that...

Newspaper downloads and magazine downloads are the killer.... Being able to take this on the train or bus and reading your paper vs a laptop will be HUGE...

Kudos... will wait to see the engadget and cnet reviews on the press conference on Monday afternoon.

synth3tik
Nov 19, 2007, 01:47 AM
It will be the iPod/iTMS for intellectuals.

Project
Nov 19, 2007, 01:49 AM
Id love one, but my god the thing looks like a POS...

But yeah, these things are the future

arn
Nov 19, 2007, 01:50 AM
Of note, the photos at Engadgets' do not quite appear to be the final version. the keyboard layout is different than on the Newsweek cover and the color is off.

edit: actually, keyboard is same: see http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/official/amazon-kindle-official-details-399-whispernet-ev+do-the-ipod-of-reading-324129.php

arn

Derbus
Nov 19, 2007, 01:52 AM
Not only is the thing ugly looking and shady sounding, the guy on the cover looks creepy.

personally i like holding onto the actual book, I think that books will go away. Im just not ready to let go just yet ^^;

Marble
Nov 19, 2007, 01:53 AM
Will it be as painful to read on as a computer screen? That's the worst part about ebooks for me. Until there's a good way to read digital text off a surface that isn't backlit and doesn't have blocky res, readers like this will still be a secondary experience to books in every way except convenience.

Abstract
Nov 19, 2007, 01:53 AM
Good ideas are just as necessary as good aesthetic design. I'm sorry, but this won't take off. It's too ugly. Someone else will copy all the features of this machine and make it look nicer. It could be Apple; it could be another company altogether. It'll also sell.


before anyone says that this isn't apple related... let me cut you off.


Damn it....missed my chance!!

GreatOne08
Nov 19, 2007, 01:55 AM
I don't know, part of the joy of reading a new book it's the feel of the cover, pages, etc.

aLoC
Nov 19, 2007, 01:57 AM
I read a lot of paperback novels, just bought one on the way home from work today in fact. Can't see myself using something like this, it's just technology intruding where it's not wanted.

(The irony of this statement, of course, is that most of the books I read are science fiction :-)

Chaszmyr
Nov 19, 2007, 01:57 AM
I'm totally ready to jump on the eBook bandwagon, just as soon as they make a compelling looking product. This thing has some great sounding functionalities, but it looks like it stepped out of 1995.

swagi
Nov 19, 2007, 01:58 AM
I personally never saw the point in releasing eBooks. Whenever I get across a .pdf scientific paper, I tend to print it out, if it really is interesting.

Considering the amount of text I can read in a book (which basically shows really sharp contured letters and adequate size - with approx. 1400 dpi), and comparing that to the hassle of scrolling and clicking on my laptop, I'd rather carry the book.

Next thing for me is the DRM-related stuff. You see, I can buy a book, and after I have finished, I can pass it on to a friend. Basically if you do the same with digital data, you are alleged of copyright infringement.

Last but not least, reading a book is a very deep experience (if the author is good). The page flipping movement is so embedded in our spinal cord (due to years of training), that it doesn't distract you. But I think scrolling and page flipping are way a distraction from the plot, as they steal concentration.

arn
Nov 19, 2007, 01:58 AM
Will it be as painful to read on as a computer screen? That's the worst part about ebooks for me. Until there's a good way to read digital text off a surface that isn't backlit and doesn't have blocky res, readers like this will still be a secondary experience to books in every way except convenience.

eInk is supposed to address those issues. Sony's info pages on it: http://products.sel.sony.com/pa/prs/reader_features.html

arn

Leareth
Nov 19, 2007, 02:05 AM
I love books and have over 3,500 of them.
But they are damn inconvenient to carry with me when I go somewhere
I would get a device like this if it worked well and let me read my books.
Once these readers get to the point where they are in color like textbooks then I am getting one for sure... and Apple does not have to make it.

bluebomberman
Nov 19, 2007, 02:06 AM
Not only is the thing ugly looking and shady sounding, the guy on the cover looks creepy.

Maybe so, but Jeff Bezos is a lot richer than you are. (Being the CEO and founder of Amazon.)

I'm definitely interested, but I'm going to stop short of "enamored" until I can see one in action (either in person or through some good quality video - YouTube need not apply).

bdkennedy1
Nov 19, 2007, 02:08 AM
One of the first things people will complain about is battery life. 30 hours isn't that much for all the reading you'll do with this thing. Using e-ink, this should be getting 50 hours.

Project
Nov 19, 2007, 02:08 AM
Will it be as painful to read on as a computer screen? That's the worst part about ebooks for me. Until there's a good way to read digital text off a surface that isn't backlit and doesn't have blocky res, readers like this will still be a secondary experience to books in every way except convenience.

It uses eInk, which is amazingly paper-like

Iroganai
Nov 19, 2007, 02:09 AM
As a researcher who carries around a lot of printed-out PDFs,
I, for one, welcome this e-book overlord...

It'll show PDFs, right ? but I'm afraid the screen is a bit too small. And it's ugly. Might be better to buy sony e-book reader...

MacHipster
Nov 19, 2007, 02:15 AM
It sounds cool, but I like the smell of books. Weird, I know.:o

MAcNIAC
Nov 19, 2007, 02:15 AM
wow they must have put a LOT of effort into making that thing ugly

Leareth
Nov 19, 2007, 02:17 AM
I just found about this ereader http://www.irextechnologies.com/products/iliad but at that price... have to think about it

Prof.
Nov 19, 2007, 02:20 AM
What the hell is a B... Bo...Book? :p

CrackedButter
Nov 19, 2007, 02:21 AM
As long as I can copy and paste off this thing, I'm all for it.

skwoytek
Nov 19, 2007, 02:21 AM
Take away the nice screen... You're left with something from Radio Shack/Tandy in the early '80s. It's horrid.

Blue Velvet
Nov 19, 2007, 02:22 AM
First the MP3 downloads, then this. Regardless of what it looks like, it shows Amazon is thinking and planning ahead to retain core business, and doing its part to shape the publishing industry, which is now looking at a similar situation as the music industry, namely retailers/distributers calling some of the shots instead of publishing houses and editorial teams.

Interesting.

Iroganai
Nov 19, 2007, 02:23 AM
By the way, does it work with a Mac :confused:
Amazon MP3 works for Macs, but Unbox Video service doesn't, right ?

psxndc
Nov 19, 2007, 02:29 AM
It uses eInk, which is amazingly paper-like

*sigh* I really really need to put up a video of my Sony eReader. You can say this until you're blue in the face but until people SEE how different eInk is, everyone will assume it is the same as reading off a laptop - people, it isn't. eInk really does look as good as reading off a book; I swear it does. I understand all of the gripes and handwringing, but readability should not be a concern. And reading off a laptop/PDA isn't even in the same galaxy as eInk.

For the record, I am supporting this reply, but my point is really directed to the OP that asked "is it really any better than reading off a PDA?" or something like that.

-p-

Loge
Nov 19, 2007, 02:29 AM
By the way, does it work with a Mac :confused:
Amazon MP3 works for Macs, but Unbox Video service doesn't, right ?

The idea is that it works without a computer.

If it does a good job of rendering PDFs, then it might be interesting. Does it really need to utilise yet another format?

bigjohn
Nov 19, 2007, 02:37 AM
I don't know, the whole thing seems a little silly to me. I guess if you're just reading something and it's easier for someone to carry this than a whole bunch of books, you're better off. I like to make notes in the margins and sometimes have 2-3 books open at once, not sure if it does that with tabs or something. Also, it'd be swell to have a notepad feature or collaborative tool.

$399 is way too much for a device like this though (anything you can basically do for free shouldn't cost $400). Also, $10 for books is pricey, considering for a few dollars more you can get the audio version and have someone read it to you.

SiliconAddict
Nov 19, 2007, 02:38 AM
I said it before and I will say it again I would give my right *cough* to have Apple come out with an e-book reader. However after the review of the latest Sony E-book reader it is pretty obvious that while the text of e-ink is ready for prime time and is almost if not AS good as printed text....there are still some serious issues with e-ink. Namely flashing the screen every time you change a page or even trverse menus. This wouldn't be a complete deal killer if it was for the fact that at least in Sony's implementation it also takes 2 seconds to flip a page, traverse a menu, change a setting, etc. Again from what I understand this is an issue with e-ink itself at the present time and not simply Sony's implementation.
So I think I know why Apple has maddingly stayed out of this market that is in the EXACT in every way, shape, and form to where the MP3 market was prior to Apple coming onto the scene. Crap designs with too many buttons, and real though in the design, crap software to integrate the hardware to the computer in an easy fashion, crap format support, and realistically crappy book support.

You want to see a grown man soil himself? Have Apple come out with an e-book reader that resolves the above issues along with allowing easy markups and highlighting, team up with ebook.com to allow all those e-books that were sold to god knows how many PDA users to be used on the iReader, integrate ebook.com's inventory into a store in iTMediaStore, convince most of the major publishers to get on board with the ebook train, get some of the more major collages to create ministores in iTMS to allow students to download their text books, and finally allow spotlight indexing of all your books along with the markups. I'd wet myself.....OK maybe not but I'd have to run to the bathroom fast. :p

I'm 100% convinced that its the tech because the concept that Apple wouldn't want to go after a market who's heart and soul IS the education sector is beyond stupid. We all know that Apple targets schools for the Mac. This is beyond a natural fit. It simply is a no brainer. And screw the iPod and Music. Nothing. Absolutely NOTHING is more universal then books. Come on Apple. Wake up and smell the freaking innovation. :(

Tom J
Nov 19, 2007, 02:38 AM
Their trying to make a statement with its design although I'm not sure what that statement is. It really doesn't have that "cool" impact when you first see it. Looks cheap.

Iroganai
Nov 19, 2007, 02:39 AM
The idea is that it works without a computer.
It's OK if you only read ebooks/newspapers/magazines on Amazon, but, I guess I need to upload my PDFs to the reader...

Is it just a USB mass-storage device so I can put the file by drag & drop ?
or do they provide iTunes-like software to manage ebooks ?

pogwilson@ntlwo
Nov 19, 2007, 02:45 AM
This has to be a joke. Not even a GB of internal storage. A black and white low-resolution screen. A piece of plastic that's not remotely sexy. A keyboard! What are they thinking? Haven't they been paying attention? Where's the touch interface, the paper thin HD display, the creative design? Give us a break. To get anyone to read books, journals, newspapers an e-reader must be more desirable than the hard copy. The Mac tablet/Newton touch should walk all over this non-starter.

Oh, yeah - I totally agree with SiliconAddict (whose comments came on line while I was putting mine together); the educational market is EXACTLY where the future is. Apple Inc have to get their tablet/iWhatever right before they release this thing.

pooryou
Nov 19, 2007, 02:49 AM
This thing can't even display color?? Most non-fiction books use a lot of illustrations, which I would expect reproduced in color if paying $400 for a book reader....

rdas7
Nov 19, 2007, 02:50 AM
Would be nice if there was a tie in with iPhone :)

NAG
Nov 19, 2007, 02:50 AM
This will be nice if I can get all the science journals on it. I'd still stick to traditional books for book reading though.

DMann
Nov 19, 2007, 02:51 AM
What does MacWorld have to do with Amazon releasing this? I think the device they speak of from Apple is the rumored tablet, correct?

Just looking forward to the likelihood of a flash-based tablet or sub-notebook with a more streamlined and usable design being released in January.

LOL, fugly. Some of the comments on Engadget are hilarious.

"Who knew Tandy computer was still around"

"Looks like something out of Buck Rogers"

http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/11/amazon-kindle-meet-amazons-e-book-reader/

That is one shabby looking piece of Tandy....

This thing can't even display color?? Most non-fiction books use a lot of illustrations, which I would expect reproduced in color if paying $400 for a book reader....

Absolutely. This will make for a great incentive to spring for an iBooklet when released in January, in a similar way Zune helped to accelerate sales of the iPod touch and iPhone.

Derbus
Nov 19, 2007, 02:52 AM
I'm 100% convinced that its the tech because the concept that Apple wouldn't want to go after a market who's heart and soul IS the education sector is beyond stupid. We all know that Apple targets schools for the Mac. This is beyond a natural fit. It simply is a no brainer. And screw the iPod and Music. Nothing. Absolutely NOTHING is more universal then books. Come on Apple. Wake up and smell the freaking innovation. :(

That's a really good point.
In high school all the computers in my science labs were macs, all my labs went smoothly and I had a blast. I remember Apple being very involved and usual generous with schools (in articles and web clips here and there).

MP3 player start up... iPod...
Ebook player start up... iBooklet?

Loge
Nov 19, 2007, 03:07 AM
It's OK if you only read ebooks/newspapers/magazines on Amazon, but, I guess I need to upload my PDFs to the reader...

Is it just a USB mass-storage device so I can put the file by drag & drop ?
or do they provide iTunes-like software to manage ebooks ?

The early specs suggested a SD card slot so you could put your files on that way. I see no reason why a device such as this would be tied to a particular type of computer or OS.

dannychang
Nov 19, 2007, 03:28 AM
As a researcher who carries around a lot of printed-out PDFs,
I, for one, welcome this e-book overlord...

It'll show PDFs, right ? but I'm afraid the screen is a bit too small. And it's ugly. Might be better to buy sony e-book reader...

oh well..too bad..the sony one doesn't even support MacOS =.=

Zadillo
Nov 19, 2007, 03:32 AM
Here's the thing. Something doesn't become the "iPod" of anything because the company releasing it declares it so.

Can you imagine Apple, upon launching the iPod, claiming it was the "walkman" of digital audio players, or something like that?

If the Kindle achieves the kind of popularity of the iPod, then it will become the "iPod of reading" or whatever, but only then.

-Zadillo

This thing can't even display color?? Most non-fiction books use a lot of illustrations, which I would expect reproduced in color if paying $400 for a book reader....

Electronic ink technology really isn't there yet. This isn't a standard screen. It actually replicates the appearance of printed text on a printed page.

-Zadillo

Absolutely. This will make for a great incentive to spring for an iBooklet when released in January, in a similar way Zune helped to accelerate sales of the iPod touch and iPhone.

Electronic ink is hardly "archaic" technology; and Apple isn't likely to have some supersecret full color e-ink technology coming out any time soon.

Reach
Nov 19, 2007, 03:35 AM
I'll be very pleasantly surprised the day something like this gives me the same experience as reading an actual book. The "feel" is just so important, and I seriously think it takes Apple to achieve it, if anyone can...

And markup-function that is effortless is paramount, I don't think people can even read the books I've been through after all the jotting down, marking and lining I do, and I have to be able to do that in a good way without it being a hassle. The good thing with doing that digitally would be that I could simply turn it on and off, so if I wanted to do a "fresh" read I could remove the previous markup.

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 03:38 AM
Apple Tablet System will cannibalize the sales upon it's release.

Galex
Nov 19, 2007, 03:38 AM
What is a bit strange is that Apple has not already implemented eBooks to their iPod line, at least if we consider the following rumor from July 2006 to be of any value:

Next Apple iPod to do eBooks? (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=218441)

In the original article (published by Engadget), it was said that "according to a source at a major publishing house, they were just ordered to archive all their manuscripts - every single one - and send them over to Apple's Cupertino HQ".

Maybe eBooks is the next big thing to arrive to iPods with the touch interface, although the screen may be too small of course.

/Galex

Zadillo
Nov 19, 2007, 03:38 AM
I'll be very pleasantly surprised the day something like this gives me the same experience as reading an actual book. The "feel" is just so important, and I seriously think it takes Apple to achieve it, if anyone can...

And markup-function that is effortless is paramount, I don't think people can even read the books I've been through after all the jotting down, marking and lining I do, and I have to be able to do that in a good way without it being a hassle. The good thing with doing that digitally would be that I could simply turn it on and off, so if I wanted to do a "fresh" read I could remove the previous markup.

I believe the iRex iLiad has markup/annotation functionality:

http://www.irextechnologies.com/products/iliad

http://www.irextechnologies.com/products/features

bmb012
Nov 19, 2007, 03:39 AM
So is it just me, or is this like wearing digital googles with camera mounts instead of eyeglasses to correct your vision...?

I mean, 400 bucks... you know how many books I could buy with that...?

Or maybe I'm just partial to books because I used to make flip books out of them in class...

Zadillo
Nov 19, 2007, 03:41 AM
So is it just me, or is this like wearing digital googles with camera mounts instead of eyeglasses to correct your vision...?

I mean, 400 bucks... you know how many books I could buy with that...?

Or maybe I'm just partial to books because I used to make flip books out of them in class...

You could also buy a ton of CD's and a walkman for the cost of an iPod; the idea behind an eBook reader is to allow you to have a single device with electronic ink that gives you the experience of reading a book on the printed page, but with the ability to have hundreds of books with you at a time.

This Kindle thing adds another wrinkle by having an EVDO connection to allow you to purchase eBooks directly from the device, with the stated goal seemingly to be that you could eventually access any book ever printed on this thing.

sunfast
Nov 19, 2007, 03:44 AM
Have Apple come out with an e-book reader that resolves the above issues along with allowing easy markups and highlighting, team up with ebook.com to allow all those e-books that were sold to god knows how many PDA users to be used on the iReader, integrate ebook.com's inventory into a store in iTMediaStore, convince most of the major publishers to get on board with the ebook train, get some of the more major collages to create ministores in iTMS to allow students to download their text books, and finally allow spotlight indexing of all your books along with the markups.

Never really thought about eBook readers before but that sounds awesome.

AceWilfong
Nov 19, 2007, 03:44 AM
An object in need of an Ive.

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 03:51 AM
Electronic ink is hardly "archaic" technology; and Apple isn't likely to have some supersecret full color e-ink technology coming out any time soon.

Without high PPI displays the presentation will be degraded considerably.

MikeL
Nov 19, 2007, 03:54 AM
And like all e-book readers before it, it will fail. Why? People don't want to read books on a computer. A big part of a good book is escaping into it.

Cloudane
Nov 19, 2007, 03:56 AM
About time! I wondered when someone would finally do something aimed specifically at eBooks. i.e. screen optimised for it etc.

Snot pretty like, and not sure what to think of the keys going off at angles!

irishgrizzly
Nov 19, 2007, 04:01 AM
And like all e-book readers before it, it will fail. Why? People don't want to read books on a computer. A big part of a good book is escaping into it.

Yeah, nothing beats the smell and feel of a real book.

arkitect
Nov 19, 2007, 04:02 AM
Apple Tablet System will cannibalize the sales upon it's release.

You say that with such a lot of confidence. ;)

Zadillo
Nov 19, 2007, 04:02 AM
Without high PPI displays the presentation will be degraded considerably.

I don't think that's really a big issue. I believe the Sony Reader has something like a 170 ppi display, and I wouldn't describe the display as degraded considerably. I think I read that Sony has described the new PRS-505 eReader as somewhere between newspaper print and a paperback book print, which seems about right to me based on what I saw of it at the SonyStyle store.

-Zadillo

And like all e-book readers before it, it will fail. Why? People don't want to read books on a computer. A big part of a good book is escaping into it.

I don't know, in a pinch I can even escape into something I am reading on a regular computer.

The big benefit I see from e-ink displays is allowing for the replication of something much closer to the printed page, which has always been the biggest thing I've been looking for.

I think I can escape just as easily into something that is in an eBook reader as much as a regular paperback book.

-Zadillo

arkitect
Nov 19, 2007, 04:06 AM
Yeah, nothing beats the smell and feel of a real book.

That is true, and I am not contemplating snuggling infront of the fire with an eBook reader.
But what about research? The possiblities for writers, students etc are wonderful!

I hope it does come to fruition and I hope it is a success.

Sad that most comments are only concerned with how it "looks".
Have some foresight for goodness sake. How about what it just might be able to do?

And who else — when it comes to books — but Amazon can do this? :D

eXan
Nov 19, 2007, 04:09 AM
O M G

It is impossible to make devices UGLIER than this one O_O

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 04:13 AM
You could also buy a ton of CD's and a walkman for the cost of an iPod; the idea behind an eBook reader is to allow you to have a single device with electronic ink that gives you the experience of reading a book on the printed page, but with the ability to have hundreds of books with you at a time.

This Kindle thing adds another wrinkle by having an EVDO connection to allow you to purchase eBooks directly from the device, with the stated goal seemingly to be that you could eventually access any book ever printed on this thing.

I play music in the background. I don't read books in the background. The iPod works of a sense that doesn't need first priority to continue to absorb it: the human ear.

I don't think that's really a big issue. I believe the Sony Reader has something like a 170 ppi display, and I wouldn't describe the display as degraded considerably. I think I read that Sony has described the new PRS-505 eReader as somewhere between newspaper print and a paperback book print, which seems about right to me based on what I saw of it at the SonyStyle store.

-Zadillo

I write publication work at a minimum 600 dpi with 1200 dpi being more standard. 170ppi is considered acceptable because you're lucky if your Operating System UI is running at 100dpi or possibly 120dpi. We've gotten used to displays not being truly easy on the eye for crisp geometric curves because of all the pretty pixelated color patterns and rich color depth.

Zadillo
Nov 19, 2007, 04:16 AM
I play music in the background. I don't read books in the background. The iPod works of a sense that doesn't need first priority to continue to absorb it: the human ear.

Right, I get that.

But again, the ultimate promise of an eBook reader is to allow you to access hundreds of books at any given time from a single slim device, without having to carry an entire library of books with you.

-Zadillo

I write publication work at a minimum 600 dpi with 1200 dpi being more standard. 170ppi is considered acceptable because you're lucky if your Operating System UI is running at 100dpi or possibly 120dpi. We've gotten used to displays not being truly easy on the eye for crisp geometric curves because of all the pretty pixelated color patterns and rich color depth.

Right. All I can judge is what I see with my eyes though; and I think they are getting closer with these e-ink displays; the latest version of the Sony eReader, the PRS-505, looks at least as good to me as the print on a newspaper page.

It seems pretty clear that the technology is not too far away from replicating completely the look of the printed page of a quality book (right now it seems to be on par with some of those cheap paperbacks, etc.).

isoMorpheus
Nov 19, 2007, 04:35 AM
This reminded me of a high school project I did for which I created an invention called iText that as a display store all your heavy and expensive college textbooks. Looks kinda the same too, except it was all touch control.

darklyt
Nov 19, 2007, 04:46 AM
Apple needs to get in on this.. I would absolutely LOVE to be going to grad school in a year with one of these so I have all of my theorems in my bag at all times. Just to have all the theorems in Lang's Algebra, Rudin's Principles of Mathematical Analysis, and Munkre's Topology in one place in my bag, searchable for phrases (to easily find some of those theorems) and editable (to fill in the gaps for some of those theorems) would make an effective version of this wonderful. And if there was a way to easily print out some of the pages of a book or hook it up to a projector? Sound like an educational revolution?

Reading isn't all about mysteries, science fiction or romance novels, it's the backbone of the intellectual society. If it was possible for a person to have access to all of their text books at once (in addition to the other reading), I think we would have taken another huge step as a society on the whole.

The best part is that Apple or Amazon or Sony or whoever ends up leading the market might be able to push the prices of textbooks down, like Apple is battling to do with other forms of entertainment. Maybe to something somewhat reasonable. THAT would be the best part of all perhaps..

MikeL
Nov 19, 2007, 04:47 AM
I don't know, in a pinch I can even escape into something I am reading on a regular computer.

The big benefit I see from e-ink displays is allowing for the replication of something much closer to the printed page, which has always been the biggest thing I've been looking for.

I think I can escape just as easily into something that is in an eBook reader as much as a regular paperback book.

-Zadillo

Really? You'll have WiFi. Where you don't have WiFi, you'll have EVDO. You'll have access to your e-mail and the web. For many of us, those are temptations. To check forums, for instance. Any and all of which runs counter to escaping into a book.

And it'll never feel like a book.

The best part is that Apple or Amazon or Sony or whoever ends up leading the market might be able to push the prices of textbooks down, like Apple is battling to do with other forms of entertainment. Maybe to something somewhat reasonable. THAT would be the best part of all perhaps..

Not gonna happen. I work in education. All of the publishers have e-book solutions, and all of them have business models that maintain or improve their margins. Suprise suprise, eh?

J@ffa
Nov 19, 2007, 04:54 AM
"Would you considering buying Kindle?"

I can has good grammar plz? Kthxbai!

arkitect
Nov 19, 2007, 04:54 AM
Reading isn't all about mysteries, science fiction or romance novels, it's the backbone of the intellectual society. If it was possible for a person to have access to all of their text books at once (in addition to the other reading), I think we would have taken another huge step as a society on the whole.

That is what makes me, personally, excited.

Imagine this hooking up with the British Library or the US Library of Congress?

*faints*:D :D :D

Zadillo
Nov 19, 2007, 05:17 AM
Really? You'll have WiFi. Where you don't have WiFi, you'll have EVDO. You'll have access to your e-mail and the web. For many of us, those are temptations. To check forums, for instance. Any and all of which runs counter to escaping into a book.

And it'll never feel like a book.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the web browsing experience of this device will not be that good; it might be serviceable in a pinch, but I wouldn't expect more than that. Same with reading e-mail on this thing.

Either way, temptation or not, I think an eBook reader's benefits can still make it worthwhile.

And yes, I know it won't feel like a book. It'll feel like an ebook reader. I personally at least am not so hung up on the exact feel of a paperback book (and in fact there are some things I don't like about physical books, such as keeping them open, etc.).

Just because it doesn't feel exactly like a physical book doesn't mean that someone couldn't "escape" into it.

-Zadillo

koobcamuk
Nov 19, 2007, 05:22 AM
Has anyone else commented on how cool it would be to use multitouch to flick through pages as if they were real. I know some websites allow pages to be flicked over...

dernhelm
Nov 19, 2007, 05:38 AM
this is so ugly -.-. oh my god..

how can this relate to iPod??

the Design...the UI.....

the keyboard??? LOL....gosh.....

Yeah - have to agree here. Ugliest cool-device I've ever seen. Amazon has the content, and can sell the books at a loss in order to sell the devices, but the devices are so hideous. Too bad - because I like reading better than listening to books, and the idea of a cheap book in digital form is something I like. Of course the hyper-restrictive DRM is bad, but if the book amounts to the cost of a throw-away paperback, then OK. The unfortunate part is that I wouldn't want to carry that ugly thing around.

How big is it BTW?

i0Nic
Nov 19, 2007, 05:56 AM
I don't know, part of the joy of reading a new book it's the feel of the cover, pages, etc.

I think Ebook Readers are the future of books, it will be how we do most of our reading. However, 'paper' books will still have their place , they will be in very short distribution and expensive, kinda like collector's items. A book you really love you'll buy in paper-back, as an experience rather than the convenience of ab ebook reader.

dicklacara
Nov 19, 2007, 05:58 AM
Here's the thing. Something doesn't become the "iPod" of anything because the company releasing it declares it so.

Can you imagine Apple, upon launching the iPod, claiming it was the "walkman" of digital audio players, or something like that?

If the Kindle achieves the kind of popularity of the iPod, then it will become the "iPod of reading" or whatever, but only then.

-Zadillo

Mmmm.... I wonder if this ZunEbook, er, Kiddie, um, Kiddle, ah, whatever.. will be listed in the Amazon Top 10 Best Sellers?

ergdegdeg
Nov 19, 2007, 06:02 AM
omg, this is so ugly. how can they possibly present such a crappy design?

Project
Nov 19, 2007, 06:16 AM
It's OK if you only read ebooks/newspapers/magazines on Amazon, but, I guess I need to upload my PDFs to the reader...

Is it just a USB mass-storage device so I can put the file by drag & drop ?
or do they provide iTunes-like software to manage ebooks ?

You also get a private Kindle email address where people can forward you PDFs/text files etc and it will download and display them

twoodcc
Nov 19, 2007, 06:19 AM
actually this device does seem kinda cool, but i wouldn't buy it though

bmb012
Nov 19, 2007, 06:31 AM
You could also buy a ton of CD's and a walkman for the cost of an iPod; the idea behind an eBook reader is to allow you to have a single device with electronic ink that gives you the experience of reading a book on the printed page, but with the ability to have hundreds of books with you at a time.

This Kindle thing adds another wrinkle by having an EVDO connection to allow you to purchase eBooks directly from the device, with the stated goal seemingly to be that you could eventually access any book ever printed on this thing.

Well, that's the sort of thinking that allows this device to even be in production, but are the two anything similar?

Putting every single book you own onto one device so you can easily skip among every page and read your favorite chapters in your own order, repeatedly if you desire, doesn't exactly sound like features that would reinvent literate (really the best reason to have a digital catalogue of anything).

Purchasing books from the device itself does sound like a much better selling feature, but don't assume that just because an analog medium exists, it would be better as a digital medium... or that you can shoehorn paradigms so easily across products...

Though, textbooks would definitely be better in digital, but those would probably be better stored on student's laptops than a dedicated device...

Digital Skunk
Nov 19, 2007, 06:33 AM
Just like Sony's eReader.... it will be an overwhelming failure. Just like the Foleo as well. Too little functionality in a package too large; i.e. if I am going to carry that thing around it better do more than just hold books and display pages for me. It better be an ultra mobile PC as well.

If all it can do is read books than Amazon better pull the plug on that thing soon... take a page out of the book of Palm Foleo and save themselves a grip of corporate cash.

And it's ugly.

dicklacara
Nov 19, 2007, 06:33 AM
Right, I get that.

But again, the ultimate promise of an eBook reader is to allow you to access hundreds of books at any given time from a single slim device, without having to carry an entire library of books with you.

-Zadillo

But, it's another device to carry...

One of the biggest attractions of the iPhone was that it combined several devices: phone, iPod, Internet Browser (portable computer); into one, portable device.

Ditch the iPod, Cell Phone, impromptu Camera, Laptop... carry an iPhone-- It doesn't do everything, but it does "enough" 90% of the time.


Personally, I would prefer a somewhat larger size iPhone that:

1) replaces my wallet (ID, Credit Cards, etc).
2) better Camera, VideoCam
3) Open OS X environment
4) eBook reader with annotation*

*There are 3rd-party (free) apps for the iPhone that provide an eBook reader and on-screen drawinging (Sketches).

Like the iPhone, this "somewhat larger device" does not need to be best-in-breed for every function (phone, eBook reader, etc)... just better than most, intuitive, high-quality, fun to use-- eh, Apple-like!

I suspect that Apple will announce such a device in January.

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.
- Henry David Thoreau

Digital Skunk
Nov 19, 2007, 06:39 AM
But, it's another device to carry...

One of the biggest attractions of the iPhone was that it combined several devices: phone, iPod, Internet Browser (portable computer); into one, portable device.

Ditch the iPod, Cell Phone, impromptu Camera, Laptop... carry an iPhone-- It doesn't do everything, but it does "enough" 90% of the time.


Personally, I would prefer a somewhat larger size iPhone that:

1) replaces my wallet (ID, Credit Cards, etc).
2) better Camera, VideoCam
3) Open OS X environment
4) eBook reader with annotation*

*There are 3rd-party (free) apps for the iPhone that provide an eBook reader and on-screen drawinging (Sketches).

Like the iPhone, this "somewhat larger device" does not need to be best-in-breed for every function (phone, eBook reader, etc)... just better than most, intuitive, high-quality, fun to use-- eh, Apple-like!

I suspect that Apple will announce such a device in January.

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.
- Henry David Thoreau

If you want the iPhone to replace your wallet then you must live out in the middle of nowhere. I wouldn't mind having my wallet imbedded into my skin but inside of an iPhone that is slightly bigger than the current model and just as attractive to thieves is a bit of a problem for anyone that lives in a major city.

Some things should just remain separate. And I personally would never consider the iPhone a replacement for a laptop until I can run Adobe CS3 on it. Now carrying the iPhone as a replacement and all-in-one device for my cell, iPod, PDA, and misc. gadget thingy is not bad... but laptop.... nope sorry that's still coming with me.

Slumbercub
Nov 19, 2007, 06:48 AM
Good lord, I never knew it was possible to design such an ugly looking gadget.

On the plus side, I suppose it has some retro appeal, like a late 80s laptop. Who reads ebooks anyway?

deathshrub
Nov 19, 2007, 06:58 AM
Certainly a company the size of Amazon entering a market like this which certainly overlaps some iPhone and/or iPod Touch functionality.

People want an ipod so they buy one of these things? Not following you there:confused:

SciTeach
Nov 19, 2007, 07:03 AM
I'm on the "would rather read a book" bandwagon on this one. I haven't seen an electronic device yet to deliver text that doesn't give me a headache after reading for a couple of hours. The ability to have multiple books to have and choose from sounds cool (NOT in the current style that Amazon is suggesting...ugh:eek:).

dicklacara
Nov 19, 2007, 07:12 AM
If you want the iPhone to replace your wallet then you must live out in the middle of nowhere. I wouldn't mind having my wallet imbedded into my skin but inside of an iPhone that is slightly bigger than the current model and just as attractive to thieves is a bit of a problem for anyone that lives in a major city.

Some things should just remain separate. And I personally would never consider the iPhone a replacement for a laptop until I can run Adobe CS3 on it. Now carrying the iPhone as a replacement and all-in-one device for my cell, iPod, PDA, and misc. gadget thingy is not bad... but laptop.... nope sorry that's still coming with me.


I live in the SF Bay Area.

Here's the scenario:

I go to Barnes & Noble, In-N-Out Burger, Safeway, the gas station, etc...

everywhere I buy something, I have to dig out my wallet, get a credit card, swipe it, enter pin number, accept the, transaction, sign the receipt, show my ID.

I should be able to do that all electronically... from my secure iPhone to the vendor's secure "cash register".

Currently, If I am standing in line & decide I want to pay for something with my ATM debit card, I can go online and check if I have enough in my checking account to cover the transaction. If not, I can transfer money from my savings to checking...

Ironic: I can move the needed money (and much more) around to make it available... but I have to do this 19th-century rain-dance to move the manna from me to the seller.

To replace the wallet assumes a secure iPhone (or, whatever) that cannot be used by anyone else. Done properly, losing the iPhone would be less of a security disaster than losing your wallet.

As to the laptop: There are times when it makes sense to carry a laptop, too.

But for me, most of the time it is extra baggage:

1) Hiking
2) Music/Sports events
3) shopping
4) grandkids Soccer Practice/games
5) yadda, yadda, yadda

"Pretty soon now" you will be able to do CS3 online-- this won't entirely satisfy your needs, but may be good enough to use in a pinch... Maybe one less reason to carry your laptop, case, extra batteries, cables, adapters/chargers everywhere you go.

smooth
Nov 19, 2007, 07:15 AM
This device I think would be great for a truly avid reader. Just like music fans are going digital, going digital for books/magazines makes quite alot of sense.

However, with the Kindle, I guess I don't understand why there's a keyboard. I think if Apple were to make one, they should include a click wheel like the iPod to scroll through the books/magazines in their library and and they could each be bookmarked. Next to the click wheel would be a numerical pad if you wanted to jump to a certain page.

Another needed feature would be the ability to sync to a computer and/or an external hard drive. Like I had said, this would be great for an avid reader who would no doubt have LOTS of material for this device.

For me personally, I am not an avid reader. I only read a couple of magazines and I tend to re-read about a dozen book series every few years. So dishing out a few hundred dollars just doesn't make sense.

Sayer
Nov 19, 2007, 07:22 AM
To quote Perry White from the first Spiderman movie: "Crap, crap crap. ... I'll give you $500 for it."

It's ugly, poorly spec'd, and it will sell - unfortunately. Apple will introduce the eBook Tablet Mac in a year with no buttons and minimalist design and it will be huge, and this clunker will be long forgotten (thankfully).

motulist
Nov 19, 2007, 07:25 AM
Sorry e-book proponents, today's technology isn't even close to making e-books ready for prime time mass appeal. No color, relatively extreme initial investment, no way to make margin notes as well as on print documents, no way to flip through pages with as much effectiveness as print documents, no way to easily (photo)copy portions to share with people, not as durable as print, no way to have different books open to read from at the same time, has a battery limit that makes your books disappear when it runs out, etc. etc. etc.

One day e-books probably will indeed become a product with mass appeal. Today is not that day.

arkitect
Nov 19, 2007, 07:27 AM
One day e-books probably will indeed become a product with mass appeal. Today is not that day.

OK.





But I'm very happy to settle for tomorrow… ;)

P-Worm
Nov 19, 2007, 07:35 AM
This device would be great for engineering students. Some of my textbooks are 1400 pages long! :eek: Imagine if I was able to take this one device instead of 4 back breaking textbooks around - great. The other thing that would be amazing is the ability to quickly search through books. There are many times when I just need a quick definition or a fast equation lookup. Search could cut homework times in half!

P-Worm

motulist
Nov 19, 2007, 07:42 AM
There are many times when I just need a quick definition or a fast equation lookup. Search could cut homework times in half!

But that reasoning doesn't hold water because if you just needs a fast equation lookup or definition then all you need is a web connected device, which are ubiquitous today.

aWannabeMacUser
Nov 19, 2007, 07:46 AM
they want their Knowledge Navigator back!

Almost amazon, almost...

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s175/juanchitoforever/sk54.jpg

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s175/juanchitoforever/amazon_kindle_1118.jpg

And please Jeff, don't try to be Steve. I know he's so cool that everyone wants to be him, but you look quite scary.

EDIT: Gosh, I just realized this is the beginning of Bubble 2.0!

Dagless
Nov 19, 2007, 07:56 AM
I'd buy one if I read books. But I just don't have the time anymore. The only free time I have where I could read is travelling on train or bus, but I get horribly motion sick if I'm looking at a screen or book :o

A nice machine though. I'd probably get my girlfriend one.

Darkroom
Nov 19, 2007, 07:58 AM
Not only is the thing ugly looking and shady sounding, the guy on the cover looks creepy.

personally i like holding onto the actual book, I think that books will go away. Im just not ready to let go just yet ^^;

for serious... this guy looks possessed... creepville.

motulist
Nov 19, 2007, 07:59 AM
they want their Knowledge Navigator back!

Wow! The Knowledge Navigator looks awesome! Now THAT'S a product with mass appeal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGYFEI6uLy0&feature=related

The date in that simulation shows that in 1987 this is what they thought technology would be like in the year 2009. In some ways they were really close! But in many more ways it seems like they were wildly optimistic.

law guy
Nov 19, 2007, 08:21 AM
ebooks - ick. But it's hard to perfect on what is so near a perfect form - portable, no batteries required, dog-eared and thrown in a bag as a paperback, cared for and art in itself as a hardcover.

andiwm2003
Nov 19, 2007, 08:38 AM
if the spec's are true and if the wifi/internet compatibility is good then it's a sure buy for me.

i hope it also has and audible player on it (can't see why not). then you can have all your audiobooks, books, magazines and pdf's in one place.

add a powerpoint viewer, excel viewer, small text editor, google calender and i finally have the PDA i ever wanted.

that means i will give the OLPC XO laptop to my nephew and buy one of those for myself!:)

if it comes true and there is no too hefty monthly fee on it (max ~$10) then i'm sold.

to all who say it's ugly: who cares. after two month of use it's scratched up, full of smudges, "personalized" with stickers and shortcuts written onto it anyway.

greenBabe
Nov 19, 2007, 08:45 AM
I'm not crazy about the form factor, but I could see using this for all my tech books ... rather than constantly dragging them back and forth between the office and the house. For real book reading ... I'm sticking with paper ... call me old fashioned. ;)

nimbuscloud
Nov 19, 2007, 08:49 AM
Apple need to do something like this, but it can't JUST be for eBooks.

Make it a tablet computer that also let you read eBooks. Kinda low powered, but very functional. eBooks could be bought through the iTMS, but also on the iTunes WiFi Store. Not only that, work out deals with Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, etc. to let you buy digital books from their stores...kinda like how you can go to Star Bucks and buy their music.

The eBooks should NOT cost as much as a physical book. For instance, if the physical book is $10, the eBook should be around $6 or $7. You SHOULD be able to let someone borrow an eBook via Bonjour, WiFi, USB, BlueTooth, etc.; but it will be gone from your device until they "give" it back...or better yet, they can put expiration dates on borrowed items. You can set it to let someone borrow a book for a week. Your book would be "gone" or "disabled/invisible" until the expiration date arrives. Then you would have access to your book again and it would be deleted from the borrower's device. You shouldn't be able to make copies of eBooks either.

This device should read PDFs.

You should be able to do presentations with this device.

Also, this device from Apple should probably use *gulp* a stylus. You can write notes on pages and such. If it doesn't use a stylus, I guess typing on it like the iPhone will have to do.

You should be able to get magazine subscriptions via iTunes also for this Apple device. The subscriptions should also be cheaper than physical ones.

This device should be more than just an eBook reader. It should also have Safari built in, iSight for video conferencing, play music and videos (of course), receive email, and other things like the iPhone and iPod Touch.

There should be a version of iWork that works on this device. It should be able to connect to network printers also. Perhaps even iLife could run on it, but I don't know about powerful software like Adobe CS3. That's a bit much. No one would really want to try to run something like that on a slightly limited device. It should be more powerful than an iPhone, but less than a MacBook.

It should have perhaps around a 32GB SSD. 1GB of RAM. It should be as thin as an iPhone, but maybe a 7x5 in. screen.

iChat should also work on this device.

Other applications should be available for this device also. Doctors should be able to use it, moms should be able to use it, people working out should be able to use it. People will find reasons to use it.

The price of this device should be between the top iPhone and the MacBook. Maybe around $599 - $699.

Maybe it could be called iPad, iNote, or just Newton.

:apple:

SciTeach
Nov 19, 2007, 08:51 AM
There are many times when I just need a quick definition or a fast equation lookup. Search could cut homework times in half!


What happen to the days when people actually had to remember equations?

andiwm2003
Nov 19, 2007, 08:57 AM
on their demonstration video on amazon's site they say "no wireless bills" while the guy is using it in an airport. interesting. that could be that you pay a standard subscription fee and then wireless is free everywhere.

the question i still have is how DRM is handled. do i lose all my ebooks when i cancel my subscription? with video's it's not a problem because i watch then only once. but book's you want to keep forever. and technical books or similar you want to use over and over for many years.

dicklacara
Nov 19, 2007, 09:00 AM
Apple need to do something like this, but it can't JUST be for eBooks.

<snip>

The price of this device should be between the top iPhone and the MacBook. Maybe around $599 - $699.

Maybe it could be called iPad, iNote, or just Newton.

:apple:

...call it iDo.

wongulous
Nov 19, 2007, 09:00 AM
I personally never saw the point in releasing eBooks. Whenever I get across a .pdf scientific paper, I tend to print it out, if it really is interesting.

Considering the amount of text I can read in a book (which basically shows really sharp contured letters and adequate size - with approx. 1400 dpi), and comparing that to the hassle of scrolling and clicking on my laptop, I'd rather carry the book.

Next thing for me is the DRM-related stuff. You see, I can buy a book, and after I have finished, I can pass it on to a friend. Basically if you do the same with digital data, you are alleged of copyright infringement.

Last but not least, reading a book is a very deep experience (if the author is good). The page flipping movement is so embedded in our spinal cord (due to years of training), that it doesn't distract you. But I think scrolling and page flipping are way a distraction from the plot, as they steal concentration.

Brilliant response.

Though I see problems with this in every form except that it's (a) more convenient than buying rare books, (b) easier than lugging 80 books, and (c) an improvement on non-E-ink technology like PDAs and tablets... I don't know if I believe in this product faithfully. I don't even know what to think. I'd probably be more surprised if it did become the iPod of eBook readers...

Thinking back, the original iPod was a pretty limited device and I certainly didn't want one. (I mean, I would've taken a free one... but I'd take a free Kindle too so that's not saying much.) But it got multitudes better and more appealing with better design, more storage, more compatibility, many variants to choose from, pictures, games, video, etc etc. Now the iPod is a huge smash and a pop culture icon dominating and reinventing the whole industry. Many nay-sayed and ignored the little 'Pod that could... So who knows what this little device might 'Kindle.'

phonic pol
Nov 19, 2007, 09:08 AM
Pretty cool stuff but I think I'll be sticking with the trusty old paper back for a while. I'm hanging on for electronic paper/ink. That's when it'll all start to get exciting from a book and magazine perspective.

wizard
Nov 19, 2007, 09:12 AM
But, it's another device to carry...

If the cost wasn't so obnoxiously high the fact that it is another device wouldn't be a big problem. That is if Amazon can get enough publishers of magazines on board as I'm always carrying trade related journals around with me. The problem here is the lack of color. The other problem is that my reading of this sort of material is sporadic, on a time available basis, and can be done just as well on a a good high resolution laptop. So I don't see much take up here if you can get your electronic books in a form that can be used on any sort of PC.

The other situation where this device might make sense, again at a reasonable cost, is in education. If it can in any way lower the cost of text books in public schools adoption might take place. Again this leads to students actually carrying less stuff around with them. I've actually seen little kids struggle to handle their book bags, so there is potential here.


One of the biggest attractions of the iPhone was that it combined several devices: phone, iPod, Internet Browser (portable computer); into one, portable device.

Exactly! The only problem with the iPhone is the lack of alternative models. Specifically a model with a larger display.


Ditch the iPod, Cell Phone, impromptu Camera, Laptop... carry an iPhone-- It doesn't do everything, but it does "enough" 90% of the time.

This is why I see the so called smart phone market exploding over the short term. Frankly I see the iPhone as a very early example of a smart phone, at least from the standpoint of consumers, that needs to evolve quickly. IPhones grasp on the smart phone market is not as tight as many would want to believe.


Personally, I would prefer a somewhat larger size iPhone that:

1) replaces my wallet (ID, Credit Cards, etc).
2) better Camera, VideoCam
3) Open OS X environment
4) eBook reader with annotation*

Very close to what I'm looking for, one device to serve them all (or something like that). Notably one of the biggest desires is a much better screen. That is one that is larger and of a higher pixel density.

Your idea that it would be a wallet replacement is not that far off as cell phones are sued for this in Japan from what I understand. To really replace your wallet though it would need to supply a cover or overleaf for drivers license and the occasional "card". The biggest problem here is keeping the device slim.

I'm of the opinion though that an iPhone that totally replaces everything in the pocket will still be too small to act as a book reader. At least for comfortable long term reading. For looking up technical information in PDF's the iPhone could be ideal. I say could because there is no good way to manage your PDF's or other files on the device - it needs a file browser bad. This hints at your mention of a open OS on the device and frankly is the reason I don't have an iPhone at the moment.

Which brings up the issue of cost. Sorry Apple but if I'm going to spend that much money on a small computer, like the iPhone, I need it to do a lot more than you are allowing. Especially when the device is perfectly capable of do what I want but has artificial limitations.


*There are 3rd-party (free) apps for the iPhone that provide an eBook reader and on-screen drawinging (Sketches).

Yeah if you are willing to compromise the iPhone a bit. In any event he screen is still to small for continuous reading. combine that with the fact that Apple has yet to ship a computers most basic and required application, has caused me to skip the iPhone until Apple wises up. By the way this most basic of applications is a file browser.


Like the iPhone, this "somewhat larger device" does not need to be best-in-breed for every function (phone, eBook reader, etc)... just better than most, intuitive, high-quality, fun to use-- eh, Apple-like!

Correct. At the moment though the iPhone is best of the breed. It does look like Android will give it a run for its money. Hopefully Apple will have a number of iPhones out by the time Android hits.


I suspect that Apple will announce such a device in January.

I'm resisting purchasing anything for a few more months. If I can't find the right device for the pocket I might go for an ultra mobile PC. Don't really want to do that but the iPhone is just to limited in its current guise.


Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.
- Henry David Thoreau

Interestingly Apple has been very successful at the simplifying of technical details. The thing is they went to far with the iPhone in my opinion. It is not about the easy to use interface which is very important for the device, it is more about the intentional lack of access. The machine would be much more useful with things like a cover flow based file browser and a few good independent viewing programs. I often have to reference technical details for the equipment I work on, normally either HTML or PDF documents. It is critical that any smart phone I get has the ability to manage and view those documents locally. Apple went off the deep end on this issue if you ask me.

Dave

Kovacs
Nov 19, 2007, 09:16 AM
I just don't get why this is "revolutionary". I have been reading ebooks on my Palm handheld (first an E, then a TX) for two years now and in that time I haved saved tons on paperback books.

It has wifi, downloadable books, SD ram...and in addition to reading books I can surf the web, play music, watch movies, browse photos.

I can look up words in Merriam Websters (or whatever dictionary I prefer to have installed).

What would be interesting for me is a larger screen with better resolution, because a Palm is no good at PDFs. But for fiction and non-fiction books it's brilliant!

Give me an ipod with a slightly larger screen and ereader software! :)

mr.fancypants
Nov 19, 2007, 09:18 AM
Finally, a tacky, plastic device to replace all those awesome books I like having around. Thanks, Amazon!

gifford
Nov 19, 2007, 09:19 AM
my appologies if someone has already said this but, the 'tablet mac' rumor rears its head every time apple are working on another product. It has become an ideal smoke screen for nifty new gadgets. So, by my guess the 'apple eBook' is just round the corner.

It is the next logical product for them.

Also, I would say it has been on the road map for some time, and was one of the reasons for renaming the 'iBook' to 'macBook', guess what an apple made eBook will be called...!

Apple with any sense (and rather than coming out with 'the first' product), would have been waiting for processor speed, screen & technologies to become mature, which is about now.

By the way Apple, if you are reading, please can I have a UI 'guesture' from bottom right corner to left which turns a page please(as if 'thumbing' through real pages).
This guesture can also be used for other applications as a 'forward', 'next' command in browsers etc.
Oh and animate it (obviously!)

And buy your eBooks from iTunes.

chuck in a browser, wifi, usb2. quicktime, audio output, itunes, video output for presentations (maybe) , osx

I would buy one.

phonic pol
Nov 19, 2007, 09:21 AM
Finally, a tacky, plastic device to replace all those awesome books I like having around. Thanks, Amazon!

Nice one! I'm with you on this...

jonharris200
Nov 19, 2007, 09:26 AM
It shows that Amazon don't normally make hardware. Impressive feature set, with no contract either, but it looks awful.

r6girl
Nov 19, 2007, 09:28 AM
i am excited about this ebook reader!

i love to read and i go through books pretty quickly. i started reading ereader ebooks on my palm pda about 8 years ago. i love the idea of having multiple books with me at any time, and being able to download more OTA with this device. and, since i like to be environmentally conscious, i really do like the idea of not killing more trees to make books, newspapers, and magazines (in addition to taking public transportation, walking more, and recycling/composting everything possible, etc.).

i don't think this device has to be pretty. i love my iphone, and am curious to see if an ebook reader app will come out from apple or a 3rd party after february, but reading as much as i do will kill the battery life of my iphone as it is. i don't mind having an extra device to carry around - given its size and weight, it's just like carrying around the one book i'm reading at a given time anyway.

i think ebooks are the future, and i'm willing to get on board with amazon's version of how it should work. this is going on my christmas list, unless i crack and buy one for myself beforehand...

alec
Nov 19, 2007, 09:32 AM
Kids, tired of reading the same ol' boring books in analog form?!?!?

Well, now thanks to Amazon, you get to read the same books, but on a screen!! With technology!!!

$399 Please.

phonic pol
Nov 19, 2007, 09:36 AM
Does it come complete with curly dog eared corners? My books feel better with use. You can tell the good ones on the shelf because they look knackered!

Consultant
Nov 19, 2007, 09:44 AM
eBook
iPod
Internet communicator
Productivity station
Entertainment system
and more...!

It even has a 17" screen!

http://images.apple.com/macbookpro/images/index_ataglance17_20071026.png

Anyway, I understand the e-ink is nice to read and I can't wait for all monitors to have color e-ink with quick refresh rate (maybe 10 years if the technology takes off?), but at this time how many devices do we want to carry around? I am happy to have MBP and iPhone...

kurzz
Nov 19, 2007, 09:44 AM
The should at least ditch that keyboard on it...but then again, I guess there is no e-ink touchscreen yet. It looks like a device from the 80s or 90s.

question fear
Nov 19, 2007, 09:45 AM
I think for the geek set (myself included) this is a cool device, although I can't justify 400 for it on top of my lovely iphone. Plus being the geek that I am I have repurposed an old Palm OS device as an ebook repository. :)

My concern with this device, and in my opinion the reason e-books are a harder sell, is that they are marketed and designed as though they are on the same path as cds/dvds. The thing is, with a CD or DVD, you know up front the purchase of the media is not the entire product; there is an up-front player cost as well. That's why the digital audio player/personal media player market has exploded; you already need a device to make your media work, and you simply eliminate the need for the physical media. it's also an easier jump to go from spending 100 on a portable CD player to spending 300 on an mp3 player that's a quarter of the size.

With books, there's no barrier to entry if you don't have a player or device. They are standalone media. So basically it's the reverse of the cd/dvd issue; Amazon wants us to choose the device to eliminate the physical book, rather than requiring it as a point of entry to using the media. They need to drop the price like a rock to get people interested. I think you'd have an easier time with mass e-book acceptance if the player cost 100.00 and the books were closer to normal price to recoup the loss. It's a hell of a lot easier to sell people on the portability factor when it doesn't cost as much as a PSP/iPhone/Several old PDAs/etc.

wizard
Nov 19, 2007, 09:47 AM
Apple need to do something like this, but it can't JUST be for eBooks.

What you are talking about most people would call a tablet computer. YES APPLE NEEDS O DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!


Make it a tablet computer that also let you read eBooks. Kinda low powered, but very functional. eBooks could be bought through the iTMS, but also on the iTunes WiFi Store. Not only that, work out deals with Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, etc. to let you buy digital books from their stores...kinda like how you can go to Star Bucks and buy their music.

Low powered?? Depends on what you mean. What it can not be though is short on memory. Fortunately Apple seems to understand this with respect to its hand held devices. The device needs at a minimal 32 GB of flash built in with support for user supplied Flash (CF or SDHC). I'd really like to see 64 GB. As to the other measurements of "power" it needs to be as responsive as the current iPhone on a much higher resolution screen.


The eBooks should NOT cost as much as a physical book. For instance, if the physical book is $10, the eBook should be around $6 or $7. You SHOULD be able to let someone borrow an eBook via Bonjour, WiFi, USB, BlueTooth, etc.; but it will be gone from your device until they "give" it back...or better yet, they can put expiration dates on borrowed items.

I agree on the cost issue, getting rid of the paper should dramatically lower the cost of a book. Like wise you have some really great ideas expressed above, I hope somebody in charge is reading.


You can set it to let someone borrow a book for a week. Your book would be "gone" or "disabled/invisible" until the expiration date arrives. Then you would have access to your book again and it would be deleted from the borrower's device. You shouldn't be able to make copies of eBooks either.

Good ideas followed up with bad. There is nothing wrong with copying the books especially to a personal computer ala iTunes.


This device should read PDFs.

You should be able to do presentations with this device.

Just make it an open Mac OS/x platform and we will be all set.


Also, this device from Apple should probably use *gulp* a stylus. You can write notes on pages and such. If it doesn't use a stylus, I guess typing on it like the iPhone will have to do.

Again we agree, but I have a twist here - it should capture the test initially as a bit map. This prevents the distraction of funky character recognition and allows one to illustrate right into a document. Throwing text notes into a document is one thing but that is often only part of communication. Plus many learning processes require the drawing of objects.


You should be able to get magazine subscriptions via iTunes also for this Apple device. The subscriptions should also be cheaper than physical ones.

As long has it has color we will be all set. For technical journals a color LCD display would be very tolerable.


This device should be more than just an eBook reader. It should also have Safari built in, iSight for video conferencing, play music and videos (of course), receive email, and other things like the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Just call it a tablet running MAC OS/X and be done with it. Make it an open device so we can throw stuff like Skype on it and we are all set.


There should be a version of iWork that works on this device. It should be able to connect to network printers also. Perhaps even iLife could run on it, but I don't know about powerful software like Adobe CS3. That's a bit much. No one would really want to try to run something like that on a slightly limited device. It should be more powerful than an iPhone, but less than a MacBook.

The first goal to meet is the ability to run for a long time on battery. IPhone is plenty powerful for a unit its size. A larger screen will require more power but that could very well reside in a GPU. What I don't want is to trade battery life and size for excessive CPU power simply because. Considering the state of multiprocessing it might make more sense to put a dual core processor in the unit running a bit slower than the iPhone.


It should have perhaps around a 32GB SSD. 1GB of RAM. It should be as thin as an iPhone, but maybe a 7x5 in. screen.

RAM is an issue and frankly needs to be sized to minimize the watts dissipated while offering up enough space for the assembled software. It would be nice if Apple could get the key apps to execute in place, that is in a system flash. This would save a lot of RAM space if code segments where executed out of flash. It would also mean that two types of flash would need to be implemented but most systems do this anyways. Again the goal is to minimize power usage by dropping the need for lots of RAM. If Apple could implement the core OS and the larger apps this way we might end up with a very impressive system.

In any event what Apple shouldn't do is trade off a large solid state storage space for other features. The primary goals should be a large high resolution touch screen and lots of flash storage.

iChat should also work on this device.

Other applications should be available for this device also. Doctors should be able to use it, moms should be able to use it, people working out should be able to use it. People will find reasons to use it.

The price of this device should be between the top iPhone and the MacBook. Maybe around $599 - $699.

Way to expensive!!!!!!!!!!!!

This needs to occupy a segment just above the Touch.


Maybe it could be called iPad, iNote, or just Newton.

:apple:
I like NewtonMAXI myself.


Dave

aaarrrgggh
Nov 19, 2007, 09:50 AM
No DRM. Period. Reasonable price ($10 for most of the books is a joke!).

I have several 1,000 page code and reference books I would love to have as an "e-book", but the publishers only offer them as heavily crippled DRM'd files. The DRM prevents me from doing what I can do with a hard copy-- photocopy a page or two, highlight/annotate, and send off to a client.

What Amazon is doing sounds an awful lot like selling free (public domain) content for $2, and selling copyrighted content for about the cost of a hard copy. Oh, and you don't get a subsidized e-book reader either.

Until you have seamless portability content to different devices and platforms, e-books are dead.

Gasu E.
Nov 19, 2007, 09:59 AM
Just to have all the theorems in Lang's Algebra, Rudin's Principles of Mathematical Analysis, and Munkre's Topology in one place in my bag, ...


It's "Munkres", but thank you for triggering some pleasant memories. I took a topology course from Prof. Munkres in the mid 70's ,and we used what must have been the first printing of the first edition of this volume. He was a great professor, and I remember it as one of my favorite courses at the time. I'm pleasantly surprised to learn that it is still in use.

(I also just discovered this book now sells for $100-$130. If that's what college textbooks cost these days, the cost of a $400 reader would barely be noticed.)

dizastor
Nov 19, 2007, 10:00 AM
wow they must have put a LOT of effort into making that thing ugly

Jeff Bezos... or the kindle? either way... I agree.

nimbuscloud
Nov 19, 2007, 10:00 AM
I think it has a be a little more than the iPhone. If this thing is like a mini computer, people might skip the iPhone/iPod Touch for this. Apple would rather you get 2 or them...or all of them.

I think $599 for a device like I described is a steal. Hell, I bought my iPhone for $599, and I thought that was a steal.

Apple could be onto something truly huge if they do this correctly. Imagine the future of books, well...most books, on this device. They can do with books as to what they did with music.

The Kindle isn't going anywhere. It looks like something from the 90's, seriously. Its big, bulky, ugly, and only reads books and newspapers. I'd like it to have more functions than that.
:apple:

crackermac
Nov 19, 2007, 10:01 AM
According to the Engadget review, there is no Wi-Fi. It's all through Sprint's EVDO. There is no montly cost. Amazon picks up the tab.

TimTheEnchanter
Nov 19, 2007, 10:06 AM
The only way I see this being successful is if it sells for $99. The books and media you'll purchase will also have to be very inexpensive, much cheaper than it's "printed" counterpart since it cuts-out paper, printing, shipping and retail space & staffing.

Really, I see 3 mass-markets at play here: the home-user, education and business.

HOME MARKET:
Such a device needs to be designed as "low-tech" as possible since it's replacing the "lowest-tech" medium. People that read books, magazines and newspapers have a tangible connection to reading. The feel of paper, turning of pages, dog-ear page corners, highlighting and other things are non-tech interaction. We're surrounded by technology in our day, so when it comes down to relaxing and reaching for your book, another digital device is not really what I want to "interact" with.

EDUCATION & BUSINESS markets are where this device could take off. It's much more preferred by these groups to use a high-tech device for low-tech tasks. As someone else pointed out, to carry all your textbooks in one device with search-ability is perfect. Textbooks can be updated and revised with ease. Business could also be a big for training, manuals and such, but for wide-spread use it'll have to be low-cost.

For all 3 markets this device needs to be more than affordable, otherwise you're crossing into laptop market, plus the ultra-portables & tablets looming on the horizon. This device needs only to serve it's one purpose, TEXT, and it needs to inexpensive enough to justify it's purchase over multi-functional ultras & tablets. However, the biggest selling point is the reduction of paper-use and it being a "green" product. The timing for this couldn't be better and will play no small part to it's success, but price always trumps "eco" in consumer's buying decisions. In the life of this device, will this save me money over what I'm buying now?

I'll be very disappointed if it sells more than $99. It's why every similar device before it has failed. Don't compare this to the iPod and music, not the same. Music is high-tech, thats why people pay big money for iPods, home and car stereos. Text is low-tech, reading is intimate and personal. While there's room for this functionality in higher-tech devices, an ebook reader itself will always be viewed as low-tech no matter what you put into it. It's the digital equivalent to paper and ink which is about as basic as you can get.

IMHO,
TTE :)

phytonix
Nov 19, 2007, 10:12 AM
It looks like it is from early 90s.

Consultant
Nov 19, 2007, 10:13 AM
Jeff Bezos... or the kindle? either way... I agree.

LOL. Yup.

Q: How many buttons do you need to read an amazon ebook?
A: Apparently more than 50! :eek:

In other notes, another publication reports "Zinio, a company specializing in online publishing, is now offering free online editions of popular magazines for users of the iPhone or the iPod touch. Titles include the likes of American Photo, Car & Driver, NME, Popular Mechanics and Playboy." http://www.zinio.com/iphone

QuarterSwede
Nov 19, 2007, 10:16 AM
As a professor in one of my future of tech classes said, "paper books will never die." Nothing can replace the feel of turning the page or flipping through them. There just isn't much to be gained by going to an eBook.

Kovacs
Nov 19, 2007, 10:20 AM
As a professor in one of my future of tech classes said, "paper books will never die." Nothing can replace the feel of turning the page or flipping through them. There just isn't much to be gained by going to an eBook.

This is simply a tautology. Nobody thought phones would become popular either.

Many posters have already said they have switched to a digital ebook format already in some way or another.

What bothers me is basically that they are trying to make books look like, well, books, in a different medium. They need to innovate slightly more IMHO. Do something with books that can't be done today.

The ability to download books, have many books on one device, long lasting battery, wifi capabilities etc already exist in many devices today so there's no innovation in simply making yet another of those gadgets. There's something "else" that needs to come into the mix.

tkidBOSTON
Nov 19, 2007, 10:23 AM
Okay, since this thread is bound to go the way of the 500 thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=500), let me just go on record saying I can see this product being a huge hit and I believe it will be revolutionary! :)

I do wish it was a bit less pricey though!

nimbuscloud
Nov 19, 2007, 10:25 AM
I prefer audiobooks so I can listen to while working out and such. I don't have as much time to read a bunch of books.

The Kindle is an ok idea, but it's only black and white. Most books that I buy has diagram pictures in it also. The Kindle looks about 10 years too late. And if Apple releases something like it in January, the Kindle will be an afterthought.

I looked at a video of the Kindle. It looks ok while holding and walking. I can totally imagine something like that on college campuses...but from Apple. The Kindle has a small screen, and you can't do much else with it.

:apple:

groovebuster
Nov 19, 2007, 10:29 AM
It looks like it is from early 90s.

Actually more like mid 80's!

The bottom-line: Uckin' fugly!

;-)

groovebuster

nimbuscloud
Nov 19, 2007, 10:43 AM
Actually more like mid 80's!

The bottom-line: Uckin' fugly!

;-)

groovebuster

Well, I was trying to be nice lol.

It's not that bad considering Amazon knows jack about designing hardware, they could have at least asked another company to make it for them.

I think the idea is nice...if that device was $99. It's not worth PS3, iPhone, Eee PC money.

:apple:

gifford
Nov 19, 2007, 10:44 AM
I have only just had a look at it, its hideous and what a waste of space. Every square millimeter should be taken up by oled/eink/lcd (or whatever) screen.

Simplicity is the key to this devices success more than any other product.

Unspeaked
Nov 19, 2007, 10:45 AM
Okay, since this thread is bound to go the way of the 500 thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=500), let me just go on record saying I can see this product being a huge hit and I believe it will be revolutionary! :)

I do wish it was a bit less pricey though!


I agree with both points.

This is a lot bigger than some members are giving it credit for.

The same types of comments people are making against the Kindle are almost exactly the same arguments that were made against the iPod.

Granted, the eBook market is a little smaller than the MP3 market, but it still has a lot of potential.

And as a few people have noted in previous posts, what's the big deal if it's the ugliest device in the world? You're not buying it to wear around your neck, you're buying to it read eBooks!

Warbrain
Nov 19, 2007, 10:46 AM
I have only just had a look at it, its hideous and what a waste of space. Every square millimeter should be taken up by oled/eink/lcd (or whatever) screen.

Simplicity is the key to this devices success more than any other product.

But by making the entire thing covered by a screen, it makes it less simple. Remember, this isn't Apple we're talking about here where they can make a more useable device with a much larger screen.

But yea, I expect this thing to fall flat on its face and fast.

asphalt-proof
Nov 19, 2007, 10:48 AM
I said it before and I will say it again I would give my right *cough* to have Apple come out with an e-book reader. However after the review of the latest Sony E-book reader it is pretty obvious that while the text of e-ink is ready for prime time and is almost if not AS good as printed text....there are still some serious issues with e-ink. Namely flashing the screen every time you change a page or even trverse menus. This wouldn't be a complete deal killer if it was for the fact that at least in Sony's implementation it also takes 2 seconds to flip a page, traverse a menu, change a setting, etc. Again from what I understand this is an issue with e-ink itself at the present time and not simply Sony's implementation.
So I think I know why Apple has maddingly stayed out of this market that is in the EXACT in every way, shape, and form to where the MP3 market was prior to Apple coming onto the scene. Crap designs with too many buttons, and real though in the design, crap software to integrate the hardware to the computer in an easy fashion, crap format support, and realistically crappy book support.

You want to see a grown man soil himself? Have Apple come out with an e-book reader that resolves the above issues along with allowing easy markups and highlighting, team up with ebook.com to allow all those e-books that were sold to god knows how many PDA users to be used on the iReader, integrate ebook.com's inventory into a store in iTMediaStore, convince most of the major publishers to get on board with the ebook train, get some of the more major collages to create ministores in iTMS to allow students to download their text books, and finally allow spotlight indexing of all your books along with the markups. I'd wet myself.....OK maybe not but I'd have to run to the bathroom fast. :p

I'm 100% convinced that its the tech because the concept that Apple wouldn't want to go after a market who's heart and soul IS the education sector is beyond stupid. We all know that Apple targets schools for the Mac. This is beyond a natural fit. It simply is a no brainer. And screw the iPod and Music. Nothing. Absolutely NOTHING is more universal then books. Come on Apple. Wake up and smell the freaking innovation. :(

I hate to be a me-too kind of person because it adds little the discussion but you really hit this on the head. There is just so much marketing opportunity here it just smells of money. E-books, iTunes, intarweb, and email (basically an iPhone without the phone and a MUCH larger screen) and you have the tablet computer that will sell. Not a big market for people to do serious computer work on a tablet, but a huge consumer market for a tablet that does basic things people like/want to do on the go.
However, Amazon is really in a better position than Apple here when it comes to books in my opinion unless there is an ebook store integrated into iTunes. It really does fit into their media strategy. The interesting obstacle is if the e-ink screen tech will allow multi-media as well. If so, then being able to carry your songs, tv epis, movies AND books, magazines, pdfs, emails, and the web in one 10"screen would be a serious contender for gadget of the century.

Unspeaked
Nov 19, 2007, 10:54 AM
So, now that we have official spec's, here's what's really good (great, even) about the device:

• No computer, cables or syncing are needed to purchase content.

• After a book is purchased, it is auto-delivered wirelessly in less than one minute.

• Kindle provides free book samples. A user can read first chapters for free before deciding to buy.

• U.S. newspapers include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post; magazines include TIME, The Atlantic, and Forbes. International newspapers from France, Germany, and Ireland are available, including, Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and The Irish Times.

• Kindle weighs 10.3 ounces.

• Kindle utilizes the same high-speed data network (EVDO) as advanced cell phones—it does not use WiFi or require the user to find a WiFi hotspot

• There are no monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments for the wireless service.

• The user can email Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .BMP, .PNG, .GIF) to Kindle.

princigalli
Nov 19, 2007, 10:55 AM
Good idea, but why make it so ugly? This white thing looks like a medical device! Why that big ugly keyboard?

supermacdesign
Nov 19, 2007, 10:55 AM
I thought Jeff and Steve were friends. One would think just because Jeff would have his design staff run it by the apple design staff just form some pointers/thoughts. What an ugly pile of dated looking tech.

nimbuscloud
Nov 19, 2007, 10:55 AM
Apple shouldn't do E-Ink.

Its nice, but everything else on the device would be crappy and old looking.
They have to make a way that they screen can contrast correctly for reading. Simple as that. I don't expect to be outside reading much. Hell, I don't see many people that go outside to read. But it would be good if there was some level of outside readability on this fantasy Apple device that we are creating. :o

:apple:

ChrisA
Nov 19, 2007, 10:56 AM
Yes the device itself is ugly. But it may sell because there is NO MONTHLY FEE.

There are likely lots of people like who'd buy an iPhone except that you have to agree to pay something like $2,000 to a phone company. Here with this new gadget they have removed that major problem.

One more case of some big powerful company turning the cell phone business upside down. This can only be a good thing.

Question: Is this the first cell phone that doers not do voice?

romix12
Nov 19, 2007, 10:59 AM
Glanced through the Kindle documentation.

As far as I could see, no support for PDF.

Furthermore all YOUR own content (docs, pdfs, email messages) that you want to install on your Kindle will have to go through Amazon for conversion (for a small fee) and transmission via Whispernet.
Great, Amazon having access to all the stuff (apart from MP3's) I want on MY Kindle.

It gets worse, the device sends home all sorts of information about your use of your Kindle. From the terms of service:

<ToS>
Information Received. The Device Software will provide Amazon with data about your Device and its interaction with the Service (such as available memory, up-time, log files and signal strength) and information related to the content on your Device and your use of it (such as automatic bookmarking of the last page read and content deletions from the Device). Annotations, bookmarks, notes, highlights, or similar markings you make in your Device are backed up through the Service. Information we receive is subject to the Amazon.com Privacy Notice.
</ToS>

Mind you, it says such as, which means they may collect much more.
What do they/can they do with the data, well read Amazon's privacy policy. Does not make me happy.

Some aspects of the Kindle are great, but the above will prevent me from getting one.

Better start saving for an iRex (8" 1024x768 screen, pen input on screen), potentially great device, however painstakingly slow in its current form. Not only up to 2 seconds to turn page, but screen can not keep up with handwriting at all.
Or wait for Apple to enter the arena. But remember, eInk still is fairly expensive and slow, Apple won't change that.

gifford
Nov 19, 2007, 11:01 AM
Granted, the eBook market is a little smaller than the MP3 market, but it still has a lot of potential.

!



I'm not sure, every magazine, newspaper, book publisher of the traditional world... and even some of the 'new' txt based companies like the theregister , cnet, cnn to name a few. Many many companies can sell publication through this new business model. If I had a large wad of cash I would be buying up shares of some of the struggling magazines. this could turn the whole industry arround.

I dont know what the total sum of this devices potential market is, but my guestimate would put it over the mp3 market in terms of content sold.
People buy music every now and then. People subscribe to magazines. Buy newspapers on a daily basis etc

arn
Nov 19, 2007, 11:02 AM
Glanced through the Kindle documentation.

As far as I could see, no support for PDF.


According to this:
http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/19/many-details-about-the-kindle/

It uses the Kindle file format (which is a variant of structured HTML), but also accepts Word and PDF files (but only via email since they need to be converted by Amazon), Mobi, HTML, plaintext, and image files like JPEG, GIF, and PNG. Sorry, no RTF.

I think it looks good overall. No wireless fee, but the reason is now clear. everything you use the EVDO is to buy items from Amazon. So Amazon subsidizes the evdo cost so you will buy more items.

I don't believe you can browse the web freely with it.

However, it does seem like there is a definite target group that it fits with. I could see a lot of the less-tech-savy folk being really interested in this. $399 one time fee, can "subscribe" to many magazines and web blogs. Even at a fee, that is more appealing than somehow trying to get a wireless plan/iphone or equivalent device. This has the appeal that it "just works".

arn

arkitect
Nov 19, 2007, 11:04 AM
This is a lot bigger than some members are giving it credit for.

The same types of comments people are making against the Kindle are almost exactly the same arguments that were made against the iPod.


But you see, it is not made by :apple:… and that alone is enough to condemn it in the eyes of the fan boys… I mean, just read some of the personal comments about Jeff Bezos… :rolleyes:

Just because it isn't Steve Jobs lurking on the front cover of Newsweek looking his usual shifty self… ;)

All the while missing the point: If this works it could really be big.

asphalt-proof
Nov 19, 2007, 11:04 AM
Right, I get that.

But again, the ultimate promise of an eBook reader is to allow you to access hundreds of books at any given time from a single slim device, without having to carry an entire library of books with you.

-Zadillo

I think the difference though is that people tend to listen to songs multiple times thus having a library of songs at your fingertips makes sense. However, people do not tend to read books over and over again and thus would have no need to carry their library of books with them. They read it once, then leave it behind. 1-2 books maybe for a commute, 2-3 maybe more for a trip or vacation. And let's face it, people who read on a regular basis are becoming fewer and far between. For students and researchers, yes, this would be great... especially for those doing theses or dissertations.
Really, the advantage to a standalone ebook reader is that will occasionally save you space in your bookbag/briefcase.

Mulyahnto
Nov 19, 2007, 11:06 AM
...That thing is ugly. If it were thinner, better designed, less ugly and have PDA capabilities I might consider buying it.

arkitect
Nov 19, 2007, 11:07 AM
And let's face it, people who read on a regular basis are becoming fewer and far between.

Speak for yourself… :p ;)

wronski
Nov 19, 2007, 11:10 AM
Can all of you that are calling it ugly explain why?

roland.g
Nov 19, 2007, 11:12 AM
a $400 book!
did they say a $400 book.
no wait, a lot a books for a long time for $400.
yeah, still a $400 book, plus $10 a book.

Who's going to buy a $400 book?

Maybe I'm not getting something here. There's a market for $400 books.

gifford
Nov 19, 2007, 11:15 AM
Can all of you that are calling it ugly explain why?

angles that remind me of a 70's sports car. complete waste of space.
It simply lacks style, and looks like a plastic enclosure to house some circuitry. which ofcourse it is, but i dnt want to be reminded of how souless my potential device is.

arn
Nov 19, 2007, 11:15 AM
I don't believe you can browse the web freely with it.

I'm wrong, Gizmodo says there is a basic web browser:
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/amazon-kindle-answers/amazon-kindle-hands+on-and-questions-answered-gallery-324375.php

something called "Basic Web" browsing is available in the "Experimental" section of the menu, along with "Play Music" and "Ask Kindle NowNow."

akadmon
Nov 19, 2007, 11:17 AM
Nice idea, but an ugly design.

Amazon and Apple should get together on this. Between Amazon's huge base of titles (and their "network" - whatever it is) and Apple's superior design capabilities, this could be a real hit.

The ideal design needs a touch interface, should have a color display (e-ink based, not LCD) and an ability to run a full web browser. And oh, the price should be under $300. When this happens I'm getting one. Until then I'm sticking with my PDA for eBooks.

gifford
Nov 19, 2007, 11:18 AM
a $400 book!
did they say a $400 book.
no wait, a lot a books for a long time for $400.
yeah, still a $400 book, plus $10 a book.

Who's going to buy a $400 book?

Maybe I'm not getting something here. There's a market for $400 books.

yeah, i want one.
the books i read cost $60 a pop, if I can buy them in E format and save a significant portion of my purchase, the iBook (which im now calling it even if Apple dont) will eventualy save me money.

citi
Nov 19, 2007, 11:19 AM
a $400 book!
did they say a $400 book.
no wait, a lot a books for a long time for $400.
yeah, still a $400 book, plus $10 a book.

Who's going to buy a $400 book?

Maybe I'm not getting something here. There's a market for $400 books.

If they are smart, the will give you 200$ in credit towards book purchases.

Unspeaked
Nov 19, 2007, 11:20 AM
All the while missing the point: If this works it could really be big.

I totally agree; in fact, as the morning drags on, this reminds me more and more of the iPod launch.

Instead of Apple taking an exciting new piece of technology and appropriating it for the masses on a new device, making strides against established market competitors like Creative and Rio...

...we have Amazon taking a new piece of technology and appropriating it for the masses on a new device, making strides against established market competitors like Sony.

Both technologies had been around for a while but hadn't lived up to their potential. Both new pieces of hardware found their fair share of admirers and critics. Both were the brainchild of CEOs will very hands on approaches to management and proven track records.

But one of the most important aspects of the Kindle that didn't really apply to Apple is that it's a logical extension of the Amazon brand. This isn't Apple entering a new market, this is Amazon taking the next step in the book distribution model that they themselves revolutionized a decade ago...

fregedegpo
Nov 19, 2007, 11:21 AM
First of all... ugly, really really ugly.

Second of all... at 400 smackers you would have to be really really stupid to buy this. It's as large as a real book, just bring the real book with you.

I can see this having a very small market, infinitesimal actually: some folks that need to cart many books around at all times might like this, but they might prefer to just have a laptop with them.

Third of all, to those who say it's good for the environment because saving trees... look at all that plastic! And the new draw on electricity.

Sux.

Unspeaked
Nov 19, 2007, 11:26 AM
yeah, i want one.
the books i read cost $60 a pop, if I can buy them in E format and save a significant portion of my purchase, the iBook (which im now calling it even if Apple dont) will eventualy save me money.

Yeah, this is a really good point that most people are glossing over... unlike what we've seen thus far with audio and video files, Amazon seems to be offering some very significant savings on the list price of books. A flat rate of $9.99 for books that usually go for over $20 is a much better buy than a full album download on iTunes that only costs a buck or two less than the hard copy at BestBuy.



If they are smart, the will give you 200$ in credit towards book purchases.

Maybe when Apple starts giving a $200 credit at the iTMS with the purchase of an iPod, they'll consider it. Until then, I think the free wireless access and chapter previews are a very nice bonus...

DaBrain
Nov 19, 2007, 11:26 AM
before anyone says that this isn't apple related... let me cut you off.

I think this is very interesting and affects Apple. Certainly a company the size of Amazon entering a market like this which certainly overlaps some iPhone and/or iPod Touch functionality.

Also, there's talk of Apple going into the mini-tablet market in some form or another.

Based on the early description of the Amazon service, I think it's a potentially compelling solution. Wireless everywhere, downloadable books and web. Service charge remains an unknown.

arn

According to Amazon there are no monthly fees for the 3G wireless connection.

Teddy's
Nov 19, 2007, 11:27 AM
It is just a weird Palm, that is all.

Unspeaked
Nov 19, 2007, 11:29 AM
First of all... ugly, really really ugly.

Second of all... at 400 smackers you would have to be really really stupid to buy this. It's as large as a real book, just bring the real book with you.

I can see this having a very small market, infinitesimal actually: some folks that need to cart many books around at all times might like this, but they might prefer to just have a laptop with them.

Sux.


First of all... ugly, really really ugly.

Second of all... at 500 smackers you would have to be really really stupid to buy this. It's as large as a discman, just bring the real CD with you.

I can see this having a very small market, infinitesimal actually: some folks that need to cart many CDs around at all times might like this, but they might prefer to just have a laptop with them.

Sux.

It's 2001 all over again...

Mike Teezie
Nov 19, 2007, 11:30 AM
All I know is, this thread has opened my eyes to the concepts of what an eBook reader could be.

Some amazing sounding ideas were presented, and it makes me think I would snap one of these up if Apple made one.

The Kindle is a bit pricey, not to mention butt-ugly. It probably needs to be fairly sexy to sell, like the iPod. The fact that there's no monthly fee for constant connectivity is awesome.

techmonkey
Nov 19, 2007, 11:30 AM
Does this thing read PDFs? Amazons page only states Word and image documents.

bit density
Nov 19, 2007, 11:32 AM
This is simply a tautology. Nobody thought phones would become popular either.



You are correct in thinking that the argument is incorrect. But the correct term is sophistry not tautology...

sophistry |ˈsäfəstrē|
noun ( pl. -ries)
the use of fallacious arguments, esp. with the intention of deceiving.
• a fallacious argument.

tautology |tôˈtäləjē|
noun ( pl. -gies)
the saying of the same thing twice in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style (e.g., they arrived one after the other in succession).
• a phrase or expression in which the same thing is said twice in different words.
• Logic a statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form.

Or you could simply state...

Nope, that is patently wrong, they thought nobody would use phones either... Or you could accuse them of being a Luddite, or having Luddite behavior.

But me, I think they got more right than wrong with this device, and I am a version 2 buyer. (Apple has trained me well).

DaBrain
Nov 19, 2007, 11:32 AM
It sounds cool, but I like the smell of books. Weird, I know.:o

Perhaps the next version will have an optional new book spray--))) :eek:

gifford
Nov 19, 2007, 11:34 AM
one last post on the subject before i go make myself dinner...

I dont want E-ink, i have no reason to write on my iBook. The only market i can see Eink to be essential in is the education market.

But for the average user, writing with a pen is something that people just think they want, but when they get it, its awkward, and slower than typing... so whats the point.

Say no to E-ink. just a hi res lcd screen please Apple, and a on screen qwerty keyboard.

I had a competition with friends the other day, writing with various input devices. the pen driven miniature qwerty of my SE p9901 was extremely fast. and definately faster than my handwriting.

DaBrain
Nov 19, 2007, 11:34 AM
By the way, does it work with a Mac :confused:
Amazon MP3 works for Macs, but Unbox Video service doesn't, right ?

Amazon states this works with both Windoze and MAC's! :)

Unspeaked
Nov 19, 2007, 11:35 AM
Speak for yourself… :p ;)

Well, it just so happens that this headline is making the rounds this morning...

Americans Reading Less (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ikcf3Iq9HqsQTzx1PU11AJ3LWy3wD8T0I0180)

Wonder if it's coincidence?

;)

Unspeaked
Nov 19, 2007, 11:37 AM
one last post on the subject before i go make myself dinner...

I dont want E-ink, i have no reason to write on my iBook. The only market i can see Eink to be essential in is the education market.

But for the average user, writing with a pen is something that people just think they want, but when they get it, its awkward, and slower than typing... so whats the point.

Say no to E-ink. just a hi res lcd screen please Apple, and a on screen qwerty keyboard.

I had a competition with friends the other day, writing with various input devices. the pen driven miniature qwerty of my SE p9901 was extremely fast. and definately faster than my handwriting.

Something tells me you midunderstand what eInk is, exactly...

Bonte
Nov 19, 2007, 11:40 AM
An iPod touch like device with a bigger screen would be much better than this half baked product. Apple can own the eBook market, imagine the possibility's if the (i)device is hooked up to Google book search and iTunes. :)

gifford
Nov 19, 2007, 11:40 AM
Something tells me you midunderstand what eInk is, exactly...

As far as im aware, it is BW hi res pen input screen with lower power consumption.

Am i wrong???

ibwb
Nov 19, 2007, 11:41 AM
I totally agree; in fact, as the morning drags on, this reminds me more and more of the iPod launch.

Instead of Apple taking an exciting new piece of technology and appropriating it for the masses on a new device, making strides against established market competitors like Creative and Rio...

...we have Amazon taking a new piece of technology and appropriating it for the masses on a new device, making strides against established market competitors like Sony.

Both technologies had been around for a while but hadn't lived up to their potential. Both new pieces of hardware found their fair share of admirers and critics. Both were the brainchild of CEOs will very hands on approaches to management and proven track records.

But one of the most important aspects of the Kindle that didn't really apply to Apple is that it's a logical extension of the Amazon brand. This isn't Apple entering a new market, this is Amazon taking the next step in the book distribution model that they themselves revolutionized a decade ago...

But the difference is that Amazon is making the mistake that the iPod didn't make -- doing too much too fast. With the iPod, Apple spent years of development and multiple hardware revisions ignoring calls for wireless, PDA functions, and even color screens at first, focused on perfecting the basic function of accessing your music. One look at this device and it's clear that the designers have already deluded themselves into thinking that they've got the book-reading part down and are ready to move on to extra features.

Just look at the keyboard and think for a second -- we're trying to emulate the experience of a book, something which has only two or three verbs associated with it, and now our device has dozens of buttons. How did we get from simple concepts like "open book, turn page, set bookmark, close book" to dozens of buttons? And don't tell me that these simple concepts have been figured out already. Making the simple things simple is the hard part.

Popeye206
Nov 19, 2007, 11:43 AM
I saw this on the news this morning. I'm not impressed. The design is clunky and very 80's. If they were to learn anything from Apple... sexy products sell. This is not sexy.

With that said, I think the bigger problem is price and usability. Why would I buy this for $400 when I can read a digital book on my laptop? Or just buy the bok for goodness sakes. It's not like with Music where having all your music in one place and very portable makes a huge difference. I think some people will just not like the feel of reading from a screen too. I think the product has to be cheaper, sexier and a color display (from what I could see it's B&W). Plus all the goofy keys need to go.

Digital books have not caught on yet... and I don't see this as a revolutionary product that will make it happen yet.

manosaurus
Nov 19, 2007, 11:48 AM
Geez! I really am dumbfounded that companies can put out products that, despite whatever usefulness they might have, they truly are dated looking and, well, ugly. Isn't there anybody screening these things before they go out? Somehow this ugly bastard just slipped through I guess.

jhande
Nov 19, 2007, 11:51 AM
Just like Sony's eReader.... it will be an overwhelming failure. Just like the Foleo as well. Too little functionality in a package too large; i.e. if I am going to carry that thing around it better do more than just hold books and display pages for me. It better be an ultra mobile PC as well.

If all it can do is read books than Amazon better pull the plug on that thing soon... take a page out of the book of Palm Foleo and save themselves a grip of corporate cash.

And it's ugly.

Hm, have to disagree with the Sony Reader = Foleo comment. The reader does one thing, and does it well.

Agree with the looks comment, though.

EricNau
Nov 19, 2007, 11:51 AM
It's ugly and overpriced, plus the books are expensive.

...Yeah, it's doomed.

kingtj
Nov 19, 2007, 11:52 AM
Nah, I could be completely wrong here - but I'm going to bet this one is generally regarded as a "flop", within 1 year from now.

The service itself might have more potential.... I think there's absolutely a market for electronic downloads of newly released books and magazines. If Apple was smart, they'd add this capability to iTunes, and incorporate a decent book reader with the iPod Touch and iPhone. Let you purchase e-books over wi-fi or EDGE network for them.

But "single purpose" electronic devices this large went out with the 1980's, more or less. Today, the goal is incorporating things people want in portable devices, all in ONE box. A cellphone is the most logical place for it all to come together, since it's useful enough that you're probably carrying it with you everyplace already. An ultraportable tablet PC type of device could work too, but only if it's a fully-functional "notebook computer substitute".

The electronic ink technology used in the screen is a plus, and related to that is the relatively long battery life. STILL, my guess is, that's not quite enough to make this hardware a "hit" with the public. As soon as I lug around some piece of electronics the size of a book, I start wondering if I can "surf the web" with it, "check my email" from it, "play a quick game on it", and more.


It will be the iPod/iTMS for intellectuals.

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 11:54 AM
So, now that we have official spec's, here's what's really good (great, even) about the device:

No computer, cables or syncing are needed to purchase content.
After a book is purchased, it is auto-delivered wirelessly in less than one minute.
Kindle provides free book samples. A user can read first chapters for free before deciding to buy.
U.S. newspapers include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post; magazines include TIME, The Atlantic, and Forbes. International newspapers from France, Germany, and Ireland are available, including, Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and The Irish Times.
Kindle weighs 10.3 ounces.
Kindle utilizes the same high-speed data network (EVDO) as advanced cell phones—it does not use WiFi or require the user to find a WiFi hotspot
There are no monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments for the wireless service.
The user can email Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .BMP, .PNG, .GIF) to Kindle.


Newspapers: How much time do you have in transit that allows one to read the Times? This market is already owned by these papers via the rail systems in print. I can see the cost savings in print distribution savings by not having to publish and distribute around the globe: you can just have this readily available via the backbone. Having them available isn't that much of an incentive. We already can subscribe to this information via the Web and people won't read off this device from their home. They'll use their computer and it's massive display or just sit down and read the paper with their beverage of choice. Music Players since the Walkman original have been successful because one can multi-task, in transit, without their sense of perception being impaired. This device is an extremely nitch product.
This means subsidized in a joint venture with Microsoft.
How is this better than WiFi hotspots?

I don't use EVDO and I sure as hell don't want to up my cell plan to invest in a new phone with that plan. WiFi hotspots are at every cafe run by Starbucks.
Hell I've got hotspots at my local Mom and Pop Laundry shop in Spokane, WA. I've got probably 10 different local coffee chains that offer free Wifi. I've got Malls with hotspots. I've got hotspots all over the damn city.
I've got a hotspot in my damn house.
Guess what? I'm not going to be randomly downloading my eBooks in bloated Word Format because I'm stuck on a plane or on a train, or in my car.
If I'm not in transition I'm most likely not chillin' out at home using my Cell Plan to surf the net.
This is DOA technology without 802.11 g/n.

agore
Nov 19, 2007, 11:55 AM
this is so ugly -.-. oh my god..

how can this relate to iPod??

the Design...the UI.....

the keyboard??? LOL....gosh.....
But if it works, and if it sells, watch Apple introduce a reader that is smoothly integrated int the rest of its product line. Oh, and better looking while we're at it.

Unspeaked
Nov 19, 2007, 11:55 AM
As far as im aware, it is BW hi res pen input screen with lower power consumption.

Am i wrong???

Yes, it has nothing to do with input of any kind, pen or otherwise.

It's simply a different type of electronic display that uses a film.

"Kindle uses a high-resolution display technology called electronic paper that provides a sharp black and white screen that is as easy to read as printed paper. The screen works using ink, just like books and newspapers, but displays the ink particles electronically. It reflects light like ordinary paper and uses no backlight, eliminating the eyestrain and glare associated with other electronic displays such as computer monitors or PDA screens."

w00master
Nov 19, 2007, 11:56 AM
Amazing so much of the anti-amazon comments just continue to prove my point:

If it ain't made by apple, people on this board will just think it's crap.

Also, all of these anti-amazon comments so remind me of the iPod launch. Oh, the irony.

Personally, I think this is an amazing 1st step: great interface, sweet online wireless purchasing, reads pdfs/word docs, purchases stored on Amazon's servers, no subscription EVDO (how awesome is THAT?).

Yeah, it costs $400. But it's relatively competitive with other ebook devices, the $9.99 New York Times prices should pay for itself for someone like me fairly quickly.

Wow, big deal, it isn't made by Apple, but guess what? I think it's awesome.

lampdeskchair
Nov 19, 2007, 11:56 AM
I'm veryveryvery interested in this product.

I read around 2 full books a week as well as newspapers and magazines all the time. I am tired of lugging handfuls of books around and waiting for books to arrive from amazon or going to a bookstore is inconvenient for me. I'm really hoping the screen is as good as they say. Gonna try and get a friend/family member to get one so I can try it out first. :p

I LOVE the fact it has a free 3G wireless service so I can download a book anytime, anywhere in under a minute, and I LOVE the fact every book is marked down to like half price of a new printed copy. The unit will pay for itself after saving money on 60ish books/magazines/newspapers haha.

I'm really excited for this thing. It may not be as sexy as an ipod but DAMN it looks awesome if you're a huge reader like me.


Edit:: Agreed w00master, heh we posted at the same time and have the same opinion.

agore
Nov 19, 2007, 11:59 AM
I love books and have over 3,500 of them.
But they are damn inconvenient to carry with me when I go somewhere
I would get a device like this if it worked well and let me read my books.


An obvious early-adopter market for a device like this is for students. Textbooks are heavy, expensive and frequently updated. The ability to do Spotlight-type searches in textbooks would be solid gold. The ability to use external links out to the Internet would be useful for many types of learning material.

jhande
Nov 19, 2007, 11:59 AM
I said it before and I will say it again I would give my right *cough* to have Apple come out with an e-book reader. However after the review of the latest Sony E-book reader it is pretty obvious that while the text of e-ink is ready for prime time and is almost if not AS good as printed text....there are still some serious issues with e-ink. Namely flashing the screen every time you change a page or even trverse menus. This wouldn't be a complete deal killer if it was for the fact that at least in Sony's implementation it also takes 2 seconds to flip a page, traverse a menu, change a setting, etc. Again from what I understand this is an issue with e-ink itself at the present time and not simply Sony's implementation.
So I think I know why Apple has maddingly stayed out of this market that is in the EXACT in every way, shape, and form to where the MP3 market was prior to Apple coming onto the scene. Crap designs with too many buttons, and real though in the design, crap software to integrate the hardware to the computer in an easy fashion, crap format support, and realistically crappy book support.

You want to see a grown man soil himself? Have Apple come out with an e-book reader that resolves the above issues along with allowing easy markups and highlighting


I've had a Sony Reader since they came out (had to get it from the US, since it's never been on sale in Europe), and while I would like to have mobile computer based on E-Ink, which is basically what you are describing, the SR is actually not bad.

Yes, there is a flicker when you turn the pages, but it's nowhere near 2 secs, and after a couple of minutes you get used to it. If you've loaded a ton of books, yes, it can take a couple of seconds to switch from one book to the other -- but definitely not to switch pages.

There's an active community around the device, have a look at MobileReads forums (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=100), and they've solved most of the problems the device has/had.

However, PDF's suck. Some of then can be automatically reflowed by 3rd party software, but a straight pdf viewed on an A5 screen will be too miniscule.

The only problem with the Sony Reader is.... well it's Sony. If Apple makes an E-Ink device, with a reasonable library (iTunes, natch), I'd buy it.

Schtumple
Nov 19, 2007, 12:00 PM
For the people that need this
this is a really good product
for the people that don't
move on

Captain Obvious saves the day once again :D

Nicolasdec
Nov 19, 2007, 12:01 PM
How dose this have anything to do with macs or Apple? Looks cool thou. :)

Orng
Nov 19, 2007, 12:02 PM
It doesn't need to sync to a computer, so personally, I think this would be an awesome device to just abandon at the cottage, loaded up with all those cottagey books you want to read on the deck or to distract your kids on a rainy day.

Also be awesome for plane trips, or just kicking around. I'm a big reader and I'd love to have one of these.
Too bad I can't get one. Is it really so hard to pull off an international rollout in this day and age? it's not 1986 anymore!

One question remains, though; how easy is it to hold whilst sitting on the toilet?

Clive At Five
Nov 19, 2007, 12:02 PM
If we're looking for a revolutionary eReader, this is not it.

I'm thinking to myself, who would benefit the most from having all their books digitized? and the answer is definitely students. I know not everyone was a physics major, but most people have experienced thick science books. For me, there would be days where I would have to bring 3 heavy physics books and a laptop to campus and carry them around with me all day. At day's end, my back would kill. Having a eReader of my science books would've been a back-saver.

The thing about science books, though, is that so many of them have color illustrations that are instrumental in conveying information. I would not be able to imagine a Physics 101 book without them!

But it's not just science books, and it's not only college kids. Even young middle-school kids have thick books to carry around, and while they usually have lockers nearby, the back strain on such little people can't be healthy.

While wallstreet types may be a large market, I think schools and students are the ones to aim for. Until eReaders support color illustrations and are priced where they can be afforded by students and schools, they won't be good enough for the mainstream market. Once an eReader does breech that barrier, however, you can expect widespread adoption to shortly follow.

-Clive

nemaslov
Nov 19, 2007, 12:03 PM
One of the first things people will complain about is battery life. 30 hours isn't that much for all the reading you'll do with this thing. Using e-ink, this should be getting 50 hours.

i don't know ANYONE who would read 30 hours straight or could. Plug it in a night. What's the bog deal.

kingtj
Nov 19, 2007, 12:03 PM
I don't know if anyone will have the foresight to do it properly, but I'd think an "adequate" solution to the DRM problem might be tagging the e-book with some kind of "authorized to view" key at the time of initial purchase/download. This would presumably be a key based partially on your hardware's unique serial number.

If you wanted to "give the e-book away to a friend" after you were done reading it, you could do so by going online and requesting a "transfer of the book" to their account. This would essentially revoke your unique auth. key while issuing a fresh one to your buddy, which they'd receive the next time they connected to the online store. (Your xferred e-book could be there waiting in their "shopping cart" for free download.)

(Just like a real paper book, you can only give it away to one person, and then you no longer possess it. But they can give it away to a 3rd. person whenever they're done, etc. etc.) This mechanism would also let you swap books with somebody, if you decided you didn't care for one you bought, and you'd rather read what they have to give away. A forward-thinking online e-bookstore would facilitate this with forums just for the purpose, as a "customer service" benefit.

As for it being a "deep experience", I don't know... I find that scrolling down is just as good, if not LESS distracting than flipping pages. Maybe a book reader with a forward and back arrow button you could easily press to "flip" one page up or back would be even better. Worst case scenario: This is just something you'd have to "get used to" over time using e-books, since you have to un-condition years and years of learned behavior flipping real pages.


I personally never saw the point in releasing eBooks. Whenever I get across a .pdf scientific paper, I tend to print it out, if it really is interesting.

Considering the amount of text I can read in a book (which basically shows really sharp contured letters and adequate size - with approx. 1400 dpi), and comparing that to the hassle of scrolling and clicking on my laptop, I'd rather carry the book.

Next thing for me is the DRM-related stuff. You see, I can buy a book, and after I have finished, I can pass it on to a friend. Basically if you do the same with digital data, you are alleged of copyright infringement.

Last but not least, reading a book is a very deep experience (if the author is good). The page flipping movement is so embedded in our spinal cord (due to years of training), that it doesn't distract you. But I think scrolling and page flipping are way a distraction from the plot, as they steal concentration.

jaydub
Nov 19, 2007, 12:04 PM
It looks like they just sprinkled the keys on there haphazardly. After using a few smartphones with small keys, I've found that key placement is very important to the usefulness of this device.

Then again, I'm not sure anything can replace the tactile sensation of flipping through the pages of a book.

gwangung
Nov 19, 2007, 12:06 PM
[list]
Newspapers: How much time do you have in transit that allows one to read the Times? This market is already owned by these papers via the rail systems in print.

Right here, I think you miss the mark badly. With the urban sprawl increasing each day and commute times of 45 minutes to an hour each way, I think there's sufficient time. Whether this device would fit that market, I don't know...but I know that the papers themselves don't think they own this market.

morespce54
Nov 19, 2007, 12:07 PM
I read a lot of paperback novels, just bought one on the way home from work today in fact. Can't see myself using something like this, it's just technology intruding where it's not wanted...

My point too...
Although, it might be a good idea for newspapers (having 10 newspapers in one every morning could be nice for some people) but I read paperback on the bus and in the subway and I just can't see myself reading a book on this using both hands...

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 12:09 PM
I'm veryveryvery interested in this product.

I read around 2 full books a week as well as newspapers and magazines all the time. I am tired of lugging handfuls of books around and waiting for books to arrive from amazon or going to a bookstore is inconvenient for me. I'm really hoping the screen is as good as they say. Gonna try and get a friend/family member to get one so I can try it out first. :p

I LOVE the fact it has a free 3G wireless service so I can download a book anytime, anywhere in under a minute, and I LOVE the fact every book is marked down to like half price of a new printed copy. The unit will pay for itself after saving money on 60ish books/magazines/newspapers haha.

I'm really excited for this thing. It may not be as sexy as an ipod but DAMN it looks awesome if you're a huge reader like me.

I probably have $50k in books. I've bought quite a bit of my technical books from Amazon.

I sure as hell don't buy them because they are "half-off" the current list price. I buy them because they are the top books in their field and I buy them USED.

Those USED prices range anywhere from 50-90% lower than retail.

The books I buy are always in Hardbound. That means I don't buy brand new. I want a library.

My API books in various development languages are very fluid. I no longer waste time buying books that are roughly 20% design and 80% API reprints. I can get my In a Nutshells already via the chm, pdf, djvu or other formats on my Development Systems.

If I'm reading Clive Barker, Stephen King, Terry Brooks, Jaqueline Carey (Kushiels Series) I'm reading on a couch for pleasure.

What makes the iPod so useful is how handy the device is for one in transit, its interfacing with your car audio, your exercise regimen and your home sound system or just on a mass transit system--the one area this device has in common with the portable audio player market.

This device is a stationary device that is portable.

This isn't a Blackberry (crackberry), iPhone, iPod Touch, etc.

This is for the tech geek who wants another gadget.

$400 for 4 level gray scale is a very expensive nitch product.

chr1s60
Nov 19, 2007, 12:09 PM
I think the potential for a product like this is huge. Just think, if they were to make it possible to put text books in one of these, students everywhere would be interested. It may be expensive, but students in jr high all the way through college would prefer carrying this instead of heavy text books. I think that is where the real money and potential is in this type of product.

ckurowic
Nov 19, 2007, 12:09 PM
Right here, I think you miss the mark badly. With the urban sprawl increasing each day and commute times of 45 minutes to an hour each way, I think there's sufficient time. Whether this device would fit that market, I don't know...but I know that the papers themselves don't think they own this market.

I'd personally rather remain vigilant on a long commute using public transportation instead of having my head buried in a book or on those Kindle things. Last thing I need is for some thug to take stuff out of my back pack because I was too busy reading the latest Stephen King book on my way to work.

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 12:11 PM
Right here, I think you miss the mark badly. With the urban sprawl increasing each day and commute times of 45 minutes to an hour each way, I think there's sufficient time. Whether this device would fit that market, I don't know...but I know that the papers themselves don't think they own this market.

I rode the Cal Train for 2 hours a day. When I did this route I read novels, technical books or caught up on what I need to do before I get into work. This is a nitch product.

Teddy's
Nov 19, 2007, 12:11 PM
If it ain't made by apple, people on this board will just think it's crap.



Quote of the day.

ckurowic
Nov 19, 2007, 12:11 PM
I think the potential for a product like this is huge. Just think, if they were to make it possible to put text books in one of these, students everywhere would be interested. It may be expensive, but students in jr high all the way through college would prefer carrying this instead of heavy text books. I think that is where the real money and potential is in this type of product.

Are you in college? Most of us would NOT prefer this. Somtimes you have to have multiple books open at the same time with the ability to highlight, scan pages, flip back and fourth quickly. Also consider the outrageous level of book theft in college. Someone steals your Kindle and your screwed in ALL your classes, not just one or two.

Also, think about this. I'm a senior in college so I sort of know what goes down regarding books. Most people can't even keep their damned TI-calculators charged up much less a device with ALL their books on it. And no matter how you look at it, a text book is far more durable than a piece of electronics.

bit density
Nov 19, 2007, 12:15 PM
As far as im aware, it is BW hi res pen input screen with lower power consumption.

Am i wrong???

E-ink in this case is a display technology that uses balls with black on one side and white on the other, magnetism moves the ball around and it is very low power because it doesn't use power to display. It works very well in well lit areas, and is useful for extremely low power devices and stuff like signs.

Ted13
Nov 19, 2007, 12:16 PM
They have to make a way that they screen can contrast correctly for reading. Simple as that. I don't expect to be outside reading much. Hell, I don't see many people that go outside to read. But it would be good if there was some level of outside readability on this fantasy Apple device that we are creating. :o

I strongly disagree -- a lot of reading happens at the beach, at the park, on vacation, on the deck, in the back yard, etc. For an e-reader to fly, it HAS to be readable in sunlight.

So far as the Kindle is concerned, can we just call it the Missfire? For a device that doesn't do e-mail or word processing, it needs the fugly keyboard why?? I don't have a problem with a dedicated e-reader, but if that's what it is, it should be a screen only, light, thin device.
The "can download directly to the device" concept? Not much of a feature. Unless you want to keep your entire book collection on a portable device without a backup, you'll need to sync to a PC sooner or later.

vassillios
Nov 19, 2007, 12:16 PM
First of all FUGLY!

Second of all, I have seen no mention of it, but with a keyboad you better be able to type in notes. I can see lot's of promise for this device in education, research and professional sectors if you could view, say, research docs and enter things like footnotes right into the document. Better yet, be able to create documents as well....

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 12:17 PM
If we're looking for a revolutionary eReader, this is not it.

I'm thinking to myself, who would benefit the most from having all their books digitized? and the answer is definitely students. I know not everyone was a physics major, but most people have experienced thick science books. For me, there would be days where I would have to bring 3 heavy physics books and a laptop to campus and carry them around with me all day. At day's end, my back would kill. Having a eReader of my science books would've been a back-saver.

The thing about science books, though, is that so many of them have color illustrations that are instrumental in conveying information. I would not be able to imagine a Physics 101 book without them!

But it's not just science books, and it's not only college kids. Even young middle-school kids have thick books to carry around, and while they usually have lockers nearby, the back strain on such little people can't be healthy.

While wallstreet types may be a large market, I think schools and students are the ones to aim for. Until eReaders support color illustrations and are priced where they can be afforded by students and schools, they won't be good enough for the mainstream market. Once an eReader does breech that barrier, however, you can expect widespread adoption to shortly follow.

-Clive

We all had big books to carry around. If this is your selling point you'll never convince the average person to buy one. You won't convince your engineering students, chem students, bio students, etc., to buy one.

When I was on campus I sure as hell didn't lug my textbooks around.

I bought my lecture notes, went to lecture and took some notes to supplement the lecture notes.

I had my books when I worked in teams or had some assignments to do while at the student union building.

The book or two I lugged while walking across campus wasn't a burden.

If your selling point is "Do you want to have to lug those heavy books around" to an ever expanding populace (dimensionally) I think you'd better get used to selling vaporware.

I sure as hell don't see parents buying these products for their grade school, middle school or high school students.

There is no way in hell Amazon is going to get passed the Teachers Union on this as a switch from traditional print books.

What are you going to do, offer a lease program for these devices?

At the end of the Semester kids, just turn them in so the next semester can use these devices.

Get real.

ckurowic
Nov 19, 2007, 12:17 PM
Can we not already download PDF versions of books and view them on our computers/iphones?

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 12:18 PM
I strongly disagree -- a lot of reading happens at the beach, at the park, on vacation, on the deck, in the back yard, etc. For an e-reader to fly, it HAS to be readable in sunlight.

So far as the Kindle is concerned, can we just call it the Missfire? For a device that doesn't do e-mail or word processing, it needs the fugly keyboard why?? I don't have a problem with a dedicated e-reader, but if that's what it is, it should be a screen only, light, thin device.
The "can download directly to the device" concept? Not much of a feature. Unless you want to keep your entire book collection on a portable device without a backup, you'll need to sync to a PC sooner or later.

Right and just what you want at the beach: An electronic device being doused with moisture and sand.

ckurowic
Nov 19, 2007, 12:20 PM
Right and just what you want at the beach: An electronic device being doused with moisture and sand.

Good point. The last time I accidently took my cellphone to the beach (didnt even take it out of my pocket, didn't go in the water) it was ruined with sand dust embedded in the display.

College students will never go for this. Ever. You can't really resell these things like textbooks, they are not durable like a text book, and I would bet that the UI is much clunkier than simply flipping the page in a real book.

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 12:20 PM
Are you in college? Most of us would NOT prefer this. Somtimes you have to have multiple books open at the same time with the ability to highlight, scan pages, flip back and fourth quickly. Also consider the outrageous level of book theft in college. Someone steals your Kindle and your screwed in ALL your classes, not just one or two.

All observations true and constant for the past several decades.

Can we not already download PDF versions of books and view them on our computers/iphones?

Sure can and I've got thousands of them already. Put them on a network drive behind a DMZ secured network for me to access via WebDAV or what not and I've got portable global access via my laptop.

chr1s60
Nov 19, 2007, 12:23 PM
Are you in college? Most of us would NOT prefer this. Somtimes you have to have multiple books open at the same time with the ability to highlight, scan pages, flip back and fourth quickly. Also consider the outrageous level of book theft in college. Someone steals your Kindle and your screwed in ALL your classes, not just one or two.

Actually, I am a recent college graduate. I said there is huge potential for a product like this, not that this product is perfect. Changes in a similar product that would allow for highlighting and sidenotes that could be saved would be huge. Not all classes I took had multiple books, in fact some just had one huge text book that was extremely heavy or multiple books for use at different times throughout the semester. I am thinking of classes like that for use with this. Obviously if you are using multiple books at once this would not be ideal for that class. In high school and jr high, most of my classes had one text book or multiple novels and many had to be in class daily. I would have much rather carried around a product similar to this instead of breaking my back lugging around heavy books all day. As far as theft goes, that is kind of a useless statement. One could just as easily have their entire backpack full of books stolen by leaving it out of their site or by not paying attention. Theft happens all over school campuses, regardless of the product. I think a product could be developed that could eliminate the need to carry at least some text books. Not only that, think of the money that could be saved buying an etext compared to an overpriced school bookstore.

EagerDragon
Nov 19, 2007, 12:24 PM
There are some things in common between toilet tissue and sand paper, but they are not the same.

Unspeaked
Nov 19, 2007, 12:26 PM
You can say what you want about this device, good or bad, but the fact remains that:

1) It's getting a whole lot of interest in the forum, the type usually reserved for a new Apple release.

and

2) It's on the cover of Newsweek, so unlike a lot of the iPod/iPhone competitors that get debated about around here, it's already got some crossover potential with the mainstream consumer.

Guntis
Nov 19, 2007, 12:26 PM
The idea is nice, features for v.1.0 are ok, but the look... it's ugly! One corner thicker than the other, strange angular cut corners... They should really ask Apple to make it look nice! - Rounded corners, on-screen input, touchscreen. Then it could be iPod for book reading.

Digital Skunk
Nov 19, 2007, 12:27 PM
I live in the SF Bay Area.

Here's the scenario:

I go to Barnes & Noble, In-N-Out Burger, Safeway, the gas station, etc...

everywhere I buy something, I have to dig out my wallet, get a credit card, swipe it, enter pin number, accept the, transaction, sign the receipt, show my ID.

I should be able to do that all electronically... from my secure iPhone to the vendor's secure "cash register".

Currently, If I am standing in line & decide I want to pay for something with my ATM debit card, I can go online and check if I have enough in my checking account to cover the transaction. If not, I can transfer money from my savings to checking...

Ironic: I can move the needed money (and much more) around to make it available... but I have to do this 19th-century rain-dance to move the manna from me to the seller.

To replace the wallet assumes a secure iPhone (or, whatever) that cannot be used by anyone else. Done properly, losing the iPhone would be less of a security disaster than losing your wallet.

As to the laptop: There are times when it makes sense to carry a laptop, too.

But for me, most of the time it is extra baggage:

1) Hiking
2) Music/Sports events
3) shopping
4) grandkids Soccer Practice/games
5) yadda, yadda, yadda

"Pretty soon now" you will be able to do CS3 online-- this won't entirely satisfy your needs, but may be good enough to use in a pinch... Maybe one less reason to carry your laptop, case, extra batteries, cables, adapters/chargers everywhere you go.

I like the idea of having access to my account to transfer money while in line. I hope the banks actually capitalize on that, my credit union takes about an hour to transfer money online. I still think it would work better as a chip inside the wrist or finger of the user. That way the only way someone could steal the wallet would be to cut off the limb, and knowing which limb to cut off is another thing for thieves to deal with.

I think that putting my entire wallet into the iPhone is still going to be problematic. I can see losing my wallet, or getting held up for my expensive iPhone toy/gadget/cell phone, and I can see getting my laptop stolen from me while waiting in line or something stupid; but to loose all of those and then some would be insane. I still think some devices are meant to be separated. My wallet can be a chip in my finger, my cell phone can be my everything personal communicator, and my laptop can be my heavy lifter, but combining them all together and putting my life on it is an accident waiting to happen.

I agree about the carrying the laptop everywhere bit. There are times in my life that I really don't need to whip out the MBP, like when I write posts on MR.

DaBrain
Nov 19, 2007, 12:28 PM
[QUOTE=kingtj;4516027]I don't know if anyone will have the foresight to do it properly, but I'd think an "adequate" solution to the DRM problem might be tagging the e-book with some kind of "authorized to view" key at the time of initial purchase/download. This would presumably be a key based partially on your hardware's unique serial number.

I'll tell you what I found so dang simple and effective. When I use to use a Pocket PC and one of the readers that I used required my CC number when purchasing the book and it became part of the opening page of the ebook! Sure was a deterient in my letting anyone else have a copy of my purchased ebook! I thought that was very simple, yet very very effective! I would rather `have that then all that DRM Crap! It's fair and effective!

genshi
Nov 19, 2007, 12:30 PM
As far as eBooks and the use of the eInk technology, good idea. But as far as industrial design, this thing is very outdated. One of the whole points of using the eInk technology is to have flexible "roll-up" screens such as these:

http://www.polymervision.com/assets/smallparagraphimage/readius-closed-13086.jpg

http://www.polymervision.com/assets/smallparagraphimage/readius-half-open-thumbnail-13083.jpg

http://www.polymervision.com/assets/smallparagraphimage/readius-open_hand_thumbnail-13085.jpg

http://www.polymervision.com/assets/smallparagraphimage/thumb-readius-in-hand-13015.jpg

This is the company to watch, imho: http://www.polymervision.com/Section-13823/Index.html

DavidLeblond
Nov 19, 2007, 12:32 PM
Right and just what you want at the beach: An electronic device being doused with moisture and sand.

This is no joke. I use to have a Rocket eBook back when they came out. Want to read at the beach or even while soaking in the tub? Not while holding an electronic device!

Books for the Kindle cost more than paperbacks yet, because of the above point, have reduced functionality. This is why the Kindle will fall short. This is why all the other eReaders fell short. If you're going to give us an expensive device to read books you have to bring something new to the party. Also I can't sell books when I'm done with them, and I can't buy used books. Also $.10 to view my own PDF? This whole thing is a joke.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and no built in backlight??? Even my old Rocket had this.

50548
Nov 19, 2007, 12:36 PM
this is so ugly -.-. oh my god..

how can this relate to iPod??

the Design...the UI.....

the keyboard??? LOL....gosh.....

Ditto...it's ridiculously FUGLY, especially for the keyboard. I think we'll have to wait til Apple comes up with something that REALLY works in this area...sorry, Amazon, you'd better stick to books and CDs...this device is CRAP.

chicagostars
Nov 19, 2007, 12:37 PM
Um, not for me, thanks. But hey, if it does fill a need for others out there, may this device add a little happiness and convenience to your life.

EagerDragon
Nov 19, 2007, 12:41 PM
As long as I can copy and paste off this thing, I'm all for it.

Not likely you will be able to do cut and paste or have a way to share your book with freinds, DRM will get in the way.

Can you store the eBook in your computer to make room for more?

Can you play it in something else if the unit breaks or is the content horribly tied to the device?

50548
Nov 19, 2007, 12:41 PM
I said it before and I will say it again I would give my right *cough* to have Apple come out with an e-book reader. However after the review of the latest Sony E-book reader it is pretty obvious that while the text of e-ink is ready for prime time and is almost if not AS good as printed text....there are still some serious issues with e-ink. Namely flashing the screen every time you change a page or even trverse menus. This wouldn't be a complete deal killer if it was for the fact that at least in Sony's implementation it also takes 2 seconds to flip a page, traverse a menu, change a setting, etc. Again from what I understand this is an issue with e-ink itself at the present time and not simply Sony's implementation.
So I think I know why Apple has maddingly stayed out of this market that is in the EXACT in every way, shape, and form to where the MP3 market was prior to Apple coming onto the scene. Crap designs with too many buttons, and real though in the design, crap software to integrate the hardware to the computer in an easy fashion, crap format support, and realistically crappy book support.

You want to see a grown man soil himself? Have Apple come out with an e-book reader that resolves the above issues along with allowing easy markups and highlighting, team up with ebook.com to allow all those e-books that were sold to god knows how many PDA users to be used on the iReader, integrate ebook.com's inventory into a store in iTMediaStore, convince most of the major publishers to get on board with the ebook train, get some of the more major collages to create ministores in iTMS to allow students to download their text books, and finally allow spotlight indexing of all your books along with the markups. I'd wet myself.....OK maybe not but I'd have to run to the bathroom fast. :p

I'm 100% convinced that its the tech because the concept that Apple wouldn't want to go after a market who's heart and soul IS the education sector is beyond stupid. We all know that Apple targets schools for the Mac. This is beyond a natural fit. It simply is a no brainer. And screw the iPod and Music. Nothing. Absolutely NOTHING is more universal then books. Come on Apple. Wake up and smell the freaking innovation. :(

I have to agree with you on this...ONLY Apple can do better, a LOT better, just by sniffing a market that is ripe for taking with so many CRAPPY and FUGLY devices...only Apple is able to create demand that was NOT originally there, as it did with the iPod and the iPhone.

Once more, Amazon is great...for books and CDs.

pagansoul
Nov 19, 2007, 12:44 PM
LOL. Yup.

Q: How many buttons do you need to read an amazon ebook?
A: Apparently more than 50! :eek:

In other notes, another publication reports "Zinio, a company specializing in online publishing, is now offering free online editions of popular magazines for users of the iPhone or the iPod touch. Titles include the likes of American Photo, Car & Driver, NME, Popular Mechanics and Playboy." http://www.zinio.com/iphone

I love Zinio. I have been getting MacWorld for the last 3 years from them. I also get Entertainment Weekly and Elle. What I would love is National Geo. Zinio is so beautiful to look at on my computer. I'm one of those people who have thousands of books on my computer, some I read with Adobe, some on nice 3rd party text readers. I still think the price of ebooks is too high for what you are getting and what you are saving the publisher but sneek in a novel or two a year. I still usually get my romance fix at Good Will or Flea Markets for under a buck. The end result is...I would rather spent 1k on a small notebook than half that on this reader.

gifford
Nov 19, 2007, 12:46 PM
Yes, it has nothing to do with input of any kind, pen or otherwise.

It's simply a different type of electronic display that uses a film.

"Kindle uses a high-resolution display technology called electronic paper that provides a sharp black and white screen that is as easy to read as printed paper. The screen works using ink, just like books and newspapers, but displays the ink particles electronically. It reflects light like ordinary paper and uses no backlight, eliminating the eyestrain and glare associated with other electronic displays such as computer monitors or PDA screens."

Yes thats EXACTLY what i thought it was. i presumed it was obvious i didnt think the pen driven part was part of E-ink technology. but most devices i have seen go hand in hand with it.
And i stand by my thoughts, E-ink is fairly crummy technology IMO (currently). As far as im aware you are still limited to some sort of resolution ( some of them are 150dpi), albeit a high one (but not significantly higher than other technologies).
And all it has over other solutions currently doing the rounds is battery life. But i dont see this as particularly a large selling point. because until any of the flexible screen technologies mature, i dont see an iBook from Apple being pocket sized. Therefore more space for battery.

ckurowic
Nov 19, 2007, 12:46 PM
Actually, I am a recent college graduate. I said there is huge potential for a product like this, not that this product is perfect. Changes in a similar product that would allow for highlighting and sidenotes that could be saved would be huge. Not all classes I took had multiple books, in fact some just had one huge text book that was extremely heavy or multiple books for use at different times throughout the semester. I am thinking of classes like that for use with this. Obviously if you are using multiple books at once this would not be ideal for that class. In high school and jr high, most of my classes had one text book or multiple novels and many had to be in class daily. I would have much rather carried around a product similar to this instead of breaking my back lugging around heavy books all day. As far as theft goes, that is kind of a useless statement. One could just as easily have their entire backpack full of books stolen by leaving it out of their site or by not paying attention. Theft happens all over school campuses, regardless of the product. I think a product could be developed that could eliminate the need to carry at least some text books. Not only that, think of the money that could be saved buying an etext compared to an overpriced school bookstore.

Do you think the publishing companies would really allow this to happen? Or the college book stores? Would they REALLY carry this product? I think not. Nothing is ever going to compare to physically having a textbook. Even my online courses (of which I have three this semester) have physical text books. I don't have to worry about backing up my math book. Where do we draw the line as far as electronics go? When is it too much? An e-book? Give me a break. I don't need yet another electronic device to worry about batteries, backups, etc.

As far as heavy book loads go, what is this junior high? Suck it up. Try a 70 pound ruck sack.

I love Zinio. I have been getting MacWorld for the last 3 years from them. I also get Entertainment Weekly and Elle. What I would love is National Geo. Zinio is so beautiful to look at on my computer. I'm one of those people who have thousands of books on my computer, some I read with Adobe, some on nice 3rd party text readers. I still think the price of ebooks is too high for what you are getting and what you are saving the publisher but sneek in a novel or two a year. I still usually get my romance fix at Good Will or Flea Markets for under a buck.

Actually, I was quite impressed with Zinio when I tried it a few years ago.

dvkid
Nov 19, 2007, 12:47 PM
I write publication work at a minimum 600 dpi with 1200 dpi being more standard.

That seems odd. As most offset presses and plate-burning mechanisms typically read at roughly 150 dpi. We use 300 dpi here for our prep work mainly so we can scale photos and other graphical elements up and down safely as needed.

andiwm2003
Nov 19, 2007, 12:49 PM
How dose this have anything to do with macs or Apple? Looks cool thou. :)

from the first page of this thread by godfather himself: :eek:


before anyone says that this isn't apple related... let me cut you off.

I think this is very interesting and affects Apple. Certainly a company the size of Amazon entering a market like this which certainly overlaps some iPhone and/or iPod Touch functionality.

Also, there's talk of Apple going into the mini-tablet market in some form or another.

Based on the early description of the Amazon service, I think it's a potentially compelling solution. Wireless everywhere, downloadable books and web. Service charge remains an unknown.

arn

if i was you i would be worried about the "cut off" part of the quote.
if i was you i would hide in a save place till your blasphemy is forgiven or forgotten.......:D

mescalito
Nov 19, 2007, 12:49 PM
I really doubt this thing will take off. It's ugly-looking, it can't even browse the web.

I already have a MacBook and an iPhone. Why would I pay $400 for something that can only read books?

I guess for a very select group of people, it would be a good solution. But I don't think it's going to have mass appeal.

Damn that thing is UGLY!!! :eek:

tkidBOSTON
Nov 19, 2007, 12:52 PM
What needs to happen is they should sell actual hard copy books with Kindle codes for a $1-3 more than a codeless book, much like they're selling a lot of vinyl records these days with mp3 download codes. You get the hard old style medium with the ability to enjoy the new up-to-date version of the same item.

Solves the "how do I take it to the beach" or "give it to a friend" problems mentioned earlier.

citi
Nov 19, 2007, 12:52 PM
I think the product may have legs but....I HATE the white. It rings "constant cleaning" to keep it looking good.

rawrbbit
Nov 19, 2007, 12:53 PM
Why the hell did they name it "Kindle"? Seems like a pretty tacky joke when they need to convince hardcore book lovers to try new technology.

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 12:56 PM
That seems odd. As most offset presses and plate-burning mechanisms typically read at roughly 150 dpi. We use 300 dpi here for our prep work mainly so we can scale photos and other graphical elements up and down safely as needed.

Imaging at 300dpi. Text at 1200dpi. The scalability for that is obvious.

XeTeX/TeX/LaTeX output to DVI at 1200dpi.

137489
Nov 19, 2007, 12:59 PM
Ugly - Yes. But for an I/T Professional who has to have resources at my fingertips - and I am not allowed to bring my laptop to work.... This may work out for me (and it is small unlike how bulky widescreen laptops have become. However - what happens when this technology is obsolete. Can you upgrade and move all your books seemlessly? I have 100's of books for my work and Christian Ministry that I cannot lug around. However I worry about things not being compatible with the next generation of the technology. I for one hate having 1000's of badly named PDF's that I can never find. Thus why I switched to MS OneNote. But I am worried if OneNote gets discontinued I will lose my information. I don't see PDF going away anytime soon, but eventually that time will come now that MS has its own document imaging and they want to redesign how we do the web.

Technology - darn if you do, darn if you don't.

mdriftmeyer
Nov 19, 2007, 01:01 PM
Ugly - Yes. But for an I/T Professional who has to have resources at my fingertips - and I am not allowed to bring my laptop to work.... This may work out for me (and it is small unlike how bulky widescreen laptops have become. However - what happens when this technology is obsolete. Can you upgrade and move all your books seemlessly? I have 100's of books for my work and Christian Ministry that I cannot lug around. However I worry about things not being compatible with the next generation of the technology. I for one hate having 1000's of badly named PDF's that I can never find. Thus why I switched to MS OneNote. But I am worried if OneNote gets discontinued I will lose my information. I don't see PDF going away anytime soon, but eventually that time will come now that MS has its own document imaging and they want to redesign how we do the web.

Technology - darn if you do, darn if you don't.

That's why an iPod Touch, Tablet or otherwise similar or a bit larger form factor Day Planner device with OS X Leopard, WiFi and even a USB port for a keyboard would make your day.

chr1s60
Nov 19, 2007, 01:05 PM
Do you think the publishing companies would really allow this to happen? Or the college book stores? Would they REALLY carry this product? I think not. Nothing is ever going to compare to physically having a textbook. Even my online courses (of which I have three this semester) have physical text books. I don't have to worry about backing up my math book. Where do we draw the line as far as electronics go? When is it too much? An e-book? Give me a break. I don't need yet another electronic device to worry about batteries, backups, etc.

As far as heavy book loads go, what is this junior high? Suck it up. Try a 70 pound ruck sack.

You seem like you would be very troubled even reading an article online for class. Do you still use a typewriter for papers because you don't need a backup? Do you only do research in the library and refuse to go to an online source? From reading your comment you seem to be scared to take advantage of new technology. I don't understand how you are so against an electronic book, yet you are taking 3 online classes. I'm pretty sure people once though that typing would always have to be done on paper and that research would always have to take place in the library, obviously things have changed and that is not the case. In the future many text books will be online and downloadable like quite a few novels already are. When that day comes, enjoy lugging around those books while others don't need to.

As far as a publishing company goes, yes they will eventually allow this. Look at all the "go green" ads and constant pressure on companies to stop wasting resources. An online text eliminates large amounts of paper being used. Even if the companies continue to charge outrageous prices, online texts will eventually happen. Look at the amount of crap AT&T got for their paper iPhone bills. If people took notice and decided to target 600+ page texts as wasting paper when there is an alternate way, we would see a very quick change.

crackermac
Nov 19, 2007, 01:07 PM
Yea, college textbooks might be kinda handy on this device. I know there were a few times where I've had several books on me where I was afraid of becoming a hunchback. This might lighten the load.

Give it the ability to highlight text or maybe copy and paste into a document and that would be a big plus. Hopefully this would make the books less expensive to purchase or give it the ability to rent the books for a semester where they would expire at the end.

I think I'm on to something here. :)

gifford
Nov 19, 2007, 01:08 PM
I have been waiting for years to buy a device like this, it would actually encourage me to take a train instead of car for my travels.I would probably read more also.

Cant justify taking my laptop on many journeys, too bulky, too expensive to lose.

I need something the size of a paperback, that i can chuck in my bag, that has battery life of 4-5 hrs (tho 8 would be nice for long haul flights).

A fold/roll up screen would be great (when mature), I'm not bothered about glare too much (but it would be nice when it doesnt have its own downfalls).

I would probably pay up to $600 for it.

give me my iBook!

pjarvi
Nov 19, 2007, 01:14 PM
At $400 it's too expensive. They should've just taken a $100 digital photo frame, and hacked it to load eBooks and scroll pages. Toss in a wireless adaptor for $20, and at most, a color eBook reader could be sold for under $150. How do they justify a $400 price tag? R&D? It's all existing technology! :confused:

Ted13
Nov 19, 2007, 01:18 PM
Good point. The last time I accidently took my cellphone to the beach (didnt even take it out of my pocket, didn't go in the water) it was ruined with sand dust embedded in the display.

I take my iPhone to the beach (and took iPods in the past) no problems -- you just need to exercise a modicum of care. Look: I'm predicting the Kindle will flop, but a well executed e-Reader is the wave of the future at some point. The only question is when (and it could be decades) and who will make it.

Arcus
Nov 19, 2007, 01:20 PM
No WiFi? What were they thinking?

Porchland
Nov 19, 2007, 01:31 PM
Good, Best Buy can rack these next to all the Zunes. (Thud.)

jonharris200
Nov 19, 2007, 01:33 PM
This product has great potential. If they just add music, videos, email, the web and maybe a few widgets, plus Google maps, colour screen, nice form factor and phone functionality. :D

Digital Skunk
Nov 19, 2007, 01:34 PM
eBook
iPod
Internet communicator
Productivity station
Entertainment system
and more...!

It even has a 17" screen!

http://images.apple.com/macbookpro/images/index_ataglance17_20071026.png

Anyway, I understand the e-ink is nice to read and I can't wait for all monitors to have color e-ink with quick refresh rate (maybe 10 years if the technology takes off?), but at this time how many devices do we want to carry around? I am happy to have MBP and iPhone...

** loud whistling **

Here here! Amen my friend! Like it's too hard to carry around a 15" MBP and an iPhone. That's pretty much standard these days.

What they should be working on is creating an Ultra Mobile PC/MAC at 11.1" no optical drive, SSD or cheap Flash Drive storage 1GB of RAM for around $1000 so that I can use that as my eReader or whatever. This Foleo and Kindle crap is retarded, and shows that these million dollar CEOs really don't know what to invest their money in. They should do their research and read MacRumors to figure out what the market wants and needs, and stop pretending to know what they are doing.

Digital Skunk
Nov 19, 2007, 01:36 PM
This product has great potential. If they just add music, videos, email, the web and maybe a few widgets, plus Google maps, colour screen, nice form factor and phone functionality. :D

Agreed.... ** psst ** that's the iPhone right... what the hello was Amazon thinking?

elgruga
Nov 19, 2007, 01:37 PM
People always talk about these types of gadgets as 'replacing' something - well this wont replace the book anytime soon. Just like the iPod didnt replace the home stereo system.

If its cheap enough, it will be a gadget that some will go for - but the price point would have to be about $29.99.

This wont increase book sales - in fact, you would have to be a real 'reader' to use this, because its a LOT more hassle to use than the thing it replicates, the far cheaper (think used book stores, think LIBRARY), no batteries required, can be thrown at the cat without damage, loaned to friends and never seen again without damaging friendship, can be used for propping up wobbly tables, the amazing BOOK.

The iPhone isnt bad for reading, if I could find some books to read on it, but its not a replacement, just an add-on.

Its going to disappear rapidly - like that thing that Palm brought out recently, the Integro, the Alero, the Alonzo, the ReBozo, well whatever it was, its gone. Looked a bit like this El Kindero thing, actually....

Has anyone else noticed that the real problem in the computer/gadget world is the absence of any new and exciting software?
What the world needs is a new Killer app - where the hell is it?

The bloody Newton could read books, and thats 3 million years ago.

Rantipole
Nov 19, 2007, 01:38 PM
What do you need a keyboard for?

I like Sony's much better.

Dave00
Nov 19, 2007, 01:40 PM
OK device, but oh what a miss on the concept. It's simply not comfortable to sit down and read text off a computer screen for hours on end, the way it is with a book. Keyboard is totally superfluous and not well designed. However, if you had just the screen, made it a multi-touch wi-fi internet device, now you've got my attention. Having the zooming capabilities of an iPod touch at this screen size would be the bee's knees for mobile internet browsing.

My prediction: <Clunk>

TimTheEnchanter
Nov 19, 2007, 01:45 PM
I take my iPhone to the beach (and took iPods in the past) no problems -- you just need to exercise a modicum of care. Look: I'm predicting the Kindle will flop, but a well executed e-Reader is the wave of the future at some point. The only question is when (and it could be decades) and who will make it.

For the price they're asking, I agree that it will flop. If Apple does make an ultra-thin touch tablet (with the gestures technology and functionality of the touch and iPhone) then we're looking at a winning combination even with the higher price tag because it will be multi-functional. The Kindle is a one-trick pony that would be hugely popular at the $99 price point, but DOA at $399. Like I said before, it's digital ink and paper, is that worth $399? The idea is great, but the execution is flawed. Heck, the design of it isn't half-bad, black would be nicer but its not entirely fugly.

I thought I saw it said for a "small fee" that word, pdf and such would be converted via email by Amazon. Anyone see how much? Plus, blogs appear to be $.99 p/month. I read a ton of blogs and that will add up to way too much, considering I read them for free now.

kas23
Nov 19, 2007, 01:52 PM
I just don't think this is going to fly. First, the price is too steep for a device with limited capabilities. It can't read any file, except its own proprietary files - not pdfs. That's bad. This is likely due to publishers demands - preventing us from stealing ebooks over the internet to read them on this device. I like what Apple did with their iPods - you can play any mp3 on them, no matter how you obtained it. There is no way I would spend $400 on a device that forces me to further give them money. I think that is kind of arrogant. Imagine buying a car where you could only get gas at one place, buying a computer that only allows you to download their own software, or a music device that only plays music files you buy from them.:eek:

They should be selling this device (which probably costs less than $5 to produce in China) for less than $50. I am sure everyone who bought one would at least buy one book. At the current price, it is cheaper to buy the real thing.

And besides, I'll wait probably (less than) a year to pick up the Apple Touch.

redrabbit
Nov 19, 2007, 01:53 PM
Haven't read through the thread, but honestly, this is amazing. Sure it's expensive, but it's a step in the right direction. Less trees being cut down for newspapers, cheaper books, easy to follow blogs anywhere. I would rather have one of these than an iphone, to be honest. For people who's career/education (journalism major) require you to read dozens of newspapers and blogs a day, this thing is great.

That-Is-Bull
Nov 19, 2007, 01:54 PM
This has to be a joke. Not even a GB of internal storage. A black and white low-resolution screen. A piece of plastic that's not remotely sexy. A keyboard! What are they thinking? Haven't they been paying attention? Where's the touch interface, the paper thin HD display, the creative design? Give us a break.

No wireless, less space than a Nomad. Lame.

50548
Nov 19, 2007, 01:58 PM
No wireless, less space than a Nomad. Lame.

In other words, this IS a flop, right next to the wonderful Zunes and Windows Tablet PCs...extremely expensive for an ebook reader, lotsa buttons and FUGLY...enough said.

GenesisST
Nov 19, 2007, 02:01 PM
Sad that most comments are only concerned with how it "looks".

In a world where some celebrities get a c-section/liposuction combo at 7 or 8 months of pregnancy, I'm not even surprised.

But give it time. If this is a success, it will evolve quite fast. Just compare a 1st gen iPod to the iPod touch.

Mindfield
Nov 19, 2007, 02:04 PM
What I'm thinking about as a college student is course books on a touch screen eBook. My technique to study is to underscore all the necessary information on a given page, so while revising I can quickly check the most necessary information on a given page. This is hampered down by course books borrowed from a library, to which I can't make my own notes. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to carry a MacBook, because it's too big and heavy. I know that'd be a niche market, but I'd be a happy camper - if only the course books themselves could come as eBooks.

Or maybe I'll wait for the ultrathin laptop.

benspratling
Nov 19, 2007, 02:05 PM
Amazon has done a few good things here:
Used a fast data network for purchasing content from the device without charging a monthly data fee. Kind of like the Wi-Fi Music Store, except slower.
Used new technologies to make display of content easier on the eyes, and use far less power than conventional LCD's. Kind of like the iPhone's visible-in-daylight screen, except not in color.

But they have done a few bad things:
The edges of the screen, which is where I would prefer to hold the thing, are buttons, so I can't get a grasp. Unlike the iPhone, which provides easy-to-grasp stainless-steal edges.
There seem to be concerns about which file formats it can support. Unlike the iPhone which supports all major file formats, except Flash.
I can't flip to the next page by swiping my finger across, unlike a real book or the iPhone!

And they have designed one m*****-**********-ugly device that looks like a prop from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (And I don't mean in a good way). If you ever want technology to be pleasing to the eye, don't ever give money to people who design ugly technology, or they'll never learn.

Yet it costs as much as an iPhone! Just put file browsing on the iPhone and the Kindle's days will be over!