Dec 16, 2007

What's the fuss about dedicated ebook readers?

It's been all over the web: Amazon released it's Kindle: a dedicated ebook reader that costs quite a fortune (399$) and looks terribly 1980ish. And I just don't get it.

Dedicated ebook readers have always irritated me. They are a silly solution to a problem that never existed. If the problem was that you couldn't take all your books with you wherever you go, we have our mobiles and our memory cards, duh! If the problem was that the mobiles don't allow easy reading outdoors, then we could always take the paperbook outside. If the problem was that books are too bulky to carry then do you see the Kindle skinny and cute? Seriously no matter what the problem was, there was a certain solution to it, already on the market.

Yes I understand the screen is more visible for outdoor reading, compared to mobiles, but seriously who would read outdoors? First there's 1/2 of the year when it's practically crazy to go outdoors. Second, there are like half of the globe population who don't have a balcony or a garden to enjoy during the summer/spring seasons. Third, would you imagine yourself reading while walking on the streets or in a cab? I would say Metros, Subways and public parks are the only "outdoor" places you could be reading in. Now do you think you would take a Kindle with you on the subway? Seriously?!

So in one word, if you do your reading indoors, you can use a phone with a big 2.6" or 2.8" screen that can do so MANY other things than reading books and costs probably the same if not less, and if you do your reading on the balcony/porch/public park/garden, do you think it's worth paying 400$ for an ebook reader? And for a device that looks like it just came out of World War II? I can almost see it used in The English Patient!

Please someone explain the whole deal to me, and why you have to "pay" for blog susbcriptions on the Kindle. Argh...


  1. I agree. When any good phone with a good screen size - like Nokia N95 or those Windows Mobile phones from HTC or a Nokia Internet tablet - can also be great ebook readers, why buy an ebook reading device that can do only one thing well?

  2. Talking about useless gadgets, what about Internet Tablets, like the N800 and N810? Other than the bigger screen, I can't think of a good reason to spend $400 on a device that's supposed to do only a fraction of what my N95 does. Or, maybe a better question, why doesn't Nokia install a radio cell on those things?

  3. Well Dan, i sort of agree and disagree about the N800 and N810. I think they are filling up a tiny tiny market with their main use now: internet tablet. But i see great potential as soon as Nokia gets their act together and decides that this is not only an internet tablet, but also a writer's companion, an ebook reader, an image and video editor, a gps device (i know the n810 can do that, but improve it)... all those things that we CAN do on our S60 devices but that don't feel so comfy because of the tiny screen. As for installing a radio, I think that's against the idea of "internet tablet"

  4. By radio cell I meant a phone cell. Imagine the N810 as a phone. It's small enough to be used as a phone, don't you think?

  5. i know that Dan, and that's why i said it fills a small piece in the market. Because it's not a phone, it's an internet tablet, and i guess it will never be a phone.


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