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E-book Readers and Tablet PCs

Resist all you wish, but we will ALL eventually be reading books on e-readers. Bookcases will become archaic pieces of furniture reserved for people who use film cameras and collect CDs. Like it makes no sense to carry a hundred CDs in your car when you can pack an iPod, it will make no sense to lug more than one book around when you can tote an e-reader. But before you rush out to buy one, do your research. There are quite a few in the works, and you may even find yourself in the market for a tablet PC instead. A quick roundup of those slated to make appearances in the coming months:

1. Kindle 2—Now sold by Amazon at the “new lower price” of just $259. Pros: It’s sleek, it’s fast and people love them. Cons: B&W screen, you can’t “share” the books you buy.

2. Nook—Soon to be sold by Barnes & Noble, it has a fabulous name for two reasons: It evokes cuddling up with a good book (as does the Kindle) and it combines a word beginning with N of your choice (Noble?)+Book=Nook. Dual screen with color. Competitive price. Allows you to “lend” a book to a friend for 14 days. Because it will be sold by B&N, you’ll be able to test it out before you buy it, unlike the Kindle, and access free Wi-Fi in B&N stores. Disadvantages? Slightly heavier than the Kindle and doesn’t allow Word document support (does allow PDFs).

3. Alex—Coming from Spring Design. Like Nook, this runs on the Google Android operating system and has dual touch screen with color. In fact, the designs are so similar that Alex (whoever he is) is suing Barnes & Noble over it.

4. Que—A terrible name. Coming from Plastic Logic, this e-reader has yet to be totally unveiled. Sleek design and possibly with the ability to do more than your average e-reader (putting in the category of the forthcoming Apple Tablet and Microsoft Courier), but specs yet to be revealed (coming Jan. 7).

5. Apple Tablet—More than an e-reader, the Apple Tablet is designed to be a large iPhone, a device small enough to fit in your purse, but too large for your pocket. Its main uses will be for reading books, browsing the Internet and watching movies.

6. Microsoft Courier—Another tablet PC designed to compete with the Apple Tablet, this one folds like a laptop (or a real book). Will have both touch-screen and stylus technology, and a camera. Check out the video below:

My problem with all the e-readers is that they don’t play video, which rules out the Vook. A Vook could be read on a tablet PC in a browser, but who knows when those will be released, and will they use the easy-on-the-eyes e-ink that all the e-readers do? For now I plan to sit tight and read good old-fashioned books.

1 comment to E-book Readers and Tablet PCs

  • m++

    This post nicely spells out the current state of the ebook market. It's hard to decide which is best without playing with it, but from the sound of it, it's between the Nook and the upcoming Apple tablet for me. I want to try them both first! Also, how easily can you browse with these things or play games on them? It sounds like they are keeping the e-ink display separate from the color lcd style because they have fundamentally different refresh rates. Thanks again for sharing the lay of e-book land!