Tuesday, May 6, 2008

E-ink device roundup

Today, I spoke to students in the Creative Book Publishing Program at Toronto's Humber College, run by former Penguin Canada publisher Cynthia Good. Great students, great questions, and a great time.

I'd brought along my brand-new iRex iLiad -- and Cynthia has an Amazon Kindle (one of very few in Canada, I'm sure; it's not for sale here) and a Sony Reader. These are three of the most-popular electronic-ink devices currently available, and Carolyn snapped the above photo of them with the camera built into her Palm Zire 71.

Left to right: Amazon Kindle, iRex iLiad, Sony Reader PRS-500

The iLiad has the largest screen, obviously, and is the only one with a touch screen. Next to it, I have to say the plastic Kindle seems rather flimsy, but it's got pretty good ergonomics. This version of the Sony Reader has the worst screen and the worst ergonomics, but there's a newer model now (the PRS-505).

Anyway, I'm delighted with my iLiad -- thanks again, Vanessa and Peter!

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At May 06, 2008 11:58 PM , Blogger envaneo said...

Hi Rob,
I'd be interested in getting an ebook reader. I hear there has been market research done on having an ebook reader inside a cell phone but the cell phone must be bluetooth campatible. I don't know what the outcome of that research was though.

As for your 3 roundup examples, it'd be nice to know what kind of battery life and types these ereaders have.

Jim Shannon

At May 07, 2008 12:34 AM , Blogger envaneo said...

oh, one more thing about the Kindle not being availible here in Canada, it has something to do with a US credit card.

At May 08, 2008 11:11 AM , Blogger Louis said...

Hi Rob!

Is the text being displayed on the iRex another excerpt from Wake? The text is just blurry enough to prevent us from reading it, but I do believe I see a WWW in the bottom right corner of the screen.


;-) Louis.

At May 08, 2008 2:36 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Actually, it's Cory Doctorow's new novel, Little Brother. :)

At February 06, 2009 2:14 PM , Blogger readergreendoggy said...

I am surprised there is so little out there about the ebookwise ereader. It is currently available both in Canada and the United States for a little less than $150 dollars.
I have found the battery life exceptional and the reading experience quite comfortable. The device is about the size of a paperback book and is quite comfortable to hold.

At February 07, 2009 2:41 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hi, Readergreendoggy. I have an eBookwise 1150 reader (and I also have an REB-1100, which is the same hardware with, in my opinion, better sofware). You're right that they're good devices, although they're backlit LCDs, not e-ink (and pretty low-resolution), and they're quite heavy compared to other devices on the market now; also, the use of odd-ball DRM formats limits the choice of books.

But I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for my RCA REB-1100 -- first acquired December 20, 2001; it gave me a lot of pleasure.


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