Thursday, May 15, 2008

More e-ink devices announced

The Astak Mentor line of electronic-ink ebook readers was formally announced yesterday, although they're not yet shipping. Also rumored: support for the eReader (formerly Palm Reader) format, now owned by Fictionwise, my favorite ebook-reading platform (and with the best/fairest/least-awkward DRM scheme around). Some more info is here. Interesting times in the ebook market.

Looking at the photos of the 9.7-inch unit, and the specs on the Astak website, I see they're touting a non-glare screen, which, of course, is essential, but they've put the unit in a glossy black chassis -- which will reflect light back into the reader's eyes. The Amazon Kindle and the iRex iLiad both were sensibly designed with matte-finish housings; I hope Astak will rectify this before they go into production. Ergonomics are hugely important to the reading experience, after all.

(Plus, an ebook reader has to be handled a lot, and glossy finishes show fingerprints ...)

Me, I'm lovin' my iRed iLiad ...

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


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