So, I thought I would post a quickie on ebooks. I have, through various sources accumulated thousands of electronic books in various formats (PDF, doc, html, djvu). So, as a technogeek, I have been anxiously awaiting a nice ebook reader that it light and powerful. There have been a couple players tat have entered the market int he last few months, so I thought I would post some quick impressions.
First, the big news maker today is the Amazon Kindle. It looks slick, has a keyboard and neat-o bookmarking and high lighting slider. It ieven has built in EVDO, so yo can buy books directly over the ether for anywhere from $1 (for free Gutenburg works) to $10 for new releases. There's even the ability to upload you own books and convert them to the native format. AND you can submit your own work and even blog (ahem!) to be downloaded via the internal RSS reader. Also, there's an SD expansion slot. 30 hours of reading per charge, using epaper/eink technology.
Downsides? A) Proprietary format with a charge to convert it. Yuck! B) Only SD, but the newer high density version. C) Version 1.0 - who knows what bugs will turn up, or if it will catch on and be viable in a year.
And second, the Sony Ebook reader PRS-505 - the second ebook reader from Sony in a year. New, and improved digital ink for faster page turns (big problem with the old version), MS Pro Duo for expansion, RSS reader and podcast support (mp3 playback, same as the Kindle), multiple formats (PDF, DOC, TXT, RTF), integrated cover, smaller profile, no keyboard.
Downsides? No html, no wireless, must purchase from Sony ebook store for purchased materials.
So, which is the better bet? If you have a big collection, like me, the Sony ebook reader is obviously better. You don't have to pay to convert, you can just throw everything on a memory stick, and is a more 'open' option. Plus it is a slightly more mature platform. If, however, you want to use this as a regular, everyday reader, the kindle might be the better bet. Purchasing is quick and easy, it supports a more community driven approach, and offers a much larger purchasing selection.
Just something to think about. Ebook readers are really starting to look appealing, and these are the two big players. It is probably worth waiting for the next generation before pouncing, but I might try to grab one for review at Digital Trends (I'll post here if I do).