New e-book readers

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(image of SONY e-book reader with top 10 e-books of 2005)

Imagine crowding your bedside table with piles of your favourite books. Or lugging them in your bag to read on the bus. Not anymore with the advent of portable eBook Readers. Pretty much the same size as an average paperback novel, these devices can store plenty of books in digital format and display them on a wide screen page by page.

At least four new e-Book devices are being launched this year — Sony’s Portable e-Book Reader, Philips spin-off iRex Technologies’ iLiad, and Chinese manufacturer Jinke’s Hanlin V2 and V8. Although a few e-Book Readers were launched earlier — like the Gemstar e-Book, Franklin’s eBookman and Hiebook — they did not come anywhere close to matching the real thing, and most of them tanked. The devices were clunky and felt more like a ‘gadget’.

The new devices are trying to create an experience akin to that of reading a ‘real book’. And 2006 is being touted as the year of the eBook.

Two things can change users’ experience this time. One, the technological advancement made since. The eInk technology used tries to emulate the feel of ink on paper. The screen is not backlit, it can be read from all angles. And unlike their bulky predecessors, they are slim.

Second is the emphasis on ease of use. The devices support popular text formats like PDF and HTML. You can plug in these Readers into your PC (via USB cable) and download documents of your choice. You can also read a wide range of content. Previously, readers used proprietary format, which meant downloading content from select sources.

The eBook market has not yet created ripples. But coupled with better access to a large number of titles, manufacturers hope to change that. Typically, an eBook is 20-25 per cent cheaper than the actual book. Also, there is plenty of content for free download. Parallels are being drawn with the digital music scene a few years ago. The advent of iPods and online music stores revolutionised the music industry. Sony has already tied up with major publishing houses like Random House and Harper Collins to sell thousands of titles on its Connect online stores. So, you can download a book by paying online and then upload it onto your Reader by plugging it to your PC. Can a Sony do to e-Books what Apple did to digital music downloads? Time will tell. Meanwhile, here are the Readers making the news:
Who is going to spend money on a separate device just for reading books?? When you already have a computer then simply download e-books and read them onscreen. I wouldn’t spend on such a device unless it also gave functions of a mobile phone, palm pilot, and internet browser all included with e-book reading.

And I would want at least 100 free e-books before I spend money on such a device! Lol lol lol!


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Think how much burden of students will be eased if such devices are allowed in school? A gadget that fits in your palm has all the text books and work books that you will need for all your classes. Plus you will not need to waste time and money buying actual text books…simply buy e-books and download them into the device.

From the PDF file the e-book readers and their prices are:

iLIAD ER-0100
Manufacturer: iRex Technologies
Launched: June 2006
Price: $820 (649 euro)

You can get reading material onto the iLiad ER-0100 in three ways— plug it into your PC through a USB cable, use a flash memory, or through wireless Internet connection. Since it is Wi-fi enabled, you can access online content like blogs, podcasts (as it supports MP3 format), and even receive live RSS feeds on the go. To create a two-way experience, the iLiad comes with a touch screen and stylus. So if you like scribbling notes in the margins while reading a book, you can do so here too. It supports multiple formats including PDF, XHTML, TXT and MP3.

Manufacturer: Palm Inc
Price: $299

IF you would rather not go for a pure-play e-Book Reader and don’t mind a bit of screen backlight, there are other ways to read an e-Book. You can go in for a multifunctional handheld device like the Palm TX, which supports e-Book formats. With built-in Bluetooth Wi-fi connectivity, the handheld can be used for multiple purposes. In addition to letting you browse the Internet, make presentations, spreadsheets, edit photographs, and listen to MP3s, the Palm TX also allows you to read e-Books on its wide screen.

HANLIN e-book V2
Manufacturer: Jinke Electronics
Launched: May 2006
Price: $299

THE Hanlin e-Book V2 supports a wide range of formats including PDF, Word, Excel and MP3. At $299, it is the least expensive of the e-Book devices with e-Ink technology. You can edit the text you are viewing and make notes by using the separate, small LCD display with touchscreen. The Hanlin e-Book V2 can store upto 80 e-Books, with an option for external storage memory.

Manufacturer: Sony Expected
launch: By December 2006
Estimated price: $300-400

THE Sony Portable Reader is a slim, half-inch thick device, weighing a mere 250 grams. It has a battery life of 7,500 page turns per battery charge. So, you can finish the entire Lord of the Rings series without plugging this device in. It can enlarge the text several times, making it easy to read small print. You can download content onto the Reader from your PC. Sony plans to sell a wide range of titles on its Connect online store. Its Connect Reader software will allow users to search and browse through the downloadable e-Books, manage purchased e-Books and easily transfer them to device.


adobe reader talks e-book
start -> programs -> adobe reader -> (Open some PDF file )
view -> Read out Loud -> ....

Had anyone used the above devices . I wonder how the accents bcome understandable for the regular users .
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