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Do e-readers have a future with low cost tablets?

     
5:26 pm on Jan 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The WSJ poses the question, "The E-Reader Revolution: Over Just as It Has Begun?"
[online.wsj.com...]

I've often thought, what's the point in spending $100 on an e-reader when for $150 (or less) you can get an entry-level tablet computer. I can see why Amazon and B&N were pushing their dedicated devices, but is the time now called for dedicated devices?
7:16 pm on Jan 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

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You'll pry my e-ink ereader out of my cold, dead hands. For avoiding eyestrain and great battery life it's far superior to any tablet. However I won't be replacing it until it either breaks, or when colour e-ink comes within my price range.

These devices are always going to be niche, because you have to read a lot to justify the expense. But they tend to last for ages and retain their usefulness, so I think the article's suggestion that it's the end of their era is alarmist.
11:16 pm on Jan 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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End of their era? The era hasn't even started yet. They're still in the vhs vs. betamax stage, with a fringe group insisting on 8-track. Give them another 5 years, when the dust has settled and all e-book readers on the market can read ordinary HTML with full-spectrum CSS, and then look around to see who is left standing.
10:04 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Its getting interesting (or worrying depending on what kit you are trying support) to see what functions are merging and what is staying niche. For example we all have clocks on our phones but most people still wear watches.
6:24 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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>For example we all have clocks on our phones but most people still wear watches.

I would have thought that many wear them as a fashion statement.

I'm pretty certain the ereader era has peaked. Those with ereaders are happy with them, as Rosalind said, but when it breaks down, will there be a dedicated ereader to replace it? I suspect not.
6:27 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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But surely as the tech gets better, cheaper, both will merge, for example kindle fire might be a step in that direction
6:33 pm on Jan 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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scratch the kindle fire, just read some more about it, but perhaps they'll get a pad with hd/E ink someday
9:06 am on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Low cost tablets still don't solve the problem with being power hungry and there are also very low cost e-readers. Dedicated e-readers have the advantage of low power requirements and a very long battery life which I think will be a requirement for anyone needing an actual book, like a student, or maybe as libraries start going all digital, etc.

If you wanted to give a kid in a 3rd world country, where electricity is spotty to start, all the books he'd ever need for school K-12, one e-reader and a solar charger would do the trick.

Personally, I prefer reading the lovely Nexus 7 tablet screen over the pasty looking e-reader screen, but that's just me.

I would have thought that many wear them as a fashion statement.


Yes. It's nice to be able to gloat that you can not only afford to know what time it is, but you can do it in 18K gold. People that don't wear watches constantly asking the time really annoy me. Asking "Could you tell me the time?" might get my favorite reply "TIME TO BUY A DAMN TIMEX!" as I walk off.
1:06 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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>>People that don't wear watches constantly asking the time really annoy me.

i always thought asking the time was a rather lame chat up line or at least a kinda introduction - maybe you are more desirable than you realise incridiBILL
5:10 pm on Jan 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Asking "Could you tell me the time?" might get my favorite reply "TIME TO BUY A DAMN TIMEX!" as I walk off.

I prefer to break into an incredibly bad rendition of Chicago's "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" and that usually gets them running off on their own. :)

I actually had an idea for an e-reader back when the first laptops came out. My vision had a leather binding (like a REAL book) that opened and had screens on both sides- so you could read it like an open book, and you could load new books from cartridges (like the old game consoles). But considering the cost/quality of screens at the time, I figured it could never be made cheaply enough to sell at a price point where it would take off. Should have filed a patent anyway...
2:53 am on Jan 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I'm with Rosalind. I have an e-reader because of the e-ink. A glossy tablet screen just doesn't compare when you spend hours a day reading. I even bought a back-up e-reader just in case anything happens to my original (which is still working perfectly after several years of pretty much daily use).
 

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