Tag Archives: e-readers

Meet the HP TouchPad

Craig Morgan Teicher -- February 9th, 2011

This may be the first real iPad competitor to show up, mostly because it’s built to be just like the iPad, but to head off some of iPad users’ complaints: it’s HP’s entry into the tablet market, the TouchPad, just unveiled today and due to his stores this summer.

Below you’ll find HP’s promo video for it via Engadget.  eBookNewser has some more info here. The TouchPad brings Palm (now HP’s) lauded WebOS to a larger screen.  The TouchPad is the same size as the iPad, but with a camera (though the iPad 2 will have one, too).

And, of course, Amazon has already announced its Kindle app for the device, even though it will be months before anyone can get their hands, let along their e-books, on it.  Do you want one?

Nook Color Reviewed

Craig Morgan Teicher -- November 16th, 2010

The Nook Color started shipping today, as we reported earlier.  The tech blog Gizmodo posted a lengthy review of the Nook Color today, basically concluding that it’s neither an e-reader nor a tablet, but performs some of the functions of both, though does the e-reading stuff much better.  Though the review also speculates that, being the first color e-reader with an affordable price tag of $250, it’ll be under lots of Christmas trees this year.

Here’s the conclusion from Gizmodo:

Caught between two worlds, the Nook Color is an undeniably interesting, if somewhat conflicted device. It’s not quite a tablet, but it’s more than a simple ebook reader. It can do things that an e-ink reader simply can’t—even if it doesn’t always excel at them.

If you were to ask this blogger, I’d say hold out and spend the extra $250 on an iPad, or spend $100 less on a Kindle, but Gizmodo’s right in thinking that we don’t know where this class of device–a half-tab–is heading, and it promises interesting things.  Book publishers are certainly excited about it.  How about you?

Will You Buy An E-Reader As a Holiday Gift?

Craig Morgan Teicher -- October 28th, 2010

It looks like the 2010 holiday season will once again be all about e-readers.  B&N just introduced the Nook Color, Apple is filling stores with iPads, and folks interested in getting into e-readers have lots of choices.  We’re curious as to whether PWxyz readers will be buying e-readers for others or for themselves as gifts.  We hope you’ll respond to the poll below and tell us if you think you’ll be stuffing stockings with e-readers.

‘The Book Can’t Compete with the Screen,’ Says Philip Roth

Craig Morgan Teicher -- October 5th, 2010

In this video interview with Tina Brown for the Daily Beast, Philip Roth says he thinks that in 25 years the number of people reading novels will be somewhere in the range of the number of people who now read Latin poetry.  And, he says, e-readers won’t make any difference.  “The book can’t compete with the screen,” says Roth, cynically if memorably.

What do you think?  Is he just a curmudgeon, or is the novel going the way of Latin poetry?

[via eBookNewser]

The PW Morning Report: Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010

Craig Morgan Teicher -- September 2nd, 2010

Your daily morning inks…

Two Kinds of Readers: The NYT breaks down the two kinds of readers–print and digital.

New Scholastic: Scholastic revamps the marketing strategy behind its beloved book club. From the NYT.

Ugly Covers: HuffPo rounds up the worst celebrity memoir covers.

Apple’s New iPod: Pocket Lint takes a close up look at Apple’s new iPod Touch (you can read on it).

Top Library Downloads: eBookNewser runs down Overdrive’s top library e-book downloads, with Eat, Pray, Love at the top.

Bookstore Tour: A look at a trolley-bound tour of 3 indie bookstores in Pittsburgh. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

PWxyz Readers Prefer Purpose-Built E-readers

Craig Morgan Teicher -- August 27th, 2010

Yesterday, we asked you whether you preferred multi-purpose or purpose-built e-readers.  Well, the results are in–as you can see from the poorly created pie-chart above, the largest percentage of commentors on yesterday’s post prefer a purpose built device–Kindle, Nook, and the Alex were some of the readers mentioned–to the multi-purpose iPad and mobile devices like iPhone and Android phones.

To be fair, only 11 people commented, and two of them were this blogger, so these results may not be representative of the e-reading pubic.  But aren’t some of you surprised that so many people prefer E-Ink devices?  It’ll be interesting to see the answers to the same question a year from now.

But now here’s another question: why do so many people prefer dedicated devices?  Is it the price?  The screen?  The fact that Kindle has a head start over iPad?

CVS to Sell $180 E-reader

Craig Morgan Teicher -- August 20th, 2010

What?  Really?  Yes!  By Christmas, you should be able to get your batteries, your prescription, your shampoo, your paper towels and your e-reader, all on the same trip to CVS.  According to Engadget, which got its hands on some holiday shopping promo materials (see above), CVS will carry the Lookbook wireless e-reader starting on 9/19.  It’ll cost $180; have wireless and a 7″ screen, and be connected to the Kobo e-bookstore.  They’ll also have a Sylvania netbook for $100, but that’s got nuthin’ to do with us.  So could you see yourself grabbing an e-reader as an impulse buy, along with an extra tube of Chapstick?

Some Thoughts on the Demise of the QUE E-reader

Craig Morgan Teicher -- August 11th, 2010

Does this picture remind you of another gadget that DID make it to market?

In a announcement yesterday, Plastic Logic officially killed the much-and-long-hyped QUE ProReader.  In the release, Plastic Logic CEO Richard Archuleta said,”We recognize the market has dramatically changed, and with the product delays we have experienced, it no longer make sense for us to move forward with our first generation electronic reading product.”  Those changes include not only the launch of the iPad, but, perhaps

most importantly to a company that was about to launch a $700 dedicated e-reader, the recent price wars between Amazon, Sony, and other e-reader manufacturers that have effectively brought the price of e-readers down to a little over 100 bucks.  But the story of the QUE is full of lessons about the rapidly changer e-book market, and about the pace at which the technology behind information-consumption is moving.

The QUE was an imaginary product–while Plastic Logic has been showing off prototypes for years and announced it at CES 2010, it lived almost entirely in the hazy world of hype.  Amazon has the highest share of the e-reader market not because it built the best e-reader but because it got the Kindle to market first: Amazon taught readers how to use e-books with its e-reader and its Kindle store.

Apple will end up winning at tablets largely because it got the iPad out first–as with the iPhone, all other tablets will have to be copycats, or will seem to be.  Of course the market bypassed the QUE, because Plastic Logic kept its product out of the market.  Amazon essentially released an inferior product (the Kindle 1), and updated it as soon as it could.  But it got a heck of a head start.

Of course, Plastic Logic wasn’t quite trying to compete with Amazon–it said the QUE was a “Pro” reader, targeted at business clients who’d want to read various kinds of self-generated documents.  Plus Plastic Logic isn’t a book hardware company, it’s a plastic electronics company–the e-reader was just a way of showing off that technology.

Now the company says it “plans to shift its focus to bring to market a second-generation ProReader plastic electronics-based product.” What could the company do differently to make that product successful?  Maybe plastic electronics are really, really awesome–tons lighter, glow-in-the-dark, who knows?–in which case that might be a sellingpoint.  Otherwise, the QUE 2 better either be a mind-blowing tablet computer, or a dirt cheap e-ink e-reader.

Would You Read E-books On This Crazy Thing?

Craig Morgan Teicher -- August 10th, 2010

In this month’s issue of Wired, there’s a writeup of a new device from Toshiba called the Libretto, which combines a touchscreen tablet, a laptop, and a book.  It’s got the clam shape of a laptop, but it’s smaller–about book-size–and has two touch screens, one of which can display a choice of keyboards.  And you can read a book in old-fashioned book style–with facing pages.

Here’s more from Wired:

The upper screen presents a typical Windows 7 OS while the lower pane hosts one of six keyboards. Catching up on Modern Family? Fill the top window with Hulu while you cruise Wikipedia for spoilers below. And if you’re feeling literary, turn the Libretto sideways and load up Toshiba’s ebook software. It shows one page on each side, just like the printed books Grandpappy used to read.

E-Book Poll Results: Price Is Still A Big Factor

PWStaff -- July 30th, 2010

This morning we asked you to take a poll about your e-reading habits–do you read no, a few, or many e-b00ks?  Over a few hours, we had almost 400 responses and lots of telling comments, so we thought we’d take a few minutes to look at the results.

First off, our respondents certainly don’t represent all the readers out there, but PW readers are generally people who care about books and are follow the book world to some degree, if not very closely.  So their responses should tell us something about what book people are thinking and feeling about e-books.  As you can see, our top and bottom levels–”I read zero e-books,” and “I read five or more” were almost tied (and, by the way, forgive us for having a little fun with that “geeks” comment–we meant nothing by it; we’re geeks around here), with zero e-books edging ahead with 37.5% of respondents verses the 35.5% who said they read five or more.  That would seem to indicate, unsurprisingly, that readers are fairly evenly divided, maybe even polarized, in their feelings about e-books.

Perhaps the most interesting, and timely, piece of information to come out of this poll, however, comes from the comments and responses typed into the “Other” field that was the last answer to the poll.  While a couple of people wrote things like “I don’t read e-books,” more said things like this: “I’ve been waiting for the price to come down.”  Even with the recent price reductions, the price of e-readers is still a big factor.  Let us not forget that a paperback book is a present you can buy–for yourself or someone else–for less than 20 bucks, and you don’t need a gadget to read it, just some light.

If Amazon started giving Kindles away, would e-book sales skyrocket?