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Sony to launch Web bookstore, e-book device: aka another useless digital book device


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The "Sony Reader Portable Reader" system will sell for about $350. For a limited period, new Connect customers will receive a $50 credit to buy books from the service. Electronic books cost on average about 25 percent less than the cover price of physical books, a spokesman said.


Sony's latest generation reader, announced in North America at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, garnered attention for the electronic ink technology it employs made by E Ink of Cambridge, Mass. It uses new technology that allows digital text and graphics to be displayed without power-hungry back-lit screens.


Much like regular paper, the Sony Reader screen is not back-lit and requires a light source in the room to view the page.



You'll have to do better than that to make me give up my behemoth hardcover tomes! :rock


Tell me again how this is better than a few paperbacks? I read pretty fast and even I can't see the gain in this - unless you really want to haul around 30 bazillion books just like people haul around 30 bazillion mp3s.

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Have you seen one of these in action? They aren't perfect yet but the text is so crisp that it startles you at first. It does not look like an LCD. It also doesn't look printed either...it's unique but very, very readable.


Once they get them to do color and sell for $50 the tide will turn.

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I think it's pretty cool. Due to the way E-ink works, battery life is based on page turns (7500) instead of how long the device is turned on, which is great for reading. Also it doesn't just read their DRM'd e-books, it can also read/play:

1. TXT

2. RTF

3. PDF (Unencrypted)

4. BBeB (Encrypted and Unencrypted)


6. GIF

7. BMP

8. PNG

9. MP3 (Unencrypted)

10. AAC (Unencrypted)



Add a touchscreen, color, and a little less cost and I'd definitely be looking at one seriously. Having all my technical references in one small, lightweight device is much more appealing to me than adding yet another tome of dead tree to my already packed bookshelves.

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I am all over e-books when the price and selection is right. I haven't seen one of these in person yet, but I've read about the technology and I can't wait.


Tell me again how this is better than a few paperbacks?


Well, for me as a reader mainly of non-fiction, being able to search a book would be great. Being able to carry some reference books around (not just dictionaries, but any book that I feel like using as a reference) would also be really nice. Many times while I'm reading something, it will remind me of a point made in another book...if I'm at home, I will sometimes look through other books to see if I can find it...which can be difficult.


In the future, I can imagine looking through a bibliography, or 'suggested reading' section, and being able to instantly look at the content of the books listed, and having the option to buy one or more on the spot.


Then there is the environmental aspect. Presumably, one could buy a single reader and use it for years, sparing countless trees. Of course the reader itself, being an electronic device, will have an environmental impact of it's own...but this should be offset by the waste that paper represents (remember, recycling itself takes energy), especially if you can download newspapers and other media directly to it.

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I can see the use for stuff like magazines and newspapers, certainly - which pretty much get chucked on a constant basis.


True, something like this, done right, could see a resurgence in things like 'zine publication (kind of a text version of the almost-ubiquitous podcast).


Certainly a great idea for reference materials though.

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