I read a blurb over the weekend (on some blog, somewhere) that prognosticators are already predicting the extinction of stand-alone e-Readers (this, before some of them have even been released). The gist of the post stated that most people want their mobile devices to be multi-functional - it's a practical thing, I get it. People want a device that will let them check email, Tweet, get the latest stocks, listen to music or view whatever is viral is going around. Thereby eschewing any device that can't do all and be all. I do get it. Apple, et. al has left open that expansive door that will allow their product to eventually replace those pesky netbooks and laptops... it's only practical... common sensical, even. Except...
One is not meant to multi-task while one is reading. In the same blog post it also suggested that perhaps the stand-alone e-Reader is the better choice BECAUSE of it's focussed functionality. Ironically, it further suggested that it was the best way to 'disconnect from the grid,' since (for the most part) these e-Readers don't have access to the Internet & email and have batteries that will last up to 30 hours! Of course the printed word doesn't need batteries in order to be read (unless it's late at night and you're using a flash light).
It is here, however, that the author of this blog post starts to sway me. An e-Reader can hold several (many) books and, when traveling or reading books that aren't meant to be collected, can act as the substrate/conveyer without the material waste. That, and there's bookshelf space to consider. (Of course, I don't know everything that goes into an e-Reader, there could be plenty of material waste in its creation. Same too could be said for the mass production of printed matter, I suppose.)
Yes, even I, a lover of paper, glue, ink, and binding would consider owning a stand-alone e-Reader. However, I have not yet been swayed on the merits of tablets such as the iPad. Don't get me wrong - they're wicked cool, but right now they fall into the expensive toy that I don't really need category.
addendum: several new "Kindle Killers" (as the new wave of e-Readers are being called) are being touted with Internet access, touch screen, and full color e-ink. So maybe those prognosticators were right.
|BeBook with touch screen (above), & Fujitsu with full color (below)|
Labels: BeBook, e-ink, e-Readers, eBooks, Fujitsu, iPad, Kindle