Is this the iPod for eggheads? Maybe. Especially now I have a case with built in reading light, I think it could be. I remain impressed by the brightness of the print on the electronic paper page, and the ability to play with the size of it according to light conditions. I’m now entirely OK about the controls, which are largely instinctive. It’s good to be able to access texts without a trip out to a bookshop. The machine is sturdy and pleasant to use.
Beefs? Very few, really. Scraping the bottom of the barrel...
- Some books are better than others for footnotes, indexing and searching. Good ones can be navigated by simple choices on the little wheel at the bottom right. Bad ones are just chunks of text you have to thumb ariund with manually, with page numbers that don't match up properly, just to make it impossible to use an index, even if there were one.
- The .lrf format could and should be slightly tightened up to produce a more consistent reading experience.
- Pricing is on the high side, given you can’t easily copy or print out the content. Given the way ebooks take the guesswork out of production, revision and distribution, whilst eliminating any need to remainder, I believe a price offering of paperback minus 20% would be more fair. Ecologically, ebooks are obviously a responsible option. The only reason to keep prices high would be to protect conventional publishing, especially hardback.
- Page-turning for books stored on large cards can be slightly clunky and slow.
The more people buy these things, the more titles will become available, in both the freebie and paid sectors. Right now there’s plenty out there. So if there’s an egghead in your life, Christmas is coming — time to tell Santa now, in case Sony UK manage to make as big a pig’s ear of the supply lines on yuletide product as they did on the accessories back in September...
I am banged up having my annual reality check at Saint Wandrille, Normandy, until Saturday. This entry has been preposted. The internet is switched firmly off for the week, and I will be delighted to respond to comments, but only at the weekend.