I’m Glad I Publish PDFs…

…when I see something like coming out soon.

The SONY Reader (that’s the official product site, with specs):

Apparently they’ve managed to resolve the problems of screen-reading (low-res, flicker, backlighting, etc.), by something they call “e Ink,” which provides relatively high contrast, no backlight, no screen flicker and good resolution.

Plus, It also appears that SONY has ditched the digital rights management (DRM) for this reader (the previous one was proprietary). This one appears to let you choose from among different formats, allowing you to read downloaded web pages, PDF files, and more.

Once things like this start becoming as regular as iPods, being a PDF publisher is going to be a Very Good Thing indeed.

18 Replies to “I’m Glad I Publish PDFs…”

  1. It also occurs to me that being the friend of a PDF publisher won’t be such a bad thing either.

    And having one in one’s writing group, well now…


  2. It looks very promising. Too expensive for right now, but promising. I’ve got the current generation Walkman, Sony’s attempt to crack the iPod stranglehold and I’m very happy with it.

  3. eInk is the shit, and from what I understand, will even be used in phones and PDAs soon. The incredibly low power consumption, and the fact that the page suppsedly stays readable for a time with the power off, and you have a finally workable ebook reader.

  4. Plus, It also appears that SONY has ditched the digital rights management (DRM) for this reader (the previous one was proprietary). This one appears to let you choose from among different formats, allowing you to read downloaded web pages, PDF files, and more.

    “It also displays Adobe PDFs, personal documents, blogs, newsfeeds, and JPEGs with the same amazing readability, so you can take your favorite blogs and online newspapers with you . . . These formats require file conversion to BBeB using supplied software.”

    I’m skeptical of any program which wants to convert PDFs full of charts and images into its own format . . .

  5. Cool, though it’ll never replace the real printed page, IMO. It just can’t capture that feel of turning the page.
    But the real question for this thing is the price, and also the battery life. Can it sustain operation for hours on end, so you can sit and read a good book in an airport and on the plane? Do we have any idea yet if it’ll be affordable or a Sharper Image catalog item?

  6. There’s been some nice buzz about this. Last I heard they’re expecting to go for $400-$600, which for bleeding edge tech is not too bad (hell, that’s cheaper than several PowerPC handhelds).

    I’m curious to see how many people go for this sort of product and how long before they’re able to roll this tech into PDA/cellphone gadgets. I think people are ultimately looking for one all-purpose communication/media gadget. The trick is creating that gadget and then being able to sell it for a good price.

  7. I love dedicated devices, I adore the eInk tech (so smart!), and yet I won’t pay more than $100 for this thing.

    The 80 book limit and the use of MemoryStick are both big red warning flags. I’m used to carrying 100s of books around in HTML or .lit formats, with no expensive Sony add-ons.

    In the meantime, my laptop does the job of this device just fine. Thanks for the heads-up — guess I’ll check it out in the spring.

  8. Ah, thanks for the heads-up on that. Too expensive, I’d say, but still cool. And of course this is only the first iteration–the price will drop over the first few years until it’s down to $100 or less, at which point it’ll probably become a LOT more popular.
    I think they should give consumers an option of buying it with a wraparound leather cover, though. :)

  9. Not bad, but still too expensive for a single use device. Once it’s rolled into tablets or PDAs, it’ll look more attractive.

  10. Beat me to it. Battery life is key and a nice screen like that seems like it’d use a lot of juice.

    Love the idea, though. I never wanted to read a whole book on-screen, but maybe with this it’d be okay.

  11. I thought there was a difference between converting PDFs between OSes and converting them to a different format altogether.

    Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but it is Sony.

  12. True.

    The difference is probably that Adobe had more of a hand in writing the software for the pdas. They’ve got a much higher user base and are already established. For the ebook reader, Sony’s trying to establish itself by latching onto a known format.

  13. One of the concepts I saw looked like a thin volume, like a chapbook.
    The idea was to have this stuff still have turnable pages, and the thing was going to display one chapter at a time.
    Then you would turn to the front of the thin volume and after triggering a control, it would contain the next group of twenty pages.

    The eink sheets only use power while changing the display, so if you set the ‘chapbook’ down, it is not using power until it is time to convert the pages to the next group of pages.
    This cannot happpen as a commercial unit until the price per page of eink sheets drop way down.
    I really like the chapbook concept.

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