Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Handhelds Portables Books Displays

Hands-On Demo Shows Asus E-Reader Tablet In Action 108

Posted by timothy
from the daylight-readable dept.
MojoKid writes "Mobile computing is making its mark at Computex 2010, with tablet PCs and e-readers of all sorts coming out for the first time as rivals to Apple's iPad. After announcing its Eee Pad tablet PC, Asus offered some hands-on time with its new e-Reader/e-Writer, designed for students and mobile business professionals. The little slate's features include 10-hour battery life, 2,450 dpi resolution touch screen, pen writing and input controls, 2MP camera, USB port, and a MicroSD slot. In addition, Asus also has strong ties with Amazon, so it wouldn't be a reach to see some sort of partnership between Asus and Amazon with the Kindle bookstore as a content provider."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hands-On Demo Shows Asus E-Reader Tablet In Action

Comments Filter:
  • color? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bodland (522967)
    Not interested in gray scale.
    • by DeadDecoy (877617)
      Normally, the display is gray scale because an e-ink display is used which causes less of a draw on power and extends out the battery life to a week. I'm guessing that the 10-our battery life is a conservative estimate. Otherwise your standard eee-pc/iPad clone outperforms such a device because they're color, available now at 300$, and last up to 10 hours.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Albanach (527650)

        Normally, the display is gray scale because an e-ink display is used which causes less of a draw on power and extends out the battery life to a week. I'm guessing that the 10-our battery life is a conservative estimate. Otherwise your standard eee-pc/iPad clone outperforms such a device because they're color, available now at 300$, and last up to 10 hours.

        The specs make this look like a note taking / annotation device. That's something the kindle sucks at. Jobs won't allow a stylus near the iPad, so they're

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by bodland (522967)
          Without color this device simply will not attract the "note takers"..." who is the biggest market segment of "note takers" who adopt new devices quickly?

          College students. Ever seen a young person react to monochrome display...?? "Yucky" pretty much sums it up.

          I think it is important to realize that tablet devices are going move quickly beyond the static brick...flexible displays will allow a thin device that has all the characteristics and user experience of a magazine with moving pictures and interne
          • Excuse me?! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by aussersterne (212916) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:05PM (#32434904) Homepage

            I am one of the "note takers," essentially a professional one. I don't use color. I don't WANT color. Color destroys readability.

            Right now I use a LiveScribe Pulse pen.

            1) No immediate feedback.
            2) Clumsy applications.
            3) Limited memory.
            4) Must be synchronized to a PC.
            5) No close handwriting recognition integration.
            6) VERY limited user interface.

            I would LOVE to be using a tablet of some kind so that I can actually see what I'm doing. So why am I using an ink-based pen? Because there is NO alternative for taking many hours worth of handwritten notes on battery power with very low weight right now. Back in the day there was the Newton 2x00 and it was, so far as I'm concerned, the Greatest Device Ever Created for my purposes and I would still be using it (I have three, two were backups) if not for the fact that the NCU (sync software) wasn't updated beyond Windows 95 / Mac OS 8 compatibility, so synchronizing is now impossible.

            For a good 10 years I've been crossing my fingers hoping against hope that someone would come up with a Newton-like replacement: similar form factor, similar display, similar high-resolution stylus-based digitizer, etc. This looks damned close in terms of size and input method.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by UBfusion (1303959)

              Have you ever tried to sync the Newton in a Win95 Virtual Machine? I use VMs a lot for old hardware (cameras, scanners, phones, music players) and in 90% of the cases it works.

            • by df770 (998444)

              How big was this Newton 2x00? I use the nokia tablets as "electronic paper" with xournal, an opensource app availabe for all linux distros. There is no handwriting recognition, but it allows me to make quick handwritten notes, text marking, and you can annotate pdfs with it. All it requires is a good touchscreen. I have tried xournal on the smartq's but their touchscreen controllers can't handle the handwriting well. The nokias can, though. Basically you might look for any tablet like device that some

            • No immediate feedback on the LiveScribe. Does it not write on the paper in ink? I thought that was the advantage, you get a paper written on and digital rendering from the camera lens
            • by CAIMLAS (41445)

              I don't know abotu that. From what I understand about the current trend (no, I didn't RTFA), most screens are being made for 'multitouch'. This means it's a capacitive screen, more often than not: this makes it ill-suited for pen-based input, on the fact that it needs a finger for operation. This is unlike a resistive touchscreen, which you can use a pen for, and can have varying degrees of sensitivity. The "old" tech used these resistive screens, allowing for pen use: you had to use pressure to operate the

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm guessing that the 10-our battery life is a conservative estimate

        Are you basing that on the long history of a diverse group of electronics manufacturers conservatively estimating battery life?

        • by DeadDecoy (877617)
          That guess was based on the assumption they were using an e-ink screen, but using a much higher refresh rate to get gray-scale videos and smooth writing with the stylus. As someone else has already posted, it's probably not e-ink but probably LCD as someone else has mentioned.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Drathus (152223)

        He says in the video it's a TFT-LCD. Just grayscale and not backlit. Hence the 10 hour life.

        Not eInk. No interest from me in using it as a reader, or much of anything else I guess.

    • I am. Colour does not really add any functionnality, I'm more than willig to trade color for resolution and battery life. I'm wooried about responsiveness though.

      • by rwa2 (4391) *

        I just bought a cheap greyscale duplexing laser printer (Samsung ML-2851ND), so I know what you mean.

        However, I was pretty happy when Palm PDAs went from greyscale to color apps... as far as conveying information goes, it does add a lot of practical uses.

        Maybe to put it this way... if I could buy a big cheap greyscale LCD for my computer just to read news, I think I would still primarily use the smaller color screen.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I just bought a cheap greyscale duplexing laser printer (Samsung ML-2851ND), so I know what you mean.

          Really? Where do you get grey toner? Pretty sure you bought a black and white laser printer.

          Maybe to put it this way... if I could buy a big cheap greyscale LCD for my computer just to read news, I think I would still primarily use the smaller color screen.

          You and almost everyone else. Big mono displays have been cheaper since the VGA days or so. My mom used to use a Mac IIci with a two-page mono display on 8*24 (non-GC) for graphic arts (An $8,000 system with 4MB RAM and 80MB disk!) because she needed real estate and displaying color is not that important in your average basic four-color (or less!) job. But everyone else got 13" and 14" VGA monitors when you could get

  • Clarification: (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThoughtMonster (1602047) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:35AM (#32431502) Homepage

    The screen does *not* have a 2450dpi resolution (which would be ridiculous). The dpi metric refers to the input sensitivity. The screen is a 8" 1024x600 panel.

    The panel is obviously not e-ink...is this old school monochrome LCD, then? If the viewing angles are OK, I don't see why not.

    • by thijsh (910751)
      That's actually quite an excellent DPI, especially for a portable device... This may be exactly what i've been waiting for in a nice tablet to use for notes and drawings.
      • by samkass (174571)

        It's roughly the same as the iPad (9" @ 1024x768 color) which has quickly become the benchmark for such things.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by thijsh (910751)
          The GP pointed out this is not about resolution, but about touch sensitivity... I have not read anything about the iPad having a great DPI, it's just regular fat finger touchscreen technology for as far as I know, which should equate to roughly 130 DPI. That would make this tablets almost 20 times more sensitive and much more suitable for drawing...
    • by sznupi (719324)

      That could be consistent with Pixel Qi screen, which is being shown in several devices now; and looks quite greyscale with its backlight off. Not really so greyscale as in the linked video of Asus device / why wouldn't they show the color mode?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I think that if they had a Pixel Qi screen, they'd just say so. And of course it would also support color.

        As it is, it really looks just like a monochrome LCD. Which, in this case, means an epic fail.

        • Fail? I don't know about that. My ten+ year old Palm has one of the best reading screens I've seen, outside of the Pixel Qi. If modern monochrome LCD bests it then I think that's awesome. Why not use it?
    • Re:Clarification: (Score:5, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor[ ]et ['f.n' in gap]> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @10:01AM (#32431886)

      The panel is obviously not e-ink...is this old school monochrome LCD, then? If the viewing angles are OK, I don't see why not.

      There are some LCDs that are non-backlit, but are very contrasty with very nice viewing angles available. The Aluratek Librie e-reader's a cheap ($120-ish) version of that whose screen is almost like e-Ink, and very, very nice. Probably active-matrix panels to avoid all the nasty ghosting monochrome panels of old are. I used one and I didn't realize it was LCD - I just thought it was quite responsive, then saw it was actually an LCD.

      Alas, it's major setback is the cheap plasticky feel, the sharp "I'm high tech" edges and ridges, and positively lousy looking and feeling firmware. (And that's a major setback of all these devices is crappy-ass firmware...).

    • Not to be overly pedantic, but I don't really see how it wasn't blatently obvious that they were talking about input resolution in the summary. They referred to the touch screen portion of the device when listing DPI, not display resolution.

      • by Smurf (7981)

        Not to be overly pedantic, but I don't really see how it wasn't blatently obvious that they were talking about input resolution in the summary. They referred to the touch screen portion of the device when listing DPI, not display resolution.

        The article said "2450 dpi touch resolution screen" which is relatively clear, if you know what they are talking about (most people don't).

        But the summary said "2450 dpi resolution touch screen" which is very ambiguous, almost misleading.

        So yeah, you are being rather pedantic.

    • by alfredos (1694270)
      Saying that a magnitude which increases as technology evolves is ridiculous is bound to the era in which it is said. It is also bound to be quoted years for now, like the phrase famously (and, it seems, erroneously) attributed to Thomas J Watson [wikipedia.org], "I think there is a world market for about five computers".
  • Does it run Linux? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LinuxAndLube (1526389) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:36AM (#32431518)
    Does it?
  • by irp (260932)

    The digitizer has 2450 dpi resolution. The screen is 1024x786 with 64 grey levels.

    It look like a concept I could use. For lab journals etc - snap an image, write a note.

  • Wishlist (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:40AM (#32431576) Journal
    What I would like is to use such a thing as a terminal. Use it as a screen / digitizer combination at work or at home, and to be able to use it as a separate PC when on the train. As I don't do no flash, I cannot see what OS it has and if software can be installed on it, but it could make a great, finally ergonomic, X terminal.
    • Re:Wishlist (Score:4, Insightful)

      by radtea (464814) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @10:10AM (#32431972)

      What I would like is to use such a thing to read books that I own, not DRM-krippled rental boks that Amazon foists on Kindle users.

      Until then, no thanks. I've got books on my shelves that are over 100 years old, and I can still read them, although the publisher, printer and distributer have all long-since gone out of business. I've got books I bought 20 years ago, and I can still read them.

      There's no commitment, and no possibility of commitment, from Amazon or any of the other DRM-krippled e-bok vendors that I will be able to read their rental boks tomorrow, much less twenty years from now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gknoy (899301)

        Have you considered transcribing or digitizing those hundred-year-old books for Project Gutenberg, so that we can read them too? I haven't looked up what formats they're interested in, and I don't know how you'd do it without either being labor-intensive or destructive, but if you were willing, I bet the Project would benefit from it.

        • Seconded. Think of it as a backup in case of fire. [Had to reword that so it didn't sound like a threat:-)]
      • I have maybe 15,000 ebooks from a variety of sources, none of them currently have DRM, though 2 of them originally came from Amazon (bought by friends as gifts). Stripping the DRM from an ebook is pretty trivial. Even if Amazon disappears, I have my DRM-free files now, stored and backed up. Even if Amazon decides to send those books down the memory hole, I still have them.

        That's ownership, in my book. Granted, it'd be great if I didn't have to spend the 5 minutes it took to rip the DRM off of them.

      • How many copies are there in the world of your 100-year-old books? What's the percentage of books published 100 years ago that have surviving copies to this day? One intriguing prospect of e-books is that storage is so cheap that we may not have to lose a substantial portion of our written culture because of the natural loss of paper books. We probably have the technology today to make a million back-ups of every book on Project Gutenberg with unused disk space.

        DRM is certainly annoying, but in 100 years, I

      • by tgd (2822)

        Well, if it makes your rant feel any better, of all the format's out there Amazon's is the most trivial (and by trivial, I do mean trivial) to "unprotect" for future reading.

        DRM is a pretty strong word for a book obfuscated with a key derived from your serial number.

    • it looks like a custom OS or one of the many cellphone OS's, you can probably make a better guess at it using the image below the Flash movie than the movie itself since they only demo a single app.
  • WTF is the point of a digicam with a grayscale screen? I remember pictures taken with an old QuickTake 100 with fondness, but not enough to pay $199 to recreate its capabilities.
    • by Albanach (527650)

      WTF is the point of a digicam with a grayscale screen?

      It's an e-reader device. I imagine the camera might be useful for taking a picture of diagrams you have drawn by hand on paper or your lecturer has drawn on the blackboard. I don't see any reason why the photos shouldn't be in colour either - my samsung laser printer only does black and white, but the built in scanner does colour.

      Do schools still have blackboards?

      • by BobMcD (601576)

        Do schools still have blackboards?

        I think they're all whiteboards now, with colored ink, but I'm willing to be few educators use more than one color at a time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cwgmpls (853876)

          I do IT support in public schools in a major U.S. city. We have neither white nor black boards these days. All teachers now are using LCD projectors to display content that comes either from a PC or from a "document camera" -- a video camera aimed at a plain piece of paper. In addition, many teachers are using interactive whiteboards which digitize content as you write it on the board

          So there is little reason for a student to take a snapshot in class -- everything is already digitized as it is displayed

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sznupi (719324)

      So I take you think it was a mistake to offer, for almost 3 decades now, color video in cameras with electronic (and typically b&w) viewfinders? Same with many bridge digicams...I guess they should revert to making b&w pictures when using their built-in electronic viewfinder.

    • the same point as megapixel pictures taken on a device with a 2" 640x480 display: lots.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:57AM (#32431826) Homepage

    Give me 8.5" by 11" or A4 size screen with the resolution to replicate a FULL PAGE OF TEXT.

    Why cant these tablet makers get it through their heads? 1200X600 = too small I want to see a full page and annotate it. Otherwise it is another leisure toy and not a real tool for education or work.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BobMcD (601576)

      Give me 8.5" by 11" or A4 size screen with the resolution to replicate a FULL PAGE OF TEXT.

      Why cant these tablet makers get it through their heads? 1200X600 = too small I want to see a full page and annotate it. Otherwise it is another leisure toy and not a real tool for education or work.

      While I can see how this might be useful for a copy-editor or similar, why is this going to matter for the rest of us?

      Print is dying, my friend. Soon (if not already) everything important will come in a digital format as well as a printed one, and the application doing the printing will be expected to resize and adjust so things look good once printed.

      The demo illustrated one of the key features as to why this is the case - adjustable fonts. Can't do that once it has been printed out...

      • Print is dying, my friend. Soon (if not already) everything important will come in a digital format as well as a printed one, and the application doing the printing will be expected to resize and adjust so things look good once printed.

        This strikes me as the same printing clusterfuck we've had since the mid '90s. If you were trying to say that there is some brand new problem now, I don't know what it is.

        • by BobMcD (601576)

          More portable devices should mean less paper. And since the mid 90's, a certain gadget called a 'cell phone' has paved the way for even more capable devices.

    • by hmmm (115599)

      Very true. Business users need an A4 page size device or there is little point.

      • by Vancorps (746090)

        Why? Are people forgetting that it's a computer? As someone who routinely takes notes in business meetings I can assure you that taking notes on a smaller surface is not a problem, most people don't even use full size notebooks, you won't find any in this office because they take up a lot of room when most meetings you're just writing down action items. Then of course there is the side effect that at least with my Windows 7 tablets that can be taught the user's handwriting, the notes you've taken can then f

    • by owlstead (636356)

      You are probably in the market for a high end iRex reader (IREX Digital Reader 1000S). It's not quite A4, but the resolution is high enough to view PDF files:

      Specs of the display:

      10.2 Inch (diagonal) electronic paper display
      1024 x 1280 pixel resolution at 160 pixels per inch (eInk)
      16-level grey scale

      With PDF search & pen input available, although I haven't tried that (and I don't know how the input is stored).

      I don't think anything comes close for business use. But it still might fall a bit short (e.g.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      1200X600 is a little on the low side for such a large screen. I like reading small text, so I perfer something closer to 300dpi--even 150 would be ok, but I wouldn't be as interested. FYI, 300dpi means a 2400x1650 screen on a Statement-sized screen, which is about 9.7" diagonal.

      But this device is Letter/A4 including the bezel, and I think it is too large for mobility. There's a reason your composition notebooks, hardcovers, and trade paperbacks aren't Letter/A4. They'd be too bulky to carry around, both whe

    • by tgd (2822)

      I'm not sure the product managers at Asus really would consider a product to be an epic fail because one poster on the internet doesn't like it for their needs.

      As a hint: you are one of six billion people, your needs *might* just not be the same as the rest of them.

      To rephrase your question:

      Why can't these Slashdotters get it through their heads? Their needs are not the mainstream needs, and the tablet makers do not care if it doesn't meet them.

    • by cylcyl (144755)

      erm... given that the typical 8.5x11 page has an 1 inch margin in each direction. The actual area covered by text is 6.5x9, which is 11.1" diagonal. Which is not too far off from iPad, which is 9.7" diagonal. So, an 12% shrinkage makes 12pt font unreadable? so 10pt font is unreadable?

  • He never touched the screen with his hand while using the pen. So probably no active digitizer. Also doesnt seem to have an eraser end on the pen. Sigh.

    • by BobMcD (601576)

      I noticed this as well. I had a used Toshiba M200 for a year or so, until I broke the stylus. I could have gotten a replacement, but the $75 price tag was a huge downer for me. Even if it wasn't finger-friendly, a screen you can touch with anything is superior to a proprietary-stylus-only design in my book.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      Or, more likely he had the stylus in his hand and didn't want to put it away just to appease the paranoid.
  • ... of paper on my desktop, the one under my notebook. I write in shades of gray (or blue) so it would be functionally equivalent to paper and much better for long term storage of my notes (which I can afford to lose). But it must start up *quickly*. Paper starts up in zero time.

    Furthermore I can hopefully put pdf files in it with a SD card :-)

    • by hedwards (940851)
      Except when it takes a half hour to boot up because it's still in the office supply store or requires a new pen to properly work with the upgrade.
  • Is it just me? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by interval1066 (668936) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @10:18AM (#32432090) Homepage Journal

    Am I out of line by whining that we all should be well over the use of monochrome displays in these devices? When I see an eReader using a monochrome display I think "that looks so last decade...", and the strange thing to me is that it takes Apple and its iPad to deliver full color output? Like its some huge friggin' technological effort to create a tablet device with color; so they get to charge almost $1000 a pop? I don't get it. Am I missing the incredible technological leap that has been made with the iPad?

    • by jbeaupre (752124)
      It's not technology leaps, it's market segmentation. Segment 1: Color, plus some feature, minus others. $500 Segment 2: Grey-scale, plus some features, minus others. $200 Segment 3: Color, plus keyboard, plus some features, minus others. $300 And so on.
      • Power. My kindle is never turned off unless I am on a plane and required to do so. it lasts for weeks if the radio is off and days if not.

        The screen is also nicer to the eyes.

        Please people, do not slam these displays unless you have spent an hour reading from one. Many people refuse to look at them as they think they are just black and white PCs or LCD displays.

    • Re:Is it just me? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Draek (916851) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @10:40AM (#32432452)

      Am I out of line by whining that we all should be well over the use of monochrome displays in these devices?

      Well, yeah.

      When I see an eReader using a monochrome display I think "that looks so last decade..."

      What matters isn't how something looks, but how it works and, unless you're interested in photographs and videos (ie, not in the target market for this device) monochrome works perfectly fine as it is. Plus if it reduces costs so much that they can sell it for only $199, I'm all for it.

      and the strange thing to me is that it takes Apple and its iPad to deliver full color output?

      No, we've had color tablets for *years*, Apple's only "invention" was giving theirs a sane price.

      At first I was fairly skeptical of this eee-Pad or whatever, I thought it was gonna be little more than an iPad clone with the Apple logo switched by an Asus one, and retail for about as much. But this actually looks like an interesting device, not one aimed at the "rich hipster" who wants to watch Blu-Ray movies on his living room, but one aimed at students and workers which likely thought about getting a Tablet PC to do their work, but found the iPad too limited and the others too expensive.

      Monochrome? so are my notes. Small? so much the better. Camera on the back? I'm not interested in chatting up with it, I want it to document stuff. And to top it off it's only $199. Just genius.

      • Monochrome? so are my notes.

        Fine for you. Not for the mass-market.

        Small? so much the better. Camera on the back? I'm not interested in chatting up with it, I want it to document stuff. And to top it off it's only $199. Just genius.

        We're talking about the iPad, right? Last I heard it was well over $600 for the base model.

        • by rinoid (451982)

          Jesus christ are you daft or just lazy?

          http://lmgtfy.com/?q=apple+ipad+price [lmgtfy.com]

          16gb wifi only - 499.00

          and going up for a few increases in memory, then more for wifi+3g.

          Sigh.

        • Last I heard it was well over $600 for the base model.

          If by well over $600 you mean $499 you are correct. http://www.apple.com/ipad/ [apple.com] Apparently not drinking the kool-aid extends to not checking facts. The base model has never been advertised as being well over $600.

        • by MattskEE (925706)

          We're talking about the iPad, right? Last I heard it was well over $600 for the base model.

          Um, no. We're talking about the Asus E-Reader Tablet which is said to have a release price of $199. RTFT (read the fucking title) of the article if you're not sure about what's under discussion ;-)

          • Um, no. We're talking about the Asus E-Reader Tablet which is said to have a release price of $199. RTFT (read the fucking title) of the article if you're not sure about what's under discussion ;-)

            Um, no, we're talking about the iPad in THIS THREAD. COMPREHEND WHAT'S ACTUALLY UNDER DISCUSSION BEFORE USING EXPLICATES AND REVEAL YOUR TRUE IQ. Hell with your fucking smiley.

        • by Draek (916851)

          It's not aimed at the mass market, it's aimed at students and business users. To make an analogy, if the iPad is a big-ass iPhone then this is a big-ass Palm III, which may not have been popular on the mass market either but did well enough in the corporate world to sustain Palm for years.

          Now I don't blame you if you're not in the target market for this device, it *is* a fairly restricted market compared to the whole (or even the iPad's), but there is a need for a low-cost tablet that can double as an eRead

      • Apple's only "invention" was giving theirs a sane price.

        that and not putting a full OS designed for keyboard and mouse on the thing...

      • by ygtai (1330807)
        I kind of hope it can be in 4 colors -- off/black/red/blue. One of my professors used his Tablet PC as the blackboard for his writing in class, and published them on his website after each class. I also use mine for taking personal notes and designing whatever that needs sketches -- state diagrams, block diagrams, or even formulas. I like it better than on paper, because correcting errors is much easier. But Tablet PCs are so far still too bulky. And I, as well as that professor, do often use more than
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bendodge (998616)

      No, we're all missing the incredible technological leap in battery density and/or screen power consumption. Color screens take too much power or cost too much. Ever held an iPad? It's HEAVY. But hope is not dead: Qualcomm says they will ship a full-color, video-capable e-ink device this year [slashgear.com].

      By the way, my brother is an absolute eReader fanatic and has specs of almost every eReader imaginable: http://ereaders.bsgprogrammers.com/ [bsgprogrammers.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pollardito (781263)
      There are huge benefits to using E-ink for a reader over a traditional screen (battery life, eye-strain), and right now E-ink is essentially limited to monochrome. Add to that the fact that most books are just black text on white and it becomes more of a balanced trade-off than you make it sound. The iPad is a web/video browsing device that also happens to show books, so clearly monochrome would be out of the question.
      • I don't personally think that e-ink is so much better on the eyes as is commonly thought. I don't really notice any difference between focusing long term on a computer screen vs. long term reading a book, and most people I've talked to don't either. Yes this is anecdotal. I've been looking for a qualitative study comparing e-ink to traditional LCD and I haven't been able to fine one. If I stare at a book or a monitor for an extended period of time my eyes get a little dry and tired. It is a known fac

        • I don't know about blinking, but for me there is a huge difference in eyestrain caused by e-ink or LCDs. When I got my iPad I was ready to put my e-reader up on eBay, but I thought better of it.

          The iPad is great for reading reference material: fast and easy search, quick flipping through the book, images and diagrams come out great... However the iPad sucks for prolonged reading of text. This is where the e-readers really shine, I can read with an e-reader for hours on end without any eye strain, and
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            This is where the e-readers really shine, I can read with an e-reader for hours on end without any eye strain, and I can do so sitting outside in the sun as well. Try that with an iPad or laptop...

            I have a notebook whose screen is ordinary active TFT but with an LED backlight so bright I can read outside for hours. Not that the battery life lasts for hours with it turned all the way up. The iPad could have had a transflective screen that would have been more than acceptable outside, but Apple would have either had to settle for a typical profit margin or priced the iPad out of existence.

            Anyone who bought a 1st gen iPad is a toolbag anyway. We can expect it to get cameras and all the other cool doodad

    • Re:Is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @10:49AM (#32432620)

      Plenty of other companies do colour tablets. Have been since XP Tablet Edition almost a decade ago. The issue is that they're power-hungry and they cause eyestrain because you're basically staring at the backlight when you're reading off them. Monochrome reflective displays, often as E-ink, are favoured for "readers" because you're only getting ambient light and they run for a long time. Apple's made a judgement call and decided that long-term reading isn't used enough to justify hobbling a whole tablet to accomodate it. For battery life, they've just put a really fucking huge battery in there.

    • The technological leap is the battery life. Monochrome displays were a workaround to increase battery life. The iPad gets 10 real hours of battery life, which is enough for a days worth of use.
      • by serbanp (139486)

        yawn....

        The technology leap has to be the display itself. The ipad and its many predecessors simply cannot be used when sitting on a bench in a park in broad daylight. To me, this is a big letdown and the reason I did not buy one.

        The only two technologies that can do it are the e-ink/e-paper (Sony eReader, Kindle etc), and the reflective LCD (the "flective" part of PixelQi's "transflective" display), which this Asus tablet is also using.

        Bitching about the battery size limiting what the full LCD-based tablet

    • by papasui (567265)
      From my perspective, Apple just gives the *majority* what they appear to want. Most of Slashdot's viewer base is the *minority*. For every serious geek I know there at least 15 non-geeks I know (numbers are fictional.. but you get my point). Personally I don't think comparing a e-reader to an iPad is fair, thats only one function of it and probably not even the main one for most users. Also you can get an ipad for $499, it does a lot more than just read books for that price..
    • When I see an eReader using a monochrome display I think "that looks so last decade...", and the strange thing to me is that it takes Apple and its iPad to deliver full color output?

      Most dedicated e-book readers on the market are eInk-based, whereas iPad uses a rather typical TFT screen. eInk is monochrome only for now (color prototypes have been available for a while, but not seen in production yet). It has other advantages, though - such as battery life measured in days rather than hours, readability in sunlight, and being easier on the eyes.

    • by tgd (2822)

      Tablets are typically used inside. E-books are often not.

      The iPad is not usable on a beach, in a park, or anywhere else in direct sunlight, unfortunately. (I wish it was.)

      The Kindle, however, works beautifully. B&W e-ink and LCD screens works great without backlights and don't get washed out in direct sunlight. Color LCDs, by their very nature, do, and we are not even remotely close to a good purely reflective color screen.

      So until then, I'll use a tablet inside, and its my Kindle that goes on vacation

  • Why all these devices have MicroSD ports instead of simple SD ports? Dont tell me it's about size, my palm zire 72 launched in 2004 have one.
    • by BobMcD (601576)

      Popularity?

    • by owlstead (636356)

      Yes, that was back in the day you actually had to change SD cards to get some throughput and storage space. Nowadays you can get devices with fast USB connections (Palm absolutely sucked at USB throughput) and 8 GB micro-SD cards for almost the same price as regular SD cards. There is simply no need to swap these things anymore, so size does not matter.

      That said, I still prefer normal sized SDHC cards over those tiny ones. It does not make much difference for the device (I think) and I can swap them between

    • by hedwards (940851)
      For the same reason that Apple has been marketing smaller and smaller iPods. Because there are suckers that will pay for a device that's arbitrarily small missing the point that after a point it becomes completely counter productive. But in this case it does make some sense, it means you can download someting on your phone and then put it on a card that fits in the tablet.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It's about size. How much was your Palm Zire 72? Looks like they cost about $235 brand new. This is more device for less money. Using components which take up less space means you do less work in the place-and-route part of your design. They really had to cram everything in to your Palm device which even today still costs more than what this device will cost. Face it, a full SD on Palm is silly. ;)

  • I'd find this thing very useful if it could easily grab a good-quality photo of a document. 2MP doesn't seem enough, although if it's prepared for that it could be. I have a 3.2 MP camera in my mobile phone, and it doesn't do a very good job of grabbing a document's photo. Now, if this thing did a better job of it, (by for example taking a fast sequence of photos and software-joining them to get better quality), and if the document's classification system doesn't suck, well, I'd like one. Provided, of cours

  • it looks like a large palm3. $200, its not color, or eink, It's going to be tied to amazon? Come on. E-Readers need to either be CHEAPER or BETTER than books. Right now they are neither. So their only purpose at the moment is geek bling at the local starbucks. Call me when they're $25 and not tethered to amazon and they might be worth my interest.
    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      Heh, yeah... every few months I poke my head up at these ebook reader / smartphone "developments" and ask... "is it better than my Palm T|X running Plucker?". The answer has been "no" for the past several years (even with the Palm Pre).

      Seriously, can someone just bring back a nice lineup of Palm PDAs, and maybe just slap on a (slightly) more modern OS?

  • Greyscale screen, stylus input, reading/writing emphasis, perfect size (about the same as the original Apple Newton, only thinner), fast refresh, AWESOME.

    If it's as nice as it looks, this may be my ideal reading/writing device, depending on included apps and connectivity. Much more interesting to me as a dedicated reader/writer than the iPad, which has the wrong sort of display, no stylus input, and is slightly the wrong shape (more like a 4:3 display, less like a flip notebook).

  • But this will definitely put the last nail in the Apple Newton's coffin.
  • the Kindle bookstore as a content provider

    You mean media provider.

    The content, if any, of the works is provided by the authors, artists, photographers, and so on who created them.

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"

Working...