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Handhelds Books Media Patents Hardware

Amazon Wins First Kindle Patent; Bigger Screen Expected Soon 50

An anonymous reader writes "One day before Amazon is scheduled to unveil its widescreen Kindle aimed at newspaper readers, the e-commerce giant has been awarded its first US patent for an e-book reader. The new patent, D591,741, is a design patent which protects the look and feel of the Kindle shell, not for fundamental technologies. Those patents are mostly held by E Ink Corp., which makes the 'liquidless paper' display. Sony, IBM, and the Discovery cable TV network also have e-book patents. Amazon, though the leading e-book seller, has none, but the patent award indicates they've applied for at least four recently." Also in Kindle news, PC World has a brief article up on the larger-screen Kindle DX (expected to launch Wednesday), including pictures first spotted on Engadget.
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Amazon Wins First Kindle Patent; Bigger Screen Expected Soon

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  • PDF support (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @01:02PM (#27833215)
    Amazon, please do the right thing and add the native PDF support to existing Kindle 1 & 2s.
  • Bigger Screen? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @01:04PM (#27833253) Homepage Journal

    But the whole point was to be like a standard paperback book. If it gets much bigger, might as well get a tablet PC and call it a day.

  • by bob_herrick ( 784633 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @01:31PM (#27833663)
    Personally, I think the Kindle concept, once the screen gets up to something like 8" x 11" will be the salvation of newspapers. Color would be a help, too. The Kindle 2 has too small a screen to handle headlines and photographs, but landscape on 8" x 11" would work quite well. The ability to deliver the news immediately, and presumably to update during the day but yet in an easily readable screen of inconsquential weight powered by a long life battery might even get my wife to switch. And even to pay a subscription.
  • Re:PDF support (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @01:56PM (#27834129) Homepage Journal

    The problem with PDFs isn't so much the size of the screen, but the speed at which it updates.

    You can view PDFs fine on a computer screen, even if you have to scroll a bit to get around it. The Kindle's eInk screen takes about two seconds to fully refresh, so you can't just scroll around.

    It's a problem with reference and textbooks too. You can't just flick around or scan through pages because every page change takes two seconds. Publishers have to redo the layout of books for the Kindle screen too, which isn't too bad on a novel but is a lot of work for a textbook with diagrams and footnotes. Magazines have the same problem.

    If they could fix that, I'd buy one tomorrow. I've fancied one for reading novels for ages, but was waiting for price and performance to improve and being able to view PDF datasheets or textbooks. HTML would be nice too.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @02:32PM (#27834823) Journal

    You've hit two keys. Why does it have to have such a large bezel, and why does it have to be non-foldable. Most phones are down to 1/4" or less bezel, so I presume it's not a technical limitation. We have seen prototypes of screens which can be bent if you had a clamshell case. 8.5x11 doesn't have to be the target size, either. Since most paper has a border or at least 1/2", you could reasonably have an 8x6 device when closed that opens up to have the readable size of a letter (or A4) paper. Depending on the resolution and format, ebooks might even be displayed as a two-page landscape format, allowing a more book-like experience.

  • Re:PDF support (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @03:37PM (#27836145) Homepage

    I wish they'd standardize on about 3 sizes for these things:

    1. Paperback (good for text-only books where formatting doesn't need to be preserved, highly portable)
    2. Trade/Hardback (less portable, OK for pages with some pictures, good for poetry and other things where precise formatting matters, allows larger type while still keeping quite a bit of text on the page, maybe just a tiny bit larger than most current readers)
    3. Oversize (good for 8.5x11 pages, comic book pages, works that are heavily reliant on diagrams and other images, etc.)

    Then publishers could just design to whichever size was appropriate, with the smaller sizes working fine on the large devices and the smaller devices being able to display things meant for larger ones but possibly with formatting errors or hard-to-see images.

    I'd buy the two larger sizes, personally.

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