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Size matters…it solws you down

November 16th, 2008 by Noam Berg

We got a new shipment of e-readers, and they ain’t iLiads. We got us some iRex Digial Readers, the DR1000S model to be precise. With a 10.2″ e-ink screen, I believe it’s the largest e-paper display commercially available (not counting E-Ink corp’s horrendously expensive $3,000 prototyping kits).

I have to say, driving all those microcapsules seems to slow it down some. In terms of text, the display is gorgeous. Really something. But when it comes to interface and use…meh. To be fair, it’s meant for business documents more than for reading, but the iLiad is the other way and you know what? I hate to say it, but the kindle has the jump on both of them for book reading. Sure, the UI sucks, the hardware’s cheap and the type is an unholy abomination in the eyes of Gill, but it gets you to your book the fastest. A paper book doesn’t have to load. You pick it up and there it is, ready for your eyes to peruse. Electronic devices have to turn on and get their act together. from the time you hit the power button to the time you see your text in front of you, Kindle takes all. both iRex products take a century to boot, and you have to do some navigating to get to the content. Another thing that helps the kindle is that if you turn it off in the middle of reading a page in the book, the next time you turn on the device it’s at the same page you left it at. The iLiad does this as well, but it seems the DR1000S does not. It’s an important feature when you’re in the subway or elsewhere and on the go, and you’re reading in bried snippets. Getting on the train today, by the time I had this thing out of my bag and loaded the document I wanted to read, I only had time for two pages before I had to turn it off ( a process that taes longer than it should) and get off the subway. With the Kindle I could’ve read half a chapter by then. Probably on the iLiad as well. Hopefully they’ll do some upgrading to the software and overcome this nuisance. The iRex people seem pretty responsive to suggestions on their forums.

Lesson: the Kindle may be quick and dirty, it’s true. But the key word here is “quick”. It gets the job done, sloppily and without grace, but it succeeds. you flip a switch, wait 10 secods max and Bob’s your uncle, there is a page of text on your screen.

Posted in eBooks, ePaper, technology

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About the Mad Scientist Running this Show

Noam Berg is a graduate Student in the Design and Technology MFA program at Parsons School for Design in New York City. He is also the (debatably) creative force behind Exfish Studio. Noam is obsessed with old vacuum tubes, type design, computers, guitars and comic books. Noam likes Thai sweet chili sauce, hats, suits & ties, Wacom tablets, Japanese green tea (with the toasted rice), nerdy science girls, many varieties of music, SLR cameras, AnarchoJudaism, lithography and pocket watches. Noam's not a big fan of cell phones, the cool kids, ugly and over-used fonts (you know who you are!) and talking about himself in the third person. Seriously, this is really weird. I'm gonna stop doing it now.