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back to article Next-gen e-book readers to slim down

Within weeks of Amazon's announcement that its Kindle e-book reader was supersizing to focus on documents and textbooks, two companies have announced cut-down e-book readers better suited to beach reading than perusing the Wall Street Journal. British company C*oler Books [sic] will be launching their Cool-er reader on 27 May, …

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C*oler

...beautifully ripped off from the iPod Nano.

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No ta

Until these become considerably cheaper than a netbook, I'll stick to my eee in portrait mode with the power saving cranked up and MSReader/Ereader running. That's good for 7+ hours of book reading between charges.

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Give me a Sony any day

Wife got me a Sony reader, PRS-505, and it's bloody excellent.

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£200 to read on holiday

With the amount Ryanair charge for excess baggage, that sounds like a bargain to me!

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someone in marketing chose the name..

bad name for a product - try googling c*oler and you don't get anything..

Eventually found it on the Interead website. Am curious to try an ebook.

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@Alex Walsh re. No ta

(Same here but with Mobipocket reader on my eee.) It's not the purchase cost that bothers me though; it's the ability to get DRM free books that I can read on a 'reader' or netbook or laptop, as *I choose*. Until the market in e-books, e-docs or whatever settles down (or even gets properly established) and I can be sure of truly understanding what I'm letting myself in for, then I'm not going anywhere near them.

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Only when they're dirt cheap.

£200 to read books? It's not sounding appealing, when you can just buy a paperback for a few quid.

I can see the appeal, but if anyone expects me to buy books AND pay £200 for the pleasure of reading them, they're going to have to cut prices a whole lot and improve the tech plenty. Once these things are reasonably priced (£50 or less sounds reasonable), the battery lasts a few weeks of reasonable use without a charge, and it's cheap + easy to get decent content onto it, I'll certainly look at buying one.

Until then, I'll stick to my current set up: a big pile of cheap, user friendly paper books and a big pile of ebooks on my iphone, which has the unbeatable advantage of always being with me when I want to read something.

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feature-bereftness

Not sure about the later sony's, but my PRS-500 only plays MP3s in sequence and the battery dies at a ridiculous pace if you use it for music.

What you're missing though, is that many people want their ebook reader to be mostly screen. Something the Kindle clearly isn't.

The DRM issue is a major pain, but there are now enough players in the market that that should sort itself over the next few years.

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Whats the point of that??

An iTouch makes a fine pocket reader once you have Stanza installed, and is still the best pocket computer you can get.

Ok it won't have the battery life of these things, but if you are going to be out camping for a few days then try a bloody book.

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Linux

readers rock

There's been a bit of e-book bashing recently from 'traditionalists' and would like to counter that by saying that my Sony PSR f*cking rocks, and I love it!! I'm sure (?) these other models will fit the bill also, but no complaints about mine.

I didn't used to read that much at all, but I've ploughed my way through a fair few classics since purchasing my reader, which I strongly doubt I would have done otherwise.

'oooh it's the feel of a book'...'hmmm it's the smell of a book' ... blablabla. Go tie your bedside shelf to your sandals and drown yourself in ink. I actually don't want a massive bookshelf/library to illustrate to my so-called friends how intelligent/well read I am.

When you're actually reading a book you're forming pictures in your mind, not absorbing the physicality of the book by some sort of process of Penguin-induced-osmosis....

The only downside to the PSR is that the battery does drain when it's not even in use (albeit very slowly).

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Bah!

Why the flock do I *want* a book that can be a phone? I'm trying to read. The last effing thing I need is to be interrupted by a phone call.

Make the bloody thing portable, resilient to "tote impact", able to display colour and piccys and make it CHEAP. There's no bloody point in the damn thing if it costs as much as a library before you start reading.

Keyboard. Phone. Azathoth on a bike.

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eInk != LCD/TFT

@Frank, Alex, Chris, Joe - if you'd ever used a real e-ink screen, you'd realise there is no comparison to a iwhatsit/netbook's LCD screen. Yes, you can read a book on one of those screens, but it's not the same as a reader by a long shot.

I can - and do - read my iLiad reader perfectly comfortably in direct sunlight. You can't do that with your devices. Also, my iliad is 160dpi, almost twice that of a normal screen. For me, that's the main thing - I get sore eyes reading at low dpis for extended periods of time.

It's one of those things you just have to see in person, like HDTV - screenshots and photos and the like just can't do it justice. Next time you're near Waterstones/Borders/John Lewis, why not pop in and have a play with one? eInk is one of the few technologies I've seen for years that's made me go "wow".

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CyBook Opus

"We don't know what that's going to cost, though, nor precisely how big the containing pocket needs to be as yet."

249.95 € pre-order from http://shop.totalereaders.com

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PDA

I'll stick to using my PDA. Ok the screen is smaller but the books still have the same amount of words. And it fits nicely into my hand and pocket.

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Nokia N8x0

I love my Nokia N800 for reading novels. But I need something with a larger screen for textbooks. I have a Acer Aspire One, but the form factor and lousy battery life (2 hrs with stock battery) put me off. Plus a netbook is bigger than the original book in most cases, which kinda defeats the purpose for me.

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@johnnytruant

I know eInk doesn't equal an LCD- I can read an LCD book in bed when the missus has gone to sleep and the lights are out :)

What they need to do to get these dedicated ereaders to appeal to the population in general is to make them the size of a paperback book with an aluminium chassis, cover the front entirely in screen (with a non reflective hard cover over it), have a selection of buttons and a Sony Clie style jog wheel on the side, and sell them for 100-150 quid.

The books then need to retail for a fiver each (a hardback can still cost you £18 if you walk into Waterstones on release day), rather than the same price as the bloody hard copy.

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