I once took possession of an Apple Newton MessagePad. I still have it, and occasionally waste a pack of four AAs for old times' sake to remind myself what handheld computing was like back in the mid-1990s. I get the same sense of nostalgia using Samsung's e-book reader, the E60. Samsung E60 Samsung's E60: cream'n'chrome, anyone …
..."is a wanker". That made this review worthwhile for me. Nice one!
Oi, what's with calling our famous explorer a w*anker?
First "register" before I can read any PDF?
I. Don't. Think. So.
Dealbreaker. Even if it did support DJVU, which is a hard requirement if I'm going to have to plunk down more than fifty quid for such a thing.
Even at £199 it's inferior to the latest Sony Reader 650 which has the usual elegant construction, a better eInk display, finger-friendly touchscreen and annotation support.
The only thing it has which the Sony could benefit from is WiFi - but since I've never felt the need to download a book NOW I'm not sure how much use it would get.
It's biggest selling point should be that you won't have to use the unfathomably terrible Waterstone's eBook store.
I agree that waterstones is terrible but you don't have to use it, you can use any digital editions store including wh smith. (Or with some drm jiggery pokery you can read books from any store including the kindle store)
Each to their own, but is it *really* worth shelling out a couple of hundred quid for an e-reader?? OK, it may have other bells and whistles, but nothing most mobile phones won't do (other than screen size, I suppose). Like the review implies, 15 years ago it may be a goer, but I still would have plumbed for a Palm Pilot.
As a parting shot, my local bookshop sells paperbacks from less than a pound. I can stuff 'em in my bag without worry of damage, and they don't need batteries. Probably just me, but I can't see the attraction of e-readers.
"Probably just me"
Nope. £200 buys a lot of books, even shiny new hardbacks. And you can put them on shelves and make yourself look clever. The book ain't broke and I've no plans to fix it.
Agree most of the way...
I agree with you most of the way, but these things do have their uses.
As someone with a visual impairment, I have to use a hand magnifier to read paperbacks and newspapers. That's fine when I'm at home, but when I'm on the bus or train it's cumbersome and looks odd. I've always envied those who could read papers on the train or lounge around on the sofa with a paperback held at arm's length (or even use laptops, but that's another story!), for me reading can be something of a chore.
These devices are a great *compliment* to traditional books. In public I can use one to increase the print size so I don't have to have the thing up against my face and on that long journey I don't have to have loads of papers and books around. But at home I can goggle through my magnifier at my beloved 1950s paperback collection or chuckle at Private Eye.
One thing stopping me from going out and getting a Kindle or whatever tomorrow is the content. I haven't looked into it properly, but I'm guessing that alot of older, more obscure (or non-American!) material isn't available in ebook form.
Books will never die, but anything that lets me and millions of other blindies enjoy reading again can only be great news.
Good point, JB
Actually, that's a very good point. I can get by with just a pair of reading specs, but, as mentioned, there are folk who require a little more assistance. Aside of larger print books, which would be just as cumbersome as a magnifier, surely a cheaper solution could be found? Strip out all of the bells and whistles and have a nice-sized screen with good mono clarity that will turn a text/rich-text/pdf/whatever file into something scalable and charge about £40 for it. Make it as light as a Stephen King paperback (or lighter for that matter!) and they'll probably sell a lot better than the current batch.
I'd quite like an e-reader
as I no longer have space for books/bookshelves. But, at these prices, I'm better off just givng my books to charity shops once I've read them.
These things will only take off once they (or, at the very least, their downloads) are cheaper than old fashioned books.
The e ink screen costs $50
The other components probably add up to $50. Therefore a non subsidized ereader shouldn't cost more than $120 and probably less if it subsidizes itself by tying to a store. There really isn't much excuse for devices that cost more than this especially with tablets about to eat their lunch.
200 quid and the rest...
for the books?
novels and easy reading like magz should be micro managed, google know this with their small ads. Reference books should be cheaper than their hardback equivalents, with educational licenses for short form books - getting updates is a paid for service, y'know?
One plus point
Being able to scribble notes with a 'pen' is the only major bonus here - the note taking facilities on the likes of the Kindle are atrocious, and IMHO the only reason they haven't been clutched en-masse by students. Are there any decent eBook readers that allow this?
One Plus Point
I have the first Sony touchscreen reader, I forget the name, PRS600 maybe? Anyway, it has decent note taking ability, there is a slightly lag in writing with the stylus but not enough to be annoying to me. Oh, and the bonus of a full dictionary for whenever you encounter a new word, or just to use as a dictionary. And it does PDFs out of the box.
50%, seriously? You spend the entire review trashing the damn thing then give it as much as that? I was expecting to see something about 20% less, especially when you have to hand over 200 notes to get one!
Even more so when I see Next are selling an Android-powered (Android Kindle app is free, remember) tablet for £20 less, with a proper touchscreen as well.
£300?? A Kindle is £109 with Wi-Fi, so you can't touch the screen, boo hoo, it's for reading, not scribbling on! And as several people have said, get a Sony if you want touch and lower price. I think Samsung are having an Apple moment - huge prices for mediocre products, their Galaxy Tab would be another example of an Apple moment.
The mobile products boss..............
...... at Samsung should be barred from the industry. To say he is incompetent is a far too generous comment. He is just about qualified to sweep roads - that's about it.
This product is obviously stupid and will obviously fail.
I have a Galaxy S - all the best hardware in quite a compact package completely spoiled by ill thought through ergonomics, a really cheap speaker and the worst sync/update software I have ever had to use (that literally does not work).
Add to that some dumb features Samsung has added to android and it is enough to turn anyone off Android as an OS as well as Samsung as a company.
I genuinely used to like Samsung kit of all types. Now I have no intention of getting another Samsung of any description. I refuse to add to their corporate coffers when they kick out products as bad as this and crippled products like the Galaxy S.
That said it all.
Someone at Samsung was drunk.
consider using a notepad or similar with a pair of decent quality video glasses.
Youcan then display a decent part of a page and no one on the train would even know you are
reading a book!
A *pad and vglasses would probably come out about the same and this e-ink nightmare.
too much for too little.
gonks as I need one on me desk.
£300 is £200 too much
Ebook readers have their place and it's an important one, but not at that price point. A reader seriously shouldn't cost more than £100 and even then it should be decked out to read all the major formats and industry wide DRMs. If it doesn't do that it doesn't deserve to sell. Sony Readers are better value than this and even they cost far too much.
Try the Sony 650
Just released. Screen is amazing. Touchscreen is infrared, so no resistive film glare problems. Same price, all in all a much better proposition.
Samsung missed the boat.
E-Readers are not tablets
Anyone making a comparison between e-readers and the iPad doesn't know what an e-reader is. E-Readers are for reading books. iPads are for posting on twitter about the *idea* of reading books without actually doing it.
£200 buys a lot of books, even shiny new hardbacks.
£200 buys you about 20 hardback books from Amazon, even fewer from Waterstones. Try carrying them all onto a train, let alone trying to read such a heavy tome whilst standing next to irritable commuters on a packed train.
My only gripe with eBooks is the likes of Waterstones selling the file for more than the printed hardback and then selling you exactly the same file 3 months later for more than the paperback price. The publishing world just can't handle ebooks yet.
Even more amusing is my local library. You can now download eBooks, but they only have one copy (in some cases for the whole of London). So you have to reserve them. Worse still, you book it out for two weeks and there is no way to hand it back early.
Luckily there are loads of free books to keep me amused.