New E-Reader Steps into the E-Book Fray…08.12.09

12 08 2009

AstakYesterday I tweeted about a post from engadget titled Astak’s $199 EZ Reader Pocket PRO Wants to Give Kindle a ‘run for its money‘ about yet another new e-reader vying for the e-book market:

Last we heard from Astak, it was quietly peddling some off-the-wall Mentor e-book reader based on adrab OEM model that every other no-name reader manufacturer uses. Now, however, it seems the company has a bit more pep in its step (though it’s still copying others, this time the BeBook), as it has proudly proclaimed that the new 5-inch EZ Reader Pocket PRO is primed to ‘give Amazon’s Kindle a run for its money.’ With Adobe’s blessing, the device is able to support over 20 open file formats along with DRM-laced PDF files; also of note, a sure-to-be-controversial text-to-speech feature can read back documents aloud…”


New Sony E-Readers, 1 Million FREE e-Books, etc…07.31.09

31 07 2009


From DigitalKoans today:

Sony has announced that one million public domain books from Google are available for its current e-book readers.

In related news, there are rumors that two new Sony e-book readers may be released in August.

Read more about it at ‘Sony E-Readers Get Access to 1M Free Public Domain Books from Google‘ and ‘Sony to Offer 1 Million Google Books through Its Readers.’…”

sonyprs600reviewFrom KINDLE REVIEW, etc. blog on the new Sony PRS-600

“…Sony Reader PRS 600 – Key Features

  1. TouchScreen – confirmed from manual.
  2. It mentions MP3 encoding technology which hints at a voice recording or voice memo function.
  3. Might be flexible – the board for touchscreen, eInk, and back pane all say ‘flexible’ in the manual. Could this be a flexible, unbreakable screen?
  4. Excellent Font Support – It comes with an in-built Font Fusion Engine from BitStream that supports Chinese, Korean, Japanese. It also claims to support ANY font. The default fonts look good (these are fonts on my PC, not on the Sony) –

Sony Reader PRS 600 Default Fonts

Sony Reader PRS 600 Default Fonts

5.  Extendible memory – The manual indicates SD Card and Memory Stick Duo are both supported.

6. Very compact – It’s 4.87″ by 6.87″ by .4 inches. That’s roughly 11 cm by 17.4 cm by .98 cm.

Sony Reader PRS-600 – Key Details

  1. 6 inch screen.
  2. Very light at 10.1 oz (286 g). Very thin at .4″.
  3. Sony Reader 600 will be available in Red, Black and Silver.
  4. Has a touchscreen. The panel below the screen might be touch sensitive buttons (which would be cool).
  5. Can be charged via AC adapter or USB.
  6. Sony Reader 600 has 380 Mb of storage capacity.
  7. It also has SD Card and Memory Stick Duo support.
  8. Battery Life of the Sony Reader 600 is 7,500 pages…”

sonyprs300reviewYou can look at the Sony Reader 300 manual in PDF or get the Sony 300 manual’sKindle compatible version…”

The Future of E-book Readers – NEW Forrester Research Data…06.04.09

4 06 2009

This just released from Forrester Research (click on images for larger versions):


Here is the executive summary of their report How Big is the eReader Opportunity?:

“The eReader market is hot: Barely a day goes by without an announcement of a new device release or acquisition., leveraging its position as a dominant book retailer, has catalyzed the market for eBooks, but that’s just the beginning of the eReader revolution. Competitors will attack Amazon’s market position by launching new features, expanding content beyond books, dominating markets outside the US, reducing costs, and improving relationships with publishers. While frequent book readers drive device and content sales today, the next five years will see an explosion of the eReader textbook market, and in 10 years, the market will be driven by businesses going green in government, education, health, and other sectors. With retailers, mobile operators, and device manufacturers all vying for a piece of the eReader action, publishers should proactively shape their own eReader opportunity — or miss their last best chance to control their own destiny.”


E-Reader Plastic Logic Demo…05.28.09

28 05 2009

E-Reader Comparison Kindle DX & Sony Reader PRS700…05.16.09

26 05 2009

Here is the conclusion of a comparison of 2 popular e-reader formats from Sony Reader Vs Kindle DX:

“…The Kindle DX actually comes across as a clear winner over the Sony Reader PRS700. The higher price and unknown release date are two disadvantages – However, the sheer number of other advantages (larger screen, better readability, whispernet, free internet, better selection of new book titles, etc.) make the DX the better choice.

If you’re focused on portability and lower price then Kindle 2 Vs Sony Reader PRS700 becomes the more relevant comparison. Which is not as clear cut (people focused on touchscreen or pdf and epub support might choose Sony while people who prefer convenience of whispernet 60 second downloads, free internet, and better selection of books would pick Kindle 2).

Sony took a gamble with the touchscreen and it didn’t pay off. Sony is rumored to be working on a new large screen model and hopefully that avoids the ‘touchscreen messing up readability’ blunder.

It would be cool if the new, large screen Sony Reader has some cool cutting edge features that motivate Amazon to further ramp up the speed at which they are improving Kindles.”

E-Book Reader Buyer’s Guide…05.22.09

22 05 2009


Wired today has a Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose an E-Book Reader now online.  Here is an excerpt:

“E-books are the ‘it’ gadget of the year. But picking an e-book reader is more difficult than choosing a brand of cereal or a bottle of shampoo. Every other week, a new reader is gussied up in the factories of Taiwan, ready to make its debut. At last count, we estimated at least 12 different e-book readers on the market or close to release.

How do you know which one is right for you?

All e-book readers promise to do one thing well: display text, especially for books. But there are a few more basic requirements: It must offer long battery life, be easy to carry, have a screen that doesn’t strain the eyes and can be easily read in all environments including bright sunlight. Fortunately, most e-book readers for sale today meet that basic criteria.

There are many devices to choose from, and there’s also a lot of homogeneity in looks, style and function. Almost all the e-book readers available are paperback-sized and sport a display sourced from E Ink, the Cambridge Massachusetts-based company.

So should you buy the $360 Amazon Kindle (after all, it’s the most widely known e-reader and is backed by the Amazon brand) or the $250 upstart Cool-er e-book reader launched just a week ago?…”

Let Your iPhone Read to You…05.20.09

20 05 2009

The Centered Librarian‘s post Read 2 Me Reads to You on Your iPhone today points our a useful app for the iPhone:

Read 2 Me is an iPhone application that provides full speech synthesis for an entire library of texts…Read 2 Me uses Acapela-Group’s text-to-speech technology and can read almost anything that can be converted to UTF-8.txt. It is already optimized for the Gutenberg collection…”