Today I was watching "The News Hour" and Jeff Bezos from Amazon.com was talking about the Kindle 2, the new line of Kindle Electric Paper book readers. The more I listened the more I began to think that after ten plus years of ereader, e-ink, and now e-paper devices my opinion has not changed much. Paying for what most would be an entire months rent or a car payment for a device that does nothing more then display text is a bit baffling to me. With a $359 price tag this new Kindle 2 costs about the same as most netbooks which offer much more functionality and space.
The Kindle 2 offers up 2Gb of space (Roughly 1.4GB actual usable space) and boasts about 1,500 book capacity. Considering I paid about $60.00 bucks for my 2GB Zen that supports Images, videos, and Audio (Which I could use for audio books) I don't see the upside to any E-Reader device.
Battery Life for a book?
If your one of the many people who enjoys sitting down to read a book or novel the last thing you want to worry about is being bothered with keeping an eye on a battery meter, or having an annoying cable keeping you tethered to your chair.
Jeff Bezos also compared reading books on your computer to staring into a flashlight while trying to read????!!!!!! I really don't know what kind of monitor the people over at Amazon are using but maybe they need some pointers in turning down the screen brightness a bit if eye strain is becoming a problem. In my experience I find it easier to read text on a screen then on paper mostly for the control I have. Being able to change the font color, contract, size, and yes even brightness means I can be sure everything is exactly how I want it to be each time I read.
Not all bad.
Not everything E-Reader is bad, the option to carry a very small light weight device with tons of documents on it is definitely a plus in many areas. For starters on average a grade school students backpack can weigh as much as 60lbs. Over time that can put strain on kids backs and cause posture problems and in some cases permanent damage.
Amazon (and many other vendors) would probably make off pretty good leasing or discounting their devices to schools. Even better pre-loading these devices with all the books students need for the year. I'd rather carry around a single device that may need charged during class or lunch with me then having to lug around an entire backpack of books I'll only need for 45 minutes each class.
Many of these devices also support pictures (mostly gray scale) which means students could create simple slide shows or presentations right on their devices. Another upside is as long as the student had their device with them, teachers would no longer have to dock points for not having the required materials.
An opinion of one.
I'm sure many of you have your own opinions about these readers and as my research shows thousands of you really enjoy your e-readers. So please don't take this short blip as an attempt to talk you out of your device or a deterrent of those of you already looking to buy. Just like Linux, Politics , and nice hair the e-readers may not be for everyone and praised by the rest.