A la Recherche du Temps Perdu
Forget about the relative merits of LCD and E Ink screens and just think about usability, and with none of the tap-swipe-tap simplicity of the iPad, the E60 is so darn clunky, it feels like it's been in an attic since 1995.
The stylus is necessary - and laggy
By all means include a stylus for writing, but not being able to navigate your digital library with a finger is a real retrograde step.
E Ink technology has two key factors to commend it - ultra-low power consumption and bright daylight legibility, though that bloody black screen flash every time it refreshes makes it no friend here - but it's not helped by Samsung overlaying a noticeably laggy touchscreen. Ink doesn't flow as quickly as the pen can move, and the range of drawing tools - five nib sizes, three sizes of eraser - would be at home on a Palm Pilot.
Couple that with the 2-3 seconds it takes the E60 to respond to any key press or stylus tap, and you have a gadget that will frustrate anyone who owns a modern smartphone or tablet.
In its favour, the E60 has 2GB of content storage on board and a Micro SD card slot for more. The slot, like the 5.6Wh, 1500mAh phone battery, sits behind a big slide up panel on the back. The reader also has 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and, should you need to listen to music while you read, a headphone socket. So why Samsung also added the pair of weedy speakers it has built into the E60 is anyone's guess. The E60's UI is straightforward, and its calendar can sync up with Microsoft Outlook.
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£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.
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.
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.
..."is a wanker". That made this review worthwhile for me. Nice one!
£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.