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Are e-readers the holy grail?

January 9, 2010

As I try to unclutter my garage, —a consequence of procrastinating the decision of what to do with this and that, typewriters definitely have to go this time around—, I’ll try to see if e-readers really have the magic for news delivery as its been touted long before the current San Francisco Las Vegas CES show.

CNETting the CES comments on e-readers and the like, the Intel LG smartphone and Nvidia Tegra II tablet although pricey, knock me off my feet. You must watch the videos to get a feel of their navigation, images won’t do.

Here’s the thing. I’ve always thought and I’ve tried to make the point that we humans —our readers— are a lot more complex than what meets the eye. If you don’t believe me, check Levin’s apologies here, or how he lost trillions believing that online news was going to be the hole in the donuts, going forward with the Time Warner – AOL merger.

Levin concurs that the consumer “experience” is driving online traffic.

Aha! I think it’ll be safer to keep the stuff I don’t understand while my wife is away on vacation, —better safe than sorry, don’t you agree?

Bottom line: the devil is in the details. All the dah-dah and doo-doo has to be weighed against this fact. As a good example, videos (even laptop screens) hinder the tranquil zen-like environment of news-paper reading, which is so helpful to its advertising.

I’m sure designers will agree that typeface, font size, leadings —which, seem to be minute issues— are precisely what makes reading effortless and transparent. But, by moving news into an immense and totally different media, like the Internet, people tend to forget these basic axioms.

E-ink and touch-screen (operating systems) adoption in e-readers are enormous strides towards making these machines less objectionable to magazine and newspaper reading —dramatically improving reading eye stress and navigation.

As a matter of fact, the tablet should reign as the new laptop hardware standard. It’s easy to foresee that touch-screens will also serve as keyboards when needed, making manufacturers drop keyboards altogether.

Microsoft’s Courier Double-Screen Folding Tablet

Or, double up, as in the case of Microsoft’s Courier project.

When that time comes, pricing will not be an issue. I’m curious of why manufacturers are not following this path, is it the Newton’s legacy of fear?

How far away in the future is the $500 all encompassing computer-tablet?

How is it that some of us keep garages so nicely organized?

Love to hear your thoughts.

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