Barnes & Noble already produced the best pure eReader for me in the $99 Simple Touch, with its touchscreen, a great display that was never washed out by sunlight and two months of battery life, due to E Ink technology being used for its 6in black-and-white screen.
But with no backlight, it was no good for reading in the dark.
That chapter has been closed with Thursday’s announcement of the Simple Touch with GlowLight, a lighter 7oz version which adds a soft, adjustable glow to the E Ink display. Read more
One feature I have been waiting for in eReader software, which is a little obscure but would be a killer one for me, is the ability to click or tap on a word or phrase and get an instant translation (I would thus spend less time using the dictionary when reading French novels). You can’t do it with Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color and add-on dictionaries for each language have to be bought for Amazon’s Kindle and are limited in their capabilities. However, Google has finally come to the rescue, with word and passage translations between a multitude of languages being one of three new free Google Books features. Read more
You can play Scrabble on Amazon’s Kindle now, but the double-word squares are still a shade of grey rather than pink.
Colour is coming next year to E Ink devices, but you can enjoy it now with the NookColor, the new LCD-based eReader from Barnes & Noble, reviewed in this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section. Read more
Amazon’s new Kindle DX, available on July 7, is the first eReader to feature E Ink‘s Pearl technology, enabling a contrast ratio 50 per cent better than the previous DX.
The improvement is a necessary upgrade in order for E Ink to produce its first colour screens by the end of the year. Read more
It would be really nice to be able to believe in the success of the Que proReader (and not just because the Financial Times is one of the publishers that has done a deal with Plastic Logic, the company that makes the device).
The history of the Que is one of those compelling technology stories that leaves you rooting for the people behind it, and the wide vision that it represents is infectious. Like all ambitious visions, though, this one relies on perfect execution.
Until the full reviews are in I’ll suspend final judgment, but my fear is that CEO Rich Archuleta’s claim that the Que marks the arrival of the “paperless briefcase” will end up being filed with all those similar promises of “paperless offices” we’ve heard over the years. Read more