Electronic books? How long to!

    Until recently, an e-book was called a device with a screen that works on the principle of electronic ink - like, say, Amazon's Kindle or Pocketbook 360 from Pocketbook. But at the last Consumer Electronics Show (CES), everybody - from Asian contractors to reputable companies - presented the concepts of devices with LCD screens, loudly called "e-books". However, can they be called e-books?

    The feature of the canonical e-book is a non-backlit display that simulates real paper and, unlike LCD screens, does not bother your eyes. Many e-books presented at the exhibition did not satisfy this fundamental requirement.

    Computer developers are influenced by trends in the same way as teenage girls, and many manufacturers of so-called books simply could not resist the onslaught of a newfangled wave. In fact, most of these books are just “tablets” or mobile Internet devices (MIDs) that can display electronic reading using e-book software, but are not optimized for this purpose. By and large, they are no different from mobile phones with support for the Kindle program, except that the screen size.


    Take, for example, the MSI Reader with a dual 10-inch screen. The concept turned out to be unusually light, the touch screen is very convenient for navigating through Windows 7. The screen responds to turns of the device in horizontal and vertical positions; in horizontal mode, the virtual keyboard opens. But while MSI does not plan to bring the device to the market, and mass production will begin no earlier than 2011. The same can be said about the second concept of the company, the “reader” based on Google Android, half an inch thick. Both gadgets work on software for electronic books, equipped with LCD screens and use full-fledged operating systems. Their functionality is much wider than that of many traditional e-books, but are they suitable for reading the works of Daria Dontsova or Umberto Eco on the train?

    There are, of course, hybrids trying to combine business with pleasure. "Readers" Entourage eDge and Spring Designs Alex Reader - also with LCD screens. But they also have electronic ink screens of the same or larger size. And it is these main screens that are proposed to be used for reading.

    In general, there is an opinion that manufacturers should determine the terms. Otherwise, the day is not far off when they try to vaporize a 50-inch plasma screen in the wrapper of a wide-format wall-mounted stationary “reading room”.

    via pcworld.com

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