November 28, 2007
Dear CNET members,
Just recently, Amazon and Sony released e-book (electronic book) readers to the public. These specialty handheld devices allow people to download hundreds of digital books, newspapers, and magazines from the Internet and read them on the go. Among their many features: they are ultraportabe, of course; they can hold enough books for any bookworm to read for weeks; they feature E Ink technology screens that read like paper; they include Wi-Fi to allow downloads on the go; and they allow you to increase the size of text for ease of reading.
These e-books/readers are really nothing new to the market, but they have failed in the past to gain popularity. So why are Amazon and Sony releasing e-book readers now? Are people today ready to make the shift from paper to electronic devices for reading? These devices aren't exactly cheap, either--Amazon Kindle goes for $399, and Sony's Reader Digital Book can be found for $299. While e-book downloads cost less than the price of their paper counterparts, is this something that would interest you?
Personally there's a certain kind of feel to holding a paper book when reading it. Sometimes reading a book under a tree or on the beach without being reminded that I'm living in the digital age is appealing. However, these devices and the features they offer are something I would consider for long road trips and my daily commute from home to work and back. But then again, that means there's another electronic device to carry in addition to my cell phone, portable gaming device, and MP3 player. Anyway, enough of what I have to say. What do you think of e-books/readers? Is this a device you would buy into? Read CNET news.com Staff Writer Greg Sandoval's column, "Will e-books ever be a best seller?" and tell us what you think.
This week's hot topic:
Will e-books ever be a
Recently Amazon and Sony released their e-book readers to the public and when CNET Staff Writer Greg Sandoval wrote about it, many mixed feeling came about from this reintroduction to the e-book reader. This is what a few of our readers had to say about e-books and the readers.
"I love Kindle--and I just bought two!"
"I've bought e-books in the past. Notably, Mobipocket titles for reading on a laptop. I also bought a couple PDF-based books from Amazon. Reading on a computer sucks. I also have an iPhone, and the idea of reading a book on it strikes me as insane. First, because it would consume the battery, second, because the screen size is too small to be desirable. Here's why I like Amazon's Kindle..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member ddanckaert"E-books will never fly"
"At least not until something like electronic paper becomes a commercial reality. The current e-books are more like PDAs than books, and most people don't want yet another electronic gadget to carry around. IMO, this will only appeal to geeks and early adopters..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member rcrusoe"Advantages of a paperback novel"
"- The 'reader' comes built-in - Does not need batteries, but needs an external light source since there is no backlighting; this is no disadvantage, as newer readers focuse on good contrast and use of reflected light anyway - Once you have read it, you can sell it second hand; e-books are generally locked to..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member JadedGamer"Advantages of e-reader"
"I bought the Sony PRS-505 E-Reader three weeks ago. Yes it cost $300, but it also came with 100 free classic e-books (from a selection of more than 1,000). The BBeB restriction is disquieting, but I have observed that the BBeB format is designed to optimize the display of the reader. I'm thrilled with the device. When I'm finished with a text, I don't have to wonder what to do with the hard copy..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member allen.gotwaldSpeak up!
Now that Amazon and Sony e-book readers are hitting the consumer electronics center stage for this moment in time, what do think of them? Do you think they will gain in popularity to remain on the market for mass appeal? Or do you think this will be a very small niche product, where most of us are still bound to traditional paper? Is this device something you would buy or consider using? Why or why not? This is your chance to tell us what you think of e-book readers, so speak up!
Amazon Kindle review
Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-505 review
Latest news on e-book readers
E-book software downloads
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