Thursday, September 24, 2009

A bit more on the iRex DR800Sg e-reader

UPDATE to the main iRex e-reader story

At the left are the Kindle DX and the iRex DR800Sg side by side.

  For the $89 difference between the two:

1.  PDFs will be considerably smaller on the iRex and, as I mentioned yesterday, they are already often too small on the Kindle DX.
2.  The 3G wireless for the Kindle allows web browsing with no limits on sites and with brief emails doable.  This allows direct downloads to the Kindle device from a few other bookstores.
But the iRex wireless will go only to the Barnes and Noble store and to NewspaperDirect and no emails would be possible.

  Where the iRex will shine is in the look of the periodicals it can bring you from the NewspaperDirect site (as well as the choices available), as those are laid out as they are with the actual newspapers rather than using the generic text used for the Kindle subscriptions with just a few photos for the latter.  The SD card will be needed for the added storage space that'll take.
  How much will the iRex's periodical-subscription costs be?  No word on that yet.
  What will be the speed be like, with the e-Ink screen?

SOME QUOTES FROM WEDNESDAY answered a few questions:


PC World/
  Kevin Hamilton, CEO for IREX in North America, explained that
' "Instead of a finger-driven touchscreen, the DR800SG uses a magnetic resonance stylus, in part to maintain the brightness of the display," said Brons.
  He said the additional transparent touch layer needed to enable finger navigation would have decreased screen brightness by 15 to 20 percent.
  Hamilton noted that Sony's Reader uses just such a touch layer, with the expected detrimental effect on brightness.  Clicking is performed with the stylus or by pushing down on the flip bar [on the left side), which is pushed from side to side for page-turns.

 He added that while the device is ready for electronic ink based note taking, the application that enables the function wasn't quite ready but would be added later as a free update.

 The edge of the unit is blank except for a power switch and a mini-USB socket. Installed in the battery compartment on the back is a 2GB SD Card, which can hold up to 1,500 e-books and can be replaced with a larger-capacity card. '

'  He noted, however, that there may be airtime charges for future vertical business applications if they consume a significant amount of wireless bandwidth. '

' IRex CEO Hans Brons has taken some shots at the Kindle already, hinting that Amazon’s device is too limited and at the same time too fancy.
“We’ve tried to create [an] as neutral as possible device – without any whistles and bells and what have you.” '
Well, that's one way of saying iRex doesn't have some bells & whistles that the Kindles offer, such as web-browsing and email capability + easier notetaking capabilities while iRex currently has ready only the virtual keyboard.  But maybe NetbookBoards was a bit harsh on the statement there.

InternetNews quotes a statement at NewspaperDirect pointing out that full content of periodicals will be downloaded with no missing pieces, and with all the ads:
'...PressReader allows users to download over 1,000 full-content newspapers in their original format, with all the articles, pictures, cartoons and advertisements found in the printed editions.  This ensures that all 1,000 publications on the iRex are recognized as audited paid circulation by international audit bureaus, a critical factor for publishers looking to increase revenues and reach. '

VIDEOS - The first one mentions that the iRex DR800Sg software doesn't work with Macs currently.
  As I mentioned yesterday, the newspaper layout is a BIG plus.  Watch CNet's videoclip on the new 8.1" model and then the youtube video by "pressdisplay" showing what the iRex newspaper editions are like although this one is showing the larger 10" iRex DR1000S.

  They're beautiful but if you look at these from the perspective of someone about to READ the content shown, the print is really tiny so at times there may be a lot of zooming involved.  Note that in the first video though, which is on today's 8.1" model, the newspaper layout is for the full page and when you stylus-click an article you want to read, you get a very straight text-version of the story that looks easy to read.

  Again, the size is iffy.  Large for a novel and small for pdfs and newspapers.  If they ever bring down the cost of the 10" model ($989 for the iRex DR1000s) that'll be the one that works for serious academic and business use once the interface problems reported are gone. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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