This will be a review of the current state of hardware e-readers, both e-ink and LCD, and I’ll be co-presenting with Keith Fahlgren.
What’s it like to read your books on a Kindle? Can consumers put your content on their Sony Reader? Could you stand to read War and Peace on an iPod Touch? In this session, we’ll review the current set of popular e-readers with a focus on the reading experience: ease of use and purchase, navigation, fonts and layout.
Many publishers have never used these devices but may already be distributing content on them. I hope to give participants a good overview of what it’s like to use them, especially when it comes to purchasing books (preview: there’s the Kindle, and then there’s everything else).
Personally, I think there will always be a niche market for a specialized e-reader device. Unlike many of my colleagues, I don’t look fondly on the day when I carry only one device. I have an iPhone and I love it, but there are good reasons why I also own a real camera.
For some people, the portable form-factor of a phone will never be large enough for a comfortable reading experience. Indeed, I’m often told when demoing the Kindle or Sony Reader that people wish the screen were even larger. I expect the next few years in e-readers will look very much like the digital camera market: diverging between sleek and convenient consumer models and phone hybrids, and larger, specialized prosumer models.