Wednesday, January 11, 2006

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Steven Grant VS the Sony eReader

Okay, so I've read Steven Grant's column off and on for years, so when I heard the annual Consumer Electronics Show was rolling in Vegas, I knew we'd get some notes from the floor courtesy of his MASTER OF THE OBVIOUS column on CBR. Steven mentions it every year as he's a bit of a tech-head, and from Las Vegas.

Sure enough, Steven checks in this week with his summary of this year's CES. Not only that, but he tackles the newly mentioned Sony eReader that various comics sites/folks (including myself) have keyed in on. Which is great, cause he's got a hands-on view of the device and speculation for it's role. Check it out (from the column):

Frankly, it's great. About the height and width of a medium-sized trade paperback (roughly two thirds the size of a comic book), a third of an inch thick, about 9 oz. Good screen, non-reflective with no backlight, so it imitates a printed page almost perfectly. The screen in crisp, no blur, and type can be adjusted to four sizes. It's not a game unit, it's strictly for reading, under normal reading circumstances. It has very few controls, but it has two sets of them to accommodate different ways people have of handling books. Power consumption is minimal, and it uses power only when turning pages (i.e., rewriting the screen) with a single battery charge having an estimated 10,000 page life. One fairly long book will easily fit into about one megabyte of memory, so a one gigabyte stick of memory can hold roughly 1000 books: whole libraries.

I liked it, but I doubt it'll revolutionize either the book or comics business, though Sony's clearly banking on it. They've obviously built it to be the iPod of books, with similar thinking behind it, and that's its flaw. Everything's proprietary, a system designed to make the originating company money on all ends.

and be sure and check out the rest of his thoughts on the device, and his column HERE

Key thing I didn't realize/think of, is that it's black and white only disply. That coupled with the proprietary technology/software and it sounds like the perfect digital comic reader is still pending... but perhaps closer at hand!


xoshua said...

while steven grant is "in" las vegas.. he isn't "from" las vegas -- it would be more more appropriate to say he's from MADTOWN!!! you know, high school and college... amazingly, same high school as my aunt's, and same college. crazy!!!

but i'm just being a tool about that. as for the eReader itself, colour right away may not be too horrible. there's plenty of B&W manga to put on those things...


Jason Martin said...

You got me on a MADTOWN technicality, imagine that.
Are there any posts of yours that don't mention MADTOWN? 8p

I indeed should've said "resides". Damn it. There goes my journalistic integrity!

As for b&w, you're right, there's plenty of stuff (well everything ultimately) viewable in no-color, but I'm looking for the device to bring comics to untold millions, and that one will display in color...

Yes, though, I could hang with this device on a personal level from the sounds of it.