Back to the basic Web tablet idea: What do you think?
So what do you think of the Web tablet concept?
While I enjoy PDAs for use around town or on the road, I want a bigger screen for home use even though 10 inches of the Tatung tablets might actually be a bit large for my recreational reading.
Personally—your needs may differ—I don’t need to see large illustrations in detail. The optimal size for my purposes is eight inches, just what the DT 375 offers.
Web tablets have other advantages. It’s fun to be able to discover a public domain book and download it immediately from the machine I read on, even if, in some cases, as with the DT 375, the Web browser sucks. The Cybook’s browser is still worse; it really wasn’t designed as Web tablet even though it piggybacked on the technology.
The downside for many is that the current Web tablets come with LCDs rather than E Ink. But that will change as E Ink and other e-paper technologies, such as Nemoptic, improve.
For people who like to read in the dark or enter text without the slow speed of E Ink, then, Web tablets are worth investigating.
And, yes, I’d definitely put the linux-powered Pepper Pad in the Web tablet category even if it comes up with a hard drive. It’s still silent and designed to be a secondary machine, especially with entertainment in mind.
One plus of e-book-only machine
Having praised Web tablets, let me give another side. The more I learn about Twitter and other new online services that can distract you while you’re reading, the more I appreciate e-book-only machines such as the Sony Reader and the forthcoming E Ink version of the Cybookl.
Then again, I suppose you can buy a Web tablet and maintain a little discipline and avoid distracters such as Twitter. Besides, with a virtual keyboard, you’re not as tempted to be interactive as with a real one.
A final word—on a promising Tablet PC
Finally, speaking of hardware and e-books, let me point you to Gerry Manacsa’s thoughts on the Lenovo X61T Tablet—a Tablet PC that seems lighter and slimmer than the typical TPC Gerry has one on order, and I can’t wait to see what he thinks. The big downside is the price, a mere $1,800+. But cheer up: in a few years, similar hardware will go for a fraction of that, if past patterns repeat themselves.
About the photo: I lightened it up to make the details more visible. That also made the image on the display seem brighter, but within LCDs, that isn’t as big an issue as with E Ink. I suspect you can make the image on the screen just as bright in real life as it looks in the photo.