Sony Reader: Almost Beautiful



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I had a chance to play with the Sony Reader, Sony's new handheld device for reading ebooks, at the Borders in Palo Alto this weekend. The display uses E Ink's electronic paper technology and it is drop-dead gorgeous. The monochrome display looks much more like paper than anything I've seen before, with an almost 180 degree viewing angle and excellent contrast and resolution. Except for one glaring problem, I'd be tempted to buy a Reader.

The problem is an annoying flashing each time a new page is displayed. Ironically, this problem seems to be a direct result of Sony's choice of the E Ink technology. The net effect makes the unit feel slow and kludgy enough to blunt categorization as an object of desire. You can see the update effect here on YouTube.


Comments:

It doesn't look that bad. After all, with a real paper book, you also have a weird effect when turning pages, what really matters is what the page looks like afterwards.

Posted by Marc on December 11, 2006 at 11:44 PM EST #

It's funny. Flickering normally really bugs me (I've been known to fix monitor refresh settings for people because I can't stand it) but the page-turning flicker doesn't. I've been using a Reader for a few weeks now.

Posted by katherine on December 14, 2006 at 02:22 AM EST #

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