Friday, October 23, 2009

requirements to an e-book reader

with the worldwide rollout of amazons kindle and the launch of several other e-book readers, i thought it would be useful to state some requirements, that make, in my humble opinion, a good e-book reader.

  • flashy design (hey, good looks is important, i want to be able to boast with that thing)
  • superhuge choice of books (fiction + nonfiction) + regularly & free updates on any book (fiction + nonfiction). i want to be able to have every tiny update of a technical book and i want to choose between several editions of one and the same book (hey, i pay a lot for the reader after all...)
  • superhuge choice of newspapers and magazines
  • i want my newspaper and magazine abos both, in print and on my e-book reader (probably more dependent on the publishers but anyway)
  • i'd also like to read my newsfeeds
  • i want support for all important and also for all excentric file formats (such as pdf, html, txt, docx, odf, chm, epub,...and all others i forgot)
  • no damn proprietary file formats (thats the reason, i won't buy the kindle), you can "reinvent the book", but please don't try to invent any abstruse "standards" only you are using...
  • i want an easy plugin system to support new file formats
  • good readability (e-ink is just the beginning...)
  • i want a fast and not recogniseable creation of the next page when i turn a page (sorry sony, but your page creation sucks)
  • colour would be nice (any diagrams in 13 shades of grey is not what i expect of a paperbook-replacement)
  • light, not too small, not too big
  • looooooong battery life (we're talking about weeks not days or hours)
  • i want to use it for research purposes; i want to be able to mark textparts and i want a software on my notebook that collects these bookmarks and gives me a nice presented overview and probably automatically creates a sourcelist
  • wifi is an absolute must, also mobile broadband (as the us kindle)
  • big standard memory (not beneath 16gb) + extensible memory
  • i want to test-read books before i buy them
  • borrowing books to and from my friends would a nice feature (not only 14 days, a month at least)
  • i don't want anyone remote accessing my e-book reader (yes, i am looking at you amazon)
  • and dear e-book vendors, if you can't stop yourself from adding communication capabilites to a book (which i know you can't), please, integrate a hardware switch (analog to the silencer switch on my iphone) that activates a reading mode (which means no damn interruptions by e-mails, google waves, im messages or any other chat messages)
  • writing/reading blogs/tweets would be nice anyway
  • please don't overload it with functionalities either, if i want to have an allround gadget, i'll take my iphone...
anyway, i will buy an e-book reader for sure, but i'll probably wait for the next generation to come.

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