Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The Kindle DX eReader is the device produced by Amazon using e-ink technology. The Kindle came to Canada in November 2009, though it had been available in the USA since 2007. It is now available in over 100 countries. The Kindle currently has 60 per cent of the U.S. market, according to a Forrester Research report, and Sony has 35 per cent.

You can buy books, magazines, newspapers and blogs to read on your Kindle device. The books are transmitted via 3G wireless right to the device so you do not have to plug it in your computer to download files. This is a big difference between Sony and Kobo’s offering. You can also download a Kindle app to read on the Apple iPad if you do not want to buy a Kindle.

There are 600,000 books, 110 newspapers from 19 countries. and 39 magazines (none are Canadian, all are USA and International titles). There are 12 Canadian newspaper titles that include Globe & Mail, National Post, the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, Edmonton Journal, The Province, Victoria Times, Regina Leader-Post, Saskatchewan Star and Windsor Star. See a product video at this link.


Kindle DX Reader. The device sells for $379 and its dimensions are 10.4 x 7.2 inches, with a 9.7
The device sells for $379 and its dimensions are 10.4 x 7.2 inches, with a 9.7-inch diagonal screen. The amount storage is 3.3 GB, which allows you to store 3,500 books



The Kindle DX Reader Scorecard

The gadgets in this blog for e-readers will be based on a scorecard and will be evaluated on these 4 criteria to arrive at the score.

Download Speeds – The Kindle DX boast a 60 second download speed for any book, magazine or newspaper purchased. They are transmitted directly to your device through a cell phone carrier 3G wireless network. at no charge. You can also download PDFs to read on the reader from your computer using the USB attachment or send them via email to your Kindle email account (for an extra charge).

Readability – The Kindle DX has a 9.7-inch diagonal screen, I felt really comfortable reading it. The text book I downloaded was easy to read in landscape mode. (All I had to do was turn the device and it would automatically rotate the screen) The magazine I downloaded was easy to read with the larger screen, but I miss seeing my magazine in colour. Some things just don’t have the same impact in 16 shades of grayscale.

Navigation – After playing with eReaders for the last month, I miss the interactive feel of a digital edition. A PDF has poor back navigation and an interactive TOC would be a great feature to have. I bought single issues of the National Post, Chicago Tribune and Businessweek from the Amazon store (Amazon gave me a $30 credit to my account to spend ) The Amazon versions were a strictly a text base format , with no pictures and poor navigation back forth between stories and sections.

Price/Feature Value
– The Amazon Kindle retails for $379  for the 9.7 inch screen and probably was a key benchmark of the Apple iPad pricing at $550 for a screen with colour. Included is a text-speech reader for books, you can download you MP3 files to the device for background music , post comments on Facebook and Twitter and an Oxford Dictionary.

The Gadget Report Rating:
4 out of 5

The Kindle has been in the market since 2007 and the device is still evolving as they have added interactive features. Industry analysts peg $150 as the magic price where widespread adoption will occur. Prices are falling for the devices and we have reach that number for the 6-inch screens, however not the larger models.

Next Device
: The Apple iPad

Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Being a fan of Sony products all my life, I waited with keen anticipation for my Sony Reader to play with. After using the Kobo for the past two weeks I wanted to see what Sony had to offer. The Touch screen version was sent to me to review.

The reader had a 6-inch screen and provided an easy to use interface. It came with additional features that include a memo pad with touch keypad, a touch sketch/writing pad plus audio and photo storage.  The reader is based on the e- ink technology that is only available in B&W.

Sony Reader Touch Edition. A 3rd generation eReader. The device sells for $249. Its dimensions are 6.9 x 4.8 inches, with a 6-inch diagonal screen weighing 10.1 ounces and 380 mb of memory.
Sony Reader Touch Edition. A 3rd generation eReader. The device sells for $249. Its dimensions are 6.9 x 4.8 inches, with a 6-inch diagonal screen weighing 10.1 ounces and 380 mb of memory.


The Sony Reader Scorecard:
The gadgets in this blog for e-readers will be based on a scorecard and will be evaluated on these 4 criteria to arrive at the score.

Download Speeds – The Sony Reader Touch model requires you to plug in your reader to download books using a USB attachment. While it’s not as convenient as wifi I did not find it a big deal. It is as simple as transferring files onto a USB thumb drive.  Once they were downloaded they were transferred to my book folder on the device. You can download books from the Sony store and you can even get a subscription to the Wall Street Journal for $14.99.

Readability – Reading books on the device were a joy and I had a chance to read one on a trip by train to Montréal with no problem. I did find the device a little heavy after an extended period and I had to turn the pages often since it was smaller screen. I downloaded a magazine and text book in PDF to see how they would read and found it reminded me of reading microfiche in the university library of old newspapers.

Navigation – Simplicity is the key and the reader does dummy it down quiet nicely. The touch interface makes the Sony Reader a modern device as touch screens are becoming mainstream as they are now being seen in desktops, tablets and smart phones. Moving from page to page required you to click on forward and back buttons and you had five magnification sizes to choose from. There is a home page button where you can access all the functions.

Price/Feature Value – The Sony Touch model is advertised for $249 on the Sony Canada store. It has been reduced from $349 to compete against the Amazon Kindle. Sony attempted to add some features in their Swiss army knife product model like the photo storage that I found had minimal value, but I did like the memo and writing/sketch pad.

The Gadget Report Rating: 4 out of 5

While I am big fan of Sony, the reader lacks appeal to me for an everyday reader. This third generation reader obviously has a following, but lacked the screen size to read magazines and text books comfortably. My travel mate on the train to Montréal said that she would want a reader that enables her to read both books and magazines and color is very important in reading magazines.

Next Device: The Amazon Kindle DX Reader



About Me
Martin Seto

 
Martin Seto is the principal of Reflex Media, a media consultancy practice offering media owners online publishing, ad sales and acquisition/selling brokerage services. His media services also include working with ad agencies as a media buyer/planner for tv, radio, print, outdoor and online. He has been in the advertising and media industry for 25+ years and he has been an instructor/speaker with Centennial College and at magazine conferences across Canada. He also moonlights as a pro goalie as a "rent a goalie" at mypuck.com.
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