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Monday, December 12, 2005

Electronic books

Michael Hyatt, president of publisher Thomas Nelson, has a vision of what an electronic book reader could look like. Some excerpts:

::It looks similar to a tablet PC slate. No keyboard, no monitor, and it folds in half.
::It is the same size and thickness as a hardcover book, say 6" by 9" by 1/2". Unfolded, it is 12" x 9" by 1/4". It feels great in your lap. It can even be bent slightly like a book, so you can curl up on the sofa and read away.
::It uses a tablet PC interface with a built-in stylus that feels like a high-end pen. You can use it to make menu selections, enter text (via handwriting recognition), or highlight passages in books.
::It weighs less than a 256-page hardcover book (about one pound). It therefore dramatically changes the shape and heft of your computer bag.
::It has a battery life of 12–18 hours.

I would like to be able to search out phrases in a book I read; that's a nice boon. And certainly, you could put a large number of books on such a device. However, one problem I see with this device is that it's rare to need more than one book at once. Unless you're on a long trip, you'll probably only read part of one book. In addition, you wouldn't be able to read an electronic book as your plane is taking off.

I'll probably stick to carrying one book when I travel.

(Via Instapundit)

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