August 24th, 2008

Kindle

Will e-books ride on mini-PC's coattails?

A friend sent me a link to a post on the Dear Author blog about the new itty bitty PCs—laptops only if you have a toddler-sized lap. One idea is that these will compete with e-readers, especially as they're multifunction and getting cheaper all the time. If it's a true PC (some of them come with Linux), and you can read an e-book on it, then you won't need to carry an additional device.

True if you need to carry a PC everywhere. But what if you don't? And besides, the advantage to the Kindle and the Sony is that they are built as reading devices, with e-ink screens to maximize eye comfort. I don't see them wiping out the e-reader market, especially not if the Kindle keeps free web access. If that were true, I think laptops would have become e-readers by now.

But as technology advances, we could definitely see the all inclusive device in our future—phone, GPS, web browser, e-reader, all in one. Star Trek tricorder here we come!




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