Monday, March 15, 2010

Side-by-side

“Tablets currently focus on the web-surfing experience,”
This is a key sentence in the great Wired article about Tablets versus eReaders, which suggests that the two can (and perhaps should) coexist. It points out that Tablets are great for textbooks and magazines but not so much for fiction (it also puts non-fiction with that group but I'm not certain I agree - more on that later). The article rightly explains that eReaders are great because of their battery life and screen quality, while Tablets are awesome because of everything else.

E Ink screens aren’t particularly good at anything other than books, leaving newspapers and magazines out in the cold. That’s where tablets could step in, says James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research. [...] But it will be a battle that could take a toll on e-paper based displays, he says.

“For people who read more of those media than they do books, tablets will be an ideal device and can easily take some wind out of E Ink sales, once we get beyond the fourth of the population that really enjoys reading books,” says McQuivey.

Still, tablets won’t immediately supplant lower-priced electronic paper-based e-readers, he notes. “The first thing you need to consider is whether tablets will actually be as good for book reading as the E Ink readers are,” says McQuivey. “Having a two-week battery life and a device that’s comfortable to stare at for hours at a stretch without strain (as with e-paper based e-readers) is hard to beat.”

Indeed. There's the price issue too and with this Tablet vs. eReader split, eReaders will probably need to become cheaper. It's an interesting article, raising several ideas I'd never thought of before (and am still not certain I agree with). It's one of the better roundups I've encountered on the matter - those curious about the impact Tablets might have on the eReader market should certainly read it.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the article link! It was really interesting. I don't think dedicated e-readers will be going away either, but it would be nice if the price dropped even more, then my husband and I could both have one instead of sharing :)

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  2. Thanks for linking to this article. it's an interesting topic for those of us into these technologies!

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