There are some things that I can sometimes miss with the “analogue era”, taking notes using a pen an paper, opening a book and flipping through and reading text on physical pages. It might not be the actual book or notepad I miss though rather a feeling and an impression. The iPad or a mobile phone are fantastic tools allowing me to read books and take notes, even using “handwriting” with my finger or a stylus, though there just feels like something is missing. So in a rare moment of having a few minutes to spare I started looking into something I had previously chosen to ignore, eReaders. Just as one would suspect, a lot has happened since I first looked into the Amazon Kindle, realising that you can only read books from amazon, not take notes, not easily import PDFs and never looking back. This promoted a tour of the internet to investigate what was now available and I thought I’d share some of my impressions from this here and now.
The Sony eInk readers are presented as there “digital paper system”. The DPTS1 unit is available with a price tag reading $799 at the SONY webstore, though this is of course not available in the Swedish store. Following the link to Amazon I can only find used S1 models priced around $1000. The DPT-RP1 13″ seems to be another model though is available both as new and used with a price tag at $600.
Looking at the promotional material for these products, I am really impressed. If these units perform as well as in the videos, these products would be just fantastic. SONY has seemingly managed to truly capture the feel of real paper in an impressive way and it seems like these units are relatively light and could be easily transported and handled. Based on what I can see, this is something I would be happy to drag with me just in case I’d get a few minutes to do some reading or writing. However, there are two things that sway my enthusiasm, not being available in Sweden if of course a big issue for starters and I cannot find any reasonable way that I could motivate this expense at this moment in time.
Other products include reMarkable, which also looks very interesting, is available for instant purchase in sweden and coming in at €599, a comparable price to the SONY reader.
Only based on the promotional material (since I do not have access to this product, any of these products really) this also seems like a really impressive piece of technology. It also seem really light, portable and manageable with a fantastic paper look/feeling and allowing note taking in a natural and effective way.
Last but not least on the list of products I looked at is the Amazon Kindle Oasis 2 (32 GB) coming in at 3490:- ($384 or 314€), is available for purchase in Sweden and is of course slightly cheaper of purchased in the US at $280, though with shipping, tax and import fees the price would be the same if having it shipped here.
So the development of the kindle has been moving forward, you can listen to podcasts/books, the format has changed a bit and from what I understand this new version is also waterproof/water resistant (if you want to go reading in the tub?). What I’m missing in this product is the note taking capability, both just general notes and making highlights and notes in documents/books. Out of the one I have looked at, even though it is missing some of the features I would want including the ability to take notes, the kindle seems to be the most realistic product considering the price tag. It also seems to be the smallest of the readers, which is a bonus since it would be a minimal addition to what I would need to carry with me. I am however a bit skeptical about the new design where not being flat might be an issue for portability and usage. However, the impression I get by looking at the promotional material, the paper feeling seems amazing.
So, I am really feeling the appeal and I would really like to have an eReader with paper feeling. All of the ones I have looked at have their own appeal and they all looks fantastic, the issue being that there is no way I could motivate a $400-$800 purchase to get an electronic notebook and PDF reader with no additional function, which is a shame. So, if anyone from SONY, reMarkable or Amazon would happen to stumble across this post and be interested in a thorough evaluation and review of their product on a site that has a returning visitors count of around one person, you are more then welcome to send me a unit for testing. If anyone else happens to find this post and owns one of these products, pleas leave a little comment regarding your impression.