The Kindle Paperwhite is an amazing ereader. It’s arguably the best on the market. But it’s not flawless. Some users, including several TechCrunch writers, noticed the lighting on their Paperwhite is not evenly spaced, resulting in odd, slightly distracting gaps at the bottom of the screen (see the pic).
Well, in a recent statement, Amazon stepped up to the plate and addressed this lighting issue as well as reaffirming the Paperwhite model has less storage than its predecessor and lacks text-to-speech. Even with these, let’s say design decisions, the Kindle Paperwhite is a fantastic ereader. As John states out in our official review, it’s a reader’s dream.
We want you to know…
Kindle Paperwhite is the best Kindle we’ve ever made by far, but there are certain limitations and changes from prior generations that we want you to know about.
Kindle Paperwhite does not have audio or Text-to-Speech. This makes the device smaller and lighter than it would otherwise be. Audio and an improved Text-to-Speech engine are supported on Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD.
Under certain lighting conditions, the illumination at the bottom of the screen from the built-in light is not perfectly even. See examples of how the screen looks in different lighting conditions. These variations are normal and are located primarily in the margin where text is not present. The illumination is more even than that created by a book light or lighted cover. The contrast, resolution and illumination of the Paperwhite display is a significant step-up from our prior generation.
The Kindle Paperwhite has 2 GB of storage. Some previous Kindle models had 4GB of storage. 2GB allows you to hold up to 1,100 books locally on your device. In addition, your entire Kindle library is stored for free in the Amazon cloud, and you can easily move books from the cloud onto your device.
Thank you, and we hope you enjoy Kindle Paperwhite.
- The Kindle Team
Go here to read the rest: Amazon Acknowledges Uneven Lighting On The Kindle Paperwhite
Back when PixelQi was still all the rage and ereaders still came in flavors other than Kindle and Nook, Qualcomm was pushing a fairly revolutionary screen technology called Mirasol. Designed to be read in direct light and display (albeit muted) color, Mirasol was supposed to be the next big thing in ereaders.
Well Qualcomm just pulled the plug on Mirasol production and is instead licensing some of the know-how.
Quoth CEO Paul E. Jacobs:
According to The Digital Reader, Mirasol screens were very hard to manufacture and install and OEMs lost half of the screens in production. Chinese manufacturers sold many Mirasol devices in Asia but few in the U.S.
Qualcomm cancelled their first ereader product a year ago and has done little with the technology since.
Read more here: Qualcomm Pulls The Plug On Mirasol Screen Production
The following headline doesn’t quite pass the gut-check test, and isn’t precisely true, but is worth reading: “Half of Bedtime Stories Now Read on E-Books.”
That is the title to a piece in SmartMoney, which notes a survey by The Reading Agency and Ipsos Mori, stating that just under 50% of parents in the United Kingdom read to their kids on ereaders and tablets, or allow them to do so on their own.
So, nearly half either read to their kids from an electronic device, or allow their tots to do the same. That hardly, hardly, translates into 50% of all nighttime stories being read from ebook texts. Still, it’s a fair chunk.
In the same Smartphone report, another fact is highlighted, this one from Bowker Market Research, noting that while the average hardback children’s book costs $10.22, and the normal paperback $8.29, the average child’s ebook costs but $4.57. That’s a large savings, from a percentage standpoint. In the current economy, given its slugging progress, even those who can afford a tablet or ereader may be looking to shave costs.
Thus the data points to a real conclusion: ereading is rapidly become the norm. It has passed the stage of being accepted, but rare. Even more, as these kids are growing up with it, it will be the new normal for them, and not print. Old books, we might start to call those that are printed, and just ‘books’ for those that come digitally.
If you want to stick a finger in any direction, I’d recommend Jeff Bezos’s.
Read the rest here: Inexpensive ebooks are nudging parents into reading digitally to their kids
The Kobo eReader is about to invade Japan. Following Rakuten’s purchase of the Canadian eReader company, the Japanese online retail giant announced the eReader’s launch plans this morning. The Kobo eReader hits the retailer’s interwebs on July 17th for ¥7,980 including tax (or $100 USD). The device is completely retooled for the Japanese populace and launches with a large assortment of ePub 3.0 Japanese titles, including novels and comic books.
Rakuten hopes to start an eReading revolution in Japan. As CEO Hiroshi Mikitani pointed out today, reading in Japan is declining and he hopes the Kobo will in part slow this trend. But Amazon is said to be eyeing the largely untapped market of Nippon, too. Rakuten purchased the Canadian-based Kobo late last year for $315 million, likely with the hope to corner the market before Amazon.
Rakuten clearly watched the Kindle’s growth and is following its proven strategy. Content purchased for the device will soon be available on iOS and Android apps. Kobo eReader demo units will be set up in retail locations, giving potential owners a chance to try it out before buying.
The device is available for pre-ordering starting today for ¥7,980. Rakuten also just launched Kobo’s localized Japanese experience at http://kobo.rakuten.co.jp.
Follow this link: Japanese Retailer Rakuten To Launch The Kobo eReader, Localized Content
It’s a bit hard to officially review the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight as it’s almost exactly the same as the previous version but with one important improvement: it glows.
Arguably, the Nook and the Kindle are equal contenders in the race to the e-reader throne and although I do prefer the Kindle Fire over the Nook Tablet, I feel the Nook Simple Touch is still an excellent choice and one of the best e-readers on the market. Luckily, it just got better.
How does it work? When you hold down the Nook button, the internal backlight smoothly winks on, offering a bright black-and-white reading surface. The backlit text and images are crisp and clear and the device is finally readable at night. In short, if you’re a frequent traveler or someone who often reads in the dark and you don’t want the harsh glare of an iPad or tablet device, this is the Nook for you.
Using the backlight reduces the battery life from 2 months to 1 month and the light adds $40 to the price of the device ($99 for the original vs. $139). All of the other features are the same – the store, the Wi-Fi connection, the ability to take notes and share chunks of text.
Should you buy this version of the Nook over the previous, non-backlit version? If you have the money, I think the added cost is worth the investment. You’ll also want to remember that a similarly outfitted Kindle is definitely in the works so soon fans of Amazon will be able to grab a similar e-reader.
As it stands, however, the new Nook Simple Touch is definitely a fly.
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