E-book Reading and the Archos Tablet.
Steve Paine, aka Chippy, over at UMPC Portal has done a post and video demonstrating eBook reading on the new Android-powered Archos 5 Internet Tablet.
I’ve swiped his video:
I’ve been working my way through the Adventures of Tom Sawyer on the SmartQ7 and have tried to continue on the Archos 5 but I don’t get very far before I’m distracted by an email or twitter notification and then I’m off into one of those enjoyable but never-ending web journeys.
There’s the thing: Having wireless access can lead to wireless distractions. If I was using a device like that, I’d turn off the damned radios and concentrate on reading. Reading does take some force of will to do in this Age of Distraction.
I do like the sound of this, however:
Based on my experience with the Archos 5, its form factor, hours of using Google Reader (Android formatted) and the web browser I’d say that the form factor lends itself perfectly to 1hr reading sessions and that due to the weight (smartphone weight) and screen characteristics (200 ppi and well-aliased fonts and adjustable back-lighting) many people will end up doing more. What effect that has on your eyes is unknown to me but it certainly feels more comfortable than smaller screens I’ve tried.
Chippy, in the video, also reports he’s been getting seven hours of battery life with WiFi on and estimates anywhere from ten to fifteen hours with WiFi off and Brightness set to Low-Medium.
There was nothing to stop Sony from dumping its current eInk devices and releasing something like this. It probably would have been better, too.
Just remember: an 8GB iPod Touch now sells for only US$199.00.
Sony could have brought something identical to the Archos in at US$250.00 — with that same 4.8″ screen and all else. Too bad it didn’t.
After the break, screensnap pr0n!!
If this has the same shell as the Archos-OS prior model, then I saw the size of this in person at J&R recently. It seems more compact than the HTC Advantage, which has a five-inch screen.
Aldiko Library view:
The color cover of Tom Sawyer …
This is so neat: running a finger vertically at the left edge will control the backlight Brightness setting:
FeedBook ePub-formatted chapter start:
Night mode (for that lights-out bedroom reading):
Some of the numerous Aldiko Settings:
Not too thick:
Size compared to typical trade paperback:
Chippy has the screen type size set to 20-point, comparing to paper type size:
View of eBooks available to download via Aldiko:
Description of Dracula:
The color cover:
Now viewing Project Gutenberg for an FBReader (Java version)-compatible eBook:
MobiPocket text in FBReader-J, with view of device size:
MobiPocket text in FBreader-J:
FBReader is its usual weird self in the video. Moving through the eBook is vertical scroll only.
Aside from MobiPocket, the desktop version of FBReader can do non-DRMed ePub too. I’ll have to ask Chippy to try one with FBReader-J on the Archos.
Night-reading (aka bedroom) mode:
Some of the few FBReader-J Settings:
Another nice view of its size:
Another size beauty shot:
Web page viewed — just imagine if that was a digital book!
It’s unfortunate the Archos’ adaptation of Android is so damned buggy right now. This costs about US$20.00 less than a Sony Reader Touch Edition (aka PRS-600) yet is superior in many ways.
Of course, DRMed ePub can’t be read on it. Unless, ahem, you know how to make it do that.
It’s the form factor that really has me interested. That palm-comfortable 4.8″ screen with very little frame is perfect in my opinion. So much easier than a paperback book.
I must learn to turn the Wifi off for reading but it’s so damn difficult to let go of the ‘net!
Looks pretty good to me. I don’t know why people think tablets are going to be huge failures if they can deliver decent content. Why lug around bunches of books when you can carry an eReader.
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