Let the battle of the E-Ink reader toys begin. iRex Technologies and Sony are both offering reader devices designed around the e-ink display technology. What is E-Ink? It’s a display tech designed to be more link paper on the eyes as opposed to LCD and other digital displays. Battery life becomes almost meaningless because the display needs power only so long to put the image up, not to keep it there. Both products benifit from this little tidbit of design in that they can have rather massive battery life times between charges.
So the place where this battle will be fought is on the field of cost, design, and formats supported. Fact is both have a pretty decent price tage, but the iRex Iliad is about five hundred US dollars more then the Sony which comes in at $350USD. Also, while the iliad does get the boost of not being from Sony, it loses out because right now it supports half the formats Sony is offering.
The Sony reader doesn’t allow for anotation of documents on it’s reader, which is a staple of the Iliad. However the Sony is using memory sticks and standard SD cards while the Iliad is sticking with type-II Compact Flash cards. I thought those had completely gone out of style. Pre-release images of the Sony reader style wise do show how far that company goes when going for asthetics. The Iliad does have some better control features the Sony lacks, but not much at this time.
Ghola is looking to possibly buy one of the Sony Readers, so I’m hoping he can answer the question Linux folk like me who might concider the Sony offering are wanting to know. Do we have to use the connect software with this thing or can we just load up an SD card full of data files and pop it in? Only Ghola will know if he is able to get his hands on one. Until then we wait to find out.
I’ll let you know how that goes. If Ghola is able to then I may shell out for one of these myself. Sony had me with Mini-Discs but that tech was just so under utilized it died slowly. And lets not forget the PSP and UMD format. Sony has had a few hits and misses, and I’m hoping the Sony Reader is a hit.
Found this four part review of the Sony Reader and thought I would share.