Digital Book

Digital BooksAmazon recently released the Kindle digital book reader. It looks to have many good features, but for international travelers the biggest drawback is Sprint’s national high-speed (EVDO) data network. While in the US this isn’t a draw back, but once outside its ability to wirelessly obtain books. This can be worked around by connecting to a computer, but triggers the inconvenience factor. For now a WiFi connection or Bluetooth connection makes more sense. This way when traveling or at home one can obtain new content.

Admittedly there are cases where the connectivity issue would not be a problem such as vacations. However, when on vacation long battery life becomes essential. Content gets preloaded, and the battery has to last.

Requirements for a digital book:

  • Must weigh less than 14oz. (about the same as a thick paperback)
  • Must have a battery that can last a week. (when not using wireless)
  • Must have ability to swap rechargeable batteries. (for an extra week of use)
  • Should have a three day battery life when wireless used sparingly.
  • Must have at least five hours of battery life with frequent wireless usage.
  • Must turn off transmitter and receiver when not in use.
  • Should allow scrolling with touch screen.
  • Could allow buttons for page turning.
  • Must have the ability to skim through the book.
  • Must have the ability to read text, pdf, Microsoft Word, and OpenOffice documents.
  • Must be able to serve as file storage.
  • Must support persistent bookmarks.
  • Must have ability to import/export bookmarks.
  • Must have ability to highlight text in various colors.
  • Should have a color display with ability to switch to black and white or grayscale.
  • Must support both WiFi and Bluetooth.
  • Should be able to read and write USB memory.
  • Should be able to play audio books and mp3 files.
  • Should be water resistant for reading in the bath.
  • Must be rugged to survive being dropped a few times.

The rational for the battery life requirements is that when wireless is not used, then power is probably not around. The more the wireless is used, the more likely power is nearby.

What are your requirements for a digital book?

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One Comment on “Digital Book”

  1. Stephen Says:

    Engadget recently had a similar topic about improvements for the Kindle. In the comments additional requirements were provided.

    • Must consider the reader to be a document reader, not just a book reader.
    • Must have native PDF support.
    • Must have ability to write notes, and to import/export them as well.
    • Should serve as a RSS reader.
    • Must have a scratch resistant screen.
    • Must have at least one memory card slot. Should have at least two.
    • Must have ability to traverse highlighted portions of a document for review.
    • Should allow for borrowing books from the library.
    • Must have the ability to zoom.
    • Should have the ability to charge via USB.
    • Must have a VNC-like server capability to take advantage of larger screens when available.
    • Must have a backlight to allow reading in lowlight conditions.