The Digital Reader

Read More, Tote Less

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Entries Tagged as 'tablet'

Aakash $35 Tablet Great News for India, But What About the Rest of the World?

September 21st, 2012 · Android, Indian Tablet

Ubislate-7C -gprs-wifiTechcrunch has gotten its hands on one of the long-awaited Aakash UbiSlate CI tablets, the famed “$35 tablet” that the Indian government plans to use to connect students all over the country to the Internet. The 7.5” tablet will have wifi in the basic version, with a $64 3G update that offers a $2 per month 2 GB cellular data package. It will reportedly soon be rolling out to universities around the country.

The article includes a brief video demo showing the tablet doing voice recognition (of the word “democracy”) and browsing Wikipedia, and discusses the benefits of cheap computers to education as demonstrated by projects like One Laptop Per Child. Other than that, it’s rather light on details about just how the tablet is going to be made available, how much the government is subsidizing them, how much they actually cost to make, and whether they’ll be made available outside of India.

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Could Miniature Kindle and iPad Tablets Save the Newspaper Industry? Probably Not

September 6th, 2012 · iPad, newspaper

ipadsAs we approach upcoming launch events for both Amazon and Apple, speculation is rife about what the things they’re launching could mean for the reading industry. For example, the Guardian ponders what it might mean to have new 7” tablets available for both Amazon and Apple.

The article seems to me to lose a few points for asking in the headline if such tablets can “revive the news industry” but not really making a good argument in the actual article that it really could. A lot more people read books with ereaders than read newspapers or magazines with tablets. The Guardian even admits this, noting that iPad-only paper The Daily just laid off a third of its staff of 150. But wait—we haven’t had a 7” Apple tablet yet!

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New York Times Usage and Tablets’ New E-Reading Paradigm

August 3rd, 2012 · iPad, newspaper

Poynter has a post looking at some Nielsen figures on New York Times use over the last few years, finding that time spent with the website from desktops and laptops has been decreasing since 2010, when the iPad first came out.

We asked for the figures to see if the paywall had affected how much time users spend on the site — discouraging drive-by traffic and encouraging more loyal, paying customers to visit. Instead, the figures appear to show how mobile devices are chipping away at the amount of time that users spend on their desktop and laptop computers, the Times says.

It’s funny to think the iPad has only been with us for about 2 and 1/4 years. How has it been changing our reading habits? Maybe not so much for e-books—the device is pretty heavy, and a lot of people still find e-ink easier on the eyes. But studies have shown people are reading a lot more shorter content, such as newspaper or magazine articles, on tablets. And if they’re reading more on tablets, it stands to reason they’re going to read them less on computer screens.

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Exclusive Scoop: Amazon is not working on a tablet!

June 16th, 2011 · Amazon, humor

There’s been a surge in the Amazon tablet rumors over the past few days.  The most recent rumor is that Amazon will stream content to the tablet. This rumor is actually half true. Amazon will be streaming content, but there is no tablet involved.

You’re not going to believe this, and I really hope you’re sitting down. I’ve seen pictures of Amazon’s prototype tablet, and it only has a 5″ screen. The screen is so small because it’s not the main viewing method. There’s a new technology integrated into the device, and it will change everything.

Amazon has been experimenting with direct transmission to the brain. Yes, who needs a screen when you can simply beam the content into your head?

Update: I see that I forgot to mention ebooks. I asked and yes, the new device will support Kindle ebooks. But they’ve encountered a few problems with the enhanced formats. the projection technology for text doesn’t have adequate signal control to handle embedded audio and video. Several beta testers reported excruciating headaches, so there’s a good chance that the enhanced content will be disabled.

Second Update: No, I cannot post the pictures. It looks vaguely like a 5″ handheld, and I wasn’t shown any other component. I’m not sure how the direct to brain transmission is done.

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CVS shipped me the wrong Sylvania tablet

April 26th, 2011 · hardware reviews

Yesterday I got my Sylvania 7″ tablet and as I am wont to do I posted about my first impressions. Then I started looking for more info on the tablet (I was hoping for a hacked firmware) and I found something rather interesting.

There are actually several models floating around under the one name. If you buy one you won’t know quite which one you get until you open the box. While looking into this tablet I found that at least 1 version based on this shell  had HDMI out. I also know that my unit has the label for HDMI but no port.

Guess what? My unit is actually supposed to have HDMI out. That’s what the specs show on CVS shipped me the wrong tablet.

It worries me that the tablets are so similar and the box design is so similar that I could get the wrong tablet and not have anyone realize it. What’s worse is that there’s no mention of the multiple models on the support website. If they’re that sloppy about supporting the tablet then how good are they at making it?

P.S. But this is just a minor snafu compared to the hardware problems.

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Update: Sylvania 7″ Android tablet IS CRAP

April 25th, 2011 · hardware reviews

CVS is selling a  7″ Android tablet for $99. I’ve been trying to get one for a while now, and I finally got one when they added it to their website. It’s a pretty decent tablet for $99, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll keep it for my collection.

But I’m also seeing a weird battery issue, so maybe not.

I’ve decided to amend this post with a recommendation that you not get this tablet.

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I still don’t believe Amazon is working on a tablet

April 21st, 2011 · opinion

So the “Amazon tablet” rumors reach a fever pitch today with one of the bloggers with gdgt  posting a long explanation of why he thinks Samsung is building the Amazon tablet. I respect his opinion and his right to argue a position that has so little factual basis. I’ve done the same before, so I can’t judge.

But I still don’t believe that it will happen. Let me poke a bunch of holes in your balloon.

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I’m not taking my iPad or Android tablet to the conference

April 3rd, 2011 · opinion

I’m traveling top NYC  this afternoon for a conference and I finally decided on what gadgets I’m going to bring.

Due to weight (and the fact that I don’t want to leave electronics in my hotel room), I had to pick between a Win7 tablet convertible or (as a pair) my iPad and Viewsonic gTablet. I’m taking the Inspiron Duo.

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Reading Apps on a Win7 tablet: a brief roundup

March 29th, 2011 · software reviews

I’ve been playing with my Inspiron Duo for the past few days, and I thought I’d take a few minutes to discuss which reading apps worked well on the touch screen. This is just an overview of the apps; some won’t need any more details and the ones that do will be covered in depth in a later post.

Edit: now that I’ve written the summaries, I can see that reviewing these apps in depth might mean 1 app to a post.

First let me define my criteria, which are rather low. I’m primarily looking for the first 2 items on this list, but I do have a number of other ideas.

  1. Does the app have a full screen mode that removes the frame?
  2. Can I tap on the screen and turn the page?
  3. Does it have a multi-column mode?
  4. Are the settings menus usable from the touchscreen?
  5. What about pinch-zoom?

Here’s TLDR version:

  • Useful - Kindle, Adobe Reader 9, Mobipocket
  • Marginal - Kobo, FBreader, Nook
  • Useless - Blio, NookStudy

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The hardware blind spot – Why Amazon probably isn’t working on a Kindle Android tablet

March 21st, 2011 · opinion

The Kindle Android rumors surfaced again on Friday.

The NY Times noticed that Amazon are hiring Android developers at Lab126 (they develop the Kindle hardware and apps) and jumped to the obvious conclusion. Amazon must be working on a Kindle that runs Android, and that this new device could have a color screen.

There are a couple holes in that idea, unfortunately.

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