- iRex iLiad (8" display) on the left side
- Amazon Kindle (6" display) on the upper right side
- Sony PRS-500 (6" display) on the lower right side
the iliad and the kindle use the newer vizplex e-ink display, while the sony uses an older version with less gray scales (8 vs. 16) and a darker background (the new PRS-505 also uses vizplex and looks slightly different). i think even in that crappy picture it is noticeable that the Sony's screen is slightly darker.
i really like the e-ink displays for reading, but 6" is too small. it is worse on the kindle, because you cannot rotate the display (the Sony supports rotating), which means that for books containing images, it is sometime impossible to figure out what they are showing. zooming does not work for images, so you end up with books which you can only read partially.
the iLiad's screen is great and even is a touch screen, and the device has Wi-Fi. but apart from the screen, the $700 device is just useless. the specs look good on paper, but the hardware is a joke (starting with the cable mess for charging and connecting to the USB), and the software is a disaster. if you ever consider buying an iLiad, please buy mine!
the Sony is better designed (aesthetically as well as functionally) than the Kindle, even my PRS-500 is better to use than the kindle. i am wondering whether they ever did any user trials with the kindle, it is almost impossible to use without accidentally paging back and forward all the time. which is particularly annoying because the display is so slow.
so in terms of hardware, what would i like to get, if i could choose?
- minimum 8" vizplex display
- touch screen instead of keypad
- wi-fi for full internet connectivity
- excellent energy efficiency for maximum battery life
- a lot of user trials and as a result some well-designed user controls
my dream software would be a totally different issue, of course, but i'll write about that some other time...