ASUS Eee PC 1008HA

I was reading Dear Author this morning and thinking over eInk and eBook Readers discussed in the article. To Buy or Not to Buy: The eReader Dilemma

It’s really not a dilemma to me so far. Think people. What are you really getting for your money? Be honest. Are you getting all this…

ASUS Eee PC 1008HA
$411.00
10.1″ backlit LED 1024×600 color
160gb (1 SD Card Slot and 2 USB ports)
Wifi/Bluetooth
6 hour battery
DRM Supported: Everything except Kindle

Or are you accepting only this…

Amazon Kindle DX
$489.00
9.7″ eInk 1200×824 16-level gray scale
4gb (1 USB port and NO SD card slot)
Whispernet Wireless
4 days battery life with wireless on
DRM Supported: Kindle azw & tpz and nothing else

Let’s compare? Are you sure? Do you really need me for this?

For that price and only 10 inches of screen let’s take eInk technology completely off the table. I am not impressed with 16 shades of gray. I work all day, almost everyday, on a 17″ laptop screen in little boxes very much smaller than the full screen size. So eye strain… sure but it’s not the end of the world. I still do “in theory” 8 hours *SNORT* of work and then some *yeah let’s see 12 hours last Friday carry the 10 last Monday* and then I blog and I email and all that personal stuff after those 8 hours *ROFLMAO*. I want color people. My eBook covers are in color and I want to see them. OK? So anything I look at for “MY” eBook Reader had better be color. Is the $489.00 Kindle DX in color? Is eInk in color?

Whispernet wi-fi vs built in standard wi-fi… Cell provider wi-fi is cool. But with the ASUS I can get a USB dongle for any cell carrier and have better and faster cellphone wi-fi service than the Kindle DX. What happens if I lose my Amazon account with the Kindle? Bye bye Whispernet hello USB to a computer. So much for a prudent hardware purchase there.

DRM? Yeah, let’s see, stuck with Kindle DRM forever more? Or any freaking DRM I am silly enough to buy!

I use PDF even the DRM form of PDF. Why? Because PDF was created to give you the exact experience of reading the book as the publisher meant it to be printed with like you know numbered pages of information. It’s an exact replica actually. Say you have a manual with images and text. You don’t want that shit flowed! You want to find the instructions and the corresponding images where the table of contents has them specified. Is this a new idea? Does anyone read Manga? Do you want that shit flowed? NO!

PDF was created for this reason. Adobe did the right thing here. Just because you are trying to read War And Peace on your iPhone on the bus to work does not mean PDFs are horrible. They were not created to flow! PDF was created for manuals and techy things and replicating exact printed layouts which should be viewed on a reasonably sized screen under reasonable conditions. Anyway this is why one of my most important tests is how well a eBook Reader shows a typical PDF especially if you are looking at textbooks or my work manuals or my UNIX references or my LINUX references or my IBM White Papers etc. Computers can zoom PDF to any size you want. Can your eBook Reader do that? Gee, one $411.00 Netbook can at least buy me that feature and I bet ASUS provided it free of charge.

Battery life? I have a car charger with USB connections and generally at home in bed I am plugged into a wall socket. That just leaves travel time really and frankly 6 hours with full operating system and all those options trumps 4 days of anything with all 16 colors of gray.

What I really think of all this

I think single function eBook Readers will always be compared to computers based on functionality and with less functionality should come a lower price tag than the cheapest computer. Full stop, end of story, despite the slew of vague justifications I read all the time. You think that ASUS Netbook at $411.00 is the most powerful computer you can buy? Hell no, it’s priced relative to it’s power and purpose. Same should be true for eBook Readers and yet people actually buy the Kindle DX. It amazes me. I am just too practical to blow that type of money on a one note wonder that does not even play that one note very well and I got to pay the monthly mortgage in this economy and it sucks.

When the Apple Tablet shows up I will be comparing it the same way I am comparing the Kindle DX. Honestly, it has more of a chance at competing with the ASUS because of multifunction capabilities and styling and Apple loves crystal clear screens and Apple’s continued support of their older products is well known.

In my opinion buying a single function eInk eBook Reader is any “fly by night” company (and there are several jumping on this bandwagon) should be able to put it in your hands right this moment for somewhere in the $200.00 dollar range and it should at least provide basic support for DRM PDF/ePub or I can start walking you over to the Netbook table real fast. At this time Cool-er has my vote but I still think $250.00 is a bit too rich for my blood.

Just my real techy opinion on all this.

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"All Things Considered" by TeddyPig was published on August 9th, 2009 and is listed in Kindle.

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Comments on "All Things Considered": 12 Comments

  1. Angela James wrote,

    I see your point, except I have several ereaders as well as almost the same netbook you reference (mine is the 1000HE) and I would never consider reading on my netbook, any more than I’d consider reading on my laptop. Because it’s still reading on a computer and not comfortable. I wouldn’t carry the netbook with me to the doctor’s office, read on it while curled up in bed, throw it in my purse whenever I leave the house, or take it to the beach. I do all of these things with my ereader. But I’ve also been known to do them on my iPhone, so I think you’d have been a lot closer if you’d used the iTouch or a smartphone as a counterpoint, rather than a netbook. I’m withholding judgment on the Apple Tablet because I still suspect it might be too big for casual portability.

  2. TeddyPig wrote,

    Angela, I work too hard on a laptop all day and I know you do to say reading is really all that uncomfortable. I started reading eBooks on a computer and it is still the best way I have found and if I want to resize the font it’s a couple of clicks here and there and done.

    I think eInk is all marketing hype really. The equipment so far has lacked the very controls and options computers have. Until that changes I say you get more mileage out of a netbook and it will last longer and it will in the end be a better purchase. No company has changed my mind on that.

  3. Angela James wrote,

    Another instance of when we’ll have to agree to disagree. I don’t ever read for pleasure on the computer!

  4. TeddyPig wrote,

    Angela, I want something that I can justify as a business expense.

    I do have this discussion at work sometimes and frankly no eInk device even the Kindle can top the IBM they gave me. Until that changes even slightly I think sales will show that despite whatever feels comfortable. It was not until the Blackberry showed it’s business specific abilities that PDAs and then Smart Phones really started to be taken seriously.

    I think Amazon had the right idea with the DX but they failed in accomplishing the task both in price and in abilities.

  5. Angela James wrote,

    I understand, but I think a lot of avid readers look at reading as a hobby, so they’re not worried about business expenses but instead what’s going to be most convenient and comfortable for them, easy to use and casually portable (ie not needing another bag/purse to carry it). Even when I wasn’t working in digital publishing, I was looking for that (at the time, it ended up being a Pocket PC).

  6. TeddyPig wrote,

    I never thought hobbies sold anything. Back in the early days of the personal computers it was who ran Peachtree Accounting and WordPerfect the fastest. Good lord I’m OLD! Until some eBook Reader is good enough it can display detailed business related documents, textbooks and manuals most likely in PDF and provide the note taking and maybe add email functions then I think it might have a chance.

  7. Liz wrote,

    well – for what it’s worth – I like my e-Reader because it’s not the laptop – I don’t like reading on the laptop in bed or the couch – and I got my e-Reader just because I am a late night reader and the light always disturbed my husband. Also, when I’m killing time when he’s driving, the e-Reader is great. yes, battery life is a problem. When at home, I am not plugged into a socket – though I can be, just don’t want to be. You’ve verbally slugged some of as not so smart because we don’t agree with you about which e-Reader but that’s ok. I like my e-Reader – I too work with computers all day, and don’t mind the gray screen…but reading as a hobby? OH Gawd NO! Reading keeps me sane – it cant be categorized as a hobby if I can’t live without can it? Though it would be great if I could take all my books and e-books as business expenses!

    But if your talking about Peachtree Accounting and WordPerfect – you can’t be old, because that would mean I am too!

  8. TeddyPig wrote,

    You’ve verbally slugged some of as not so smart because we don’t agree with you about which e-Reader but that’s ok. I like my e-Reader

    I have not attacked anyone but I have problems accepting low powered technology and monochrome displays as advanced or different. I don’t think Amazon is stupid either. I think the DX showed the obvious limitations of using extremely limited processors and software.

    It is silly at $489.00 it cannot even begin to compete with the functionality of a $411.00 ASUS. I am sure for those $78 someone could have hinges made so the ASUS display flips all the way around and added a couple of paging buttons and most people would freak at having a color eBook Reader. We will see though they have announced a tablet model.

  9. Liz wrote,

    Sorry – you are correct – you have not attacked anyone – it’s me taking things personally when you have been very general in your postings – I just remember the post about the Sony and am recalling not being one of the smarter peoples – but it fits my purpose – see – I lurke more than I post but am reading! But yes, I would definitely freak over a color eBook reader. Hey – I freaked when I dropped my Compaq IPAC and lost color on it. I just hope this doesn’t mean I’ll be upgrading these devices every couple of years like my cell phone!

  10. TeddyPig wrote,

    Well how many models has Sony gone through already as we speak? I swear the 505 and 700 are not that old. Hell, I figure by Christmas they will announce two more even cheaper models just to compete. Maybe by then they will have worked out how to do wi-fi without breaking the bank.

  11. mistry89 wrote,

    My Palm T3 died (5 years old, RIP) and I decided to get the Asus 1000HE, with 9.5hours battery life. It was $1198.00 here. I chose it because it it multi-functional (an extra backup and I can take it to work and type minutes of meetings on it if I want to .. at least when I am forced to actually attend such meetings) and is a platform that I can read any ebook I can read on the desktop PC. I love it.
    I have it sitting on one of those bedtrays with polystyrene beans in the bottom, so I can smoosh it to the right angle on the bed or my lap and don’t have to worry about fabric covering the vents on the bottom. It came with a zip-up fabric “sleeve” and I take it out and about with me (I use a small handbag for wallet/keys/phone and a larger “tote” for books/netbook/oddandsods. I transfer my downloaded ebooks to it (either through the network at home or dumped to a flash drive) and just unplug it and settle down on the sofa or in the armchair for a read (unless I’m going to read in bed).
    Kindle’s aren’t available here (yet) and I wouldn’t lock myself into proprietary hardware.
    My Eee makes me Wheee. *g*

  12. ShellBell wrote,

    My Palm T/x is still going strong after 2 and a half years. As I always download all of my eBooks to my netbook and laptop I can read on any of my devices. I have my Palm in my handbag all the time so that I have my current read readily accessible, especially if I’m travelling – it’s definitely handy to be able to travel with my whole library. I’m quite happy to read from either of my devices while in bed – just depends on whether I only want to read or surf the net at the same time. The only disadvantage to the Palm is that I wish the screen was slightly bigger.

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