This caught my eye because I’ve read books by the great Dr. Asimov for years. Back in the 40’s a 50’s he wrote about devices that one could read from. They were clearly “electronic books”. Handheld, accessing the data instantly and obviously holding a great deal of info. Naturally, Dr. Asimov did not describe in detail exactly HOW these devices operated, but I certainly had a feel for what to expect. So, the question is, Is this “iLiad” what the Good Doctor envisioned??
For one thing it has a viewing res of 1024×768. That seems like a comfortable reading screen which is especially important for those of us who don’t want tired eyes. And it’s about the size of a paperback book: the tried and true size for pleasant reading – at least in my experience. So how many books, magazines, and text files can it hold? With 224 MB Flash memory I think you’ve got weeks of reading right there. Plus, connect a USB stick, an SD or MMC card and you have additional reading material or memory immediately. If you have a PC in the room, plug in the USB cable or use WiFi. Being able to connect the iLiad to the internet is how one subscribes to digital magazines.
This thing lets you read PDF’s, XHTML files, and text files (of course). AND!!! AND!!! you can listen to Mp3’s. Holy Cow! Read your afternoon paper – that isn’t paper – and listen to some music at the same time on the same device. That sounds like heaven! Actually audiobooks (in the correct format) can be listened from this device.
Here’s my favorite trick: use a digital pen and scribble on the touchscreen. Your notes or drawings can be recorded with the magazine or book you are reading. The mind boggles. This device is expensive so it will be used by businessmen and lawyers and others who can afford it for now, but eventually students and people like me will enjoy the advantages. Imagine me putting all 400 plus science fiction books I have in the iLiad? This thing has a search function and other “electronic bookmarks” so I can find my favorite passages in my Asimov novels. Cool!