Saturday, December 20, 2008

A month of e-reading

After months of procrastination, I have decided to give a try to e-ink and go paperless as much as I can. I have been using a Sony PRS-700 for a month now and I must say I am really happy with it.

This picture does not render the actual contrast and precision of the e-ink surface.

I opted for the Sony reader because of its openness: you plug it in an USB port and voila! You are free to drag and drop files into the reader.

I used it in all sorts of lighting and places: in the dim light and shaky environment of public transportation to the comfort of a sun lit office. So far I successfully used it for:
  • Paperless meetings: instead of printing meetings' material, I now upload them to my reader.
  • Long blog entries: I simply can not read long articles on a computer screen so I use the reader for long blog posts.
  • Reference guides: the search feature of the reader is convenient to find passages of reference guides or technical books (like Mule in Action).
  • Book reviews: instead of printing the books I am reviewing, I now upload them to the reader. The annotation feature is a little too slow to take long notes on pages but fast enough to attach a few words that are reminders for building the final review.
  • Full fledged e-book of course! So far, I have only read a few technical e-books from InfoQ. Hundreds of pages later, I can tell it is really a great reading experience. I sometimes have to zoom on a schema, but most of the time using the landscape orientation guarantees a seamless reading.
Despite wishing a bigger screen for a smaller price (it's Christmas time after all), my only concrete suggestion to Sony would be the addition of a smart zoom mode that would automatically trim all the useless white margins that oftentimes waste PDFs' page estate.