For a while I’ve been looking for a portable device to read ebooks. I chew through a lot of techie books to pick up new languages and geek knowledge, but the dead tree versions take up a lot of room and are a pain to travel with. Most of the popular publishers like Apress and O’Reilly make electronic versions of their books available now–and most of the time at a discount, so it’s a win for me. I’ve looked at several devices, but most of them come up short when it comes to a key feature: searching. Sony, I’m lookin’ at you. The Sony ebook reader looks good for novels, but I just don’t see myself using it when I’m skimming through 500 pages of a Python reference. My next hunch was to check out a Palm or something like the Nokia Internet Tablet, but the loss of screen real-estate doesn’t seem to make those a good match. So I’ve narrowed my options down to a tablet PC, or a micro notebook, the main disadvantage there being price.
Enter the Asus Eee PC available later this year. The lowdown:
- Runs Linux, so it’ll be hackable
- 800×480 and maybe 1280×768 screen resolution
- Solid state hdd, so you get 15 sec. boot times
- $250, cheap!
- plenty of cpu to run a pdf reader
The downside being it’s 3hr battery life.
I’ll be keeping my eye on this one. Any other ideas for a gadget primarily to read pdfs and maybe surf?