Matt Alexander responds to my rebuttal of his e-readers are doomed article:
Moreover, despite the many merits of e-ink in its current form — merits I’ve written about at length in the past — the e-ink display is unquestionably life-limited. There is little that can be done to evolve the technology further. Sure, the current form is good for reading (and only for reading) — I do not question that — but it is very clear to me that there’s only so much more that can be done before color and video become involved.
I disagree. E-ink still has a long way to go in responsiveness and pixel density. The current Kindle is 167 ppi. Imagine how nice it would be to read on a 300+ ppi version, like the iPhone 4’s “Retina” screen but with e-ink.
I’d take that before color.
And when those are implemented, surely the benefits of a dedicated e-reader will be lost altogether?
If e-ink readers could display color and video without losing e-ink’s advantages, wouldn’t they still have their huge leads over tablets in affordability, size, battery life, simplicity, and lack of distractions?
And if color and video ruin e-ink’s ability to deliver on those advantages, wouldn’t there still be just as big of a market for the slow, grayscale displays as there is today?
As much as you or I might enjoy the e-ink experience, people are not thrilled about buying a device that does one thing very well when they can buy something that does that one thing fairly well along with dozens of other features.
Then why does anyone buy grapefruit spoons, prime lenses, or two-seater sports cars?
Or tablets? Laptops do everything tablets do fairly well along with dozens of other features, and you probably already own one.