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HardwareUMPCThe Kindle needs touch, ink, better browser...like the Microsoft Haiku

The Kindle needs touch, ink, better browser…like the Microsoft Haiku

It’s interesting reading the various comments about the Kindle DX. Most argue that it’s overpriced. However, there is a growing list of features that I think many are describing which, if added to the Kindle, would make it quite compelling:

* Touch, for selecting, zooming, changing pages
* Pen interaction for taking notes
* Better browser, though Flash/Silverlight isn’t necessarily needed
* Replace the 3G with WiFi

In short, this reads more like the features people would like to see in a slate netbook than an eBook reader.

A key difference between these two classes of devices is expressed in battery life. A netbook-style eReader is going to chew up battery life relatively quickly. The Kindle is much more battery conscious.

I do think the idea of a multi-purpose netbook slate is a good idea. I’d put it up there as one of my top “wants.” We’re waiting to see if Apple will launch or announce its rumored “media pad” device, but I’m not so sure if that’ll be what we want either.

The CrunchPad is another hopeful, but it too looks to be too heavy.

The Microsoft Haiku was probably the best concept device that meets all the features people would like to see in a Kindle or any portable media device for that matter. It’s a shame the product never went anywhere. What was that three years ago already? 2006 was a long time ago.

Loren Heiny (1961 - 2010) was a software developer and author of several computer language textbooks. He graduated from Arizona State University in computer science. His first love was robotics.

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