- Pros - Big, bright color LCD. Integrated Wi-Fi. Kobo application syncs with other devices.
- Cons - Sluggish navigation and page turns. D-pad is difficult to use. Short battery life. Heavy.
- Bottom Line - With a 7-inch color screen, the Sharper Image Literati ebook reader looks good, but it's too slow and frustrating to use.
Overall, I can see great potential in the Literati—the LCD adds color, brightness, and clarity without hurting your eyes (and you can read in the dark), and the hardware is generally solid. The software, on the other hand, doesn't seem fully baked. It's inconsistent, sometimes painfully slow, and too difficult to navigate using the D-pad. Also, unlike with an E Ink device, you'll have to charge the Literati every couple of days. There aren't many extra features to speak of, which would be fine if the reading experience were fast and reliable—and it just isn't. The company promises a software upgrade in the immediate future, and a big update in November and December that will both add features and fix bugs, but for now, in a world where the Kindle works exactly as advertised, and the Wi-Fi version is just $139, there's not really a good reason to spend more on the Literati—even if it does have the color screen.
I'd skipped over the problem with the d-pad becuase there were enough other problems that it didn't seem that important.
Also, I'm planning to write a piece about d-pads. There are so many bad designs on the market right now that they deserve a deeper look.