Yesterday I posted a couple hands on videos of the . They were shot by bloggers who had the good fortune to be at a conference at the same time as a demo unit. The videos are great, but they didn't tell you what actual users thought of it.
And now I know. One of my readers, reichsputin, pointed me at what might be the first US owned Kyobo eReader. The new owner has been posting their impressions over at MobileRead, and they've even uploaded a bunch of photos.
The photo above is just one of 6. It shows the Mirasol screen with the front light off (above), on, and in several different lighting conditions. Now we finally know what the screen looks like. I think it bears a distinct resemblance to an old Palm Pilot screen, don't you?
Turn the front light all the way up and it looks like this:
This user's review is mixed, but it seems to echo my previous points about Mirasol being not as good as E-ink (for reading) or LCD (for video). Mersfire thought that the design and build quality were excellent, and the (color!) screen worked great outdoors.
But it's not all good. The display is extremely dim without the front light, and the color quality isn't nearly as good as LCD. The Mirasol screen is also showing some behaviors of cheap LCD screens; the viewing angle drops off pretty fast, and the color shifts as the angle increases.
The Kyobo eReader also had some serious issues with video and menu transition; Mersfire reported that there was a lot of stuttering. Youtube videos played okay, but again, they didn't look as good as on an LCD screen.
One key detail that stuck out for me was that Mersfire thought that E-ink was better for reading (than the Kyobo eReader) and that LCDs, even on a smartphone, were better for video and web browsing.
I made the point some months back that this screen didn't have much of a market, considering that tablets and ereaders were so cheap and couple each do a task better. I think Mersfire's review tends to prove me right. The Kyobo eReader isn't as good as the combined abilities of a tablet and an ereader, IMO.
What do you think?