Back in January, I made the controversial argument that the lines between LCD and E-Ink are likely set to blur. Due to the pace of display development coupled with consumer tendency toward tablets, I argued that the concept of an e-reader (i.e., the Kindle and Nook) is set to merge with the concept of a tablet. Today, in a report for the New York Times, Mickey Meece reports:
What accessories users want depends in large part on the e-readers they own. For example, basic e-readers — like the Kobo Touch, the Sony Reader, the $79 Kindle and the Nook Simple Touch — use E Ink technology, which replicates the experience of reading on a printed page. Still, it can be hard to read at night on these devices, so a light accessory can be helpful.
Other e-readers — like the iPad, the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet — use LCD technology, which offers an enhanced visual experience so users can play games and watch video. Users can also read with ease at night on these tablets, so no extra light is needed.
While I stand by my argument, Meece's perspective is presumptuously callous. Referring to the Kindle and Nook as "basic e-readers" implies that the iPad and Kindle Fire are, by default, "advanced" versions. This is inaccurate.
The Nook Tablet, Kindle Fire, and iPad are designed as multimedia consumption tools - not advanced e-reading devices. While e-books are, of course, available, they certainly do not comprise the entirety of the experience.
Meece's apparent unawareness of the drastic differences between hardware types (aside from light versus no light) nevertheless provides eye-opening insight into the growing shift in consumer opinion regarding e-books and e-reading.