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Tuesday, 03 May 2011 10:22

Ebooks are not ready for students yet

Written by Nick Farell


Can't handle beer being poured over them
Boffins the University of Washington claim that e-readers are still not ready for students.

Results from a long-term study showed that the Kindle DX lacks the kind of functionality that would make it popular among students. Amazon’s Kindle DX has a larger screen (9.7 inches) than the Kindle, and currently retails for $379. A report says that students want a device that allows them to more easily take notes, check references and view figures.

Students need to switch between reading styles particularly if they want to look through an article’s illustrations or references. If Amazon wants to have a chance of making some headway in the e-reader market for students it has to stop thinking about the way people read books for pleasure. The report said that reading is just a small part of what students are doing with a book.

Apparently seven months into the study, less than 40 percent of the students were regularly doing their academic reading on the Kindle DX. Students unhappy with the device put this down to things like its lack of support for taking notes and difficulty in looking up references. More than 60 percent or so of students who continued to use the e-reader, some read near a computer, enabling them to look up references if necessary, while others simply tucked a piece of paper into the case so that they could write notes by hand if they needed to.

Nick Farell

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