I love innovation – just not innovation for the sake of innovation. It should be useful – and when I look at MSI’s dual-screen eReader – Netbook – Whatever, I seriously question the usability. Multipurpose devices do make sense, especially when it comes to the one-little-thing you carry in your pocket: it’s great not having to carry a phone, pda, camera, voice recorder, gps..etc separately. But the same trend may not be true for in-home devices. Looking at the MSI gadget specifically:
- It’s not a good-enough netbook as the virtual on-screen keyboard can’t compete with the real one
- It’s not a good-enough eReader, simply for being too heavy. (Want proof? Try to lean back an hold up a netbook for an hour…)
Cramping to many functions in one box simple does not make sense – I’m a fan of multiple light-weight situational devices in this case.
The e-Reader part brings up another issue: what’s the point of having two small pages side-by-side? Clearly, it imitates the good-old the book format, but is that an ideal format for reading, or just the one we got stuck with when bound paper was the only way we could record / consume textual information? When we liberate information from paper, there’s no point in replicating the paper (book) experience: instead, accept the paradigm-change and maximize readability, comfort enabled by the new technology.