A couple of days back I received my eSlick E-Ink reader. I had been waiting for it little over two month. Foxit (the manufacturer and also creator of the Foxit PDF Reader) is not able to meet the demands (yet). On the plus side, they threw in a (fake) leather jacket because the delivery got delayed
This is not going to be a in depth review on the eSlick or E-Ink in general (just do some Googling for that) but more a quick user experience oriented post.
Yeb, it really looks like printed paper. Not printed with a state of the art high resolution laser or inktjet printer, but more like printed with a couple of years old inktjet or early days laser. It reminded me of the erasable drawing board (not sure how it is actually called) I had as a kid. The ones where you create you drawings with a fake pen and then erase it by traversing over it with a wiper kinda thing.
The readability of the text is not bothered by the sun at all (just as with normal paper). There is no flickering (low refresh rate, not that much of an issue with modern screens though) at all of the screen.
Refresh of a page (for example when navigating to the next page) is terribly slow (demo). And then I mean really slow. Of course I already read about this in reviews, but you don’t realize how slow it is until you experience it.
Is it usable?
It depends. One of the reasons I bought it was to use it to store lot’s of technical (reference) e-books. The ones I now read as PDF on my laptop. Unfortunately I don’t think I will be able to really use it for that. Loading of complex pages is slow (could be an issue of the hardware of the reader and not the E-Ink and display processor). Technical (computer) books are usually bigger then pockets (which is about the size of the screen) and thus text, tables and images get really small. Quickly skipping pages till you find (back) what you are looking for will not work (takes a second to refresh a page).
On the other hand if you like to read novels or novelles it is ok. You can put a lot of books on it (about 450MB internal memory and up to 4GB on a SD Card), charge it via USB and it does not weight a lot. Perfect to replace the pile of books you normally would take when going on a holiday.
I am not much of a reader and don’t go on holiday that often (not to say never) so I will write this one off on my gadget budget
To buy or not to buy that is the question?
If you read a lot of novels or novelles and you can get the ones you like in digital form (if it’s not PDF it’s best to first make it a PDF) it’s a good deal. If Amazon ever makes the Kindle with online bookstore (what the appstore is for the iPhone) that might be worth spending some extra money.
For other uses I think E-Ink is not yet mature enough. Progress is being made but it will probably take a couple of years before I would think of buying a new e-reader. But that’s just my 0.02 cents.