Spring proved cruel for the sparse population of products that combine e-paper and LCD displays. Startup Entourage announced that it was discontinuing its Edge dual-screen e-reader / tablet combo. And then Barnes & Noble closed the book on the original Nook to introduce a successor that had only one screen and one button. In doing so, it leaped over (or is that under?) even the Kindle’s minimalism.
E-readers have followed an unusual demographic adoption curve for a consumer electronics product. The first buyers were, like those of many other tech products, more affluent, but the majority of them were also older and female in keeping with the book-buying habits of physical books. They were attracted to the crisp display and high contrast of e-paper displays. And many were (and continue to be) attracted by a focused product that allowed them to concentrate on the text without distraction of other media type, the Web or thousands of apps.
Switched On: e-readers drive to digital distraction originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 19 Jun 2011 18:15:00 EST.