When I have to read a long, technical document, like a lengthy man page or an academic paper, I often decide to print it out, because I find it so much easier to read these kinds of materials on paper than on a light-emitting display. I am much more productive when I do this.
So, for some time, I have been interested in the idea of obtaining a large-format e-reader, featuring some kind of e-paper display. These do exist, but, universally, they are not Free Software devices. Today I became aware of another rather nice-looking device, with excellent pen-input features for note-taking, which requires (yes, requires) the use of a cloud service in order to be able to load documents onto it. What utter rubbish.
I might have caved in and bought one of the less cloudy ones, if they weren’t so expensive. For the cost of a mid-range laptop, I really want a bit more Software Freedom, and the reassurance of knowing that it isn’t going to become an expensive brick if the manufacturer drops support for it.
I realise that such a thing is probably quite a niche product, and e-paper displays are expensive components, but If Purism were to produce an e-reader with an e-paper display, suitable for reading A4-sized PDFs, with the assurance that it would run Free Software and a mainline Linux kernel, for a reasonable price, then I would jump at the opportunity to buy one!
Out of interest, here’s a poll to see if anyone else would want one:
- I would buy a Librem large-format e-reader (13" or thereabouts)
- I would buy a Librem smaller-format e-reader (5-10" or thereabouts)
- I would buy a Librem e-reader of any size (I don’t care what size it is)
- I would buy both a large and a smaller format Librem e-reader
- I would buy a different size
- I would not buy any of these
- I passionately object to the basic premise of a Librem e-reader