CES 2010: Finally met the enTourage eDGe
I’d seen it on the first day. Handled half-functioning units at other booths. But not until my last day (and first full day on the floor) did I get a full demo of the enTourage eDGe, the eReader I’d been eyeing since learning there was a Wacom Penabled digitizer beneath that e-ink screen.
Really hoped it could be something I could use as an ink blogging machine, but there were a few limits. Obviously, it’s only in black and white. The included stylus is the Wacom slim pen, which is not pressure sensitive. This limit is in the digitizer as well, which I confirmed with my own stylus, which works as it should on a Wacom Penabled system. Journal entries in their native format (not sure what that is) only open in the e-ink side. There is a PDF export option, which I used to capture the ink sample here. Obviously not great, but not terrible either. No handwriting recognition yet, but it’s in the works. I think the inking was fine enough for annotating an eBook or even as a replacement for a paper notebook, but I’d personally wait on on a handwriting recognition engine for searchability.
As for the LCD side, I wasn’t digging the desktop-like interface on the home screen, but the interface once you get into the folders was effective. The video quality was not HD but adequate. A bit compressed but smooth. The ability to watch videos full screen is pending. The interface, overall, needs the rough edges rounded and polished, but it works.
The physical package felt better than other versions I’d handled during the week. It looks heavier than it felt. Handled with both hands, it was more comfortable than a hardcover book of similar size. Folded up, I moved it around with one hand easily. I think it would be easy to grab out of a satchel or messenger bag. Not sold on it quite yet, but I definitely want to give the final version a thorough run-through.
01/12/2010 at 9:22 pm
I am coming to think, given time spent in the various tablet and inking forums around the internets, that digital inkers fall into one of two camps: those who care about handwriting recognition and those who do not. I’ll agree that I use the ink-dock to write if I am upright and don’t have the keyboard available. However, usually if I start to take ink-notes in my digital notebook (MS OneNote) or in one of my design journals (Windows Journal), I intend for them to remain ink-notes, so I never worry about the PC translating them back into typeface-text. I just need the Edge to be stable, and to permit web-based interaction with my PIM (Google Calendar and Contacts; Evernote would be nice but I am not getting my hopes up).
But either way, ink-support of some type is good to see, and I can not argue with increasing that ink functionality. Thanks for digging to the bottom of this question which was one of the foremost on my mind from the CES coverage.
01/12/2010 at 9:34 pm
To me, searchability is the more important aspect of handwriting recognition. Ink in both OneNote and Windows Journal is searchable by the Windows OS thanks to its handwriting recognition engine. This is a huge advantage of digital ink, far more important to me than text conversion.
That said, I do convert much of my ink notes to text, but that’s for my ink blog, which I make searchable by including the text conversion. Necessary until Google adds good handwriting recognition to its search engine.
01/13/2010 at 5:36 am
Ahhh. Thanks for learning me about the difference between the searchability and text-conversion features of the handwriting recognition function.
I’ve been tagging the notes that I think I will want/need to get back to in MS OneNote, and then pulling up the “View All Tags” sidebar when I want to see my list of “important” notes in a given notebook.
Either way they go, I hope the Edge makes it to market and is executed well. My strongest interest is in Courier, but this product might hold me over until then (especially if MS takes longer than expected getting Courier devices available). I am interested in both an eReader and a tablet. It would be nice to be able to get both, especially given the price this is going for. Two devices could easily run me a grand, while this device would fulfill both needs for less the $500.