Should Amazon come out with a 7.8-inch ereader like Kobo’s Aura One? And what else is on your wish list? Those Kindle discounts vanished, but whether or not they portend new models, we can dream, can’t we?
Here’s my own list. I won’t mention specific models, since it’s hard to say what Amazon is up to. For example, we don’t know if there will be a Voyage 2.
- An all-text boldface option, of course. Improved contrast in E Ink would be great, but even then, I’ll want the bold option.
- More typographical choices, in general. Why does Amazon keep lagging Kobo so badly in this respect? Is it because Jeff Bezos and friends dominate the e-book market in the United States and are just too damn smug? Probably. Or maybe we’re just seeing corporate control freakdom in action. Why must we beg for the basics? More gruel, please. If nothing else, Bezos needs to remember that Amazon is a global company, not just a U.S. one, and that Kobo is the main show in some markets outside the States.
- Backlighting allowing you to change the color for minimal interference with your sleep—a feature I’m enjoying in the Kobo. I’m also finding that the pinkish color can reduce my eyestrain at times. Maybe I just enjoy the additional variety.
- Page-changing buttons. Bring them back in a major way on all readers, not just the upper-end ones. Some people would consider lack of buttons to be a feature. I don’t. That’s especially true if you use just one hand to hold your reader.
- First-rate text to speech—ideally with built-in speakers. If nothing else, give us Bluetooth-enabled text to speech that will be useful to both sighted and blind people.
- Audiobook capabilities.
- Devices so rugged that you can drop them on a hard floor without breakage. I could be wishing the impossible for E Ink machines, but I’ll still keep hoping. I’d actually consider this feature to be even more useful than waterproofing.
- Memory card slots.
- A reduction in the price of the now-$290 Oasis or its successor. Or how about the price of the Voyage? By the way, though you may disagree, I see the Voyage and the Oasis as two different kinds of machines, based on the battery arrangements and physical configurations.
- Last but far from least, ePub 3 support. This is an addition to the original post—it should have been there in the first place. Thanks to @RonMartinez for the reminder. Mike Perry had another good suggestion—truly helpful Bluetooth capabilities; see his comments below.