E-readers not yet ready to be taken up by students

amazon improves kindle dx specs lowers price  hand july 2010 Listen up any electronics manufacturers hunting around for ideas for a revolutionary product to take the gadget market by storm – how about making an e-reader that students actually want to use?

According to results from a long-term study  that looked at how students utilized a Kindle DX e-reader for their course studies, the e-reader, while being taken up by the general population in ever increasing numbers, lacks the kind of functionality that would make it popular among students. Amazon’s Kindle DX has a larger screen (9.7 inches) than the Kindle, and currently retails for $379.

The University of Washington (UW) was one of seven US universities taking part in a pilot study of the Kindle DX.  Researchers at UW looked at how students involved in the pilot study did their academic reading.

A report on the results of the study published on Monday on the UW’s website says that students want a device that allows them to more easily take notes, check references and view figures. Switching between reading styles (such as taking a look through an article’s illustrations or references prior to reading the complete text) is another feature that e-readers need to incorporate if companies like Amazon want to have a chance of making some headway in the e-reader market for students.

One of the study’s authors, Alex Thayer, said “There is no e-reader that supports what we found these students doing.” Thayer, a UW doctoral student in Human Centered Design and Engineering, continued, “It remains to be seen how to design one.”

Another of the study’s authors, Charlotte Lee, a UW assistant professor of Human Centered Design and Engineering, said that “most e-readers were designed for leisure reading – think romance novels on the beach,” pointing out that “reading is just a small part of what students are doing.”

Seven months into the study, less than 40 percent of the students were regularly doing their academic reading on the Kindle DX. Students unhappy with the device put this down to things like its lack of support for taking notes and difficulty in looking up references. The report points out that Amazon has since improved some of these features on the DX.

Interestingly, among the 60 percent or so of students who continued to use the e-reader, some read near a computer, enabling them to look up references if necessary, while others simply tucked a piece of paper into the case so that they could write notes by hand if they needed to.

According to Lee, “e-readers are not where they need to be in order to support academic reading,” although she predicts that it’ll happen sooner than we think.

An e-reader specifically tailored to suit the needs of students would be a surefire success for any company that produced it – so long as they could make it affordable for cash-strapped students.


Gorilla Glass 6 will cover the Xiaomi Mi 9's AMOLED screen

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (February 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Samsung's Unpacked draws near. Here's what we know about the Galaxy S10 so far

It won't be long now. With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

5G is the swift kick VR and AR gaming needs to come to fruition

There's a lot of hype surrounding augmented reality and virtual reality, but is it really the next big thing? We take a look at where the new mediums stand, as well as how 5G is poised to help them break into the mainstream.

Flip from portrait to landscape as we reveal how to rotate a video on iPhone

If you've accidentally shot a video in portrait orientation and you want to flip to landscape, then this is the guide for you. We'll explain how to use iMovie to rotate a video on your iPhone or iPad for free and suggest alternative apps.

The 2019 iPhone could put a charge into your other Apple gadgets

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.

Own an unlocked Galaxy S9? The U.S. Android Pie update has landed

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

This discounted smartwatch is a cheap Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa alternative

The Amazfit Bip isn't an Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, but at the discounted price of $67, it's a very affordable alternative packed with useful features. With built-in GPS and 30-day battery life, this cheap smartwatch is a great option to…

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.

It looks like Google may get rid of the back button in Android Q

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system -- here's everything we know so far.

Amazon cuts prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Presidents’ Day

The Apple Watch Series 3 is seeing the same price cut we saw during the Amazon sale just last week. So if you're hoping to pick up an Apple Watch for less than $250, this $50 discount from Amazon can make that happen for you.