Ebook reader: Looking for a cheap and effective model

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by NitroGuy, May 13, 2011.

  1. 303-Acid

    303-Acid Member

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    The new kobo doesn't have a touchscreen overlay, it uses IR, so no worries there.
     
  2. gregzeng

    gregzeng Member

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    Laser 7" Multimedia eBook - Black - EB700

    Seems ok - on the url's description. Allows SD flash card (unlike most ebook devices). No Wireless, no battery life nor op system is given. In the buyer's comment part of your URL, one user claims 8 hours use, but ... difficult to charge whilst using.

    Like the 'claimed' You-tube & movie player. Better than other ebook devices. Plus - buy in AU - get buyers' legal protection, plus easy warranty-repair, easy & quick money-back if not happy.

    I prefer Android tablets (check eBay). Mine was $AU80, incl delivery a few days later from Hongkong. Ethernet, USB, wireless, micro-sd card, full range of desktops, browsers, ebook readers, web browsers (on-line & off-line), unlimited range of video & audio players, etc. Plus 4x gyroscope sensitive touch-screen display, with hardware buttons if needed.

    7 inch is ok. My Android smartphones are usable with one hand, but luckily I'm near-sighted, so the small text is easy to read. The background illumination is ok inside rooms. In bed, it does not upset my wife.

    10 inch? seems to big. Easy to drop, knock, & lots of table space to use. Not so friendly with other sharing the table. Plus greater battery drain & slower GPU, CPU.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  3. yanman

    yanman Member

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    I have a Kindle and wouldn't recommend anything other than an e-ink based reader. Having seen several other devices and try Kindle clients on: laptops, iPhone, tablets (including PixelQi) I still wouldn't bother with anything other than an e-Ink reader. I'm all for dedicated devices.. you get the best feature for the function you indent it for i.e. reading :)

    For now the Kindle 3 wifi is a damn good buy, however I've seen some good Kobo deals on ebay. Advantage with getting it from Amazon direct is you get the warranty and support, they have a good replacement reputation, and you know the store isn't about to go bust =D

    For future I'd be looking at the new eInk touch nook. That looks very sweet especially if rumors of USD$139 price are true.
     
  4. ves

    ves Member

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    It's not a rumour, that's the price.
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/NOOK/index.asp
    A PCMAG review gave it editors choice award, basically they say it's their favourite ereader now.
    Only thing is you have to use a frieght forwarder to get it delivered to Australia.
    I'm tossing up between the new nook, the Kindle 3 or maybe a sony PRS-350 as you can get them for $109 direct from Borders usa now. But not sure about the size of the Sony, being 5" rather than 6".

    I'm currently leaning towards the new nook myself...
     
  5. yanman

    yanman Member

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    Very nice :) while touch would be nice tbh the large majority of my ereader use is turning it back on (basically instant with kindle) having it open where i left off, and just using the Next Page button :) until I finish a book that's all I ever need :)
     
  6. 303-Acid

    303-Acid Member

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    My Kobo ereader arrived yesterday, man is eink amazing! I can't believe how clear it is to look at, it really is just like paper. I've loaded a couple of PDF's on to test and it does alright, epub is better though. Three different PDF examples I tried: Lego instructions, pretty much all graphics, is ok but hard to tell what the pieces are and useless for colours | Motorbike service manual, mixture of graphics and text, works quite well, some zooming required to see detail in pics and tables | Technical book (Windows Home Server Unleashed), mostly text with some screenshots and tables, perfectly fine reading at "whole page" in portrait, some zooming required to view screenshots in detail. epubs on the other hand, being pretty much all text work well being able to change the font size and type (serif or sans serif). Now I'm going to experiment in creating epub recipe books for some of my recipes.
     
  7. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Angus & Robertson (excluding franchises) are having a 4 day sale (from today until Monday) with 30% off everything. My local shop was doing the Kobo for $111.30, and the online price on the A&R website is $99.
     
  8. pelmen

    pelmen Member

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    +1 on Kindle with the hard case with inbuilt light

    The light is very good and gives a pretty consistent illumination across the screen even though its shining from one corner. The case is nice and solid for protection and very comfortable to hold. The front folds back flat.

    The eInk screens are great and from what I've seen the current Kindle 3G Graphite is the leader in contrast (so the page looks whiter than others and the text is clearer to read).

    Comics and PDFs I don't find too bad to read on the Kindle. A DX is probably better for them but its size is too much for my liking. The Kindle is more comfortable in a paperback size to hold and use and might be the safer option for travellers who are going to toss it into a bag.

    ebooks are pretty hit and miss in terms of quality. They are all just simple html wrapped in a container format (epub, mobi etc) so converting with Calibre between formats gives a consistent layout. Calibre can automatically convert formats if it needs to when you copy a book to your device so it's not a chore you have to devote much time to. Maintaining ebooks and trying to organise how they should be named/grouped can be a bit of a headache but Calibre is pretty powerful and the forums on mobileread that was mentioned has heaps of helpful info and plugins for Calibre to make organising your library as painless as possible.

    If you want to get a bit more daring with your Kindle you can replace the OS entirely (with Duokan?) which does on the fly conversion/display and all sorts of other things.

    Also for any ebook device look around for the apps "briss" and "mangle". Mangle can take the images for a comic and rescale them in size and colour to match your reader device which will save a lot of space and gives you a clearer comic to read. Briss is a PDF cropper, so you can trim the whitespace margins you often get in PDF books. This means that most PDFs are quite readable on your ebook device (well on my Kindle I haven't needed to zoom into any PDFs yet, full screen they are just fine).

    Since getting my Kindle I've been reading a lot more. I find it easier to read than a paperback since I don't have to be holding the book open, I can just prop it up against something and touch the next page button when I need (or for the super lazy let it read to me instead :)


    edit

    Battery life is great on the Kindle. I plug it in once a week to add/remove books and so far I've never ran out of juice. I keep the wireless on too all the time. The 3G + Wifi model I highly recommend (not the Kindle With Special Offers version though, there are some limitations in how you can configure the device with that one and ebook readers in general are already limited enough in what you can configure). The 3G is Amazon's own free 3G network available in over 100 countries and there are no plans to sign up to and no ongoing costs with it (which probably explains why they don't really explain much about the 3G to keep people ignorant of it so they won't waste bandwidth on web browsing). Wherever possible the Kindle will connect to a wifi network for preference but failing that will automatically switch back to 3G.

    The only possible cost association with 3G at the moment is if you email a document to your kindle email address for format conversion and download to your kindle. They charge a small delivery fee for this process, but if you stick to using Calibre you'll never need the service. What they don't seem keen to tell people (its buried deep in the docs) is that your Kindle gets two email addresses: kindlename@kindle.com and kindlename@free.kindle.com (might not be kindle.com). Basically note one has a free. in the domain and the other doesn't...the free one allows you to use Amazon's document conversion process but the converted book is mailed back via a wifi connection and not 3G, so there are zero charges then. Still to be safe I used a dummy Amazon account to register the Kindle that has no credit card details and I changed the configuration limit for the free/non-free emails in the mykindle configuration on amazon to be 0MB so it should never attempt to convert anything with the 3G option. So I don't have to worry about any accidental charges now. I can but ebooks from my PC with my regular account and transfer to the Kindle myself, no probs. Having the free 3G is really handy for times when I want to get onto the web (I've never had any mobile devices, hopefully never will).
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  9. brycos

    brycos Member

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    For anyone looking for an ebook reader - you can order the new Kobo Touch from borders.com for USD139, shipping to Australia is only $10. It is a great bargain and a much better option than a kindle.
     
  10. yanman

    yanman Member

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    Strong words in favour - I wouldn't be too hasty though.

    Firstly, initial reviews haven't been as good as I was hoping. The price is almost exactly the same as Kindle 3 wifi. Given their financial troubles Borders could very well fold leaving you with an ereader that'll work only for manually loaded books, with no store. So as far as reading novels go, you don't get any real benefits over Kindle 3 except for the touch vs side buttons. Even if the touch was flawless I'd still be inclined to favor side-buttons for next-page, previous-page.

    The benefits for me as far as I can see from reviews are: touchscreen for other uses such as games, navigating pdfs, faster page-refresh, less clutter at the bottom of the screen. But that's about it. The keyboard sounds quite iffy which could make using it a real pain over the physical Kindle keyboard
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  11. brycos

    brycos Member

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    There is apparently a firmware update for the lag. It supports epub, pdf and even mobi! You'll have no problem finding books for it, even if Borders US implodes too. Same screen as the kindle with touch screen, expandable memory, support for a variety of formats - how could it possibly be bad.

    Touchscreens are useful on eink as long as you don't expect crazy responsiveness. For things like dictionary look ups, selecting which book to open from the library.

    The Kindle is extremely flimsy and the controls, including the keyboard are horrible - I can't believe people heap praise on something like that. Imagine what an apple ereader would be like, the kobo and new nook are halfway there, the kindle is nowhere. Whoever designed the control scheme for the kindle should be shot.
     
  12. yanman

    yanman Member

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    Kindle supports all of those except ePub.

    How will you get books for it via the eReader interface if Borders folds? I can't see how you can get them any other way than having to download them on PC then transfer them. Also how will you get warranty if Borders folds??

    As for flimsy :confused: Ive found mine totally solid and the interface fine. As I mentioned earlier though i don't flick between books. I read one from start to finish then read another, so my interface use is minimal... but then that's all i wanted from an ereader.

    An Apple eReader? lol.. it'll look nice and the interface will certainly be intuitive, but forget loading books you have from PC manually, supporting multiple formats, or having direct access to the storage.
     
  13. dafrizz

    dafrizz Member

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    Kobo have there own bookstore (with often better prices) and they take care of warranty issues too.

    So regardless of what happens with Borders you are covered.

    And there are other bookstores that you can buy from and load onto your reader. Granted, you'd have to buy the book, download it onto your PC and then transfer it to your reader. I don't see that as a real disadvantage, though.

    Having said that, I'm nowhere near saying the kobo is the better option. Having never used a kindle I wouldn't know.
    The kobo (either touch or wifi model) is a good option, though.
     
  14. ves

    ves Member

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    After much umming and ahhing, I ended up buying a Kindle 3 wifi a couple nights ago, should be here early next week. I went with the safe option.
    Wasn't sure about new kobo as yet....
    New Nook wont ship direct (possible warranty difficulties if something goes wrong).
    Might of gone sony Prs-350 for being so damn mobile... but price wasn't right at the time, but now they're selling for $100 in the US borders store since I ordered my Kindle. If I hadn't just bought the kindle, I probably would of gotten a sony, as for the money, it would be hard to beat. No wifi though, so loading from PC only (doesn't really bother me).
    I'm sure the kindle will keep me happy anyway, also generally what I've read warranty support is very good in Australia for Kindle should something go wrong.
     
  15. scon

    scon Member

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    I've just upgraded my original kobo to a Kindle DX Graphite and I love it. So good for reading textbooks and chucking a paperback on it means that the text is huge and so readable. Loving it.
     
  16. DJester

    DJester Member

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    I'd be interested to hear how people using touch screen e-ink readers are finding it. In my head all I can imagine is it getting smudged and needing to be cleaned all the freaking time. With backlit devices at least its generally drowned out when the screen is on. I really like the idea and usability of touchscreens, its just the practicality I'm concerned about.

    Mind you, I'm not exactly planning on ditching my kindle anytime soon :p
     
  17. brycos

    brycos Member

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    eReaders use anti reflective coatings, they are not smooth and shiny. So they don't get fingerprint smudges (I think that's why but in any case I know they don't - I had a PRS 650 for a while, never even had to wipe it whereas I am constantly wiping my phone and nook color).

    PRS 350 is a 5" screen, that's a massive difference in screen size - see this:

    http://www.displaywars.com/5-inch-4x3-vs-6-inch-4x3

    How hard is it to plug it into a computer to transfer books? It's as simple as using a USB pen drive, don't see the issue. And as someone said you'll be able to access the kobo store nevertheless, they are not going to fold. Ditto for warranty. Kobo is owned by a canadian company, nothing to do with Borders.

    My point is the kindle interface is inexcusably horrible. Those buttons need to be poked with the side of a nail. I went from a Sony PRS 650 to a kindle and it was a superior device in every possible way, except for the price. The new BN and Kobo readers are very similar to the PRS 650 at the price of the Kindle.
     
  18. yanman

    yanman Member

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    But what exactly don't you like about the kindle buttons?? :confused:

    The Sony is inferior imho, purely down to the screen. The extra layer they've put on reduces clarity.

    Yes its not difficult to load manually via USB, but its just not as convenient as buying direct or using whispernet to email yourself books.
     
  19. ohayes

    ohayes Member

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    I own a Kindle 3, to me its a perfect device and there's no way you won't be happy with it :thumbup: coupled with Calibre I can basically read any book I want from any format.
     
  20. Franc

    Franc Member

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    I have never found the kindle to be flimsy - remember its not a pc, the keyboard isnt meant to edit documents. Its been in my bag every day since I bought it..

    Though I agree to some extent the control scheme sucks, having to hit sym plus ^ or whatever it is to turn on voice is just annoying. I wish there was some sort of context menu whislt you were in a book, and proper sortign of books under categories on teh main screen.

    Though the voice reader is suprisingly good itself.
     

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