Ebook reader: Looking for a cheap and effective model

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

  1. brycos

    brycos Member

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    Everything! Typing even one word to search for a book is annoying, the keys are tiny and awful to type on, I have to use the side of a fingernail to press a button. I can type faster on a nokia E71, and don't even think about comparing to a blackberry bold.


    That's the old Sonys. The PRS 350 and 650 use infrared touch screens with no extra layers and the same pearl screen used on the kindle and the new nook and kobo. The new nook and kobo also use infrared touch screens with no extra layer.

    I don't blame you for not knowing about the Sony PRS 650 though, the story of that device is rather weird. It went out of stock worldwide around christmas, then I saw some stock trickle through and then lost interest. Still can't find it in stock and now apparently it's being discontinued with no sign of a replacement. It was a beautiful device a bit overpriced, but easily worth $50 more than the kindle. The new Kobo looks closest to it.
    Unfortunately the kindle trend is to get a bare minimum device, I don't understand. I would happily pay $200 for a quality reading device as should anyone who actually reads more than the latest Dan Brown.
     
  2. yanman

    yanman Member

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    Bizarre.. I find the keys totally fine to type with, but then as I said earlier I rarely use it - reading a book I don't need a keyboard. I just need Next page, and sometimes Previous page. I think you'll find you're in a small minority on that opinion.

    As for Dan Brown, lol.. how is use of the interface going to differ with different authors?? Are you making notes in your book as you read?

    The kindle meets all the important points for a low price, it isn't a minimum by any stretch.

    Nice to know about the infra-red touch in Sonys. Also nice to know Kobo is independent from Borders.
     
  3. brycos

    brycos Member

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    Most people haven't used anything better, it's like when people thought Nokia phones were the bees knees.

    Not a dig at anyone, I just meant that occasional readers would be happy with a kindle, people who read a lot and carry a library around would definitely like a better UI.

    I would make notes in textbooks, travel books, if I was using a Kindle DX I definitely would, textbooks suck on a 6" screen though. I have a huge library so need to search by title author names etc that need to be typed.

    I have had two kindles break. And the Sony and others have definitely been more solidly built. My nook color for example is a beautifully built device, it was designed by these guys: http://www.fuseproject.com/shop_by_product.php
    The kindle was designed by some IT dude with management standing over his head to minimize costs of the cheap plastics to be bought from China.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    NitroGuy

    NitroGuy Member

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    so the sony ebook reader is good for taking notes, too?

    anyone have a link to a sony reader?
     
  5. brycos

    brycos Member

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    I don't think any of them are good for taking notes.

    The sony one is hard to find and expensive, you can google Sony PRS-650.

    The new Kobo touch offers the same functionality, you can order it off www.borders.com for the same price as the kindle.
     
  6. ves

    ves Member

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    Just got my Kindle, not sure what the issue is you find with typing, I can type fast on it, nearly fast as my blackberry bold. (Not that I plan to type much on it anyway)
    Also whilst the interface is simple, can't see how it would be a problem for reading books. I load a book, I turn pages. That's what it's for, and seems to do it just fine?
    Not sure how having a different device would be much better as I bought it purely for reading books.
     
  7. Molman

    Molman Member

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    Interested in following this thread as I'm considering picking up an ereader. Thought I had decided upon the Kindle 3, but then the new Kobo and Nook had to come out and mess things up :)

    I also have the feeling that Amazon is due to release a refresh, though it may just be a colour competitor as the rumours allude.

    Anyone got some links to places where one might get some good insight of comparison from a AU perspective?

    I mean I suspect Amazon has one of the better book ranges, but then publishing agreements mean it is somewhat less for AU.

    I'm also unsure how involved I wish to get with converting ebook formats (stripping DRM and the likes). I mean how painless is this, and how good are the results normally? I mean I know most ebooks are just a markup style format, but like all converting there is always a question of formating.

    Also how has the experience in ordering a none Kindle device from OS been? eg. the new Kobo, or SONY from Borders (US)? Warranty is obviously a consideration. B&N Nook just seems a pain with the setup of forwarding services etc.. though annoyingly the new Nook seems the recommended device of the moment.
     
  8. Lespom

    Lespom Member

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    Give this one a go, it's great for managing, sorting and converting ebooks, and it's free:thumbup:.

    http://calibre-ebook.com/

    Been using it for a while now, with regard to formatting, if the original is crap then all the conversions will be too. Having said that, I've had a lot of success converting them to RFT format, opening in Word and using search and replace to reformat (remove page breaks, page numbering, paragraph breaks etc) and then converting back to what I want. Not sure how it handles DRM though
     
  9. Molman

    Molman Member

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    Thanks. Well aware of Calibre, and already use it. I'm unsure of how it goes with DRM too (maybe some plugins?). All the DRM stripping I've seen has looked like Python scripts (.py).

    Anyway I thought I'd update and say that after much deliberation (and too much time spent researching) I decided to order the Kobo Touch from Borders (USA). I liked the look of the SONY PRS-650, but its just too hard to get and too expensive (~$300). The Kindle 3 was a close 2nd for me. Nook was just too much hassle to order in AU (forwarding service etc.).

    As for the Kobo Touch, I liked the cleaner look of the device (Kindle's physical keyboard seems a waste/clutter for how little I expect I would use it), and the updated internals when compared to the Kindle 3 (faster processor etc) were attractive. I also preferred backing ePub which one can purchase from muliple online stores rather than Amazon's closed ecosystem of DRM wrapped .mobi files.

    Now where Amazon definately does win out is in shipping. I order my Kobo Touch two weeks ago and am still waiting delivery. Sister in-law opted for the Kindle 3 (as she wanted the world 3G access for when travelling in Europe later this year), and recieved hers in a matter of days. Now to be fair it was only $10 shipping fee for the Kobo, but truthfully I would have liked an option for a more timely delivery which they unfortunately didn't offer. I also don't think the Kindle 3 shipping was much more either.

    Anyway once I recieve it I'll be happy to update with my thoughts. I'm also happy to see that Kobo have already released some new firmware addressing some of the shortcomings, including better formatting options. So I'm happy to see it being well supported by Kobo out the gate.
     
  10. Cronox

    Cronox Member

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    I got a kindle 3 around a month ago and I am absolutely loving it. I find the build quality and interface to be decent, especially when you consider that 99% of the time all you want to do is go to the next page. I had been using an ipad before for reading and the biggest thing I have noticed is the weight difference, after reading for an hour or so the ipad feels like it weighs a ton while the kindle feels like it weighs virtually nothing. I also love that everything is automatically synced so I can do a little reading on my phone during the day and pick right back up on the kindle in the evening, very convenient especially when you are really getting into a book.

    There are a few downsides all of which revolve around the fact that this is a device totally designed to read novels. If you want to read textbooks or manuals or comics or anything with images you are fairly out of luck. Jumping in and out of books isn’t as smooth as it could be, nor is browsing or searching through a huge library of books.

    Overall I would recommend this to anybody who is looking for a device to read novels on, but would be a bit hesitant if they were interested in other functions.
     
  11. Molman

    Molman Member

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    Thanks for the feedback and thoughts. Most people I know who are (novel) readers have been rather happy with their Kindles, and the wisper sync is a nice feature if you do read across devices.

    I tend to agree, that in my limited experience with eInk readers (not yet owning one myself) they don't as yet seem to work well for the other forms of print media. Its a shame as I would love a device with eInk that worked as well with textbooks etc.. as the iPad does.
     
  12. dafrizz

    dafrizz Member

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    Calibre plugins for DRM stuff. Google "apprentice alf's blog" for more info.

    I buy all my books per Adobe Digital Editions download (not the Kobo desktop software), then add them to calibre which automatically strips the DRM if you have the right plugins setup.
     
  13. Molman

    Molman Member

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    Cheers, I'll have to look up the blog. I don't follow re: ADE verse the Kobo software though? do you just mean you download from say KoboBooks online and then import into ADE first?

    Also same dafrizz as over at MobileRead's? If so how you enjoying your Kobo Touch?
     
  14. dafrizz

    dafrizz Member

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    Same dafrizz.

    You can buy your books via the kobo Desktop software, which then automatically downloads the book and once you sync your kobo with it puts it on the reader.

    I simply go to kobobooks.com in my browser, buy the book and then download it via the ADE link. This opens ADE and downloads the book, which can then be found in the "My Digital Editions" folder.
    I then add the book in calibre (by selecting the file in the "My Digital Editions" folder), which automatically strips the DRM vie the right plugins. Connect my kobo via USB, upload the book to it. Done.
    I don't use the kobe desktop software for anything other than firmware upgrades.

    A few extra steps, but it gives me greater control over my library. In the early days I had a couple of incidents where a book wouldn't open on my kobo because of some problems with DRM and the reader authorisation. Following those experiences the first thing I do after buying a book is strip the DRM.
    I don't want to be in a position where somewhere down the track I all of a sudden can't open a book because the DRM is acting up.

    As for the touch: I'm certainly enjoying it. Having said that, I was very happy with my 1st gen kobo and would have quite happily continued reading with it. But I like new gadgets and it was my birthday so I thought I treat myself to the touch. The screen is nicer, it's faster. Didn't need the touch bit, but I don't have a problem with it either.
     
  15. Molman

    Molman Member

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    Thanks for the rundown. I'm still a little curious why import into ADE rather than just use the kobo software, but I guess if you get books from other stores too it would make sense, or is it just that you find it easier due to how it places all the ebooks nicely in a easy to find folder. Either way thanks for letting me know how you do it, and for the blog I should lookup for DRM stripping. I know what you mean re: DRM stopping you using what you paid for, have had a few hickups in the past with things like iTunes having too many authorised devices and not playing on my latest.

    Also thanks for your thoughts on the Touch. I'm still looking forward to mine arriving. Had a few books I've been really keen to start reading on it (don't wish to buy the paperbacks as my shelves are already full of enough books).
     
  16. woja

    woja Member

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    Yeah, mine took a good 3 weeks for it to come which was a bit of a wait but well worth it!

    I bought A Dance with Dragons on the Kobobooks website while at work, tethered the Kobo to my iPhone, pressed the refresh/cloud thing and it automatically downloaded it the the Kobo which was great! The range on the wireless even at home is a bit short which can be annoying.

    It's definitely well worth the $130 bucks after conversion. Does anyone have any suggestions for a decent cover for it? A mate had a nice Kindle leather cover with built in light and stuff which was nice, I was hoping there was something similar for the Kobo!
     
  17. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Is it the same size as the previous model? I got a cover from Angus and Robertson when it was closing and they were selling everything at 70% off. It doesn't have a light, it's just a leather(?) cover.
     
  18. woja

    woja Member

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    Unfortunately it's a touch (haha) smaller and narrower than the previous version.
     
  19. Molman

    Molman Member

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    A Dance with Dragons is exactly what I was hoping to read on it :) Does the Kobo sync position between devices ala wisper sync? I must admit I never looked into this feature but it could be be handy on the odd occassion should I wish to read on my iPhone (thinking Doctors waiting room etc..)

    As for case I have been looking too, but I don't think there is much out beyond the generic cases that fit afew different models atm. A few people pointed to this but its not what I'm personally after, and I think better cases will come out in awhile.

    Edit: sorry, just reread that you were just using your iPhone as a wireless hotspot. Oh well.
     
  20. woja

    woja Member

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    I've got the Kobo app on the iPhone as well and it syncs where you're at no problem. That said I still prefer Stanza on the iPhone but for A Dance with Dragons I'll make concessions haha
     

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