Books and more books
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: White Plains, NY, USA
Device: Nook Color, Itouch, Nokia770, Sony 650, Sony 700(dead), Ebk(given)
contradictions in ereader device requirements
Reading all the interesting posts about ereaders and having now relatively extensive experience with Nokia 770/Fbreader and Ebookwise 1150, I realised that there at least 6 inherent contradictions in what we want from an ereader, and I am curious how other people would choose, and where is the best compromise, or as I do now, use at least 2 devices (plus pc/laptop/tablet).
1: Size vs portability: carry in a pocket or at least pb size so need a bag? I love my Ebookwise and I am interested in an eink device at the right price, but after using Nokia 770 to read anywhere (standing in line at the supermarket, supervising my son in a playground...), I need a pocketable reader too.
2: Features vs price: this of course changes in time, but 400$ total price excluding card is the highest I would go. The Ebookwise at ~125$ +15$ librarian gives great value and great reading for anything not needing too many pictures/diagrams, however it has that SmartMedia dead format with 128 Mb limitation that annoys me
3: Dedicated reader or multiuse device: with Nokia you can do many things, though I only read on it, but for reading, Ebookwise is faster and easier to use, while Nokia/Fbreader is acceptably fast in loading books, fast to read and acceptable in navigation/search
4: Eink vs backlight: for me backlight is essential, and I will always need an ereader with backlight (hate book lights). Both Ebookwise and Nokia are readable pretty much anywhere outside strong sunlight and even there you can read them if you surround it with some clothes say (I read nicely on Nokia sunbathing in my backyard this last weekend). I have not seen eink live so I am curious how it looks, but these days even when I have both the p-book and e-book at hand and is day, I still read mostly the e-book on Ebks1150 since it is very comfortable and faster to read there than anywhere else. On Nokia I find it second fast to read but sometimes uncomfortable to hold being small, and on p-book third, and sometimes uncomfortable to hold either being too big, or the spine being too tight, while on pc/laptop last by a lot
5. Durability vs esthetics: Ebs1150 looks clunky but it has a really solid feel and it is very comfortable with the ruberized handle. Nokia while beautiful, is very fragile, I already had to exchange one due to screen failure, and even my Ipod feels sturdier. I do not know how the eink devices feel or look outside of pictures seen. Also the mmc card slot on Nokia is VERY fragile and unfortunately the usb direct connection is slow for large size files (I have files up to 90Mb), so I have to use the mmc drive on my pc, and everytime I use it, I tremble not to break the door to the slot. On Ebookwise you just stick the card in/out and since it has the reset button you do not worry that you will brick the device if you turn it on by mistake.
6. File conversion to device reader, or universal reader software (for open formats of course): at first here I would say universal reader software, but if you have fast/good conversion tools, the device reader is optimized for it and I have a 100 Mb file on my Ebookwise and the navigation is as fast as on a 500 kb one. To be fair, being a jpg only embedded in blank html (and converted to imp on Ebks1150, native on Nokia) that kind of file works fast with Fbreader too since it accesses a picture at a time, but there a large text size (say 5 Mb) the loading time is considerable (> 15 s), while on Ebookwise, once it recognizes the library on the apropriate card, each book is as fast to load/navigate as any other