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View Poll Results: Which device would be the best for me (my first e-reader)
Banes and Nobel Nook 5 26.32%
Apple iPad 5 26.32%
Adam Tablet (ETA in Q4 2010, but uncertain) 1 5.26%
Entourage Edge 1 5.26%
Some other e-ink reader (Please specify and explain) 5 26.32%
Some other tablet (Please specify and explain) 1 5.26%
Wait until next spring for better options (please explain) 0 0%
Stick with a printer, paper, and kill a bunch more trees 1 5.26%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-23-2010, 12:26 PM   #1
HardBall
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Narrowing down to a few choices

Edit: Added a poll;

Hey, everyone;

Thought many have have used enough e-readers to give me good advice. I'm getting ready to purchase my very first e-reader, so I'm somewhat of a novice for the actual user experience. I'm reasonably familiar with the internal hardware and OS of embedded systems, as I'm a comp engineer by trade; but in terms of actual user experience with these things, I have little to no experience.

So the number one thing that I need would be the ability to read PDF documents, with some ability to annotate them somehow. The ability to journal would also be a nice extra, as I'm still muddling through grad school. E-books I will probably read a few, not as frequently as some on this forum I'm sure. The capability for office docs would be a nice bonus, although not absolutely necessary.

I would also like to have some capability of accessing email, twitter, skype, and the web in general, on the same device. Of course, I would expect some sort of multimedia functionality, at minimum being able to have a music library (mp3 or ogg), and to play a couple of basic video formats.

So after some research, I've narrowed it down to a few devices, each with a couple caveats:
  • Ipad
    I guess the most generic choice, probably have apps for all the functionalities that I require. Although it seems to be the jack of all trades and master of none.
    • How is the reading experience on the ipad, is it passable for multiple hours of staring at PDF articles at a time?
    • What kind of apps are there for annotating PDF documents, if they exist?
    • Is it really worth the high cost, given that it doesn't have the same HW functionalities that others in the group have?
  • Nook Color
    Seems like a neat device and costs, although a lot of the same questions as the Ipad.
    • Practicality at reading on the screen for a long period?
    • Text annotation and/or journaling abilities?
  • Adam tablet
    Looks like an extremely promising device, would probably be the ideal if everything works as promised.
    • Is the pixelQi screen really as good as advertised for e-ink like quality?
    • Is there really any guarantee that it would come in time?
  • Entourage Edge
    Probably the device that fits my specific need the most, but also a couple of significant drawbacks.
    • Is the size and weight of the device really going to be a huge hinderance for its intended function as a reader?
    • Software doesn't seem to be very up to date, still running 1.6 "donut"
    • Seems hasn't been updated for a while (the full-sized version I'm looking for), when would be the timeframe for a refresh of the model; I don't want to get something that soon would be obsolete or limited in functionality/performance.

Any comment in any of these areas would be helpful, Thanks in advance.

--HB

Last edited by HardBall; 11-28-2010 at 12:36 PM. Reason: adding poll
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:54 AM   #2
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I agree the Adam Ink promises to be a wonderful device; I've no idea if it's coming soon though.

I haven't used any of these devices so I can't comment specifically. But, I'm curious why you aren't considering a netbook or tablet/netbook as I see you aren't requiring e-ink, yet are wanting added functionality?
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by adjangs View Post
I agree the Adam Ink promises to be a wonderful device; I've no idea if it's coming soon though.

I haven't used any of these devices so I can't comment specifically. But, I'm curious why you aren't considering a netbook or tablet/netbook as I see you aren't requiring e-ink, yet are wanting added functionality?
r

Ah, I'm looking primarily for a e-ink device since that's what I would feel the best on reading professional journals and academic articles for extended periods of time. I would go for a LCD tablet if the options on the e-ink side are not good. But I also would need some minimal ability to access the web and some multimedia capability, since I don't want to have to bring this and my laptop with me all day at the same time.

For me a netbook just duplicates too much functionality with my regular laptop, which is actually not that hefty (slightly above 5 lb). And I would like some ability to annotate the texts I'm reading at the minimum; the ability to take notes and journal would be nice extras.

Both Adam and Edge would functionally be perfect. But one seems to not have any ETA at the moment; while the other is very heavy for a reader, and doesn't have android market access. So I'm sort of caught in between. Ipad and the nooks are just backups in case neither one works out.
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:56 PM   #4
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I agree the e-ink options are lacking for you but here are two options you haven't mentioned.

1) If you're considering the Adam Notion you might as well consider the Asus eee tablet; I would put my money on the Asus being released first.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/15/a...-to-market-in/

2)This seems to check all of your boxes if you're the DIY sort. You can replace the LCD in a 10.1 inch tablet or netbook with the e-ink hybrid screen coming in the Adam Notion.

http://www.makershed.com/ProductDeta...uctCode=MKPQ01
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by adjangs View Post
I agree the e-ink options are lacking for you but here are two options you haven't mentioned.

1) If you're considering the Adam Notion you might as well consider the Asus eee tablet; I would put my money on the Asus being released first.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/15/a...-to-market-in/

2)This seems to check all of your boxes if you're the DIY sort. You can replace the LCD in a 10.1 inch tablet or netbook with the e-ink hybrid screen coming in the Adam Notion.

http://www.makershed.com/ProductDeta...uctCode=MKPQ01
Sounds a lot like the Adam; if that's the case then I would naturally consider it along the Adam. Is there any ETA for this device?

Although on a second look, does the screen actually have two different modes like the Adam? Or is it just reflective BW (non-eink) display?
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:18 PM   #6
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There's no official release date but the general consensus/guess is that it will be officially announced Jan 5 at CES and released shortly after.

Right it has no color mode, and on second look I see it's not e-ink. I wonder if it will give a similar viewing experience given it has no backlighting.
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:23 PM   #7
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I have read books on the IPad using the Kindle application. I had no trouble reading for hours though I haven't tried pdf. The worst part about the IPad was bulk - I needed a stand to read comfortably - and the draining of the battery. I had to recharge it every day.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by adjangs View Post
There's no official release date but the general consensus/guess is that it will be officially announced Jan 5 at CES and released shortly after.

Right it has no color mode, and on second look I see it's not e-ink. I wonder if it will give a similar viewing experience given it has no backlighting.
I was hoping that they would announce some, any firm date soon. I remember hearing about it (or something like it from Asus) a long time ago, and it never seems to materialize. Hope this time it's for real, and they come out with a product that's feature/price competitive.

If it is indeed only a monochrome screen, I hope they price it appropriately, like the Sony daily edition (249 USD), which makes it a somewhat interesting alternative for me. The only thing is that it won't have color graph/picture/video display capability, but something I might be able to live with depending on the price. But if they try to price it on the level of much richer devices like eDGe or Adam, then I'd probably laugh.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Figwit View Post
I have read books on the IPad using the Kindle application. I had no trouble reading for hours though I haven't tried pdf. The worst part about the IPad was bulk - I needed a stand to read comfortably - and the draining of the battery. I had to recharge it every day.
Yes, Ipad's always an alternative, it's good to hear your perspective. I do have problems reading a long period of time in front of an LCD, and I think most of the people that I know feel the same (a few do not). My desktop has a 1080p, 350+ nits, 2ms refresh, 120 hz monitor. I can read on there 1 - 1.5 hrs no problem, but beyond that, a noticeable headache sets in, and my eyes become more tired and strained. But reading on paper is a completely different matter.

The problem with iPad is that it's neither particularly good for reading, nor is it particularly light (compared to Kindle, sony, nook, etc). But it has a ton of other possible uses. Given that I primarily buy it to read and take notes, then it's not the greatest of choices. But I might settle for it if other devices all have considerable flaws.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:37 PM   #10
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Poll Added

Since I haven't gotten too much response, perhaps a poll would be a better way to obtain a broader set of opinions.

My uses and requirements are stated in the OP of the thread. Please let me know what you think.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:59 PM   #11
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Your problem is that you're looking for something that's not on the market. E-Ink and multimedia are mutually exclusive right now. E-ink works by using microdots to redraw the screen when the screen changes, causing a reverse image flash. That works fine for changing pages; not so much for watching a video. As with many things, you either have to decide what's most important or use two different devices.
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:46 PM   #12
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Your problem is that you're looking for something that's not on the market. E-Ink and multimedia are mutually exclusive right now. E-ink works by using microdots to redraw the screen when the screen changes, causing a reverse image flash. That works fine for changing pages; not so much for watching a video. As with many things, you either have to decide what's most important or use two different devices.
You are possibly correct, maybe I'm just a little too much ahead of the times.

But what do you think about the Adam and the Edge, both seem like at least viable design for dual use (although with very different strategies to meet that goal). You don't think these devices would be able to do the jobs on both the reader and the tablet sides?

Quote:
Originally Posted by polly View Post
or use two different devices.
Have not thought about this option. I would like to carry one device, but if the total weight of two devices would be similar to the 3lb Edge, and the total cost doesn't exceed $500 (price for both Adam and Edge), I might consider it (still would lack the interaction between the two sides.

Any concrete suggestion on that front?
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:55 PM   #13
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I think it really depends on what you want. I want something small and light that I can curl up with to read for an afternoon. I think the Kindle is too big and heavy; the Atom and the Edge are way bigger than anything I'd want for pleasure reading. I travel a lot, so I want something with a battery that will last a week without charging. The hour ride to the airport, hour to two at the gate, ten to twelve on the airplane, etc. make anything that's not eInk less appealing.

For two pounds, I can take my little netbook and have a keyboard with my normal word processing and email applications. Since my Palm provides me with a WiFi hotspot for that netbook, I don't really care if my reader can go online or not. In fact, I'd prefer that it not. Why pay for something I won't ever use? For my needs, dedicated reader plus dedicated netbook work just fine. Show me a tablet that plugged into a more capable base station for use at home and you'd have my full attention as a netbook replacement, but I still would want my light weight, dedicated eInk reader.

People with different needs would give you entirely different answers to the same question.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:14 PM   #14
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Have you had a look at the upcoming Pocketbook 903 pro? It's eink, so no video, but I think that it might cover your other needs.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by polly View Post
I think it really depends on what you want. I want something small and light that I can curl up with to read for an afternoon. I think the Kindle is too big and heavy; the Atom and the Edge are way bigger than anything I'd want for pleasure reading. I travel a lot, so I want something with a battery that will last a week without charging. The hour ride to the airport, hour to two at the gate, ten to twelve on the airplane, etc. make anything that's not eInk less appealing.

For two pounds, I can take my little netbook and have a keyboard with my normal word processing and email applications. Since my Palm provides me with a WiFi hotspot for that netbook, I don't really care if my reader can go online or not. In fact, I'd prefer that it not. Why pay for something I won't ever use? For my needs, dedicated reader plus dedicated netbook work just fine. Show me a tablet that plugged into a more capable base station for use at home and you'd have my full attention as a netbook replacement, but I still would want my light weight, dedicated eInk reader.

People with different needs would give you entirely different answers to the same question.
I understand what you are saying;

It seems that my needs for a reader is completely different than yours. If you think the Kindle is heavy then our expectations are in different universes, I guess. I don't really do recreation readings at all, but all of my readings are pretty much academic/professional papers and journals, and most of them are PDFs. I actually would like as big of an e-ink screen as I can get. Weight is important with any device, of course, but it's rather secondary to e-ink size; I would get a 15" e-ink screen if they offer one. Weight only matters to me in terms of transportation, so I would like as large an e-ink screen as they offer, and build it at as low weight as they can for that screen.

I would definitely need a better way to annotate the readings than what the Kindle provides. Also the ability to jot down notes on papers would be a huge plus as well. Netbook is no good in working with ePub or PDF annotations, unless I want to type all of them in separate notes. So yes, I guess we are almost on opposite ends of the spectrum of e-readers.
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