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Old 03-27-2008, 12:53 PM   #1
Voice of Reason
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Yet another noob seeking advice

Hi all. I've been considering buying a device to read ebooks for awhile, and I was very happy to find this forum. Lots and lots of good advice here... but not quite enough to enable me to make my decision without some personal help. Thanks in advance.

My specifics:
  • I'm a total gadget freak. I love cool toys. Therefore I'd like something with a large "wow" factor and lots of nifty features.
  • To a large extent, money is no object. I'm willing to pay what it takes to get the best device possible for my needs.
  • A lot of the material I want to read is in PDF... for example, I have a number of books I purchased from the Pragmatic Programmers. These are all essentially typeset books in digital form. My device needs to either have a large enough screen to display a full page legibly, be able to reasonably reformat PDFs that aren't really made to be reformatted, or have an easy-to-use and convenient scroll feature. (Something like what the iPhone's version of Safari uses when zoomed in would be sufficient.)
  • I will never, under any circumstances, ever ever ever purchase a product manufactured by Sony. The reasons for this are not really on-topic for here... I'll go into them if anyone's curious, but if not, suffice it to say that the Sony Reader is not an option.

I'm considering going with the Samsung Q1 Ultra. Drawbacks include: I kind of wish that the screen were larger, and I have concerns about battery life. I'm also thinking about going with a slab-style tablet PC... seems like that form factor would make a great e-reading device, although the battery life problem might be even worse. The new big-screen Hanlin might be an option, although I think the refresh time for an e-ink display might drive me nuts. Also, I'm really not very good at waiting, and it's my understanding that the Hanlin (or any of the other 9" e-ink devices) isn't expected until June at the earliest.

So, to make a long story short (too late), does anyone have any experience using either the Q1 or a tablet PC as an ebook reader? Any comments on what it's like? Does anyone have any recommendations for devices based on my requirements?

Thanks very much for any help. This forum has already helped me a great deal, and I look forward to any advice people can offer.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:13 PM   #2
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The largest eBook reader is the iLiad but it will only do 1/2 page at a time for full letter/A4 sized PDF's when it is turned to landscape mode. It is the only one capable of this size display 8". If that will do then this is definitely the one for you. Otherwise a tablet is your best bet.

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Old 03-27-2008, 02:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voice of Reason View Post
I'm a total gadget freak. I love cool toys. Therefore I'd like something with a large "wow" factor and lots of nifty features.
  • To a large extent, money is no object. I'm willing to pay what it takes to get the best device possible for my needs.
  • A lot of the material I want to read is in PDF... for example, I have a number of books I purchased from the Pragmatic Programmers. These
Due to the above two, I would say take a look at the HTC Shift and HTC Advantage. Some sweet devices there.

The MIU HDPC looks pretty cool too... and is supposed to be under $500.

BOb

Last edited by pilotbob; 03-27-2008 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info, guys, I appreciate it. I decided to just go ahead and order the Q1 Ultra... even if it turns out not to suit my needs as a reader, I figure I can find a use for it. It looks like it'll make a sweet remote video player, streaming from my media server over the wireless. The Q1U-V model is on sale at Amazon.com for $749 which is a heck of a deal and I didn't want to miss out on it. I'll write a report on my experience with it after I receive it and try it out for awhile.

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Due to the above two, I would say take a look at the HTC Shift and HTC Advantage. Some sweet devices there.
Yikes. I know I said that money was no object, and it's not as long as I feel like I'm getting what I'm paying for, but IMHO the HTC Shift is ridiculously overpriced for what it is.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info, guys, I appreciate it. I decided to just go ahead and order the Q1 Ultra... even if it turns out not
Looks like a nice device. Report back to us. I'm most interested in battery life and readability of the screen when looking at PDFs... also, how MobiReader and LIT Reader work on it.

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Old 04-01-2008, 12:45 PM   #6
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Well, I got the thing yesterday... my initial impression is a bit disappointing. I'll need to spend a lot more time with it before coming up with a firm assessment, but my first thoughts are:
  • Heavy for its size. Not exactly easy to hold.
  • Very slow. This is probably because it's attempting to run the full version of Windows Vista Home Premium on its 800MHz processor and 1GB of RAM. People on the Internet strongly suggest upgrading the memory to 2GB (which will void the warranty) and disabling certain processor-munching Vista features.
  • Touch screen feels cheap and inaccurate. After experiencing the iPhone's excellent scrolling and zooming, the difficulty involved in scrolling around a page on the Q1 is a real disappointment.
  • This is probably a problem with using IE, but while attempting to read books on Safari Books Online, IE doesn't reformat the page to fit the (maximized) browser window but instead insists on presenting scrollbars. Ugh. Anyone know a better browser for reading HTML eBooks?
  • The screen is nice (but not great), but the aspect ratio doesn't look like it'll lend itself well to full-page reading. It's very wide (or very narrow in portrait mode), and I think that a page that's stretched to full width in portrait will waste a lot of space at the bottom of the screen.
Again, I just got the thing yesterday and haven't done much playing with it, but these are my initial impressions, and while it may be a useful device I'm not sure it'll make a great eBook reader.

(It did come preinstalled with Microsoft Reader and Adobe Reader, which is a plus, I guess.)
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voice of Reason View Post
Well, I got the thing yesterday... my initial impression is a bit disappointing. I'll need to spend a lot more time with it before coming up with a firm assessment, but my first thoughts are:
  • This is probably a problem with using IE, but while attempting to read books on Safari Books Online, IE doesn't reformat the page to fit the (maximized) browser window but instead insists on presenting scrollbars. Ugh. Anyone know a better browser for reading HTML eBooks?
Thanks for the review.

It is NOT IE, it is the web site you are reading. They probably are formating with a fixed size table or div, so when you close it down you get scroll bars. You should complain to them to change there HTML to use a "max" width... this way when you are smaller it should size/flow the text.

Just read on Engaget that the Nokia810 is comming out soon. however, I'm not sure what OS it runs, so don't know what reader software will run on it.

BOb


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