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Old 02-01-2012, 11:34 AM   #1
cliver
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Samsung Galaxy Note as an eReader

Hi all,
I have has a Galaxy Note for a couple of weeks now and have been using it as an eReader for most of that having done some research on here first (Thanks to all who offered advice in response to my questions).
So I thought I'd pass on my experiences so far...
First of all the Galaxy not is a great piece of kit as a smartphone. Not cheap but if you are considering it then I can highly recommend it. And, no, I don't find it too big
As an eReader I would say it performs very well, although I don't have anything to compare it with as this is my first foray into eReading.
The screen size is pretty good for this type of activity as is the Super Amoled screen technology. I can't say I have noticed any appreciable eye strain compared with "real books". That despite being mid 50's with the sight deterioration that goes with the ageing process
I can't really compare it to an eInk display never having used one for any length of time but I don't tend to read in direct sunlight anyway.
I don't have any trouble with battery life but I doubt it will compete with the eInk devices.
If I am reading for a long while I plug in the charger on a long lead and find that works for me.
I also found I had to adjust the screen time out so that I could comfortably read one page before it went blank.
The software I have settled on for the time is FBReader. I tried Aldiko but didn't like it telling me where to store my books. So, although I liked the UI on Aldiko I'm afraid it was a no go for me.
I then tried FBReader and, although it's UI isn't quite as good as Aldiko I liked the fact that it lets me decide where my books go and it seems to do all I need, at least for the time being. I also like the page turning animation. Somehow it makes it seem more like reading a real book.
I have also adjusted the font size to suit me eyes so I can read it comfortably.
I use Calibre on my PC to manage my library, mainly so that I can get books from many sources and transcode them into epub with no drm for my own use. Not that I am into illegal piracy but I like to be able to do what I want with a book once I have paid for it.
I found it best to use the web server interface to transfer books to the android as it didn't seem to want to connect using calibres send to device function. I think that's because it doesn't show up as a drive letter on my Win 7 pc.
The browser interface works pretty well though.
I think that's about all I can say for now.
If I come up with anything exciting or disastrous I'll ledt you know.
Or, if anyone has any questions just ask and I'll be happy to use my meagre knowledge to respond.

Regards
Clive
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:41 PM   #2
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A lot of folks are recommending the Mantano reader as being the best for Android.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the review. The note has garnished my attention since it was introduced. I've been patiently waiting for 6mo now until Samsung will finally decide to release it here in the states.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cliver View Post
The screen size is pretty good for this type of activity as is the Super Amoled screen technology. <snip...>
I can't really compare it to an eInk display never having used one for any length of time but I don't tend to read in direct sunlight anyway.
I really like Samungs SAMLOED technology. The blacks are so dark reading ebooks with night mode emit such little light. Excellent for saving battery life and not distracting the significant other with a bright screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliver View Post
I don't have any trouble with battery life but I doubt it will compete with the eInk devices.
If I am reading for a long while I plug in the charger on a long lead and find that works for me.
I also found I had to adjust the screen time out so that I could comfortably read one page before it went blank.
Some eReading apps like Montango and Moon change the time out level when the app is in use. This is a nice features since the default timeout is unmodified thus saving battery life during nomal usage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliver View Post
The software I have settled on for the time is FBReader. I tried Aldiko but didn't like it telling me where to store my books. So, although I liked the UI on Aldiko I'm afraid it was a no go for me.
I then tried FBReader and, although it's UI isn't quite as good as Aldiko I liked the fact that it lets me decide where my books go and it seems to do all I need, at least for the time being.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliver View Post
I also like the page turning animation. Somehow it makes it seem more like reading a real book.
Oh how I hate this feature. Nonsense that waste users time, but as they say different strokes


Quote:
Originally Posted by cliver View Post
I found it best to use the web server interface to transfer books to the android as it didn't seem to want to connect using calibres send to device function. I think that's because it doesn't show up as a drive letter on my Win 7 pc.
The browser interface works pretty well though.
Me too some apps like Montano and Moon+ have built in ODPS catalog readers so all you have to do is point your reader to your Web server's URL. Makes searching for books much easier than using the web browser.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RolandD View Post
A lot of folks are recommending the Mantano reader as being the best for Android.
For sure I would say the two best readers on the market are Moon+ and Mantano. Though for me I still prefer Moon.

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Old 02-01-2012, 06:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting, Clive!

I, too, am waiting for the U.S. version of the Note. It will be my Christmaas present.

The Note has wi-fi, doesn't it, in addition to the cellular wireless? I get books from Calibre to my Android tablets through a wireless (Wi-Fi) connection to our LAN. I was figuring to do the same with the Note -- either that or Dropbox. What do you think? Am I out of luck?
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:15 PM   #5
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I've read about the Note and would be thrilled if Samsung offered it as wifi only as well as a phone.
I have the Galaxy Media Player 5 and love it as a reader...very close to the Note but not the SAMOLED screen and other things too hehehe.
Mantano is my favorite reader.
Enjoy your Note Cliver.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:49 AM   #6
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I've been looking at the Note as a reader too, so thanks so much for sharing your experience with it, Clive.

I've used fbREader too, and its excellent. I also forked out for CoolReader+pro and find that equally as good. fbReader remains free with all its features so its a definite winner.

In the meantime, until I get the Note, I'm still doing Stanza on my iPhone. Oh well.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:28 AM   #7
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Talking You can connect your Note to Calibre as USB Storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliver View Post
I found it best to use the web server interface to transfer books to the android as it didn't seem to want to connect using calibres send to device function. I think that's because it doesn't show up as a drive letter on my Win 7 pc.
Actually you can connect it as usb storage to be recognized by Calibre:
1 Go to Setting --> wireless and network
2. Select USB Utilities
3. Tap 'Connect Storage to PC'
4. A new window will appear to ask you to connect the USB Cable to use USB Mass Storage.
5. Connect the cable to your Galaxy note and your PC
6. The Mass Storage connection will appear.

Then your Calibre will recognize both the internal and external SD Card.

For information, I have updated my Note to 2.3.6. I don't know if this method is available in 2.3.5.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:16 AM   #8
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A lot of folks are recommending the Mantano reader as being the best for Android.
Not one I've come across. I'll have to give it a look. Thanks
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:35 AM   #9
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Many thanks for all the replies. It's given me much to muse over... When will I find time to read a book

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliver View Post
I also like the page turning animation. Somehow it makes it seem more like reading a real book.
Oh how I hate this feature. Nonsense that waste users time, but as they say different strokes
As you say different strokes for different folks
For me I like to get as close to the real thing as I can. I'm the same with my music, I like to get all tagging right and album art attached so I can feel like I'm browsing my LP's (now that's aged me )

Quote:
Some eReading apps like Montango and Moon change the time out level when the app is in use. This is a nice features since the default timeout is unmodified thus saving battery life during nomal usage.
I'll have to investigate this. Nice feature.

Quote:
Filark
The Note has wi-fi, doesn't it, in addition to the cellular wireless? I get books from Calibre to my Android tablets through a wireless (Wi-Fi) connection to our LAN. I was figuring to do the same with the Note -- either that or Dropbox. What do you think? Am I out of luck?
Hi Filark, yes it has full wireless capabilities as you would expect from a smart-phone these days. I'm new to android and haven't found a way to "share/network" the phone yet but I'm sure it's possible. The DropBox solution will certainly work, I use it with Titanium Pro Backup.

Quote:
Kai Winters I've read about the Note and would be thrilled if Samsung offered it as wifi only as well as a phone.
I have the Galaxy Media Player 5 and love it as a reader...very close to the Note but not the SAMOLED screen and other things too hehehe.
Have you looked at their tablets? I believe the specs are about the same without the inbuilt phone capability. I know that some people were looking at it as an alternative because the note was, and still is I think, quite hard to get hold of. The tablets can be upgraded for use as a phone as well.

Quote:
hapmas77
You can connect your Note to Calibre as USB Storage
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliver View Post
I found it best to use the web server interface to transfer books to the android as it didn't seem to want to connect using calibres send to device function. I think that's because it doesn't show up as a drive letter on my Win 7 pc.
Actually you can connect it as usb storage to be recognized by Calibre:
1 Go to Setting --> wireless and network
2. Select USB Utilities
3. Tap 'Connect Storage to PC'
4. A new window will appear to ask you to connect the USB Cable to use USB Mass Storage.
5. Connect the cable to your Galaxy note and your PC
6. The Mass Storage connection will appear.

Then your Calibre will recognize both the internal and external SD Card.

For information, I have updated my Note to 2.3.6. I don't know if this method is available in 2.3.5.
Brilliant, many thanks for pointing that out.
I have just discovered that as a way of connecting my music player and of course that will work with calibre to. Great, thanks again

Regards to all
Clive
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:26 PM   #10
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Just tried out Mantano. Love it :-)
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:06 PM   #11
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I have both an iPhone 4S and an iPad 2 (not to mention a Playbook that I got on fire sale over the holidays and a Kobo Vox that I gave to my daughter). I have been really intrigued by the Samsung Note. I've been reading ebooks on small screens since the Palm III but have been spoiled by the amount of room that the iPad has. The 7" Playbook is fine for reading and I like being able to read with one hand. If I knew that the experience would be comparable to the 7" I think I would jump for it. The idea of being able to combine my phone with a decent reader is really appealing. I barely use the phone actually so am not concerned about the whole "freakishly large phone against my head" thing - also being in my late 40's I stopped caring that I might look stupid 2 kids ago.

I will be keeping the Playbook for work (I really detest Blackberrys but my work will not permit anything else, so the Playbook is my way of making the best of it). I could sell my iPad 2 and iPhone 4s and that would even pay for an unlocked Galaxy Note...

Sounds like I am talking myself into it, doesn't it?

I would really love to hear the experiences of people using the Galaxy Note as an all-in-one device. Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:49 PM   #12
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I have a Dell Streak, which is 5". I feel it is the perfect size for a phone by my definition (the biggest screen size that still comfortably fits into my jeans' front pocket). The Note has almost exactly the same dimensions, it is just a tad wide and a little bit shorter.

I don't feel awkward making calls without a headset, and that "one-handed operation" is a red herring. One-handed works fine for calls, and for almost everything else you hold the phone in landscape mode with one hand.

It is fine for reading in portrait (though I much prefer e-ink), good for quick browsing, as a music player, etc. Once you are used to a big screen, it is hard to go back to 5". But for now 5"+ is the perfect device on the go (until they develop devices with roll-up or foldable screens that could easily double the size).

So as a phone that is the best all-in-one on the market right now? Yes. As a tablet substitute? Not for me.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:47 AM   #13
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The idea of being able to combine my phone with a decent reader is really appealing. I barely use the phone actually so am not concerned about the whole "freakishly large phone against my head" thing - also being in my late 40's I stopped caring that I might look stupid 2 kids ago.
We could be twins except I'm further on than late 40's
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Sounds like I am talking myself into it, doesn't it?
So, do you need a further push?
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I would really love to hear the experiences of people using the Galaxy Note as an all-in-one device. Thanks!
That's exactly what attracted me to it and, so far I haven't been disappointed
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:46 AM   #14
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So, do you need a further push?


That's exactly what attracted me to it and, so far I haven't been disappointed
I really need to get the device in my hands to see about the reading experience - it's another 4 days before it is released widely here in Canada. As I mentioned, I really don't mind the 7" screen on the Kobo or the Playbook (though it feels in portrait mode kind of long and skinny). If the Galaxy Tab is not too far off that experience, I would be pretty ok with it.

The other thing I use my iPad 2 for is reading/web browsing while at the gym using equipment like exercise bikes and ellipticals. I am wondering whether it is large enough (when viewed from a distance and not held in the hands) to read from in that case.

Have you used yours in this type of manner (resting on a stand while you read it)? When I have done this with my iPhone it has been way too small to be usable. Thanks!
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:55 PM   #15
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I read books at night on my Tmobile Galaxy SII and it is a good screen at 4.5 inches so the Note at 5.3 would be even better.
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