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Old 10-30-2012, 01:07 PM   #1246
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Ah thanks... I didn't realize the RT versions actually had a Desktop. Research shows that it is limited to MS shipped apps. I assume stuff that they have ported to run on ARM that doesn't actually use the WinRT API. Devs have no access to put/create apps there.

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Old 10-30-2012, 06:45 PM   #1247
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Windows Surface RT

As usual, I'm not reading any manuals.
So I opt for "trial and error".

I've found a very neat feature:
In the search box, you enter a term.
Then you can choose, in which app(s) to use that term.
I've checked the very same term for example in Merriam-Webster and after that in dictionary.com, without having to re-enter the term.
Cool! Highly productive!

Last edited by mgmueller; 10-30-2012 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:26 PM   #1248
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Mgmueller, did you try using a stylus on the screen by now? I have been reading conflicting reports, some say there is stylus support in RT, just no palm rejection.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:42 PM   #1249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
Mgmueller, did you try using a stylus on the screen by now? I have been reading conflicting reports, some say there is stylus support in RT, just no palm rejection.
I don't have a stylus at hand.

I don't find any settings re. "palm rejection".
Basically, the settings are the same as we've seen in Windows 7.
I guess, the handwriting recognition should be as excellent as in former Windows versions.

Personally, I'd only use a stylus for the small icons and such on the desktop.
Maybe I simply increase all of them by 150%. It can be done individually:
You can change the text size for title bars, menus, message boxes, palette titles, icons and tooltips separately.

What I really like: So far, all apps behave absolutely consistently.
The menus all act the same.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:53 PM   #1250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
I don't have a stylus at hand.

I don't find any settings re. "palm rejection".
Basically, the settings are the same as we've seen in Windows 7.
I guess, the handwriting recognition should be as excellent as in former Windows versions.

Personally, I'd only use a stylus for the small icons and such on the desktop.
Maybe I simply increase all of them by 150%. It can be done individually:
You can change the text size for title bars, menus, message boxes, palette titles, icons and tooltips separately.

What I really like: So far, all apps behave absolutely consistently.
The menus all act the same.
Well, I don't really care about handwriting recognition. I just would like to use a tablet as a digital notepad. And regular capacitive pens are no good for that, while devices with digitzers (like the Irexes, the Samsung notes, etc.) are.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:28 PM   #1251
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Ups, I did it again (iPad mini)

I've hesitated a while, don't use my iPad 3 at all.
But the 7.9" factor simply was too tempting.

I went to my local Apple store today.
First impression: Disappointment. It looks different than iPad 3. At least iPads 3 and 4 seem to look identical. But iPad mini has a different design.
I hope, it's not a trend.
But I already don't like the design of iPhone 5 that much.
I think, iPhone 5 looks and feels awkwardly similar to Samsung units.
A bit "cheaper" and "low level" than I'd expect from the design geniuses in Apple.
And first impression of iPad mini was similar.
Nice, but nothing special.
And then the next "surprise": Wi-Fi only. The 4G model only will be available end of this month.
Quite against my usual habit, I took 2 minutes to consider.
But of course, temptation was too strong.

I'm just in the settings.
No surprises there of course.

Why did I buy it?
I love Kindle Fire HD. And my nook HD already is on its way from the US.
But I still want to have some tablets, using more than one book app.
And here iPad actually has a slight advantage over Android:
nook, Kobo and Kindle never have been a problem, available for all platforms.
Google Play as well.
But iBooks of course is iOS-specific.
I don't use it much, but an additional bookstore never does any harm.
And again: 7.9".
The "original" iPad simply is too big for me for extended reading sessions.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:16 PM   #1252
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Nook HD

I should have it tomorrow.
Less than a week from the US, great!
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:16 PM   #1253
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Kindle Paperwhite

It's on its way already.
The status report said "end of this year". Wow, pleasant surprise!
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:40 AM   #1254
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Nook HD

It's here!
5 days from the US. Great!

I didn't want the nook HD+ because of its size. But I'll probably order the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" because of its free 3G. Love this on my other Kindles, no worries about roaming or available SIMs and such.

First impressions:

Ugly as hell. But I knew that beforehand from the pictures already.
I don't really mind. It has to work and be efficient, not win a beauty contest.

Phantastic: In initial settings, on the bottom of the WiFi screen, you see your nook's WiFi address. Very clever. Haven't seen this on any other unit before.
I know: Mac address isn't a very good safety precaution. Still, I'm using it.
And I hate, if I have to stop settings or even do a soft reset or some other stupid thing, because I can't see the Mac address yet.
Here, it's solved brilliantly!

Time zone: Well, obviously you're not allowed to leave the US with a nook. Only time zones available: Hawaii, Alaska, Pacific time, Arizona, Mountain time, Central time, Eastern time.
I know: You can't normally buy it outside of the US (or isn't there a UK version already? I can't believe, the US and the UK version actually have different firmwares?!). But still: Aren't you even allowed to go on vacation outside of the US? I have to check this out. But hate it already!
EDIT: Puh! Not in the initial setting, but in the "real" ones you freely can choose your time zone!

Still in initial settings, it's automatically downloading a software update. I would have updated anyway. But isn't there normally a user confirmation needed?

In some (professional) review I read, nook HD would have the most brilliant display, far ahead of the competition. As usual (i.e. criticism about low resolution on Microsoft Surface RT), I don't see it. It's certainly nice. But without direct comparison, I can't see any obvious differences to Kindle Fire HD or Google/Asus Nexus 7 for example.
EDIT: I don't know yet, whether the display really outshines the competition. But fonts definitely are extremely crisp. Obviously an excellent reader"

Build quality: I'm a bit underwhelmed. Not in the same class as Kindle Fire HD or Google/Asus Nexus 7. The plastic frame around the bezel has some gaps. Only small ones, but you still can see in-between. Probably would be less obvious with a black housing, but I've got the snowy one.

The home button ("n") is a physical one, as on iPad. Not as in other Android devices. I'm not a fan of those physical buttons, but it's no biggy of course.

It doesn't seem to have auto-brightness, just a manual slider.

Spotify, Hulu Plus and Pandora come pre-installed.
You seem to be able to uninstall the pre-installed apps, no root needed.

The UI is very "clean", but less stylish than on Kindle Fire HD. Some hate the carousel on Kindle, but at least it's some kind of innovation.
The UI of nook in its minimalistic design spontaneously reminds me of the digital clocks one could buy in Eastern Germany ca. 1985.

For now: Wouldn't I have that many nook books (nook classic had been one of my first readers), I probably wouldn't go for it. Not up to par design-wise. Quite a surprise, as nook classic had been such a beauty and even nook simple touch had been okay.
I'll certainly use it for my nook books, but probably not as my "swiss army knife tablet".

You manually can activate Adobe DRM. So obviously it can read "normal" DRM protected ePUBs and PDFs as well. Not really important for me, but probably great for lots of others.

Wow! Downloading the books is extremely fast! Ether the tablet respectively the B&N servers are that fast or the B&N book format is extremely compact. Haven't seen such download speeds for a long time. Well,, it's 3am in the US, maybe not much traffic? Still: Impressive!

Quite fascinating: I've goot the nook app on numerous tablets. Plus 2 (now 3) nook readers/tablets. But so far, I've never reached any download limits!
On Kindle, I can use 4 (some) to 6 (most = ca. 95%) activations in parallel. I definitely have more than that with B&N. Strange! Shouldn't it be the same = depending on the publishers?

Funny: I can't use the Quick Start Guide or the User Manual: "Unable to load the data"!
Strange: After restarting the tablet, both icons for the documentation are gone. I don't need the guides and I'm glad the empty icons are gone. Still strange though.

Verdict for now: Speedy and responsive. Extremely crisp text. Surprisingly low build quality (frame not properly glued, hence the gaps to the bezel), else it's a very good tablet.

Edit:
I can't get over the low build quality.
If I compare to Kindle Fire HD or Google Nexus 7, both in the same price range, I simply can't accept this kind of (none) quality.
I know, I'm over sensitive here. After all, it's not a piece of art but a tool of daily usage. Still, I can't help myself. When I take it out of the sleeve, first things I see are the gaps.
I've even tried to glue the frame. But that's not possible, the frame only has contact to the housing in a few places. In most areas, the frame simply has no connection and only is attached every 5 centimeters or so. No wonder, there are gaps. Since I've seen that (the free space behind the frame) I hate it even more. How one can deliver such build qulity is beyond me...

You see examples (not my pictures, but taken from official reviews) here:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...77&postcount=5
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...69&postcount=4

Last edited by mgmueller; 12-07-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:25 AM   #1255
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Kindle Paperwhite

It's here already!
Last status report 1 week ago said: "Expect delivery last week of December"!
And then it said: "Shipped, give 3 to 5 days for shipment".
This was yesterday!
As always: Amazon over-delivers!

Same box as for Kindle Fire HD. I like this kind of consistency.

Wow! It's tiny, even a bit smaller than Kindle touch. And extremely light!
Doesn't feel or look cheap, though. Way better build quality than nook HD for example!

Design is almost identical to Kindle touch, no physical home button though.

The screen feels a bit "rougher" than usual. Doesn't matter, but you can feel it's less smooth than touch screens normally are.

I'm directly comparing to Kindle touch.
I never had a problem with the "grey on grey".
But boy oh boy: I see, why they call it "paperwhite".
Enormous difference!

And again: Free 3G! Globally! Love it!!

Verdict for now: Love it! Flawless, it seems!
Update: #§$/(((&!! Out of space, no more storage. Just saw in the specs: Kindle Paperwhite only has 2GB of storage!
Kindle touch as 4GB.
2GB is way too limited. Obviously, Amazon's idea: Cloud.
Yes, you can access the cloud anytime. And of course 2GB allow for some 500 eBooks.
Still: I have ca. 700 eBooks from amazon - and I want them all.
Huge letdown. What would have been the uplift for another 2GB? 20 Euros?...

Thumbnail mode is nice. But at least 40% of my 703 eBooks, originally bought from Amazon, lack a cover. The title is shown instead.

Over all, still a great gadget. But I'd really prefer 4GB and an alternative display mode (thumbnails only for the ones with actual covers, list for the rest or something like that)...

Edit: I'm still struggling with the 2GB of internal memory. Of my 703 Amazon books, I've been able to download 589. Certainly enough for the next trip. And given the free 3G, I'll be able to delete some and download another one of the 114 books wherever I am.
Still: I don't like this! Not at all! I'm a collector. One of the charms of eBook readers to me always has been, to take my entire library with me.
Now I'm forced to select.
Okay, I'll delete all books I already have read from the device. But given my purchase rate, I always will have to fight with the limited storage space.
Why? What's the price difference for 2GB?
I understand: Probably they fixed the price point first (WiFi-only less than 130 Euro) and only then decided about the configuration. But why not add models with more storage?
PW
PW + 3G
PW + 2GB + 3G
Anyway... With the exception of this annoying little flaw, a great device.
And I don't have any problems with the uneven light, some (many) describe. Yes, it's not perfectly even. But why bother? My living room isn't perfectly lit either. When sitting on my sofa, or even worse when in bed, the light source always has some weird angle over my shoulder. There's always some shadow or reflection on the display anyway...

Last edited by mgmueller; 11-22-2012 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:04 AM   #1256
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:14 PM   #1257
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Kindle Fire HD 8.9"

I really like the Kindle Fire HD 7".
I slightly prefer the Kindle Paperwhite, but for some content a tablet simply makes more sense and fun.
And being Amazon respectively Kindle fan, Fire HD was a natural choice.
I had to go for the 7" version, as the 8.9" version doesn't seem to make its way outside of the US.
But after having the Fire HD 7" for ca. 5 weeks now, I had to go for the 8.9" version - of course.
It was here within 4 days - astonishing!

I'm positively surprised. I've got minor issues, for example lovefilm not working for some reason. But that's just the "confusion" amongst my accounts/countries.
But the hardware really is great. 7" and 8.9" are "identical twins".
I hate the differences in design of iPad 3/4 and iPad mini.
Both Kindle Fire HDs on the other hand are perfect reflections of each other.
And surprisingly enough: 8.9" actually fells less heavy than the 7" version. The specs say differently, so obviously it's all about balancing...

Brightness seems a bit different. I've got them both on "auto", but the 8.9" always seems a bit darker than the 7".

I like them both.

And I like the build quality.
Goggle Nexus 7 is equally well built, whereas Nook HD, in my personal book, is an insolence!

I'll use the 7" more often, for reading that's more than enough and it's simply more comfortable to hold.
But the 8.9" version definitely will travel a lot with me. Watching movies in the hotel just is way more fun on a bigger display.

It's a shame though, that the 8.9" (from what I've read) won't make it elsewhere. It's supposed to remain "US only". Because of that, I couldn't go for the 3G/4G version. I didn't want to risk it. No idea, whether there's a way around the AT&T flat rate, which wouldn't be of much use in Germany.
A pity, I love the free 3G on the other Kindles!
Still: Great gadget!
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:06 PM   #1258
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Kobo Arc

Got mine yesterday.
Now I've got all the "specialised" tablets I had lusted for:
Nook HD and HD+, Kindle Fire HD (7" and 8.9") and Kobo Arc. Plus Nexus 7 as the probably widest spread direct competitor. And iPad mini as some "exotic" deviation.

More later on.

In brief:
I like Nook HD+ and Kindle Fire HD 8.9" a lot.
But if I had to choose a sole unit, I'd opt for a 7" tablet.
Especially for prolonged reading sessions > 2 hours, I find bigger tablets uncomfortable to hold.

To briefly differentiate Kindle Fire HD 7", Nook HD, Kobo Arc and Google Nexus 7:

Nook HD probably has the best display, obviously the highest resolution.
The difference isn't massive, but easily visible.
In my opinion, the build quality of the housing/frame is sub-par and not acceptable in comparison to the others.

Kindle Fire HD has the most modifications of the stock Android. To me, it's not so much a tablet but more of a media consumption platform for content from Amazon. As such, I find it brilliant.

Google Nexus 7" probably has the best chances of all Android tablets, to be first in line for all updates. The updates from 4.0.x to 4.2.x aren't huge, but still significant enough.

Kobo Arc is the only "specialized" tablet, that's entirely open. It's stock Android with only minor modifications. Even the Kobo app seems to be 100% identical to the "standard" one.
Kobo doesn't limit to their own book store, you can install all the others (Kindle, Nook, Sony, ...) as well. Quite surprising...

Last edited by mgmueller; 12-29-2012 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:58 AM   #1259
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50+ readers/tablets, 1 paragraph per unit

From time to time I'll give a brief summary of my momentary gadgets.
I'll add ca. 25 readers and ca. 35 tablets to this summary, my whole collection.
I can't give exact rankings (how to compare Kindle Paperwhite to iPad mini?), I'll stick to generalizations such as "top 10%".
I'll use alphabetical order.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
I've always been a fan of Kindles. I've bought almost all of them. I really love the free 3G, available globally! I've replaced my Kindle Touch by the Kindle Paperwhite and totally love it. I never had any problems with eReaders, didn't bother about the "grey (text) on grey (background)" as some describe it. But I have to say: "Paperwhite" is a valid description. Still perfectly readable in direct sunlight. But actually I mainly use it in bed, without any additional light. Some criticise the tiny blurs, caused by the lights. I don't mind at all. They are visible, but no distraction at all. I didn't have a problem with the lower resolution of former Kindles, but it adds to an almost perfect reading experience. Only complaint: Paperwhite only has 2GB of internal memory and (as all Kindles and lots of other readers) can't be expanded via SD card. Former Kindles did have 4GB. I've already exceeded the limit of 2GB. Amazon refers to the cloud, but I'd prefer having all my books on the unit all the time. I'm deleting the ones I've read recently and can live with that. Still: Why reduce to 2GB? I'd rather pay another 20 Euros or something like that and have my old 4GB back.
Ranking: Top 10% = Top 5 of my units.

Apple iPad mini
Surprisingly enough, my favorite iPad. Some criticise the missing Retina display. I don't have a problem with that. It's got the resolution of iPad 2 - on half the display size. Personally, I prefer 7" or 8" over 10", especially for prolonged reading sessions. All iPads have great battery life, especially in standby. Only problem I face: WiFi is relatively weak. In some rooms of my house I don't have any connection, although other tablets still connect without problems. The price, compared to Google Nexus 7 for example, is extremely steep, but totally worth it. I love the design, because of the size the curved edges are less obvious than on the bigger iPads. Compared to most other tablets, the design reflects the price. It seems more valuable and stylish than most competitors. And it has stereo speakers. I always found the mono speaker one of the weak spots of former iPads.
Ranking: Top 10% = Top 5 of my units.

Google (Asus) Nexus 7
I've sold my first one after a few weeks out of frustration. It was extremely slow and unstable, especially when handling lots of files (i. e. 700 Amazon books in the Kindle app or 12GB of magazines in the Zinio app). Someone mentioned, the new firmware did solve this issue. I took the risk and bought another one. Surprise: Totally stable and no slow-downs. No idea, whether my first one had been a "Monday" unit, whether it was the storage (I only had the 16GB version at first and had loaded apps close to the limit, now I have the 32GB one) or whether it's the new firmware. Anyway: For this price, it's a real bargain, even a game changer. And it's well enough designed. No iPad mini, but no complaints for half the price.
Ranking: Top 20% = Top 10 of my units, but probably not in the Top 5.

Kobo Arc
On BlackBerry PlayBook, I only had the Kobo app for a long time. So I bought about 250 books from them. That's the main reason, why I wanted to have a Kobo tablet (and a Nook and a Kindle tablet for the very same reason).
Kobo Arc, of all specialised (=manufactured/sold by a book merchant) tablets (including Kindle and Nook for example) is the only "open" one.
It uses stock Android. Even the Kobo app seems 100% identical to the "normal" Android one. I guess, it's a direct competitor to Google Nexus 7. Not only interesting for Kobo fans, but for customers looking for a "real" Android tablet.
Of course, with a bit of work, you can do the same on Nook or Kindle. But on Kobo Arc, you've got it "out of the box".
Ranking: Top 10% to 15% = maybe not in the Top 5 of all units, but at least very close.

Microsoft Surface RT
Some critics are extremely negative. I don't get it. The resolution is no Retina display, but I don't have any complaints at all. Colors are extremely vivid and natural. Not as over-saturated as on Samsung units. It may seem a bit "dull" at first, but I absolutely prefer it over the "candy" colors of many other tablets.
The combination of Windows 8 tiles and desktop isn't perfect. But for business use, it's lightyears ahead of Android or iOS. It's no clone of the others, it's the first "new thing" in tablets for at least a year (when HP TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook did introduce their respective OSs and unfortunately more or less have failed).
I love both keyboards. The touch one for traveling light, the type one for heavy business use.
The design is great. It seems about as valuable as iPads, ahead of the crowd.
My only worry: HP TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook do have great OSs and features, but they disappeared because the market lusts for apps. I certainly hope this won't happen for Surface RT.
Surface Pro will be able to handle the Windows legacy software, so this should be a safe bet.
Ranking: Top 10% = Top 5 of my units.

Last edited by mgmueller; 01-05-2013 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #1260
night_reader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
From time to time I'll give a brief summary of my momentary gadgets.
I'll add ca. 25 readers and ca. 35 tablets to this summary, my whole collection.
I can't give exact rankings (how to compare Kindle Paperwhite to iPad mini?), I'll stick to generalizations such as "top 10%".
I'll use alphabetical order.
Thanks so much for this comparison! Helped me a lot for next purchase! You gotta slow down a little bit on the electronics shopping tho hehe ; )

Last edited by night_reader; 01-11-2013 at 05:12 PM.
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