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Old 01-18-2013, 06:10 PM   #1
Myrrho
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Large e-book reader for a recluse

Greetings,

We are trying to pick the right e-book reader for a hermit priest who lives alone in the mountains. He reads mainly books about theology, which are cumbersome to store in his wooden cabin but more importantly difficult to bring up there now that he is getting older. His sight isn't excellent anymore either, so he also hopes to benefit from the larger prints. Since he has a small solar panel, he has the equivalent of a USB vehicle power adapter. The e-book reader will mostly stay inside at his table, and books will be brought by carrying a SD card.

He was shown a Kindle DX, and he likes it a lot, but unfortunately that's not an option since he can't connect to the internet and needs to read epub files.

I'd be very thankful if someone has input about this. The extend of my experience is using a Sony PRS-T2, and I know near to nothing about the large screen models, which I didn't see in stores around here.

Requirements:
- e-ink type of display
- large screen (9+ in)
- ability to read .txt and .epub and increase the fonts size
- ability to read either pdf or doc
- books transferable by SD card
- device can be recharged by a USB vehicle power adapter (it's 12V I think)
- ability to operate completely without internet connection once it has been set up

Additional preferences:
- ease of use and stability
- ability to read html (offline websites)
- French interface if possible
- expected lifetime of at least 1 year for each 100€ of the price
- can be read both in rather high and low light conditions

Not really relevant in the choice:
- wifi, 3G, or any other form of connectivity aside from the SD card
- access to any form of modern litterature purchasing platform (he can carry up the odd modern book he needs)
- other applications than reading and organizing books
- weight and size don't matter, it will stay on his desk


Thank you very much!
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
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If the person bringing the books to him brought a laptop and the appropriate cable, the Kindle DX would be possible.

The DX seems to be the most readily available and cheapest large-screen eInk device.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
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Pocketbook 912 and Onyx Book M92 both fulfil most of your requirements.

Pocketbook 912 has the older eink screen but the difference is not very drastically when reading epub books. With 220 Euro it has the best price.
Onyx Boox M92 has the better screen (Pearl) which shows mostly when reading pdf documents. It is still supported by the company behind and gets the occasional update. It costs about 360 Euro.

Last edited by Billi; 01-19-2013 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:09 AM   #4
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Thank you, will look into those two more in detail then.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:03 PM   #5
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For the M92, I confirm : French interface is present.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info!

Two other questions:

1) is one of them significantly easier to use than the other one (more stable / intuitive, or can be made so through appropriate initial setup).

2) I see that both can play mp3. Is one of them significantly better than the other for:
- ease of use of the library (folders etc)
- music quality if played through external speakers (plugged in the headphone line)
- music quality if played through the embedded speakers
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:29 PM   #7
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If there's an interest in playing MP3 files, I recommend getting a cheap (under $30, possibly under $10 depending on sales opportunities) MP3 player. Ebook readers throw in MP3 ability as an extra, especially since many of them have text-to-speech and this means they need sound support; none of them are designed to work well at song libraries.

MP3s eat through the battery life; he'd need to recharge a lot more often if he's using it for sound. Better to get a device designed to maximize sound output for small battery life.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrrho View Post
1) is one of them significantly easier to use than the other one (more stable / intuitive, or can be made so through appropriate initial setup).
Maybe the Pocketbook wins here a little bit, but I am not sure. At least, you will find a user guide on their homepage if you want to inform yourself beforehand. For the Onyx Boox I couldn't find one.
Quote:
2) I see that both can play mp3. Is one of them significantly better than the other for: ...
Elfwreck already answered it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:25 AM   #9
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The MP3 sounded good because the screens of the cheap devices are too small for him, but it's a good point and he has a portable CD player already. Thank you for the tip about the user manual. Given the characteristics and the price, sounds like the pocketbook would be a better choice for him. I'll head off to its specific forum to ask if anyone knows if it works to charge it with USB vehicle power adapters.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:24 AM   #10
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Hello,

please allow me to chime in. Mind you, I do not own any of the devices mentioned, but am currently also researching getting one of these.

A quick question:

Where is he living? Europe? US? Canada? Asia?

IMO an advantage for the Kindle DX over the other two might be that it has a 3G modem built in, so you can download amazon books (and very many free books that are available via amazon) without a separate internet connection. If I am not mistaken, it even has a web browser and allows you to access the internet via its 3G card.

ePub books without DRM can be converted to PDF or MOBI (amazon Kindle format) using the free software calibre, and I guess that could be sent to the device via 3G. However, I understand there is a cost for this, e.g. 1 USD per megabyte. Anybody who owns the device can maybe comment on that.

Last but certainly not least, the Kindle DX is no longer available new, and used devices in good condition typically sell in the 250-300 EUR price range in Europe.

One more consideration: the e-ink screen of ANY e-reader is highly sensible, dropping it once can already result in the glass substrate breaking, rendering it useless. Make sure to always use a good cover and treat it with care.

Best regards,
Andy
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:29 AM   #11
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Where is he living? Europe? US? Canada? Asia?

IMO an advantage for the Kindle DX over the other two might be that it has a 3G modem built in, so you can download amazon books (and very many free books that are available via amazon) without a separate internet connection. If I am not mistaken, it even has a web browser and allows you to access the internet via its 3G card.
He lives in France. 3G isn't really an option though, because he lives "out there" in the mountains, and cellphone calls aren't always going through that well (you have to walk around the top to find a right spot, etc). The plan is to use two micro-USB cards in turns: he will send me by mail the list of book he wants, and I will send the card back. He goes to town at least once a month, so he can pick up his mail then.

Quote:
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One more consideration: the e-ink screen of ANY e-reader is highly sensible, dropping it once can already result in the glass substrate breaking, rendering it useless. Make sure to always use a good cover and treat it with care.
Duly noted, thank you. Normally it should stay on his table.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:17 AM   #12
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In that case, the Onyx M92 might be the best option.

Am not sure whether you are aware of it, but it offers the possibility of taking notes with the enclosed digitizer pen. The better screen (12:1 contract vs. 10:1 contrast) makes it very worthwile in my view.

Best regards,
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:32 AM   #13
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Andy, the M92 is without doubt the better reader, be it only because of the screen. The question of this thread is if it is worth paying the difference or if the Pocketbook 912 will fulfil all requirements of the recluse too.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:33 AM   #14
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He will definitely not be taking notes on the reader or other fancy things like that. Now that I think about it, I am not even sure that he would use the touchscreen ability if buttons allow to do everything too easily (is that the only difference with the pocketbook 902?).

So indeed if it comes down to 220€ vs 360€ for a bit more contrast, all other pertinent requirements in this case being constant, the pocketbook seems more attractive. You guys are really, really helpful to make a choice, thank you.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:22 PM   #15
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Andy, the M92 is without doubt the better reader, be it only because of the screen.
Really? I do a lot of research and study and find the ability to have multiple books open like the pocketbook can is more important.
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