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Old 03-31-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
dalai
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Looking for new reader. Navigating with buttons or touch?

I am looking to get something more portable than my Kindle DX and to replace a dead PRS-505. The most important things for me are ergonomics and reliability.

I am worried that a touch interface may be difficult to use one-handed, especially if my thump also supports some of the reader's weight. The 505 was ok as far as the buttons were concerned. I also tried the simple Kindle for a few days recently and although the buttons were akward, I could probably get used to them. Unfortunately I don't have access to a touch reader that I can try out.

Some more info: I don't care about file format support, I can convert everything I need with calibre and co. I would like frequent updates, but most companies stop adding features and doing major updates for "older" devices within a year or two from release. I also do not care at all about front/back-lighting as I always read with ambient light.

From what I've seen, for a modern, 6" reader with buttons my options are Amazon, Sony, Bookeen and Onyx. I have some doubts about the SW reliability and the dictionaries for the latter two while the Sony T2 has weird button placement. This leaves me essentially with one option, which is considerably cheaper than the other three.

I am almost ready to hit the buy button, but I thought I'd ask first. Have I missed something? Should I also consider the touch readers? Is there a reason to look at the ones with frontlight if I am going to keep it permanently off (besides the higher likelihood of updates)?

Thanks in advance

Last edited by dalai; 03-31-2013 at 12:45 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:39 PM   #2
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I have smallish hands, and I can read on my Kobo Glo one-handed with either hand (tapping with right thumb, or swiping with left). Touch screens might be difficulty if you have a tremor, but otherwise it should be ok.

Even in ambient light, the frontlight really improves contrast/readability. I keep mine always-on at a low level, and it's fantastic. With the Kobo at least, the Glo also has a higher resolution than the Touch. Not sure about the other readers.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:32 AM   #3
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This is going to be an interesting debate. It has been my understanding that most readers are rectangular and have the same ergonomics issues. This is one of those issues that I am I am going to be interested to listen to the debate.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalai View Post
I also do not care at all about front/back-lighting as I always read with ambient light.
The frontlight dramatically improves the contrast and readability of the screen, even in good lighting conditions.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
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Unless you particularly don't want a touch screen model, you probably shouldn't rule them out. I think most people are like meeera in that they can fairly comfortably use the touch screens to turn pages while holding their e-reader with one hand. If you can hold your PRS-505 in one hand and touch the screen with your thumb, then you'll be able to do it with the slightly smaller and lighter e-readers that are available now.

I don't really need a light either but the newer e-readers with in-built light have a better screen resolution, and it's not like the light makes a huge difference to the battery life. The main reason I've yet to upgrade is that I personally really like my Kindle with the side page turn buttons. I also have a PRS-350 and rarely use the touch screen on it, I prefer the buttons, but don't like the placement at the bottom the same as the side buttons on the Kindle.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:51 PM   #6
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It's very easy to use the Kindle's touch interface one-handed.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:36 PM   #7
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The nook simple touch has both buttons and touch interface.

As for the buttons vs touch interface debate, my ideal reader would look like the Nook simple touch but I'd be able to turn off the touch interface while reading a book and just use page turn buttons and turn it on again if I need to navigate menus etc...

That would be heaven.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:21 AM   #8
dalai
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Regarding the frontlight, I don't think I need the extra contrast. I can read for hours on the older eInk and when I was trying out the new kindle I found the contrast fine and not much different than the typical paperbacks I have. The same is more or less true for the touch interface. I can hardly see how that improves the experience during normal reading (I don't do web browsing and I rarely have more than 15 books on the device). So, at least for me, the extra cost for just newer softwar and features I don't need is probably unwarranted.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) all manufacturers are going for frontlight and touch, so soon they will not be optional. I will try to see if I can at least try out a paperwhite or kindle touch before buying.

Thanks again
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #9
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I mainly use a 650 and I like to have buttons and touch. Doubtless I could adapt to only touch, but I prefer to have both. Sony have started selling off T2s cheap, so you might consider picking up one of those. Also it's a sign that they will be releasing a new model soon, so you might want to wait a bit.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #10
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I'm not sure which reader you're looking at buying, but if you're looking at the Kindle non-touch, be aware that the screen contrast isn't as good as the touch model. The non-touch screen is dark grey while the touch is very white. At least that was the case at the ones I looked at the other day. This put me off the non-touch.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:47 PM   #11
dalai
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I was also taking a look at the T2 although the buttons don't look very conveniently placed.

Regarding the price, I checked a couple of price comparison websites here in Germany, in the UK and in the US and they all show that the price has not varied much the last 3 months. Here it is sold between 119 and 139 euro. I read the goodereader article last week, but either the T2 has been "heavily discounted" for months now or I failed to find the great offers.
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