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Old 08-10-2009, 08:47 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by hike_gc View Post
I think I need to step away from my keyboard (and this forum) and let all this information slosh around in my brain for awhile.

A couple more questions first though.

I like to listen to audio books and see all these devices offer audio. Is it good quality audio or should I stick with my MP3 player for the audio books?

My other question is regarding the grayscale levels. I see everything from 4 to 16. How good are the 4 level devices, really? The material I will likely read won't have many pictures, mostly just text.

I'm now looking at the Astak EZ Reader. Somebody please talk me into(or out) of it. I haven't found any user reviews of this model, so it must just now be shipping.

I really appreciate all your feedback!
I'm traveling, so very briefly for now:
Astak EZ Reader = Hanlin V3 (6" unit) or Hanlin V5 (5" unit).
You'll find plenty of reviews for those.
Hanlin is the original manufacturer from China. There are various versions with slightly different firmwares: Astak EZ Reader, BeBook and at least 2 others.
I've got the BeBook and personally by far rank it last of my readers. I don't like the design and have posted some links to similar reviews ("cheap", "underwhelming", ...). But all those versions clearly have their fans and enthusiasts and with OpenInkpot there's a community firmware with some interesting features.

Concerning audiobooks: Quality, in my opinion, would be okay. But all the user interfaces I've seen are far from convenient. I'd never trade my iPod or MP3 player for that.
Usually, I don't hear music while reading. And as a standalone audioplayer, I don't see any problem in taking one of those tiny mediaplayers with me.

Regarding greyscale levels: In text, I don't see the difference. In comics, it's sometimes quite obvious.
But there are various aspects concerning quality: Quality of your source file, file format, rendering engine, display quality, maybe even reflection because of the color of the housing, ....
There are intense discussions about contrast, readabilty and display quality in various threads. Many claim: Same manufacturer of display = same contrast = same readability. To me, this sounds a bit like: Same processor in a PC = same performance.....

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Old 08-12-2009, 02:40 PM   #137
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I see a lot of hate for the Hanlin V3, I've got the Bebook flashed with OpenInkpot and have absolutely no issues with it. I see a lot of people calling it 'cheap and plasticky' but its very solid and has a utilitarian form. I am a pragmatist and only buy things I need, not because they are flashy and shiny. I don't think it should be rated poorly solely because it doesn't have a tacky metallic finish.

Sure it doesn't have a dedicated bookstore or support for DRM, but I strip DRM off as a matter of course. Organisation is basically hierarchical folders and I have arranged those in a way that I can easily find whatever book I want in seconds, even with over 300 books. (Basically by authors alphabetically.)

Battery life is less than advertised, but I suppose that is because I read the books from the SD card, I'm led to understand the SD card drains power above and beyond the e-readers normal functions.

I have found the .pdf support somewhat lacking, and I am considering upgrading my e-reader. It's a lovely device in every way but I may need to use .pdf's a lot for final year of university in 2010.

How good is the iliad with PDF's? I'm attracted to the idea of a device that's decent with PDF's and still a good mobile formfactor for reading normal fiction .prc. But I'm considering having two devices, one mobile for normal books (perhaps my current Bebook) and a larger reader for PDF's, but that seem's a little akward and inefficient.

I'm strongly leaning towards the iliad as a catchall reader as opposed to having two interchangable, which seem's somewhat wasteful (no offense).
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:43 PM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xachariah View Post
I see a lot of hate for the Hanlin V3, I've got the Bebook flashed with OpenInkpot and have absolutely no issues with it. I see a lot of people calling it 'cheap and plasticky' but its very solid and has a utilitarian form. I am a pragmatist and only buy things I need, not because they are flashy and shiny. I don't think it should be rated poorly solely because it doesn't have a tacky metallic finish.

Sure it doesn't have a dedicated bookstore or support for DRM, but I strip DRM off as a matter of course. Organisation is basically hierarchical folders and I have arranged those in a way that I can easily find whatever book I want in seconds, even with over 300 books. (Basically by authors alphabetically.)

Battery life is less than advertised, but I suppose that is because I read the books from the SD card, I'm led to understand the SD card drains power above and beyond the e-readers normal functions.

I have found the .pdf support somewhat lacking, and I am considering upgrading my e-reader. It's a lovely device in every way but I may need to use .pdf's a lot for final year of university in 2010.

How good is the iliad with PDF's? I'm attracted to the idea of a device that's decent with PDF's and still a good mobile formfactor for reading normal fiction .prc. But I'm considering having two devices, one mobile for normal books (perhaps my current Bebook) and a larger reader for PDF's, but that seem's a little akward and inefficient.

I'm strongly leaning towards the iliad as a catchall reader as opposed to having two interchangable, which seem's somewhat wasteful (no offense).
iRex iLiad for PDFs: It all depends on the "philosophy" and your source material.
In my opinion, the idea behind PDF is, to "fix" the layout. So I don't want to have reflow or any other kind of "trick".
On iRex iLiad I simply mark the area I'd like to check out (column in a newspaper article, diagramm and surrounding text, comic including text bubble, ...) and blow it to full screen.
No fixed zoom levels, no limitations.
Marking the area of interest is quite easy and convenient. Via touchscreen, simply draw a diagonal line over the respective area.
Display quality is fine, way better than Sony 700.
And I enjoy, scribbling on PDFs, for example playing Kakuro. Or maybe putting notes on your professor's repetitoriums.
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:12 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Xachariah View Post
I'm strongly leaning towards the iliad as a catchall reader as opposed to having two interchangable, which seem's somewhat wasteful (no offense).
The iLiad works well with both PDFs and ebooks (MOBI, or with FBReader many DRM-free formats). It biggest downside is a poor battery life, ~12 hours, and no sleep mode plus a ~45 second boot time. You may want to wait for: Mainstream iRex 8.1-inch reader for 400$ (rumor). This will probably have software similar to the DR1000S, which is a significant improvement in some ways over the iLiad.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:45 PM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xachariah View Post
I see a lot of hate for the Hanlin V3, I've got the Bebook flashed with OpenInkpot and have absolutely no issues with it. I see a lot of people calling it 'cheap and plasticky' but its very solid and has a utilitarian form. I am a pragmatist and only buy things I need, not because they are flashy and shiny. I don't think it should be rated poorly solely because it doesn't have a tacky metallic finish.

Sure it doesn't have a dedicated bookstore or support for DRM, but I strip DRM off as a matter of course. Organisation is basically hierarchical folders and I have arranged those in a way that I can easily find whatever book I want in seconds, even with over 300 books. (Basically by authors alphabetically.)

Battery life is less than advertised, but I suppose that is because I read the books from the SD card, I'm led to understand the SD card drains power above and beyond the e-readers normal functions.

I have found the .pdf support somewhat lacking, and I am considering upgrading my e-reader. It's a lovely device in every way but I may need to use .pdf's a lot for final year of university in 2010.

How good is the iliad with PDF's? I'm attracted to the idea of a device that's decent with PDF's and still a good mobile formfactor for reading normal fiction .prc. But I'm considering having two devices, one mobile for normal books (perhaps my current Bebook) and a larger reader for PDF's, but that seem's a little akward and inefficient.

I'm strongly leaning towards the iliad as a catchall reader as opposed to having two interchangable, which seem's somewhat wasteful (no offense).
I am waiting for the new Sony 600 to come out and I've read Irex has a new model due out soon as well. I'm also sort of watching Aztak but am still not sure about that one. Irex seems to have great ereaders but they are priced higher. I do know I don't want a 5 inch screen. That just seems too small. For those with PDF requirements, most on this site suggest the Irex.
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Old 08-13-2009, 10:40 AM   #141
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The iLiad works well with both PDFs and ebooks (MOBI, or with FBReader many DRM-free formats). It biggest downside is a poor battery life, ~12 hours, and no sleep mode plus a ~45 second boot time. You may want to wait for: Mainstream iRex 8.1-inch reader for 400$ (rumor). This will probably have software similar to the DR1000S, which is a significant improvement in some ways over the iLiad.
The issues you raised with the battery life, lack of sleep time and a long boot time is definately a concern. I will wait to see what their newer reader is like in those respects. I have plenty of time seeing as I wont need good PDF support until next year at the outset.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:16 PM   #142
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Post 5", 6" or what display size to choose?

I'm considering the new Sony 300.
You seem to be sceptic about Cybook Opus.
5", 6" or what format to choose?
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:32 PM   #143
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I'm considering the new Sony 300.
You seem to be sceptic about Cybook Opus.
5", 6" or what format to choose?
For .epub, Cybook Opus in my opinion is absolutely okay.
For .pdf, I don't really like it. It zooms .pdf, no reflow.
Usually, I prefer zooming for .pdf over reflow.
But on Opus' 5" display, zooming simply doesn't work for me. Either there's not enough information on the page or the fonts start to "fade out".
For .epub, which is reflowed, on the other hand it's nice enough.

Concerning Sony 300: I haven't got it, yet. But looking at the pictures and the descriptions, it seems a bit "bulky" for 5". Cybook Opus more or less consists of the display and that's it, whereas Sony 300 does "waste" a lot of space for the buttons. If compactness and portability is your criteria, Cybook Opus may be the better choice.

Personally, I don't see the advantage of 5" over 6". I easily can take my Sony 505 for example with me, size is not an issue for me.
On the other hand, >8" really IS bulky, I very often don't take iRex 1000S or Kindle DX with me, simply because of traveling "light".
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Old 08-29-2009, 04:00 AM   #144
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Concerning Sony 300: I haven't got it, yet. But looking at the pictures and the descriptions, it seems a bit "bulky" for 5". Cybook Opus more or less consists of the display and that's it, whereas Sony 300 does "waste" a lot of space for the buttons. If compactness and portability is your criteria, Cybook Opus may be the better choice.
I'd love to see a comparison between the two (in size), next to each other. To make it complete, add a 5" Hanlin too.. I get the feeling the Opus would be the smallest of the three.
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Old 09-03-2009, 04:55 AM   #145
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Arrow Cybook Opus and Sony 300 in direct comparison

I've just received Sony 300, unit #10. I'll add pictures in a few hours.

Size:
Opus is a bit smaller than Sony 300, as Sony is "wasting space" with its buttons. Opus reminds me of my former PDAs, whereas Sony 300 doesn't seem that much smaller than Sony 505 for example.

Design:
To me, Opus is a bit "plasticky". It doesn't look as "cheap" as BeBook, but definitely less elegant than Sony's units. Sony 300 looks similar to the former Sony units, but it's available in a broader range of colors.

Screen rotation:
Cybook Opus: Motion sensor, auto-rotation like on iPhone. Working very well.
Sony 300: Manually via menu or zoom button. Way less convenient.

Display:
Both are 5" units, so obviously the display size more or less is identical. I don't see any difference in display quality (contrast, glare, sharpness, ...) either.

Pouch/Sleeve:
Both units don't have covers included, but sleeves.
The Opus sleeve seems way more stable. I've already ordered a cover from Sony, whereas I haven't found one for Opus yet.
UPDATE: noreve.com does have a leather cover for Cybook Opus for € 50.

File formats:
Cybook Opus supports .epub and .pdf (plus some other formats, not really important to me). Sony 300 supports the same, plus still its proprietary .lrx (DRMed) format. Owning about 300 Sony books, that's a huge plus for me.
When hearing about Sony switching to .epub, I've been worried whether my old Sony books still would be accessible (as with the .prc/.epub discussion for Cybook Gen 3, having to go for 2 firmware versions).

Page turns and speed in general:
I have to do some more testing with various books (identical on both units). But so far, Opus seems to be a bit faster than Sony 300 in page turns.
Opening books seems about the same.
Initial bootup (building the library of ca. 300 .epub and .pdf) is relatively slow on both units, Sony 300 seems a bit faster.
UPDATE: Sony 300 for turning pages is slightly faster then Cybook Opus, but Opus still is fast enough (faster than Sony 505 or Irex iLiad for example).

Touch and feel:
Maybe it's because I already own Cybook Opus for a month now, but I slightly prefer the page turn buttons on Opus to Sony's solution.
I usually read in portrait mode and conveniently use Opus' buttons on the right with my right thumb.
For Sony, I have to change my holding position, when using the buttons on the bottom.

Build quality:
I won't open the Sony, so I can't really tell yet.
With Cybook Opus (I'll add a picture in a few hours), I'm a bit annoyed by the battery and its compartment. In BeBook for example I can use a standard NOKIA battery. In Cybook Opus, theoretically the battery is user-replaceable. But it's not a standard battery. The battery is soldered with 2 wires. Maybe because of the small size they had to rotate it by 90° and therefor needed to connect via those 2 wires. But to me it simply looks extremely fragile and 1 of the 2 wires already is a bit loose. I wish, I never would have seen that...
In general, Sony looks more "stylish", but I can't see the inside...
UPDATE: There's a difference between Sony 300 and Sony 505 or Sony 700: Sony 300 has a "plastic frame" (snapshot on page 12 of this thread). Meaning: In side view, it's entirely "surrounded" by a plastic frame. I guess, that's more scratch resistant than being entirely of aluminum. But I'll need some time getting used to it - 2 materials, not 100% of the same color.

User Interface:
Most of the thumbnails of .pdf on Opus are "distorted" (see the pictures in my Opus thread). Haven't seen such "blemishes" on the Sony so far. Thumbnails for .epub on Opus are fine.
Opus has folders. Not perfect, in my opinion, but at least it's got them.
No thumbnail view on Sony, just the sort criterias we already know from Sony 505: Date, author, book title.

Momentary result:
Sony 300 definitely looks way more appealing. In daily usage, both of them are very similar.
Owning a lot of Sony books already, I'd go for the 300 if I would have to choose. But both of them are fine units.

Update: For comparing sizes, I've added a pic Sony 505 vs. Sony 300. Not that much of a difference...
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:22 AM   #146
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Quote:
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Build quality:
I won't open the Sony, so I can't really tell yet.
With Cybook Opus (I'll add a picture in a few hours), I'm a bit annoyed by the battery and its compartment. In BeBook for example I can use a standard NOKIA battery. In Cybook Opus, theoretically the battery is user-replaceable. But it's not a standard battery. The battery is soldered with 2 wires. Maybe because of the small size they had to rotate it by 90° and therefor needed to connect via those 2 wires. But to me it simply looks extremely fragile and 1 of the 2 wires already is a bit loose. I wish, I never would have seen that...
In general, Sony looks more "stylish", but I can't see the inside...
A note on the Opus battery: it's the same battery that the CyBook Gen3, and all of the (numerous) Netronix EB600 clones use, so there are many alternate sources of supply, and no realistic danger of it becoming unobtainable. Personally, I think that the user-replaceable battery of the Opus is a real benefit over the Sony.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:11 AM   #147
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A note on the Opus battery: it's the same battery that the CyBook Gen3, and all of the (numerous) Netronix EB600 clones use, so there are many alternate sources of supply, and no realistic danger of it becoming unobtainable. Personally, I think that the user-replaceable battery of the Opus is a real benefit over the Sony.
On the photo http://bookeen.com/shop/Productslist.aspx?CategoryID=31 I don't see the 2 wires. Do you have to solder them yourself? Or is the battery already prepared that way?
As you can see on the pic I've taken, the red wire already is loose.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:18 AM   #148
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The wires are a part of the battery, and terminate in a power connector which plugs into a socket on the right side of the battery compartment. Given that you never have to touch the battery in normal use, and it's held tightly in place, I really don't think that there's any real risk of anything coming loose.
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:12 PM   #149
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Device: iRex DR1000s *returned* / Sony PRS-505 *returned* / Asus eee PC t91
ok at first, AWESOME thread @ mgmueller

at first my little story, bought a prs505 last week, gave it back, because of incredible lack of use of pdf
and also the turning speed made me crazy

im studying Game Design and will continue with something other technical this year, so i got very much pdf files with pictures in it

my reading habits are about 50% pdf A4, 30% text, 20% news and feeds

so im leaning to an irex device, but i still dont know if the iliad or the DR would be better

i like the DR because of the size and faster processor, but its so heavy

what i like on the iliad is the wifi (usability not guaranteed as i heard), its handy and has an usb hub, but i dislike that its not supported anymore and will never get DRM support

so which one should i get?? i fear that the pdfs im mainly reading, will be too small on the iliad and the speed of the iliad is also making me crazy

are you able to read with one hand with the iliad?

ps: where did you order the DR1000s? because im from austria and dont know which store i can trust, ekios-online.de or buecher.de??
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:36 PM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floeee View Post
ok at first, AWESOME thread @ mgmueller

at first my little story, bought a prs505 last week, gave it back, because of incredible lack of use of pdf
and also the turning speed made me crazy
Can you tell us more about the page turning speed driving you crazy? I haven't heard any reports of that problem on the 505. The only thing I can think you are referring to is the black flash, and you will see that with any e-ink device. If that is the problem, I would have pointed you towards the jetbook, but you read pdf's and I'm not convinced a 5-inch screen will cut it for you.

So, what is the page turning speed issue? How long does it take? Is it only on certain book types?
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