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Old 09-26-2010, 08:49 PM   #1
Nakor
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Thinking of changing devices, need good note-taking for lit classes

Okay, I'm currently using a Libre, but I'm a bit frustrated at this point with the poor battery life, and at the same time I'd like to get a device that allows both highlighting (or underlining or w/e) and note-taking since I'm now taking literature classes in university. Price point is a big issue of course. PDF support is probably important, especially if it turns out I can use any of my non-English class texts with it. Also I have some PDF format manga/comics I'd like to work on the device.

I was thinking about either the Sony PRS-650 or the Kindle 3. The Kindle is cheaper ($250CAD vs $165USD plus possible duties), but lacks ePub support which is, effectively, my entire library. I can convert everything, but it would be a bit of a pain in the backside. (Did they finally get rid of that $2 surcharge on Canadians though? I was just poking around the site and I didn't notice it....) I've also heard the Kindle isn't quite as good at handling PDFs natively. I also kind of like the idea of hand-written notes more than the typed ones.

I was wondering if you guys could offer me any advice on whether the 650 or Kindle sounds like the better choice, or if I've perhaps overlooked some epic device that warrants my attention. Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:32 PM   #2
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So, I'm a Kindle 2 user and I would highly recommend it. However, in your case I mean that more as a signal that I'm not biased when I recommend you look at an iPad.

Two reasons, screen size and interactivity for note taking and highlighting. If you are reading PDFs you really need a bigger screen.

Hopefully, someone who has tried the Sony touch screen will chime in. However, my expectation is that no touch screen will give you a smooth annotation experience on an e-ink screen. Highlighting is probably fine. But if you want to draw arrows, scribble notes, and make diagrams you probably need another technology.

I have tried an iPad and an app called iAnnotate for pdf's for two weeks. It was great. I must admit however, that in the end it didn't meet all of my needs and I returned it after two weeks.

However, if your main use case is note taking, pdfs and annotation then I think an iPad will be better, albiet much more expensive. On the other hand, if your goal is reading I recommend a Kindle and from what I hear from others, you won't go wrong with a Sony either. The Kindle can support notes its just not as smooth and integrated as the ipad, and I'm not sure I would want to be in class typing in notes on a Kindle.

If you do decide the Kindle is the best route for you, don't worry about the conversion process. As long as your Epub's have no DRM, that is. Load up the latest version of calibre and set it to convert in bulk. Come back in a bit and it'll have the job done with no hassle.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:40 PM   #3
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good note taking for class I would get the new sony over the kindle. that is a no brainer.

also depending on your budget the iPad or Entourage Edge.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:46 PM   #4
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iPad is a bit out of the price range. And if I were to consider something like that I'd probably make the leap to a full on tablet PC instead, as I would have more uses for such. But mostly I'm looking for a reader where I can jot notes about tone or comparisons with previous parts.

I should clarify that I wouldn't be note taking in class (at least, that wasn't the plan), but rather just when I'm reading through one of the assigned books.

Weight is also an issue with something like an iPad or tablet, since I'd have to haul it around all day with my physical books and such.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:47 PM   #5
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Ok then yeah go with the newer Sony's they offer the best note taking, actually writing on the screen. It's pretty sweet.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:29 AM   #6
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Hi!
Check out this video review of the Sony 650. As boswd said above - it has sweet note taking ability. Good luck!

http://www.the-ebook-reader.com/sony-reader.html
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:39 AM   #7
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I say go with the Sony, you won't regret it. Here is another review, of the PDF support. It also has 12 dictionaries built in, which might be of use to you, as you have mentioned that you have foreign language PDFs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co5bP...eature=channel

If you are looking for a larger screen, then have a look at the Pocketbook 903 which is supposed to be released soon. Best of luck with your lit classes!
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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I'd get a device with a usable keyboard but that's just me.
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
I'd get a device with a usable keyboard but that's just me.
The Sony models have on-screen keyboards that can be used with the stylus, so you can take "typed" notes as well.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:12 PM   #10
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Tough choice, both devices are very good and either choice is a great choice.

Kindle Pros
- Physical keyboard, is much much faster than hand written notes than using the SONY virtual keyboard. On Capacitive touch screens I prefer virtual keyboards, but on eInk the screen refresh is too slow and is difficult to type/write.
- (Opinion) Note taking, highlighting, and dictionary use are much more efficient and easier to do on the Kindle.
----- 1) There are no menus just move the joystick to the location.
----- 2) You don't have to move your hands to highlight, annotate, or use the dictionary. With the SONY Touch screen you have to use two hands and you have to use a menu to access these features. (Trust me it makes a difference)
- Unless SONY really changed their way of annotation, there is no easy way to get your comments, and notes off of the SONY. The Kindle has a MyClipping.txt page for your highlights, bookmarks, and notes.
You can also use Mobipocket Reader in conjunction with your kindle to access edit your notes, but this takes a tad bit of know how, but very easy to do.


SONY Pros
- Well the touch screen feature is awesome.
- Can draw
- Has a note pad so you can take notes, not a reading feature but cool to have
- Has Reflow(but I hate this feature and never used it)

PDF
I think at this point they are both on par, none have a hard advantage over each other. Especially in contrast as was the case with K2 vs SONY 600, where the SONY 600 had much better support for PDF.

One can argue that the Panning feature the SONY 650 has is much better than the K3, but I've found panning to just be difficult to read next to useless, however YMMV.

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Last edited by =X=; 10-01-2010 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Fixed some grammer
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:48 AM   #11
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Thanks for the advice all. If I do drop the money on the upgrade I think I'll probably consider the Sony then... but I'll perhaps wait for a drop in price first. That also gives me time to see how the classes go, and see if I actually want to major English or if I decide to go with Math instead. (Torn between the two... both add nicely to the high school teaching degree I want to get.)
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