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Old 10-01-2010, 01:33 AM   #1
levander
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Without handwriting, what's the point of Touch?

Started getting me interesting in Sony because it's readers used Touch instead of thumb keyboard. So, I bought a PRS-600. The handwriting works well enough, but the note-taking software isn't so great. Every time you write something on a book page, it makes a new note. I'd a lot rather be able to highlight something in a book, write something on the page about the highlight, then have that stored as a single note.

And then there's the glare issue with the PRS-600 that's not horrible, but just a little too much to deal with.

So then I'm excited about the PRS-650, that's supposed to get rid of the glare issue! But, I'm reading on this forum, and the handwriting feature sounds like it's worse than it was on the PRS-600. Like the PRS-650 doesn't register the touch fast enough to keep up or something.

Thing is, what's the uber-usefulness of touch if not handwriting? Is it just so you can swipe the screen to turn the page? It's a little nicer than pushing a button, but all in all, it's a so what.

I'd get a Kindle instead, but the thing is I keep my electronics for 10 years easy. I try hard not to buy anything that I don't want around in 10 years (except food) to avoid getting all kinds of clutter around. And, the thing is, I have no faith in Amazon's mobi format being around that long. If Kindle supported EPUB, I'd definitely get a Kindle.

But, the thing is, given my options, it's seeming like a cheap Kindle is the best option. Then I'll just throw it away in a couple of years...
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:09 AM   #2
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Personally, I really like the touch screen--even though I don't use it for handwriting/taking notes. I've used a Sony 505 and then a nook and now have a 650. I like being able to choose an option by just touching it on the screen. Also love the dictionary on the 650--looking up a word by just double tapping it is great. I find myself looking up words that I'm pretty sure I know the meaning of just because it's so easy. Sometimes I'm surprised at the meaning or other meanings a word can have.

The touch screen is really useful for books with lots of links too. I have a copy of the New International Version of the Bible which has links for each book, then for each chapter, then each verse. Navigating these links on my 505 was almost impossible. I'd have to hit the forward or back buttons numerous times to get where I'd want to go. With the 650, it's just a quick tap on the screen.

Now that I've had my 650 for a few days I'd have a hard time giving it up.

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Old 10-01-2010, 02:11 AM   #3
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I don't annotate my books, but I do use hightlighting. And that's easier with a stylus than with a cursor...
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:46 AM   #4
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I guess it would be much easier to use a dictionary. just touch the word.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:14 AM   #5
levander
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Damn, I was just get used to the idea of saving the hundred dollars and getting a Kindle. You guys have listed some very useful touch features though. Not nearly as useful as handwriting would be to me, but useful nonetheless...
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:32 AM   #6
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thing is, you thing too much... * sorry, can't help it ^^

My colleague at work brought his newly bought kindle 3, and I tried highlighting in it (u know.. press up to get to your desired line, click, move to the end.. etc)
I can't imagine doing that all the time.

Then I saw this youtube video and I'm completely sold on annotating, highlighting, simple handwritten notes, and tapping to dictionary.

When you mention handwriting, do you refer to handwriting recognition?
Cause the worlds' best minds been at it since god knows when, but still lacking till now. And there is usable enough software out there, I believe reader's spec won't be enough to run it.

So, I'm with you about the need of good note-taking solution on readers, but I just don't see the future yet in handwriting. If only they provide some sort of on screen keyboard, like ipad, iphone and android. Anybody see swype?
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lack View Post
If only they provide some sort of on screen keyboard, like ipad, iphone and android.
On screen keyboard does pop up for searches and text notes, haven't played with it much but it is there in the PRS-650. I find it fairly responsive.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:34 AM   #8
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Comparison PRS-600 and PRS-650?

Sorry for the double post...

Anyone out there have both PRS-600 and PRS-650 and willing to comment on responsiveness of handwriting? We're not talking handwriting recognition, where the words you type turn into computer text, I'm talking just straight-up writing on the screen and the lines/letters you write shows up near as fast as you write them. Anyone have feedback?

I don't have both, so wouldn't be much help here, but interested in the comparison. Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:34 AM   #9
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After you type the note, how is it shown on screen? Do you have to open the note, or is it just gonna stay on that page? *I'm hoping for the latter*
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lack View Post
Then I saw this youtube video and I'm completely sold on annotating, highlighting, simple handwritten notes, and tapping to dictionary.
He only did a very quick demo of handwriting. It was like he wrote one word that was only four letters, and he had his hand covering what he was doing the whole time. I wonder if that was intentional slight of hand for marketing purposes? Then, after he wrote it, he had to like go back over the letters and redraw them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lack View Post
When you mention handwriting, do you refer to handwriting recognition?
No... of course not. Just being able to save my handwriting as an image for now would be good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lack View Post
Cause the worlds' best minds been at it since god knows when, but still lacking till now. And there is usable enough software out there, I believe reader's spec won't be enough to run it.
There's decent handwriting recognition software out now. I've never seen it on a portable device like an e-reader or a tablet, but I've seen it work really well on a PC. Might require more processing power than available on a portable device? A guy with a Wacom tablet hooked up to his PC was showing it to me a few months ago.

And, they had shorthand type handwriting recognition on Palm devices (remember that company?) a long time ago, it was called graffiti. The original Apple device that was a precursor to the Palms had their own shorthand that people loved and raved about, it was called Rosetta.

Last edited by levander; 10-01-2010 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:08 PM   #11
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actually, windows mobile device from 4 years ago also have handwriting recognition.
a linux based motorola phone back then also have it. But from my personal experiences with those, it is still not usable enough. Tried it once and I'm all amazed, but use it for daily stuff and I find it not responsive enough. We're talking about writing an "a" and getting back "g", and pauses you need to do between letters.

I find this though, so I might be wrong that it is not usable enough.

Pam, huh.. great company they were. hope HP do them justice.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:39 PM   #12
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Don't use handwriting but dictionary and books with links require a touchscreen. That is i can't really read my newspaper (epub version) on the PRS-505 but on the PRS-900 as it contains a lot of links.
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