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Old 06-01-2007, 12:43 PM   #1
Bob Rose
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Help Please; (In my 70's, and hard for me to decide)

Hello,

I have read many, if not all, of the posts regarding what to buy, and I would like to take the liberty of asking this, please.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, this would be a gift for a person with an eye neurological disorder that can only read text that is formatted rather narrowly; perhaps 2 or 3 inches.

I found a Borders that had the Sony unit to play with, the PRS-500 one, and it looks pretty neat. But sure is expensive !
Also, from what I can tell, their book store prices are higher than the ebookwise store.

Can't find the ebookwise 1150 to actually look at anywhere, unfortunately, so it's really hard to judge between them.

The 1150 price sure does seem more realistic, though.

I'm in my 70's now, and it's a bit hard for me to go thru everything.

Could someone please help me out, and help me to decide between the 1150 and the Sony ? Pros and cons, clarity, that sort of thing.

**Is the Sony really "worth" an additional $ 250 ? Why ?

What would I be giving up with the cheaper 1150 unit ?

Also, if there is a good article on a web site, perhaps CNN.com or another site, would it be downloadble ? Easily ? For either unit ?

Much thanks, appreciate your time,
Bob
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:59 PM   #2
jwhayn
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From an almost senior citizen:

I have used the eBookwise 1150 unit but now have the Sony. The 1150 is hard to read with my aging eyes. The Sony is easy to read as long as you have enough ambient light (or a clip-on reading lamp). Go for the Sony. The prices are also falling based on the message traffic at http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11242.
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:36 PM   #3
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To jwhayn's personal observations (which I can't match yet, but I'll get there, I'm sure) I'd like to add this "nutshell" answer: the most significant physical difference between the two devices is the display. The 1150 has an LCD display, and the Reader has an e-ink display. This difference brings several practical differences with it. jwhayn has already mentioned the readability, there's also a huge battery life advantage to e-ink over LCD, you'll see something on the order of 3~4 weeks of battery life on a charge with e-ink, versus a day or so on the LCD. Plus, the Sony gets that with a much smaller and lighter battery than the 1150 has, which makes it more compact and lighter.

The downside to that is that e-ink displays are a lot more expensive than LCDs displays are, which is where you get the price difference.

I believe that the 1150 won't handle RTF type files without conversion, which the Sony will, which may make it easier for you to use. If I'm mistaken I'm sure someone will happen along and correct me.

One other point I'd like to make is that the higher prices you're seeing in the Connect Store are for books that are still in their 'hardback' stage. It does take Sony a bit to notice that they've left that stage and adjust the prices appropriately, but they seem to mostly get around to doing so, eventually. Further, there are a number of other places to get books. In fact, if you're willing to mess with converting them, you can buy .LIT (Microsoft Reader) format books from Fictionwise and convert it to a format that the Sony Reader will display. I can certainly understand not wanting to mess with that, however.

Hope that's helpful to you.
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:00 PM   #4
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The Sony eink is more forgiving to my older eyes and worth every penny for it.

If you're using a PC like now, you can easily translate most web files with Microsoft Word. That would take care of most of what you read.

An other point is battery charge. The Sony has the best around.

As with most electronic devices, finding ebooks in one format is the most difficult task. We have a lot of public domain titles here that have been formated and may I add embellished by our fellow bloggers. That alone is good for a couple years reading so far!

As for the gift you are preparing, may I suggest that you do it as a group. That effort alone might lessen the burden.

Good luck!
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
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I'm not sure how large a font you are looking for, but the 1150 only supports two sizes. There are some screenshots in the review that is referenced in eBookWise eb-1150 hands-on review. The screenshots are representative of what you get, but for normal eyesight the text is more readable than you might expect. I don't know if there is a way to change the base font size when preparing your own documents (as there is on the Sony Reader).

I assume you have already seen the post: high Contrast reader. The Web DT 375 CE referenced there might be an option if there was someone with technical skills to set it up right, otherwise not.
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:59 PM   #6
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What reader technology works best with what vision problems?

I started this thread a while back hoping to generate some feedback from those who have solved some of the vision problems affecting older eyes. Maybe over time we could gather some solid recommendations about issues like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy and more.

If you have a vision problem, let us know what works for you.
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rose View Post
Hello,

I have read many, if not all, of the posts regarding what to buy, and I would like to take the liberty of asking this, please.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, this would be a gift for a person with an eye neurological disorder that can only read text that is formatted rather narrowly; perhaps 2 or 3 inches.
What I can do is try take one of the books I have in Book Designer and set the margins so the text comes out around 3 inches and then take a photo of the screen and post it in the Sony Reader forum for you to see how it looks. I don't think I'll have time to do this today, but I should have plenty of time to play tomorrow.
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:45 PM   #8
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For a restricted field of view, a small device with many pixels may be your best bet. The Nokia 770 is a good example. See Visual Tour of FBReader on a Pepper Pad 3 for many screenshots. These are on a PepperPad but the Nokia has the same number of pixels (800x480) on a smaller screen (4.2" vs 7" diagonally). With FBReader, you have very fine control over the text on the screen including wide margins if you need them. A downside (some would say upside, in any case a feature) of the Nokia, and FBReader, is that it can only read non-DRM e-books. If it is legal where you live, one solution to this is to buy encrypted Microsoft Reader .LIT files and then explode them to non-encrypted .OEB html files - which FBReader handles nicely. The same approach (start with .LIT) may be necessary if you need to reformat a DRM book to be optimally viewable on the Sony Reader, and I think this kind of "fair use" is even legal in the US.

The Nokia 770 isn't the only candidate with a LCD screen - a high res. PDA might work well and will usually support MobiPocket Reader and other good e-book reading software.
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:27 PM   #9
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Bob, please see the thread at http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...2998#post72998 for the photo I posted of the Sony Reader with about a 2 inch column.
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:19 PM   #10
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I hope you don't mind if I confuse the issue a little further. I love my Sony Reader. I read more with it than I did with my Palm devices. But if you are looking for something that has a narrower screen, a refurbished monochrome Palm might be a good choice.

The monochrome Palms use two AAA batteries which are available in rechargables or off-the-shelf alkalines. They are always available. The mono screen gives good contrast without backlighting so it is easy on the eyes. The font size can be quite large.

I bought my Palm M125 as a replacement for an older unit. I found it refurbished for US$30. It is perfect. I usually carry it with Me, as it is more portable than my Sony Reader. I like eReader. It offers reverse video backlighting which is great. I use Plucker to download news sites so I always have some casual reading available. In addition, I carry quite a few books on the Palm. It had an SD card, so I can carry as much on it as I can on my Sony Reader.

It is not an expensive purchase, so it makes a good first step into the world of e-books.

See here and here and here.

Last edited by mogui; 06-06-2007 at 08:23 PM.
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