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Old 06-14-2007, 06:19 AM   #1
flubu
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A plethora of un-choices (bit of a rant)

I want to buy an e-book reader. I have a bit of money stashed away in a sock for that specific purpose. The only problem is that I can't make up my mind as to which one I should get.

I want something that will handle text, html, pdf (as much as currently possible). Being a software engineer, I want something that has a SDK (hopefully java) that I can play around with. Most of the general specs are identical, or very similar, across the board.

Here's my thought process so far:
  • Iliad
    yay: droolworthy
    nay: too expensive for me, sadly. Not an option.
  • Handlin V2
    yay: good supported formats, possible SDK
    nay: not available in western europe($$ shipping and VAT)
  • STAReBook
    yay: interesting reviews. fast. sexy.
    nay: lack of formats, no SDK, not available in western europe($$ shipping and VAT)
  • Sony
    yay: good reviews. large user base. lots of software (SDK?). lots of books.
    nay: not available in western europe($$ shipping and VAT)

NAEB and Bookeen also have very interesting specs, but nobody seems to be able to get hold of the damned things.

That seems to be the main problem for all of the devices, except the Sony and the Iliad: NOBODY KNOWS WHERE TO GET THEM! The only place to get most of them is via a website that is poorly designed or has no actual content. This does not inspire confidence, nor is the fact that if you need to get the unit serviced, you need to mail it back to China, Turkey, Ukraine.

So far, I'm leaning towards getting a Sony, because a coworker is going to the US at the end of July and will be able to bring me back one.

Can anybody shed light as to what is going to happen in the short term for western europe availability for the Bookeen, STAReBOOK and Hanlin units?
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:39 AM   #2
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flubu, first of all welcome on board Indeed, the market for e-readers looks kinda chaotic right now. If you are not in a hurry, you may want to wait a bit longer for the next generation of E Ink readers to come out (such as the Bookeen Cybook or the NUUT, which feature E Ink's next generation ink film (giving better contrast ratios and refresh speed).

At least the Cybook will be available more easily through the European channels of Bookeen. Availability sometime this summer.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:55 AM   #3
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Most everybody here that has an e-ink device has had to wait for it for a long time. If you look in older threads they're loaded with unavailability frustration comments. If you need one, now you have the possibilities of the web to help acquire any one.

These devices are all part of an infant state technology but to me all of them in their way, do what they're supposed to unless one is very finicky. Personally, my Sony will display my reads for a long time!
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:33 AM   #4
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Welcome to MobileRead, flubu!

I agree with you that things are kinda jumbled right now with a number of not yet really understood options.

But on the bright side, there actually are options now. A year ago, there really weren't not so far as e-ink goes. At that time, we were doing a mass petition of iRex to actually release the iLiad! What a difference a year makes!
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flubu View Post
NAEB and Bookeen also have very interesting specs, but nobody seems to be able to get hold of the damned things.
It is very likely that they are using the latest generation of E-Ink screens, which are just now becoming available.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:31 AM   #6
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Lots of us on the Sony Reader forum are outside the US, and we've used all sorts of different ways of getting hold of them. I bought mine from eBay, others by directly from US suppliers who ship internationally; others get friends visiting the US to buy one. Pretty much everyone seems very happy, no matter how they got it!
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:52 AM   #7
nekokami
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I'd suggest a second hand iLiad, as long as you don't mind the boot time and short battery life. That's what I did.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:01 AM   #8
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I've seen the NUUT. I've forwarded the website to a friend living in Korea to ask for a bit of a translation and some details
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:03 AM   #9
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Indeed. I'm just chomping at the bit. I'm not good with this patience thing

On another completely different matter, whereabouts in Montreal? I used to live in Snowdon (and the McGill ghetto for ages before that) before I moved to the UK
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:05 AM   #10
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if all else fails, it's probably what's going to happen. I have a coworker going to Washington in July. I'm just wondering if I should wait a bit longer. I'd have to bu a Sony and find that as soon as I have it, all the other units will become available locally
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flubu View Post
Indeed. I'm just chomping at the bit. I'm not good with this patience thing

On another completely different matter, whereabouts in Montreal? I used to live in Snowdon (and the McGill ghetto for ages before that) before I moved to the UK
I'm from Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu on the south shore of Montréal. The reader is still unavailable in Canada so I resorted to the help of resourceful and some powerful friends to get one from the States. And I thank them again for the Nth time! I love my reader.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:25 PM   #12
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The main issue as I see it is less on the hardware and more on the software. What formats will these new reader support? How easy will it be to purchase books in that format or how about converting from something to that format? Don't just go with the specs and say yes I want that. Also look very closely at the software issues. I was able to go for a Sony Reader because I came here and found the tools available to help me get content other then purchasing from the Connect store.

I don't care how beautiful the hardware is, if the software is crap, then you'll have some nice hardware with almost nothing to do with it. remember, it's all about the software since the hardware is probably good enough.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:58 PM   #13
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I bought the Sony Reader on my trip to the US. I am perfectly satisfied with it. It does everything I need and I have read many books on it in the past two months. I have not heard of any regrets in buying the Sony.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:37 AM   #14
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[*]Handlin V2
yay: good supported formats, possible SDK
nay: not available in western europe($$ shipping and VAT)
Hanlin IS available in western europe.
Not V2 but V8

have a look at
http://www.walkbook.net/
http://www.walkbook.net/index_en.php

328 Euro (DHL express shipment and VAT is included)
If you are in European union you do not even pay import duty.
328 is 436.4696 U.S. dollars according to google.

It is tad more expensive than SONY Reader, *but*
- you pay duty when you bring in Reader - up to $70
- you have to pay for shipping - up to $100
- you have to pay handling fee for a reseler ...
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:47 AM   #15
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I don't care how beautiful the hardware is, if the software is crap, then you'll have some nice hardware with almost nothing to do with it. remember, it's all about the software since the hardware is probably good enough.
Don't want to contradict but take a look at the first Kindle. Ugh! Personally I'd veneer some wood over it to give it looks, that would be just enough to help lesten it's shape... well lack of shape.
But you're right about software and content. Without it it's not a reader.
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