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Old 11-11-2010, 09:06 PM   #1
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Choosing between backlit readers...

Hi there,

I've been lurking for a while, reading up on the subject of ebook readers and would like to ask for your help and/or advice please? I currently read a lot of books on my HTC Desire phone and it's great for what it does. But, I'd like something a bit bigger and have sort of decided on one of the 5" readers. I don't want to go above £100 and am not interested in anything by Sony.

What I can't live without:
Backlight - I read a lot in bed and therefore e-ink is out.
epub format - Preferably with DRM facility. I use Calibre a lot and like working with the epub format. I guess this rules out Kindle too.
SD or similar card slot - I don't want to rely on the often small internal memory.
Decent PDF compatibility (not a showstopper, but important) - auto text reflow would be great.

Bearing in mind my pickyness (is this a word?!) and budget, I've been looking at 4 possibilities:
Sovos 5-inch Color eBook Reader SVEBK5B - £70 at play.com
The Elonex 500EB 5" Color eReader - £99.99 at Waterstones
Imagin 5" TFT eReader - £64.99 at WHSmiths
View Quest Mediabox 5" Media Tablet - £99.99 at play.com

These are all very similar in spec and price and I'm struggling to choose between them. Does anyone here have experience with any of these that might help one way or another? Are there any others available in the UK I've missed? I've read all the reviews I can find and am still not sure which to go for.

Thank you

Leaston
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:17 AM   #2
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PocketBook IQ would fit all of your criteria

Some Pictures
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=106440

Discussion Thread
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=103403

It's available from our site www.dulinsbooks.com

PDF support by PocketBook is frankly the best available. The text Reflow for instance now reflows pictures and diagrams with the text. No on else does that currently
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dulin's Books View Post
PocketBook IQ would fit all of your criteria

Some Pictures
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=106440

Discussion Thread
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=103403

It's available from our site www.dulinsbooks.com

PDF support by PocketBook is frankly the best available. The text Reflow for instance now reflows pictures and diagrams with the text. No on else does that currently
Except it's not 5"... Oh, and the price (it's around €160, so, around £135)

Last edited by Sweetpea; 11-12-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:38 AM   #4
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What I can't live without:
Backlight - I read a lot in bed and therefore e-ink is out.
External lights work very well with eInk screens, so I really wouldn't rule them out. I know that a Kindle wouldn't fit your requirements, but I have a Kindle with a lighted cover, and it works beautifully when reading in poor light.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:57 AM   #5
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Except it's not 5"... Oh, and the price (it's around €160, so, around £135)

ohh hahah i completely missed the last part of the first paragraph.


5" devices.......

Oh! the Elonex 500eb http://www.elonex.com/products/ebook/500eb-ebook.shtm

Its £99.99 Backlit color, Its built by Gajah for Elonex so the build qualtiy will be very good. I don't about the software but it supports Adobe DRM'd epubs etc, eitehr 2gb or 4gb (unclear from the site) plus SD expansion .


Elonex has also set up a "free library" http://freebook.elonex.com/index.htm where you can grab over a million titles in the public domain
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:26 PM   #6
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External lights work very well with eInk screens, so I really wouldn't rule them out. I know that a Kindle wouldn't fit your requirements, but I have a Kindle with a lighted cover, and it works beautifully when reading in poor light.
I prefer backlit, instead of working with those clip-on lights. Even a lighted cover is nothing more than a clip-on light which is built-in in the cover. Especially in winter, I try not to stick my nose from under my cover, and we have a thick, heavy, woolen duvet (I believe the name is...)

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Oh! the Elonex 500eb http://www.elonex.com/products/ebook/500eb-ebook.shtm

Its £99.99 Backlit color, Its built by Gajah for Elonex so the build qualtiy will be very good. I don't about the software but it supports Adobe DRM'd epubs etc, eitehr 2gb or 4gb (unclear from the site) plus SD expansion .
I've looked at that device as well. It has a nice price, and I have heard some nice things, but also some negative things (though, I always wonder how much of that is simply because it's not an e-ink screen, but a backlit LCD...) But I decided if I would buy another backlit LCD, it must be 7" (and I do love the way the IQ looks!)
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:33 PM   #7
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Hi,

Thank you all for taking time to reply, much appreciated!

I would be happy with a reader with a 7" screen, but they all seem so expensive compared to 5" and the LCD models are fairly scarce in the UK at the moment.

Dulin's Books - The PocketBook IQ does look rather nice and the US price is spot on. However, I've only seen one UK supplier (after extensive Googling) so far and it's selling for £135, which is way over what I want to spend on my first ereader.

HarryT - I considered an e-ink reader with some kind of book light to begin with and ended up discounting it as it would just be too much of a faff. Told you I'm picky!

Sweetpea - I'm with you about winter. I like to be tucked up under the duvet with my (electronic) books. Can you remember what it was you read about the Elonex model that was criticism? I'm leaning toward this one as it's the nicest looking one of those I mentioned and there's very little in the way of reviews online yet.

The ViewQuest Mediabox seems to be discontinued with a couple of UK suppliers, so I'm going to take that one off my list. I'm still not convinced about e-ink, despite reading a number of threads here about book lights as a solution. The Kindle cover with the built in light is a great idea, but I can't justify £49. Ouch! Not to mention, I really am not impressed with the thought of being tied into Amazon, or any other ebook supplier for that matter. I'd rather have the freedom of choosing my own ebook format to use and store to spend in.

Please keep the comments coming if you can think of anything, it's really helping.

Thanks,
Leaston
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:13 AM   #8
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Hi.

I have just sent for a zzbook. I had not really researched it, but it does seem to be what I wanted, ie. a 7 inch colour screen ebook reader, and it plays movies in HD and also mp3's.

It does have an lcd screen, but I used to read ebooks on my pda at work, so I am hoping it will be ok.

Will let you know what its like when it arrives, hopefully middle of next week.

Cheers

Gray.
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:31 AM   #9
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Hi Gray,

Now, that's one I haven't seen mentioned anywhere. Thanks for the mention. I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on it when you've had time to play. After looking at the website and spec, I still can't figure out if this is backlit or not. It's a very nicely specced reader for the price though.

Cheers,
Leaston
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:53 PM   #10
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Hi
have a look at these two they are both very similar that they are probably the same.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWNX:IT

and

http://zzbook.co.uk/
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:11 AM   #11
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HarryT - I considered an e-ink reader with some kind of book light to begin with and ended up discounting it as it would just be too much of a faff. Told you I'm picky!
If you get a cover with a built-in light, it's really no faff, because it's always there. I guess it depends when you do most of your reading. If you normally read in daylight, and only occasionally at night, an eInk screen is probably better; if you normally read at night, and only occasionally in daylight (and never in full sunlight) then go for backlit LCD.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:31 AM   #12
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Hi,

Thank you all for taking time to reply, much appreciated!

I would be happy with a reader with a 7" screen, but they all seem so expensive compared to 5" and the LCD models are fairly scarce in the UK at the moment.

Dulin's Books - The PocketBook IQ does look rather nice and the US price is spot on. However, I've only seen one UK supplier (after extensive Googling) so far and it's selling for £135, which is way over what I want to spend on my first ereader.

Please keep the comments coming if you can think of anything, it's really helping.

Thanks,
Leaston
Hi Leaston. While I understand that you don't want to pay too much money, you should consider how often you are going to use it, and how long you will keep it.

Unless you are one of the people who just has to upgrade constantly, the PB IQ should last you for years of reading enjoyment, which means it will pay for itself in a very short time.

I think it's sad that consumers have ALLOWED themselves to be conditioned into dumping perfectly good equipment just so they can have the latest & greatest for right now then have to spend even more money the next year repeating the process.

I have a Sony 600 that I got at the beginning of this year. I love it & it works great. (with lots of light) But I do a bit of reading at night as well, and unless I get the lighting just right, it can be a pain. So now I want a backlit reader, and the PB IQ just might fit the bill for me. I will wait for its release and read reviews carefully to see if it will be a good match.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:16 PM   #13
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Hi again,

Thank you for the further replies. These, along with several hours spent on this forum have now caused me to waver if I'm being honest. HarryT has posted a very good question. I do most of my reading in light that's suitable for a paper book and perhaps 30 minutes in bed each night. Couple that with the thread in the Android forum where I learned yesterday that the Kindle can sync with the Android app on my mobile and I'm now questioning my need for a backlit reader! It's almost as bad as one of those Government U-turns, isn't it? Sorry

cfrizz - I will use the reader every day for a few hours at a time. Keeping up with the latest and greatest isn't important, so I'd probably keep the reader for 1-2yrs before thinking of upgrading, and only then if new models are worth it.

I've had this bee in my bonnet about the reader I get being backlit, probably because of how useful that is to me when I read on my phone. However, reading in the dark is only a fraction of the time.

As the Kindle can sync, I'm teetering! I'm thinking I can use a Kindle during the day and just continue reading in the dark on my mobile without having to mess around with trying to manually keep track of which books I'm reading and what page I'm on. The Kindle will do it for me. That's a real selling point for me.

Cheers,
Leaston

Last edited by leaston; 11-14-2010 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:11 PM   #14
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As the Kindle can sync, I'm teetering! I'm thinking I can use a Kindle during the day and just continue reading in the dark on my mobile without having to mess around with trying to manually keep track of which books I'm reading and what page I'm on. The Kindle will do it for me. That's a real selling point for me.

Cheers,
Leaston
That's a feature of the Kindle that works extremely well. I often read a book on both my Kindle and iPhone, and the seamless "sync" between the two works beautifully.
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:59 AM   #15
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Sweetpea - I'm with you about winter. I like to be tucked up under the duvet with my (electronic) books. Can you remember what it was you read about the Elonex model that was criticism? I'm leaning toward this one as it's the nicest looking one of those I mentioned and there's very little in the way of reviews online yet.
The problem had to do with Adobe DRM, ADE didn't recognize the reader and thus secure EPUB's couldn't be transferred. But that post was from september, no idea if there have been firmware upgrades. Also, if you don't buy drm'd books or are in the habit of clearing that junk, it shouldn't be a problem at all.
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