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Old 08-14-2007, 10:17 AM   #1
SwiftOne
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Picking the right reader for me

I've read ebooks on an old Palm PDA before without (many) problems, but I'm now looking at reducing my dead-tree purchases and have a few new criteria. I've browsed around and gotten a general feel (Looking for the new bookeen reader in Sept/Oct), but I wanted to check with those that have been in the market longer.

(1) My wife doesn't like to read at length off of computer screens. I'm hoping the eink will take care of that (she's willing to give it a shot), but I've never actually seen it in person. Will this help her?

(2) On my wishlist is a text search capability. It seems I'm out of luck without going the PDA route (which leaves behind the Eink option), but I wanted to make sure of that.

(3) One area of interest is Letter-sized PDFs. (We're RPGers, and a lot of the Indie and newer products are available as non-DRMed PDFs) I've heard the current generation of readers handles these poorly...can anyone elaborate? Do you have to scroll? Is it shrunk so you have to zoom? Do they just not work?

(4) I'm a linux user, so open formats and cross-platform capability are really helpful.

(5) I really want some sort of expandable storage. SD is great, but other non-proprietary options are also acceptable.

(6) I could care less about MP3 players. Nice perk, but I'd prefer to drain my batteries through reading

Suggestions?
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:42 AM   #2
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The best eink reader/device (for reading PDF) that's currently available is the iLiad. The larger screen size along with the higher resolution makes it currently the best choice for reading PDF. That said, it's still not perfect, but it's the best there is at the moment.

The Sony and Cybook both have screens/resolutions that are just too small for your letter sized PDF.

And the iLiad is very open. Just look in the iLiad section here and you'll see just how open. The iLiad is also the most expensive at $699 (US). But, for what it is you want, it's the only choice. You won't be happy with the Sony or Cybook.
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:18 PM   #3
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The eInk screens are very impressive. Find yourself a Borders, Sony Style, or other store that carries it, and check it out (if you live in the US, where that is possible).

Having said that, I chose the eBookwise because of the features I wanted which were not available on the Sony, and were too expensive on the iLiad. As for the PDF capabilities, you should read the various threads here on the topic. Many seem very unsatisfied with the Sony treatment. While I understand the iRex is better, the refresh time of the eInk screen does make panning a zoomed image more cumbersome than it would be on an LCD (another reason to check out the eInk in person). PDF works best if you can create PDFs with custom page sizes, or converted with some of the available tools -- another topic well-covered in other threads here. I would suggest trying out some of the processes discussed to see if that is something you want to deal with.

JSW is right, in that the iRex is probably the only one that even might be practical for your needs, but I am not sure even then. If you do not want to deal with the PDF conversions, the best option may be to leave that function behind on the desktop or laptop, and just choose the best ebook device for your other reading.

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Old 08-14-2007, 01:22 PM   #4
ElaHuguet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwiftOne
(1) My wife doesn't like to read at length off of computer screens. I'm hoping the eink will take care of that (she's willing to give it a shot), but I've never actually seen it in person. Will this help her?
Totally! It's a very different experience... take a piece of paper, put it into on of those plastic sleeves, and you have an e-ink screen, just slightly greyer, white is light grey, black is (very) dark grey (more light=better contrast).

Quote:
(2) On my wishlist is a text search capability. It seems I'm out of luck without going the PDA route (which leaves behind the Eink option), but I wanted to make sure of that.
The iLiad is getting better at this, it can now search for files, but not inside files (yet).

Quote:
(3) One area of interest is Letter-sized PDFs. (We're RPGers, and a lot of the Indie and newer products are available as non-DRMed PDFs) I've heard the current generation of readers handles these poorly...can anyone elaborate? Do you have to scroll? Is it shrunk so you have to zoom? Do they just not work?
I'm currently reading some networking manuals, A4 (aprox. letter) pdf's, and putting them in landscape and zooming in on half the page (and then just clicking on down, half a page at a time), works fine.
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Old 08-14-2007, 01:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The iLiad is also the most expensive at $699 (US).
I still have a Zaurus I don't use that makes me leery of dropping $700 on an experiment. Meanwhile my ancient Handspring still gets occasional use. I'm likely to take 60% of my desire for cheaper than I'll get 70%. At least until I'm sure.

On the Zaurus PDFs took forever to load and page-switch. How is the performance on that with other readers?
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:54 PM   #6
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PDF on the Sony isn't slow. But it's not all that good for viewing letter sized PDF. A 6" screen is just too small.
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