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Old 05-11-2011, 04:06 AM   #1
violagirl
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Looking for a budget eReader with a few caveats

I primarily live in the US (though I'm currently in Korea until mid June), and I am considering getting an eReader, but a budget one, because I will only be able to use it for a year or two, because I plan to move outside of the US in a few years to Asia, and realize I would not be able to use an eReader abroad.

I have a few needs. The main requirement is it MUST be E Ink, and it CAN'T be a Kindle, because I love library books, so I want to use my eReader to check out ebooks as well. So no LCD screen, and no Kindle.

Next, I'd like it to be decent at displaying PDFs. I realize no eReader displays PDFs that well due to a small screen, but some seem to do better than others.

Lastly, I'd like it to be able to display documents in Asian languages (Japanese, Korean). I realize due to region blocking, I couldn't buy Japanese books unfortunately, but if I had a PDF or doc file in Japanese, I'd like an eReader that can display it.

Are there any decently priced eReaders that fit the three things above? Wifi is NOT important to me, I don't even mind not having it. My max price is $150, but $100 would be much more preferred if available.

Once I am living somewhere permanently, I will buy a good eReader that will last me, but for now, I just need a budget one for a year or two. I'm also open to getting a used one if those are reliable (though I'm not sure of a safe place to get them used).

Thanks in advace,
MM
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:57 AM   #2
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Why wouldn't you be able to use your Ereader outside the US? The Sonys, Kobo, Kindle, and many of the smaller brands are international.

Kindle is getting library access sometime this year.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:06 AM   #3
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Actually I would not call a kindle or Sony a budget reader. To me the term budget referrs to the lower cost readers which when applied to electronic readers means those south of $75. I have spoken to many reader owners and the one that does the best at foreign leangeuege books, non-english, tends to be the bookeen, although that is not what I would call a budget reader either.

Budget readers do not tend to work well with non-english books, the one budget reader would be the kobo which I have seen on the information super highway for $60. No for even more budget readers, I will be clear about their disadvantages as well. Do you have a smart phone already? That can do the job as well, you can download and install readers for $0 from Mobipocket, Borders, Amazon, Barns and Nobles and Over Drive (for the library books). This way the reader costs $0 but its draw back is the tiny screen so you will scrolling all of the time.

Bottom Line - which is more important - foreign langeuge support or price. Foreign Langueges go for the bookeen for price try either the Kobo or a smart phone.

Update: For a cheaper electronic reader try a Kobo, I think someone told me that they have seen it for something like $75.

Last edited by jbcohen; 05-27-2011 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:31 AM   #4
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Why wouldn't you be able to use your Ereader outside the US? The Sonys, Kobo, Kindle, and many of the smaller brands are international.
I was given the impression that if I bought a US e-Reader, I would only be able to buy books licensed in the US, so if I moved, say, to Japan, I couldn't buy any Japanese books without buying an e-Reader made in Japan, nor could I use it to check out any library e-books at a Japanese library. Was I incorrect in this assumption?

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Bottom Line - which is more important - foreign langeuge support or price. Foreign Langueges go for the bookeen for price try either the Kobo or a smart phone.
I guess I misunderstood budget. For e-Readers, I thought that was 100-125 dollars-ish. Sorry for my bad word choice.

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Do you have a smart phone already? That can do the job as well, you can download and install readers for $0 from Mobipocket, Borders, Amazon, Barns and Nobles and Over Drive (for the library books).
No, I've never had a smart phone, and that's out of the question. I am one of the (admittedly paranoid) ones who does not want a phone that I can use the internet on, because I'm too afraid of those viruses that can be used to spy on your conversations. I have a non-smart phone with no internet access, and I plan to keep it that way as long as possible. So that's not an option in this case.

Last edited by violagirl; 05-11-2011 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:25 AM   #5
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If you are a US citizen and have a US Credit Card you will be able to buy books from the US store. Even if you are not, there are ways to buy books from the US store. Essentially you need to have a US address and a US credit card. I am guessing that you have both. The companies do not need to know that you have left the US and I don't think they check IP addresses. If you want to be safe, you can use a VPN blocker so that the companies cannot read your IP address.

You get to define what a budget e-reader is for you. If you want to spend up to $150 on an e-reader then go for it. Don't let someone elses definition of what a budget e-reader is influence your decision. People have different priorities and different income levels and that sets their budget not some random number in the sane. Personally, I think the $114 Kindle is a budget e-reader. It has all the benefits of the Kindle and you have to deal with some ads and offers on the screen savers. It is less expensive then the WiFi model and the 3G/WiFi model. That would meet my standard of budget. If your standard is anything under $150 then great. It just so happens that that number gives you a wide variety of options.

I would never consider reading on a smart phone. The screen is far to small. There are a decent number of folks on this board who have moved from a smart phone to a 5 or 6 inch ereader for exactly that reason. Smart phones strike me as a nice stop gap if you don't have yor ereader with you and you want to read but I would never consider a smart phone as my full time reader.

For $150 or less you are looking at being able to purcahse a Sony 350, a Kindle WiFi, a Kindle Special Offer, a Nook Classic, a Kobo, and a bunch of other ereaders that I don't know a thing about including their names.

The Nook Classic is probably out for you because it is sold only in the US. You will have to set up an account with a US address and credit card initially to buy books. You can use gift cards but I think a credit card has to be associated with the account at all times. You will have to use a VPN blocker if you are outside of the US because BN has fully locked down their store. You can make it work but you might have more problems with exchanges nad customer service living overseas with the Nook then you would with the others.

The Sony 350 would be a good fit. It reads EPub and so is open to a multitude of bookstores which makes shopping easier for you overseas. It has a 5 inch touch screen, good battery life, and is loved by just about everyone who uses it. It is an international device which should make support a bit easier although there are mixed reports about Sony's Customer Service. It can read library books right now. It does not have WiFi or 3G. I think you can get it for $129 right now.

The Kindle is another option. I know you said it was out because you want to read library books on your e-reader. Since that feature is coming, I am going to discuss the Kindle. Two models fall into your price range, the WiFi and Special Offers version. They both have 6 inch screens. They both have WiFi which gives you a bit more freedom to buy books when you are not near a computer and some folks have reported that the text base web browser works well in a pinch for checking email and news sites. The Amazon bookstore is massive and easy to use. There are other bookstores that you can buy Mobi books from and send to your Kindle using email or the USB cord.

I do not know if the Kindle is going to have library access in Japan. If you have library access in the US then you will be fine.

It sounds to me like the Sony 350 would best fit your needs. You don't seem to be thrilled with internet access on your phone so I am guessing that internet access on your ereader is not a plus. It reads EPub so is guarenteed to be able to read library books in Japan. It is an international device so you will be able to get support across the globe pretty easily.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:10 AM   #6
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The Kobo is the best budget reader that supports ePub for your international use. $99 is a pretty sweet deal.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:34 AM   #7
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The Kobo is the best budget reader that supports ePub for your international use. $99 is a pretty sweet deal.
It is a crappy reader. You cannot bookmark pages and it has no dictionary. I don't think you can take notes with it or highlight on it. Pay the additional money and get an e-reader that does all of those things. A Nook can be made to work but the Sony would be easiest.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:41 AM   #8
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It is a crappy reader. You cannot bookmark pages and it has no dictionary. I don't think you can take notes with it or highlight on it. Pay the additional money and get an e-reader that does all of those things. A Nook can be made to work but the Sony would be easiest.

I think you might be a little hard on the Kobo. For one he did ask for a budget ereader so budget usually means basic features as well.

but in defense of the Kobo it does bookmark, in fact it bookmarks across multiple devices.

No dictionary? A little odd but for a budget eReader I don't see it has a deal breaker. I can count on one hand the last time I used the built in dictionary in the year and half I owned my two nooks ( and that's alot of books)

As far as note taking and such. Well that is very subjectable to the indvidual needs, reading habits and hobbies or occupation. Wow, just thinking the last time I took notes on a novel I was reading was way back in college.

So I think that depends on the reader. I have never used my notes, highlighting etc. I'm not saying the OP will or will not but to most people who are general book readers, note taking isn't actually a high priority.

I like the kobo for a basic ereader. Nice form factor, love the quilted back. solid battery life, supports ePub, Decent enough screen, very intuitive. solid bookstore platform, wireless.

If you are looking for just a basic ereader and don't need alot of the extra's for under a $99 this ins't a bad deal at all.

but having said all that I do believe the Sony's are the best choice here, though no exactly budget.

Last edited by boswd; 05-11-2011 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:03 PM   #9
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Since you are currently in Korea, I would look to see if you can buy there a Dr. Yi, which is a Chinese device. Its American counterparts are the Ectaco jetBook and the Aluratek Libre.

No problem with oriental alphabets.

You requested eInk, but these have the reflective TFT screen which those of us who have one think is superior to eInk because it has blacker text. It's like looking at a digital wristwatch.

I have a jetBook Lite, which reads almost all of the formats, and can handle the DRM'd ePubs.

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Dr._Yi
http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/JetBook
http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Aluratek_Libre

http://www.amazon.com/Ectaco-JBL-EN-...5151372&sr=8-1
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:47 PM   #10
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I guess I misunderstood budget. For e-Readers, I thought that was 100-125 dollars-ish. Sorry for my bad word choice.
No, you weren't wrong to use it, he's just weird about that. He used to go on rants about the Kindle 3 not being $100, and apparently has no problem buying multiple e-readers that end up costing more than $100, even though basically everything under $100 is junk.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:17 PM   #11
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If you are a US citizen and have a US Credit Card you will be able to buy books from the US store. Even if you are not, there are ways to buy books from the US store. Essentially you need to have a US address and a US credit card. I am guessing that you have both. The companies do not need to know that you have left the US and I don't think they check IP addresses. If you want to be safe, you can use a VPN blocker so that the companies cannot read your IP address.
Amazon and B&N both look at the IP address when selling books. With B&N especially, you have to have established your proxy IP address before visiting their site.

Sony just asks for a US address and BooksOnBoard never had any problems selling to me. I don't think that any libraries track where their users come from. Establish your library accounts while you live in the US and you should still be able to use them after you move.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:43 PM   #12
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I was given the impression that if I bought a US e-Reader, I would only be able to buy books licensed in the US, so if I moved, say, to Japan, I couldn't buy any Japanese books without buying an e-Reader made in Japan, nor could I use it to check out any library e-books at a Japanese library. Was I incorrect in this assumption?
This is very much incorrect. Some books have geographical restrictions which restrict where they can be sold, but that's a restriction on the book, not the reader.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:39 PM   #13
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The Kindle is another option. I know you said it was out because you want to read library books on your e-reader. Since that feature is coming, I am going to discuss the Kindle.
Since this would be an intermediate eReader, I want something that has library access already. I don't buy books unless they are reference books, very rarely. I buy novels that I loved so much I want to own them physically, or to support my favorite authors. I can read a novel a day, which makes buying them impractical for me. (Yeah, I was that kid you'd see teetering out of the library trying to balance 15 books ) I realize ebooks are still limited at libraries, but I'm sure I could still find books to read, considering I have library cards in two states, both of which have ebooks. I'm also annoyed that Kindle is making libraries pretty much have to buy two versions of an ebook to support Kindle as well. It just makes things harder for the library, and harder to get more ebooks overall. I don't think I want to support that at this time.

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The Sony 350 would be a good fit. It reads EPub and so is open to a multitude of bookstores which makes shopping easier for you overseas. It has a 5 inch touch screen, good battery life, and is loved by just about everyone who uses it.
I'll think about that one. Me and touch screens have had our issues, so I'm not a huge fan, and I've heard the touch screen eInk screens don't look nearly as good as the non-touch ones for some reason. But I'll keep it in mind. ^^ Thank you for the suggestion.

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I think you might be a little hard on the Kobo. For one he did ask for a budget ereader so budget usually means basic features as well. I like the kobo for a basic ereader. Nice form factor, love the quilted back. solid battery life, supports ePub, Decent enough screen, very intuitive. solid bookstore platform, wireless.
It always makes me chuckle that I have a screenname with girl in the name and people still call me "he" online. That aside, the Kobo sounds nice. I'm debating whether the page change button would annoy me though, as I'm left-handed. The Kobo sounds like it might be worth it for me.

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This is very much incorrect. Some books have geographical restrictions which restrict where they can be sold, but that's a restriction on the book, not the reader.
Thank you, I didn't know that. I might have been thinking about something similar to how the Kindle uses a propriety format, that Japan has its own propriety format on its eReaders.. it wouldn't surprise me knowing Japan.

After all this advice, I think I'll look at the flea market these next few weeks. I am seeing that PDF support won't be great unless I pay more, and at this point I'm not willing to do so, so if I just want to use it for books, it'd be great if I could find a used one for 80 bucks or so. If not, maybe I'll get a Kobo. ^^ If anyone has any more suggestions for just an ereader that has eInk, and can read library books and Japanese books (so I'm nixing the PDF part), I'd be happy to hear them!
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:33 PM   #14
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The Sony PRS-350 uses infrared beams for the touchscreen hovering above the screen and is as clear and matte as everyone elses touchscreen. Actually it uses the same Pearldisplay as the Kindle (its only build into those two at them moment), but has the touchscreen functionality on top.

Its PDF handling is the best right now of all readers, but you have to keep in mind that PDF's are not meant to be read on a reader, anyway.

As for books check out the Singapore Free Library.
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:07 PM   #15
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I'm also annoyed that Kindle is making libraries pretty much have to buy two versions of an ebook to support Kindle as well. It just makes things harder for the library, and harder to get more ebooks overall. I don't think I want to support that at this time.
Amazon is *not* making libraries buy extra copies.

Quote:
Your existing collection of downloadable eBooks will be available to Kindle customers. As you add new eBooks to your collection, those titles will also be available in Kindle format for lending to Kindle and Kindle reading apps. Your library will not need to purchase any additional units to have Kindle compatibility. This will work for your existing copies and units.
http://overdriveblogs.com/library/20...s-and-schools/
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