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Old 06-08-2010, 01:43 PM   #1
Gwen2479
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Need help choosing and e-reader

Hello . I am new to this forum, but have been reading and enjoying many of the posts in my search for an e-reader. I have also read many online reviews. I think that I have narrowed down my choices, as I have found the posts here very helpful.
I will start with what I am looking for:
1) Portable and light - 5 or 6 inches will be fine. I also don' mind if the device looks sleek and cool too! A girl has to look fashionable when she can.
2) Easy to use on Windows PC, just want to hook up, load books, and read.
3) E-book format flexibility. I do not want to be limited to only 1 bookstore
4) Quick screen refresh and boot up times
5) Touchscreen, either stylus or finger, but not a deal breaker.
6) Expandable memory, and I do like the option of removable/replaceable battery
7) Wi-fi nice, but not necessary
8) Good, crisp paperlike image - Does the level of grayscale matter? 4, 8, 16?
I will be using this reader to primarily read books (maybe magazines, if it has that function). No glare.
9) Updatable device with good customer support for problems and good warranty.

OK, now that I have my wish list out of the way, here are the devices I am considering. These are in no particular order.
5inch:
1) Bookeen Opus Color, heard that this latest version has fewer headaches than previous model.
2) Pocketbook 360, according to posts it is pretty versatile and quick. I saw the video reviews, Is the audible button push with page turns really louder than some other devices?
3) Sony PRS 300

6inch:
1) Samsung E60, though haven't seen any new reviews since CES.
2) Pocketbook 302
3) Onyx or Neo
4) Bookeen Orizon - should I wait to get e-reader until I see what it can do?
5) Alex - though not sure about the 2 screens yet
6) Sony PRS 600 - my BFF has it and she loves it, but I noticed some glare and not so sure about that for me.

Well, that is where I am at with my choices after research. I didn't mention Kindle since it only really has 1 format for books, but I am curious about the new one coming later this year. There are so many selections right now and it can get really confusing and I really want to make sure that I am happy with my choice since I love to read. I also don't know if I should take the plunge and get one now or see what is coming this summer or fall. Your advise and experiences will be very helpful. Thank you.
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:05 PM   #2
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You should also take a look to the eBook stores. I think Barnes & Noble's eBook store is the biggest one out there. According to my tastes at least. B&N books don't work on some devices. And as you probably know Amazon eBooks only works on Kindle.

Decide which store suits you first, then decide about eReader. That's my advice.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:08 PM   #3
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B and N ebook format?

I was just checking, is it true that Barnes and noble is now using Epub so that those with other readers other than the Nook can access books in the store? Are there limitations to this? Will any of the readers I listed above be compatible with their bookstore?
Not really looking at Nook as I am on the fence about 2 screens and I was trying to avoid being limited to only 1 bookstore/format.
Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:21 PM   #4
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B&N is using ePub but with their special brand of DRM. Most of the others can't read it. iRex can. Alex can too I think.

But the important think is Nook can read other ePubs, thus Nook can read nearly all eBooks out there except Kindle ones. Including eBooks from Sony bookstore and Kobo books. That's why I recommend Nook. It can reach its own store which is the biggest and most of the others.

Last edited by GERGE; 06-08-2010 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:23 PM   #5
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Two screens is good too. Controls are a lot easier and faster.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:37 PM   #6
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I'd go for the pocketbook 360 - it matches most of your wants but doesn't have a touch screen. I believe you can turn the pages by just tilting the device so there doesn't have to be any button noise. The one in pearl looks sweet.

The Onyx / Neo is good if you want the latest tech and don't mind paying a bit more. You'd also probably need to budget for a case.

Alternatively you can wait till late Aug when the Kindle 3 comes out and see how that affects things.

Mike

PS I think I straddled just about every fence there.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:11 PM   #7
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Two screens is good too. Controls are a lot easier and faster.

I agree on the nook, the separate screen allows for better contrast on the e-ink screen and no glare as well.

The Nook is a solid e-reader, I highly recommend it.

as other's have stated it has e-Pub so feel free to shop where you like including the library.

Wirelessly download via wi fi or 3G, is a nice touch as well.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:08 PM   #8
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Thanks so far for the advice. So how have the firmware fixes on the Nook. I heard that it was pretty "buggy" for awhile.
As far as for price, I really want to stay around $300, but would consider more if it is a really good device.
The PB360 is also appealing, how is that 5in screen compared to 6in when reading for awhile?
Any issues with the Neo/Onyx that make the cost not worth it?
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:17 PM   #9
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Welcome, Gwen ^^

Based on your petitions, I'll give my stance about the devices I know better because I've tried them, the three 5-inchers: Pocketbook, Opus and PRS-300. I chose the Pocketbook, so it's the one I can speak more in depth about.

1) I find the Opus and Pocketbook most compelling design-wise.
2) Thanks to the Calibre program, managing your books shouldn't be a hazard regardless of your tech-savviness and the ebook reader model you choose. However, I dislike very much Sony's official software, after suffering it in a PRS-700, and I like much better Pocketbook's and Opus' stance, which is simply treating the thing like a USB stick.
3) Pocketbook beats them all here.
4) Pocketbook is quite rapid, Opus is a bit behind, and Sony is seemingly a bit on the slow side. However, it's something you get used to, and it shouldn't really influence your buying. Ereaders should be able to stay on for days without significant battery consumption.
5) None of the three have it. I think a touch screen is more useful the bigger the screen is.
6) Pocketbook offers you expandable memory and replaceable battery, if I recall correctly Opus does too, and Sony has both a non-replaceable battery and no memory slots.
7) None of them have it.
8) 5 inchers and magazines won't like each other. As for reading normal texts, the number of grayscales is irrelevant. The screens of the three are very good.
9) My experience with Pocketbook customer support is VERY satisfactory, mainly through this forum. Sony's is quite satisfying too, in their own way. Opus, on the other hand, seems to have an "absent landowner" business model.

My order is Pocketbook 360>Opus>PRS-300.

Oh, and the noise of Pocketbook 360 is kind of a legend here, everyone has watched that video But the main thing is that the camera's mic is very close to the buttons, so the button click sounds are overestimated. I have seen no owner of a Pocketbook 360 who has complained about it. Plus, mike_bike_kite has pointed you to the famous FBReader180 which allows you to turn pages with the G-sensor and touching no buttons. The feature works better every version, and even if I wasn't very convinced of it at the beginning, I have ended up using it because it's quite nice.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gwen2479 View Post
3) E-book format flexibility. I do not want to be limited to only 1 bookstore
There is no reader today that is limited to one store. There are a good amount of book sellers that sell books without DRM and support multiple formats. Some such bookstore are Smashbooks, Oriely, Bean, and Fictionwise(only with their Muilt-format books).


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Originally Posted by Gwen2479 View Post
OK, now that I have my wish list out of the way, here are the devices I am considering. These are in no particular order.
5inch:
1) Bookeen Opus Color, heard that this latest version has fewer headaches than previous model.
2) Pocketbook 360, according to posts it is pretty versatile and quick. I saw the video reviews, Is the audible button push with page turns really louder than some other devices?
3) Sony PRS 300
I canít comment on the Pocketbook/Bookeen. But the 300 I bought for my sister. The 5Ē form factor is great, though it fails miserably on your 5,6,7, & 9 requirements. Sony has terrible customer support.

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Originally Posted by Gwen2479 View Post
6inch:
1) Samsung E60, though haven't seen any new reviews since CES.
2) Pocketbook 302
3) Onyx or Neo
4) Bookeen Orizon - should I wait to get e-reader until I see what it can do?
5) Alex - though not sure about the 2 screens yet
6) Sony PRS 600 - my BFF has it and she loves it, but I noticed some glare and not so sure about that for me.
You might also want to look at the EZReader Pocket PRO (supports 20+ formats). As far as specs this one is great it only lacks on requirements 5 & 7. It also comes in six different colors

I know you donít think much of 3G, I surly didnít until I had a 3G device. Having the option to read blogs/forums at the local coffee shop or any unplanned downtime is quite an excellent experience. Itís also nice being able to read on an eInk device over 3G and not be concerned about battery life because eInk measures battery time in weeks not hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwen2479 View Post
I didn't mention Kindle since it only really has 1 format for books, but I am curious about the new one coming later this year. There are so many selections right now and it can get really confusing and I really want to make sure that I am happy with my choice since I love to read.
You have some misconceptions on the Kindle Iíd like to clarify. The Kindle supports three formats Topaz, MOBI and PDF. (You can scratch topaz as irrelevant, Iím just presenting the facts).

Myth on Multiple stores
Many people think that having access to more bookstores gives one a better selection of books and prices. This is far from the truth. Amazon in general has the best book and better prices than all the bookstores combined. But donít take my word for it. Go to inkmesh.com and use that search engine.

Over my years reading eBook thereís one thing Iíve observed, if you live in the states. While I had the SONY and could buy at multiple stores what I found that I had to do so more by force than by choice. While most books stores carry the same title, some specialized more than others which force one to by at bookstore X if one wants that book. Discounts I would receive on one bookstore obviously did not carry over to the next. The result is I have several accounts scattered across different books stores. I have lost books due to contract changes from these stores or DRM changes. And customer support from these stores is not the best.

Every time I bought a book I would look at the Amazon store only to find that same book in one store location at a better price. There was that odd occasion where books where cheaper elsewhere or a killer sale would arise.

Since I bought the Kindle shopping is much easier and Amazon customer service is the best. This is important since it is one location for supporting your device and books.

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Originally Posted by Gwen2479 View Post
I also don't know if I should take the plunge and get one now or see what is coming this summer or fall. Your advise and experiences will be very helpful. Thank you.
You know what Iíve come to the conclusion, Iíve owned a PRS-505, used a PRS-300, and own a Kindle. I also read on my phone on occasion. The end result is I enjoy reading on all these devices about the same. I do like the eInk slightly over the phone because of the screen size and clarity. I have no doubt that regardless of any device you pick you will love, the true joy is not in the device, but the experience of reading electronically. The benefits and cost savings are a huge plus. You want proof jump into any device forum and you will see mostly raves of device x,y, z.

The only reason I like the Kindle more than any other device is because of it's TTS and annotation features. There are a lot of folks here who could care less for those features and once removed the experience is quite the same across all readers.

In the end you the most important thing to remember when buying an eReader is to evaluate the following three categories.

1) Content
2) Customer service
3) Key features (Expandable memory, TTS, touch screen, dictionary, etc...)

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Old 06-08-2010, 09:12 PM   #11
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Wow, everyone's input is great so far, but is making it hard to decide! So far I have narrowed it to PB360 and Nook, though I may also want to wait and see the new Kindle coming n August?
I am still curious about Orizon (touch version of Opus?) and Samsung E60 (since will be part of B&N).
Does any one know about the PB302 (though heard it has same reflective issue as Sony PRS600?)
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:14 PM   #12
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I was just checking, is it true that Barnes and noble is now using Epub so that those with other readers other than the Nook can access books in the store? Are there limitations to this? Will any of the readers I listed above be compatible with their bookstore?
Not really looking at Nook as I am on the fence about 2 screens and I was trying to avoid being limited to only 1 bookstore/format.
Thanks.
B & N epub only works on their reader or on pc. You CANNOT transfer the book say to a Sony reader. I tried one & it didn't work. Fortunately it was a freebie, so I'm not out of any money for something that I can't put on my Sony reader.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:31 AM   #13
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Does any one know about the PB302 (though heard it has same reflective issue as Sony PRS600?)
It's very reflective, but an anti-reflective foil is included in the package and it seems to solve the matter. The Pocketbook 602 will come soon, and it has a non-reflective screen by default.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:09 AM   #14
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I suggest that you go to a store and play with the ones you're considering. Of course you can't do that with some like the Pocketbook because they don't sell them in stores. I say this because of what I read, I was ready to buy a Nook and went to Best Buy to get one. After playing with it for awhile I didn't purchase it because it just didn't somehow feel right to me. Didn't like the feel of the Sony's on the next display either. Both of these are good ereaders and lots of people are happy with them. Maybe I'm just to picky.
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:40 PM   #15
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Further investigation

OK, so I have had the chance to play with a few models. My BFF has a Sony Touch PRS 600 (red) and her sister has the PRS 300 (pink). And when I went out for a BFF girls coffee night, we went to B&N and played with the Nook.
Here were my impressions. I love the color selection for the Sony (what can I say, it appealed to the inner fashionista )and the feel of the metal casing. I liked the touch on the 600 but there was some reflection depending on where I was sitting. I also thought that the print could have been a little darker. I did not like that you can't change the battery, did like expandable memory.
The 300 had a darker print and again I liked the pink. What I realized with this model is that I prefered the 6inch size for reading rather than the 5 inch. I think it is because it is closer to the page size of most paperbacks. Though not difficult to read, 5inch seemed a bit small. I did like the responsiveness of the buttons, I did not like that you can't change the battery and there was no expandable memory (just in case I go real nuts and deside I need a "Library of Congress" sized book selection).
Both Sonys were easy to use and figure out and were overall appealing in design.
OK, so a B&N my BFF and I tried the Nook. I would have to say that it is much improved since I had played with it in Dec. '09 (which is what had taken it off my list last year). Actually it was faster and the LCD touch icons seemed a bit larger and easier to push. We also remarked that the print display was darker than her 600. It had the 6inch size that I found easier to read with and though it only comes in white, it did have some accessories that catered to the nagging inner fashionista in me. Also, pretty good e-book selection. Is it true you can use it with the Sony book store too? My BFF wants to know.
It took a little getting used to navigating on the LCD to control the e-ink, but not terrible, just more of a learning curve compared to the Sonys.
So, right now, not completely sold on Sony.
Choices so far 6in reader:
1) Nook (has alot of what I wanted in reader)
2) PB 302/602 - lists features I like, but can't find one to play with
3) Samsung E60 - looks cool, lists features I like, no demo to try
4) Orizon - looks cool, right features, no release date.

Anyone know of any bugs to be wary of with the Nook? How about where in CT I can try the others? Thanks!
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