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Old 06-02-2011, 06:31 PM   #1
nyCecilia
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Yet another Which One? question

I have an Entourage Edge Dualbook (10") that I picked up used to be a single purpose machine (music reader) and never figured I'd want to get an ereader for reading ebooks, but here I am...it's taken me a while to get to this because there's so much info and it changes so quickly, so I was kinda wondering what people might suggest for me.

I'm thinking that I'm looking for a companion to my little Win7 netbook that travels with me. The Dualbook won't work for me in this case because it's too big and is Android (I'm not anti android but there are some programs I need that I can't run on it so it's not ideal for travelling), so I'd have to carry the netbook anyway, which totally defeats the purpose of the portability of each. So the smaller and lighter the better, but not so small that it makes it impossible to read. My eyes are soooo tired of reading computer screens (I'm a programmer), so I guess I'm hoping the eink screen will help with strain/fatigue (?).

What I'm looking for is epub and pdf (I make my own ebooks at home lol) but I was wondering if it's a crazy idea to hope for something that also does audiobooks (mp3)? I looked at the new Nook Touch and Kobo Touch and they don't seem to have this. Although I really don't want to be tied to Amazon, the Kindle seems to have it (?) plus a feature where books can be read to you, which sounds intriguing. Does it really work?

Also, since I'm sort of new at this ebook thing, I'm not sure if there are things I'd want that I don't know about yet. Also, I don't mind tinkering a bit. Thoughts?

So, in summary (and somewhat in order of importance):

--best screen to reduce strain
--light as possible
--epub, pdf
--mp3 audiobooks
--not Amazon/restrictive

Thanks for your input!
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:36 PM   #2
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Does your nick name stands for New York?

Asking because depending of the country you live, that will narrow or expand your device's selection ...
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Old 06-02-2011, 06:44 PM   #3
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Does your nick name stands for New York?

Asking because depending of the country you live, that will narrow or expand your device's selection ...
Ah, yes it does! (Although I don't live there anymore...but still in the US.)
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:51 PM   #4
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I have the Nook Color, two of them in fact. I also have an Asus Transformer Android tablet. The Asus is 10.1 inches, and the Nook Color is 7. I find the Nook easier to read laying down with because its more book size. The screen on the Asus is far superior in all ways, but the 10" size is just to much. The 7" size of the Nook Color is about perfect for a eReader, IMO.

Neither of these devices are E-Ink, (I find reading fine and easy on both of them, esply since I read in bed at night), I mention this more in respect to your comment about "as big as possible". If it was me, I would be looking for around 7 inches.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:22 PM   #5
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I have the Nook Color, two of them in fact. I also have an Asus Transformer Android tablet. The Asus is 10.1 inches, and the Nook Color is 7. I find the Nook easier to read laying down with because its more book size. The screen on the Asus is far superior in all ways, but the 10" size is just to much. The 7" size of the Nook Color is about perfect for a eReader, IMO.

Neither of these devices are E-Ink, (I find reading fine and easy on both of them, esply since I read in bed at night), I mention this more in respect to your comment about "as big as possible". If it was me, I would be looking for around 7 inches.
I think my comment was "as light as possible" (implying smaller) but I think 6-7" would be my best bet for readability, 5" just seems kinda small?

Thanks for the feedback on the asus and nook. I think I'd prefer to stick with e-ink for two reasons: easier on my eyes (or at least I hope) which spend a good 10-hours a day staring at an lcd, and better battery life. There's a point about reading at night, though...with the dualbook I can stick a light in a USB slot, whereas most of the readers I see either don't have USB or don't have one to spare So now I'm back to not knowing what to do about e-ink vs. color.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:31 PM   #6
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I think my comment was "as light as possible" (implying smaller) but I think 6-7" would be my best bet for readability, 5" just seems kinda small?

Thanks for the feedback on the asus and nook. I think I'd prefer to stick with e-ink for two reasons: easier on my eyes (or at least I hope) which spend a good 10-hours a day staring at an lcd, and better battery life. There's a point about reading at night, though...with the dualbook I can stick a light in a USB slot, whereas most of the readers I see either don't have USB or don't have one to spare So now I'm back to not knowing what to do about e-ink vs. color.

The primary selling point of the NookColor for me was the ability to read at night in bed with out a flashlight. Personally I do not see any eye strain from it, but I know some people say that they do. I like flipping it to night mode (white text, black background) which I do not think (but do not know for sure) that e-ink supports?

My wife uses a Nook Color also, and she likes the advantage of being able to read photo type books (Bird books, children's books, etc) in addition to the night time reading.

Battery life does not seem to be a problem for us, we plug in every few days and have never had any worries about it getting low.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:32 PM   #7
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I would recommend you a Kindle.

Contrary to what people believe or think, you are not going to be locked into Amazon. There are a lot of stores where you can download books on mobi format.

Without starting a debate about ebook formats, the main issue with popular readers here in USA is the DRM. Without DRM, the conversion is really easy and straight forward.

Why the Kindle 3

-Light
-Nice PDF features like zoom.
-eink
-Under $200.00 (139 and 189, depending of the model)

I would suggest to take a look on new Nook Touch. I just saw/play with one today and was impressed (see my own thread on Nook forum) But I can't make a comment about PDF features and it does not support mp3 I think. But it is really, really light and has ePub as main format. Turn pages faster than my Kindle 3 by the way and feels really good on my hands.

If you are not planning to read at bed all the time, I would not recommend you an LCD device. Also, keep in mind that 6" could be small for some PDFs and honestly, I've not found better PDF reader than iPad, but iPads are LCD devices.

Last edited by jocampo; 06-02-2011 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:33 AM   #8
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I have a small Gateway Netbook as well, so like you I decided to pair it up with an eInk reader device, with specs pretty much exactly as you described.

The reader I chose was the Sony PRS-650.

I was lucky to snag a 650 several months back before they became so scarce for $199, so I was even able to match your price range requirements.

Sadly this is pretty tough to do these days, so I am not sure how useful this information is, other than the fact that I can confirm to you that your first instincts were correct; the Sony PRS-650, along with my Netbook is an incredibly nice combination.

The eInk screen on the Sony does work well as an alternative to a back-lit screen to reduce reading fatigue, and for times when I do need color or higher resolution, my Netbook fills my needs in this category quite nicely without the need for a tablet.

Because a tablet profile device concentrates it's weight along it's narrow lower edge when you prop in up in your lap, they tend to feel much heavier than they are.

My Netbook weighs in at about 2.7 pounds, which may sound heavy compared to a Nook Color at only a pound or so, but because the weight is spread over the full base of the machine when it is setting on my lap, I have always found my Netbook feather light, where the first time I propped up a Nook Color in my Lap, I thought "Wow, is this thing Heavy!"

I think that another reason that I thought the Nook Color seemed a bit heavy, was that it's almost exactly TWICE as heavy as my Sony PRS-650.

So, I agree, since you have all your bases covered already as far as backlit LCD devices goes, I would look at finding a nice lightweight 5 or 6 inch eInk device.

Don't be too hung up though on finding a reader with a MP3 player built in.

The MP3 player built into the Sony PRS-650 is quite nice (about 50 times better than the Kindle which is total garbage), but I have found that it is still usually more convenient to use a much more compact dedicated portable MP3 player.

Look at it this way, if you read every day, you should still only have to charge your reader about once a week.

On the other hand, if you listen to audio books every day, you will have to charge the reader pretty much every day.

If the Lithium Ion battery is good for 360 cycles, this would make the difference between it lasting less than a year vs. about 7 years.

Just something to think about if you find that the Kobo Touch or Nook Touch looks really good to you otherwise, but lacks a MP3 player.

Don't get me wrong, I am pleased to have this feature for airplane flights and such, where it's nice to be able to pack a little lighter, but I wouldn't consider it a "make or break" feature.

Last edited by delphin; 06-03-2011 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:16 PM   #9
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@jocampo, you make some great points, and I just read that the kindle is int'l which would help for a summer trip to mexico where neither my phone nor netbook will work. Something to think about, anyway.

@delphin, it sounds like we have a similar setup. both my netbook (a ctl) and the dualbook weigh in at just under 3 pounds (plus their gigantic electric bricks--ugggh), so the issue is that I can't reasonably take both, but I could get away with a super light reader + the ctl netbook. The sony sounds really nice, and I figured they'd do mp3 better than kindle, but you make a great point, I'm not looking primarily to use an ereader for mp3s, my phone handles them well enough, but more as a backup for audiobooks, and some books that have audio involved.

The battery issue is huge though, and I suspect that the reason the nook color is so much heavier than your sony is the battery power to run the color screen? Yet another reason to stay with e-ink until they figure out a more efficient color screen.

I was also thinking one thing I'd really like to use a reader for is google reader (or some sort of rss program), I haven't even begun to research this, but do either the sony or the kindle do that sort of thing?
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:24 PM   #10
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@nyCecilia

If you do not read Magazines or a lot of PDF devices, stay away from LCD devices. If all you need is read a simple book, any eink device will help on that matter A classic looks the same on color or black and white.

eink devices are lighter and more portable than regular tablets and usually give you weeks or even months of battery with a single charge!

Yes, Kindle 3G is International, Nook it is not. You can check Kindle 3G coverage on Amazon website but I think there is in Mexico or most important areas there. I don't use it frequently but Kindle 3 has a browser so will allow you to check your email; very basic interface but better than nothing.

Nook touch does not have a browser and it's wifi only. I don't remember about Sony, but I think there is just one model with wifi capabilities and not sure if has a browser.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:37 PM   #11
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@nyCecilia

If you do not read Magazines or a lot of PDF devices, stay away from LCD devices. If all you need is read a simple book, any eink device will help on that matter A classic looks the same on color or black and white.
If you want color, that locks you out of E-ink, but there are other reasons. If your primary reading is outdoors, or well lit places, then e-ink is best. If your primary reading is in not so bright places (i.e. in bed at night), then e-ink is awkward at best. If you want to read from multiple book stores (ie Amazon and B&N) then Nook Color - rooted, or other tablet works better, but Kindle is flat out. LCD is more flexible if you want to do things OTHER then read e-books such as email, or web browsing. And so on.

Battery life has not been a problem for me... I have never even see a low indicator on it yet. But if I was to travel for week or 2 I would have to bring a charger, with E-Ink you would not.

Just depends what the key thing for you is. I suggest you list out all the specific features you want, then prioritize them. That will help you narrow down the field faster.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:44 PM   #12
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If you want color, that locks you out of E-ink, but there are other reasons. If your primary reading is outdoors, or well lit places, then e-ink is best. If your primary reading is in not so bright places (i.e. in bed at night), then e-ink is awkward at best. If you want to read from multiple book stores (ie Amazon and B&N) then Nook Color - rooted, or other tablet works better, but Kindle is flat out. LCD is more flexible if you want to do things OTHER then read e-books such as email, or web browsing. And so on.
Yeah, this seems to be the biggest tradeoff, being locked in which is something I hate more than anything!

But my primary use for the device is a travel companion to my netbook, I can always use the netbook's lcd for reading color stuff. My primary use is more for reducing the stress of reading on an lcd, which I already have, even if my netbook isn't really a reader. I think my primary locations for reading will be on airplanes, buses, metro, stuff like that; although I imagine poolside will be nice too
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:47 PM   #13
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Yeah, this seems to be the biggest tradeoff, being locked in which is something I hate more than anything!

But my primary use for the device is a travel companion to my netbook, I can always use the netbook's lcd for reading color stuff. My primary use is more for reducing the stress of reading on an lcd, which I already have, even if my netbook isn't really a reader. I think my primary locations for reading will be on airplanes, buses, metro, stuff like that; although I imagine poolside will be nice too
I find reading on a laptop much harder then with my Nook Color mainly because the Nook Color is a much easier size and shape to work with.

Pool side is definitely out with LCD types though. Way out.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:06 PM   #14
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But my primary use for the device is a travel companion to my netbook, I can always use the netbook's lcd for reading color stuff. My primary use is more for reducing the stress of reading on an lcd, which I already have, even if my netbook isn't really a reader. I think my primary locations for reading will be on airplanes, buses, metro, stuff like that; although I imagine poolside will be nice too
Based on your initial post and what you keep saying, you need an ereader, you want to read. Right? You are not looking for games, email, etc. For that reason I believe an eink device would be better.

As long as there is enough light, you can read and use any eink device. As a matter of fact, people have being reading with regular books indoor and outdoor for centuries! The only time you need extra light or a tablet is when reading on the bed. If that's not a must for you , you should be fine with an eink device.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:53 PM   #15
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I find reading on a laptop much harder then with my Nook Color mainly because the Nook Color is a much easier size and shape to work with.
In theory, I agree. But my CTL's screen swivels into Tablet mode, which makes it much more like a bigger Nook, but with Win7 pro (keep in mind that I've had this netbook for a few years, it's a bit outdated by today's standards, but completely functional as a netbook): http://www.ctlcorp.com/v4/p-923-2go-...e-netbook.aspx (if links aren't allowed here you can google CTL classmate convertible)
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