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Old 12-20-2012, 05:32 PM   #1
xendula
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The painful search for a wire-free ePub eink library reader

I love my Kindle Paperwhite, but lately, Overdrive has been offering an increasing number of ebooks only as ePubs and not in Kindle format. Since I am used to the ease of use of borrowing ebooks for the Kindle (check the book out, select "get for Kindle", get redirected to Amazon's page where you chose which device to send it to wirelessly), I started searching for an ePub eink reader that does the same.

The only contenders that I found (and if you know of any other current ones, please let me know) and that are somewhat current models are the Sony T2, the
Bookeen Cybook Odyssey HD Frontlight and possibly the unlit latest Bookeen Cybook models. Period. That's IT!
(I also have a Nook ST that I am planning to root for this purpose exactly.)

The Sony, to me, is butt-ugly, is unlit, and has a lower screen resolution, so I went and bought the HD Frontlight.

My first impressions compared to my Kindle Paperwhite are:
  • this device is very slow
  • it has very clunky software on it
  • you are SOL if you turn it on in almost darkness, because every time, you have to select that you want the light on , so you turn it on, then click on the HOME button, then touch the light setting, and select a checkbox that you indeed want to turn the light on. That's if you can see anything. WTF?!
  • Setting up your account was confusing, as there is no setting for it, at least not on the ones sold through thalia.de
  • the keyboard is slow and not very precize
  • the browser is even worse than on the Kindles
  • the light is much more regular due to the 11 LEDs, and there are no color blotches
  • it has page turn hardware buttons despite the touchscreen
  • you can not adjust text borders at all

Next came the dreaded Adobe device activation (luckily, I remembered my ID AND had not maxed out on the 6 apps/devices permitted by Adobe.
After finally activating my device, I used the browser to go to the Brooklyn website. This took me a few attempts, because I kept mistyping, and you don't have a cursor, you can only delete or hit enter. I don't know what version of the site I saw, but it was bad. I had to scroll and scroll, which, again, was super slow. Eventually, I managed to download an ePub, and it indeed worked without a computer. The question is, was it worth spending so much time in frustration? I can't see myself enjoying getting books this way.

The lesson I learned is two-fold:
  1. Specs are nothing without a good user interface (logical, but I had never used anything except kindles, so I had no idea how clunky other readers can be).
  2. People who prefer ePub, calling it an open format versus Amazon's closed one, disgard that it's not really kindle vs. ePub, it's kindle vs. ADE, since most ePub eink readers with online stores built in use ADE.

I will play around with the HD Frotlight a bit more, but will likely return it and go back to my initial resolve to just "do without" those library books that only come in ePub. It's just not friggin worth the extra work. However, if Sony get their act together and produce a nice looking, lit ereader with a better screen resolution and more ease of use in terms of borrowing library books, I may reconsider. But it needs to come at a more realistic price than their current one!!

Just thought I'd share this with you guys, since the Cybook is a bit on the obscure side, depending on where you live, and there are a lot of Overdrive and Onleihe and other similar library systems users here on MR.

I'll try to post some pictures later if this thread attracts any interest.

The HD Frontlight:

Last edited by xendula; 12-20-2012 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
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Rooting the STR (or the Sony) will let you install the Overdrive for android app which supports direct library access. (You probably knew that, right? )
If you can wait, an HD Nook Glo is probably due sometime this spring.

Other than that, a cheap android tablet is the only other option I know of.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:42 PM   #3
xendula
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Yeah, I do have a Nexus 7 and an iPad, so I could read on them, but I don't like reading on LCD screens. I have borrowed two ePub books in the past and ended up completely ignoring them and reading the ones on my Kindle.


Target was selling the Nook ST for $49 on Black Friday, so I did buy one in order to root it and still am going to try it, though it may end up a disaster, since I've never rooted anything before.

Then, someone in the Overdrive thad mentioned that the Sony T1 and T2 let you borrow ebooks wirelessly out of the box, so I went on the above quest to find a alternative to the T2, preferably with a better screen resolution and light as well.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:50 PM   #4
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If you're not in too big a hurry it might be worth waiting for Onyx to get their Android firmware ready. Then you can just install the OverDrive app along with other Reader apps (kind of like an eInk tablet)...

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...x-i62-ereader/


Booxter (an Onyx retailer & forum member) mentioned he should be getting a sample soon, so hopefully it will be out for consumer use soon...
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...37&postcount=5

Last edited by AnemicOak; 12-20-2012 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:19 PM   #5
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I don't know if it would work for you, but I read Overdrive library books from the Ontario library system on my Kobo Glo frequently. Right now I download them to ADE on my desktop, and then transfer them over, but I've been meaning to try getting them wirelessly. I'll give that a try tomorrow and let you know how it goes.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
If you're not in too big a hurry it might be worth waiting for Onyx to get their Android firmware ready. Then you can just install the OverDrive app along with other Reader apps (kind of like an eInk tablet)...

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...x-i62-ereader/


Booxter (an Onyx retailer & forum member) mentioned he should be getting a sample soon, so hopefully it will be out for consumer use soon...
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...37&postcount=5
That sounds grrrreat! Thanks for the link!! That's exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete731 View Post
I don't know if it would work for you, but I read Overdrive library books from the Ontario library system on my Kobo Glo frequently. Right now I download them to ADE on my desktop, and then transfer them over, but I've been meaning to try getting them wirelessly. I'll give that a try tomorrow and let you know how it goes.
Let me know, but someone else said you can't do it without firing up your computer to transfer the book. Too bad, because I think Kobos are pretty sexy looking devices, unlike Sony's one and only one.

Last edited by xendula; 12-21-2012 at 09:18 AM.
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