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Old 08-28-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
alexo
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e-reader for the "grandparent generation"?

Hello people,

I am looking for recommendations for an e-reader suitable for an older (70-something), non-technical person.

Due to eyesight problems that come with age, I'd like to get her a unit with a big screen (I'm thinking 8-10"), an E-ink or similar technology that provides high contrast and is easy on the eyes (not LCD) and an ability to easily change fonts and font sizes.

Because the books she reads are available from various online libraries in various formats, the unit should work with foreign fonts and languages (Russian in particular; right-to-left language support is a big plus), be able to display lots of formats (TXT, PDF, DOC/RTF, HTML plus the common e-book formats) and feature easy transfer of files from a PC to the e-reader.

Other features that I'd like it to have is a long battery life between charges, easy and intuitive operation and, if possible, reasonable price.

I'd like to state in advance that I have zero prior experience with e-readers so I will rely mostly on your expertise. Please recommend responsibly

Thank you!

PS,
A cursory search revealed the following models with large screens:
Amazon Kindle DX / DXG
Onyx International Boox M9x
PocketBook Pro 9xx
Ectaco jetBook Color
Asus DR-900

Will one of these fit the bill?
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:26 AM   #2
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If I were you, I'd only look over the Kindle or B&N's Nook, because besides the good e-ink screens they also come fully backed by online bookstores with tens of thousands of ebooks.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #3
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Since you are in Canada, I'd go with a Kindle e-reader. I think your grandmother might prefer it to a larger screen reader like the DX. She can enlarge the print on all e-readers I know of. I have or have owned kindles, nooks & sonys. By the way I'm in my 60s so I'm of the grandparent generation.

P.S. Kobo is out of Canada but I can't speak for it's use.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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IMO, you could pick any of the more common brands, I'm "responsible" for a couple of Kobo Touch and Sony T1's for older relatives/friends and once the initial setup is done and I've helped them with the basics and a bit of coaching they do fine. Make sure of the format of the books to be read. If they are epub the Kindle would not work, the only format for the kindle is mobi or azw or pdf. If the books are epub, the Sony or Kobo are the ones to get. There are more font choices on the kobo.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:12 PM   #5
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Hello people, thank you for your replies!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Namekuseijin View Post
If I were you, I'd only look over the Kindle or B&N's Nook, because besides the good e-ink screens they also come fully backed by online bookstores with tens of thousands of ebooks.
She won't be purchasing those myriad of ebooks, as most of them are in English and she's mostly reading Russian texts.

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Since you are in Canada, I'd go with a Kindle e-reader. I think your grandmother might prefer it to a larger screen reader like the DX.
Mother actually, but since I have kids of my own, that makes her a grandmother. Also, while I'm in Canada, she's in Israel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdesja5 View Post
IMO, you could pick any of the more common brands, I'm "responsible" for a couple of Kobo Touch and Sony T1's for older relatives/friends and once the initial setup is done and I've helped them with the basics and a bit of coaching they do fine.
As far as I know, Kobo & Sony only have 6" e-readers and I think that a larger one will be more convenient (although I may be wrong).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdesja5 View Post
Make sure of the format of the books to be read. If they are epub the Kindle would not work, the only format for the kindle is mobi or azw or pdf. If the books are epub, the Sony or Kobo are the ones to get. There are more font choices on the kobo.
The formats of most files are TXT, DOC, RTF, PDF, HTM and FB2.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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My adoptive mother is in her 80's and she has loved her Kindle for many years. She's always worn glasses, and the font sizes are terrific.

I have a Kindle (my 3rd reader, first two were Kobo and Sony, now given to family members) and I like the ease of use.

It works pretty much out of the box. The interface to buy books is the best I have seen anywhere too.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:25 PM   #7
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Hard to tell without knowing the person.

In theory, any reader will work. It's just not that hard to flip a page.

In practice there are tons of issues you didn't think about. For example some readers have very small selection menus for books. So while you can use large font in the book itself, that's no good if the selection menu itself is unusable.

Then some people like to touch the text they read (follow lines with the index finger or whatever), because they easily lose the line otherwise (due to bad sight). So in such a case you'd have to avoid touchscreens whereas other people might love touchscreen.

A 6" screen should be fine, you can still get reasonably large fonts (esp. using landscape mode), sure you have to flip the page more often but so what? I'd consider larger screens only if the sight's really bad. Don't forget that larger devices are also heavier and less comfortable to handle.

But again this depends on the person what he/she prefers. If you have a store that sells eReaders it might be a good idea to just go there with the person in question and let him/her have a go at the devices on display...
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:38 PM   #8
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Hi frostschutz, thank you for your reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by frostschutz View Post
In theory, any reader will work. It's just not that hard to flip a page.
True, if the device is capable of reflowing the text. I understand that it may be a problem with PDF format.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frostschutz View Post
In practice there are tons of issues you didn't think about. For example some readers have very small selection menus for books. So while you can use large font in the book itself, that's no good if the selection menu itself is unusable.
And that's why I like online forums like this one. Helpful people (such as yourself) giving helpful advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frostschutz View Post
Then some people like to touch the text they read (follow lines with the index finger or whatever), because they easily lose the line otherwise (due to bad sight). So in such a case you'd have to avoid touchscreens whereas other people might love touchscreen.
Can't that function of touchscreens be turned off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frostschutz View Post
A 6" screen should be fine, you can still get reasonably large fonts (esp. using landscape mode), sure you have to flip the page more often but so what? I'd consider larger screens only if the sight's really bad. Don't forget that larger devices are also heavier and less comfortable to handle.
Hmmm... OK, I'll have to consider that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frostschutz View Post
But again this depends on the person what he/she prefers. If you have a store that sells eReaders it might be a good idea to just go there with the person in question and let him/her have a go at the devices on display...
It's a bit of a problem when that person lives 7 time zones away. 10+ hours transatlantic flights are a bit inconvenient and not very cheap...
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spindlegirl View Post
My adoptive mother is in her 80's and she has loved her Kindle for many years. She's always worn glasses, and the font sizes are terrific.

I have a Kindle (my 3rd reader, first two were Kobo and Sony, now given to family members) and I like the ease of use.

It works pretty much out of the box. The interface to buy books is the best I have seen anywhere too.
My mother is in her 80s and she has a T1 with the light cover and she really likes it. I would highly recommend getting a T2 with light cover.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:56 PM   #10
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I agree also, T1's are awesome.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:49 PM   #11
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My 70 year old mother loves her DX. The larger screen allows her to blow up the font size easily and not have to change pages all that frequently. Ordering books is easy.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:41 PM   #12
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My mother uses the third font size on the T1 and that is fine for her. She's able to read that with no problem at all.

I cannot say, but it could be possible that the weight of the DX would be too much.

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Old 08-30-2012, 06:54 PM   #13
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A DX is not that heavy. My mom has survived lung cancer, thyroid issues, and a series of heart problems all while using a DX. The larger screen allows more text on the screen, which is very nice. My parents have flat out said they would. Not use a smaller ereader because it would be too small.

It depends on the person and their preferences.

The ease of buying boos from Amazon and the large number of available make a Kindle a great option. If the user is not computer savvy, having access to a larger number of boos from the device itself is a plus. Toss in the 3G capability on the DX And you have a device that is easy to use, read, and buy off of wherever she is.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:26 PM   #14
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Thank you all for your comments.

So far I'm leaning toward the Onyx Boox M92.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:34 PM   #15
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Thank you all for your comments.

So far I'm leaning toward the Onyx Boox M92.
For similar money, it's a much better choice then the DX.
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