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Old 03-31-2008, 03:40 PM   #16
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:46 PM   #17
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Yes, I hear some people clamoring for a backlit eBook reader. But tll me this, what did those same people do with a pBook in dim or no light? And because the eink displays cannot have a backlight display, does that mean they will stick with pBooks wich are also NOT backlight and cannot be?
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:51 PM   #18
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or else he's pining for the fjords...
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:59 PM   #19
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Yes, I hear some people clamoring for a backlit eBook reader. But tll me this, what did those same people do with a pBook in dim or no light? And because the eink displays cannot have a backlight display, does that mean they will stick with pBooks wich are also NOT backlight and cannot be?
I don't think the original poster is necessarily attached to a backlight specifically, but to a self-lit device, which is possible to do with an e-ink display. I don't think it's unreasonable to want an electronic reader to give you some improvements over the paper. I think technology should try to take us further, not settle for just being as good as what came before. Why not be ambitious?

It's not enough for me for a reader to just be a mass storage device that shows me pages. That's why I held out for a device where I could search, make notes and look up words in the dictionary automatically and I was willing to pay a bit more for it. These were big features for me. Not everyone cares about them, I know. Not everyone cares about a reader being self-lit but I don't think it's an unreasonable feature request just because paper can't do it. Let's be better than paper. Personally, a light isn't a deal-breaker for me but I don't expect everyone to have the same wants and needs I have.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:14 PM   #20
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I actually prefer it NOT to be backlit. I probably would never have purchased an ebook reader if it had been backlit. Backlighting causes me a lot more eye strain. I find that the eink is very comfortable to read for long periods of time. If I find myself reading in the dark, a little pocket led flashlight, headlight, or book light works just fine.
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Yes, I hear some people clamoring for a backlit eBook reader. But tll me this, what did those same people do with a pBook in dim or no light? And because the eink displays cannot have a backlight display, does that mean they will stick with pBooks wich are also NOT backlight and cannot be?
I had trouble deciding to reply to this... as many have pointed out, we have discussed this extensively already. So... keeping it short:

eInk does not equal eBook

It is possible to enjoy ebooks, and not use an eink reader. Asking for features not offered on some or several readers (lighting, dictionary search, annotation, PDA functionality, whatever) does not constitute a rejection of eBooks in general.

Speaking for myself, for nearly a decade (since '99 when the Palm IIIx came out), I have been doing most of my reading on handhelds, and the ability to read in lots of different locations/situations was one of the big advantages of eBooks. It felt really odd to me the first time I looked at the new generation of specialized readers and realized that stepping up to the high end would mean losing functionality.

For those that love eInk -- great! For those that do not -- look around, there are lots of other ways to enjoy ebooks.

Jack

Last edited by Jack B Nimble; 03-31-2008 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:57 PM   #22
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The biggest problem with these do it all devices that also act as your cell phone is that because they now do so much, you use them for a lot more then just your phone. So you eat the battery a lot faster then you normally would. And when you need to go make or receive a phone call, good luck. That is a real issue unless you carry around a device like the iGo to recharge your phone using AA batteries or extra charged batteries you won't get much talk time if any. That is why I prefer to have seperate devices. My cell phone is just a cell phone. And very good at that. I have a Rio Karma for music and my 505 for reading and a real GPS for GPS usage. All I know is I am good to go. Yes, I have more devices, but I also have my phone for a lot longer then I would had I bought a multi-function device.

Now onto the topic of backlighting... backlighting eats the battery more and give less reading time. I prefer to have an external light source so my reader keeps a longer charge. I mostly read where I have light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john peer View Post
Can I just say that I think you're all a little bit crazy for buying devices with no back lights? ;-) I mean, half the fun/purpose of an eReader is being able to read when there is little (or no) ambient lighting. On planes/in cars/shared hotel rooms/shared beds....and in my case, in my home-on-wheels. (I'm working as a trucker).
On a plane, I have an overhead light that works for reading. I also have a small ear light I use for reading in bed so I don't keep the bedside lamp on and bother my wife. I can take the ear light with me and read wherever I am if the light around is not good enough.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:46 PM   #23
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This just shows why it's good to have different options: different people have different needs.

And that's OKAY. Really, it is.
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:22 PM   #24
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I prefer to have an external light source so my reader keeps a longer charge. I mostly read where I have light.
I read quite a lot at night, but since I carry a head torch anyway it makes little sense to me to have a backlit reader when the ones I have seen do not suit my eyes.

By and large I'd be happy to have a slightly thicker reader if it had more battery life as well as the extra functions, and I'd be very happy indeed if I had decent library functions as well as better mp3 organisation. But the current Sony PRS software is very poor at both of those tasks so I'd rather they fixed those aspects first, before getting excited about new stuff. Now that I have 10Gb of storage in the Sony it's become undeniable that you are not supposed to put more than a few hundred titles onto the device. The Sony PC software is bad enough at dealing with this (it crashes on connect more often than not), but the software on the device pretty much grinds to a halt. Using the PC software to do the transfer speeds up the device if it works, but it takes so many attempts to get a session that doesn't crash that it's actually faster to just power up the device and wait.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:15 AM   #25
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I have no problems using eBook Library with Windows XP. Yes, I know too many eBooks does slow down the 505. But that is because of how it has to search for them and then read the XML files.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:58 AM   #26
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I'd like to have e-ink with a front LED light I could use in the dark but it seems to me that would be a drawback to the device if it were mandatory to power it all the time. Most of the time when I'm reading it's not necessary so why drain the battery? But I do read in the dark some at home where it would be a small convenience and I like to camp where it would be a great convenience. I try to pack as little as I can when backpacking.

I must agree with Jon on not wanting my reader to be a multifunction device with technology as it stands. I do have a smartphone and I'm glad that it's multifunction but it's optimized for its own functions and frankly sucks as a reader. My Kindle is great as a reader, leagues beyond my smartphone. I even prefer it to a paper book. It's worth it to me to carry two devices. People make a big do about the Kindle's network connection and ability to "multifunction" but to me the network features only support reading (buying books and the occasional web or Wikipedia search). Trying to web browse or do email on it, once again frankly, sucks. I don't bother. For me, it's the choice of having one device that's the Jack of all trades and, while not master of none as the adage goes, only master of some, versus two devices that are masters at what they do. The two devices take up as much space as I used to with a mobile and a paperback and do precisely what I want them to do. No compromises. If some day they make a single device that will do all of that well, I'll switch in a heartbeat. For now I'm very satisfied with what I have.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:49 AM   #27
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I have a PDA, EB-1150, and an eInk ebook (Sony) and I use them all. So, for John, I guess I would recommend the EB-1150, but he really should try out an eInk device. I have little trouble using my PRS-505, unless the lights are completely out.

But, I am most intrigued by the comments recommending an "ear light". Never heard of that before.

Any recommendations on a good ear light?
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:26 AM   #28
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...and it doesn't even look like a horse! I'd say it's a German Shepherd with a saddle
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:45 AM   #29
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This just shows why it's good to have different options: different people have different needs.

And that's OKAY. Really, it is.

You're sure ? Different !
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:37 PM   #30
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I had trouble deciding to reply to this... as many have pointed out, we have discussed this extensively already. So... keeping it short:

eInk does not equal eBook

It is possible to enjoy ebooks, and not use an eink reader. Asking for features not offered on some or several readers (lighting, dictionary search, annotation, PDA functionality, whatever) does not constitute a rejection of eBooks in general.

Speaking for myself, for nearly a decade (since '99 when the Palm IIIx came out), I have been doing most of my reading on handhelds, and the ability to read in lots of different locations/situations was one of the big advantages of eBooks. It felt really odd to me the first time I looked at the new generation of specialized readers and realized that stepping up to the high end would mean losing functionality.

For those that love eInk -- great! For those that do not -- look around, there are lots of other ways to enjoy ebooks.

Jack
I have used regular desktops, laptops, pdas and even tried using cellphones and mp3/mp4 players to read ebooks. I wouldn't recommend mp3/4 players or small-screen cellphones. As long as I had to tolerate PCs and laptops, I tended to choose dead-tree instead because the computers were far too restrictive in their use. PDAs, well, if I can't use my Cybook such as when a family member is borrowing it, I will fall back on my Dell and HP pdas - but I've found the LCD screens far too straining on my eyes in full daylight - I love to sit outside and read - or in complete darkness - I love to lie in bed at night and read.

The Cybook works. Simple as that. It works well at letting me read stories. No fuss, no muss, no having to fumble to change batteries (and carry them) at an inopportune moment. Sure, I have to have an external light for reading in complete darkness, but in all other lighting situations from a single 30W lamp to full-sunlight, it delivers comfortable, lightweight, capacious (you can stuff one hell of a lot of ebooks on a 2GB card) book reader.

For the benefits I gain from a dedicated e-book reader, I can forego having all those 'kitchen-sink' features you seem to demand. And as for the price... Well, I don't have to pay $350 per e-book. I pay the price once and then I read. Over the last six months, while putting the Cybook through the wringer, I've read over 600 e-books. I'm rapidly approaching 700. That means I've added 50 cents to each ebook's price as part of the amortization of my Cybook. And I fully expect to hit more than 2,000 ebooks read on it before I upgrade to another, more feature-laden, reader. Which means this reader will have added less than 18 cents to each of those e-books!

I guess I can grasp the value of the e-ink reader.

Derek
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