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Old 05-23-2008, 03:42 PM   #1
Over
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I need a push to buy the Cybook

A few months ago, the Amazon's Kindle existence came to my knowledge. After watching a video I was thrilled with the possibility of carrying any book with me, in a single and small reader device, with a battery charge that leasts months, a screen that is as easy on the eyes as actual paper. Well, the thrill ended when I read that the device was for US residents only. Oh well...

A couple of weeks ago, I've visited Bookeen's site. I don't remember how, I just know that it was by accident, I wasn't searching for eReaders. That's when I fell in love with the machine. And available in Europe too! But... The price is a little bit high (specially considering that north americans and brasilians get to pay much less than we, europeans). So I've begun a little bit of research and found this excelent forum. I could see myself as a member of this nice community with a common taste in ereading.

That's when I've found some other nagging issues about the Cybook and eReaders in general. So, I've decided to spill here my concerns and doubts, before making a decision. Apologizing in advance, as some issues are being discussed already, but I need to figure this out straight.

Here it goes:

1- My objective with the Cybook would be to read books in MOBI, PDF, RTF and TXT files. Specially the first two file formats.

2- My second and almost as important objective would be to read manga (japanese comics) in it (using JPG/PNG formats).

3- I would like to synchronize it with some RSS feeds, to read offline (I know Cybook is an offline device, but I don't mind that).


Knowing these 3 main objectives, and considering Cybook's issues, would you still advise me to buy the Cybook? Or would you advise me to wait a little bit more for any other eReaders that will be commercialized in the future? Or is there another eReader, in the same price range or cheaper, that would be better suited for me?

If you advise me to buy the book, what would be your advice to overcame certain issues (like Cybook's PDF handling, for example)?

Thank you for your patience, this post is already too long.

Last edited by Over; 05-23-2008 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:54 PM   #2
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1- My objective with the Cybook would be to read books in MOBI, PDF, RTF and TXT files. Specially the first two file formats.
Mobi will be briliant.. PDF not so much. I don't think Cybook reads RTF you would have to convert to Mobi. You may want to conver the PRFs too. If they are mostly text it is doable. I am pretty sure the Mobipocket software converts both RTF and PDF to mobi format. Hope you have a Windows PC for that.

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2- My second and almost as important objective would be to read manga (japanese comics) in it (using JPG/PNG formats).
Er, um... don't have a Cybook but it should be doable.

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3- I would like to synchronize it with some RSS feeds, to read offline (I know Cybook is an offline device, but I don't mind that).
Once again, the Mobipocket software supports RSS feeds. It will pull them down as you like... when you have time you can sync them to your CyBook with a simple USB connection.

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Knowing these 3 main objectives, and considering Cybook's issues, would you still advise me to buy the Cybook? Or would you advise me to wait a little bit more for any other eReaders that will be commercialized in the future? Or is there another eReader, in the same price range or cheaper, that would be better suited for me?
Yes, BUY it NOW. The only device better than the CyBook (feature wise) is the Kindle (my opinion).

Yes, there are some devices on the horizon but they are not known at this point. If they come out and they are better or would better meet your needs then you can get them. Books readers seem to seem pretty well here. Many people seem to be getting 70-80% of the original price back.


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If you advise me to buy the book, what would be your advice to overcame certain issues (like Cybook's PDF handling, for example)?
As I said, Mobipocket software. The only other possible option would be to see if the Digital Editions support for Sony works well to re-flow PDFs. Problem there, Sony doesn't support Mobi, one of your wants. However, with DE Sony will support DRMed PDFs which no other device does right now, as far as I know.

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Old 05-23-2008, 06:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
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1- My objective with the Cybook would be to read books in MOBI, PDF, RTF and TXT files. Specially the first two file formats.
It reads quite well everything that can be converted to MOBI format, also MOBI books with DRM and MOBI library books with limited time for reading.

It reads PDFs fine, as long as they conatin mainly text. It may choke on more advanced PDF elements, and it will not read things that require much memory , like 80MB Dungeons & Dragons manuals. But then, no reader presently available will, as far as I know. Also, you don't have much options for zooming. I think you can read in portrait/landscape mode, 100%, or fit to page mode and that's it.

It doesn't have support for RTF file - but you can convert RTFs to MOBI.

It reads TXT files fine - but if you need to read files with non-standard ASCII characters, converting to MOBI may work better. They're working on it, apparently.

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2- My second and almost as important objective would be to read manga (japanese comics) in it (using JPG/PNG formats).
I read 10 volumes of Blame manga on it, and Appleseed, no problem. It's best to read A4 format manga, as then you don't have to zoom too much. The problem you may encounter though is that there's no folder support yet - Cybook can read files in subfolders, but it displays them all in a single long list. Every manga page would be a separate pdf, so if you want to keep many manga on the device, the may be much library-page flipping before you get to the page you want to start reading at. I'd keep manga on a separate SD card and instert it only for reading.

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3- I would like to synchronize it with some RSS feeds, to read offline (I know Cybook is an offline device, but I don't mind that).
As far as I know, this can be done very dependable through Mobipokcet Read, which allows for subscribing to newsfeeds, and synchronizing them with Cybook. I never used the feature though, I just read about it on this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Over View Post
Knowing these 3 main objectives, and considering Cybook's issues, would you still advise me to buy the Cybook? Or would you advise me to wait a little bit more for any other eReaders that will be commercialized in the future? Or is there another eReader, in the same price range or cheaper, that would be better suited for me?
There's talk of Astak Mentor, you may want to google for it. Otherwise, I haven't heard much. Some people prefer older (and probably cheaper) eBookwise, it doesn't have e-paper screen though.

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If you advise me to buy the book, what would be your advice to overcame certain issues (like Cybook's PDF handling, for example)?
Try to pack it into Mobi format, that works for most other formats.
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:35 PM   #4
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I advise to go with the Cybook, it does everything you are asking minus the PDF - not so good for that now, but we are all hopping Bookeen resolves that part.
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Old 05-24-2008, 07:29 AM   #5
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I'd give you a "nudge" rather than a push...
I'm happy with the decision I made to "go" with the Cybook, after evaluating all the alternatives and options - that it is a European product was one, despite the weeks delay...
I ordered it direct, but there is now a UK based distributor...
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:00 PM   #6
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Thank you for your input, but I would like to clarify this, posted by Krystian:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystian Galaj View Post
I read 10 volumes of Blame manga on it, and Appleseed, no problem. It's best to read A4 format manga, as then you don't have to zoom too much. The problem you may encounter though is that there's no folder support yet - Cybook can read files in subfolders, but it displays them all in a single long list. Every manga page would be a separate pdf, so if you want to keep many manga on the device, the may be much library-page flipping before you get to the page you want to start reading at. I'd keep manga on a separate SD card and instert it only for reading.

Let's see if I understood. If those 10 volumes of Blame were, on average, 200 pages each... In the Cybook I would have to scroll 2000 pages as if each one of them was an eBook?

Some people mentioned about converting PDFs to Mobipocket format... Can we do it with the pictures? Compile the pics in a single volume that would be displayed as one eBook?


I've been browsing the iLiad page... The price is too high, but... Would all the problems be solved? Does it handle directories/subdirectories better? Does the bigger screen solve the PDF reading problems? Does the 16 gray scale do the difference?
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over View Post
Thank you for your input, but I would like to clarify this, posted by Krystian:




Let's see if I understood. If those 10 volumes of Blame were, on average, 200 pages each... In the Cybook I would have to scroll 2000 pages as if each one of them was an eBook?

Some people mentioned about converting PDFs to Mobipocket format... Can we do it with the pictures? Compile the pics in a single volume that would be displayed as one eBook?


I've been browsing the iLiad page... The price is too high, but... Would all the problems be solved? Does it handle directories/subdirectories better? Does the bigger screen solve the PDF reading problems? Does the 16 gray scale do the difference?

PDFs to Mobi. Hmmm... Well, I've routinely morphed PDFs into Mobipocket using a combination of Adobe Acrobat (to export the PDF into Word's .doc format or into .html) and Book Designer (to convert the either of those into Mobipocket) and I get good results. However, the PDFs I've been converting tend to have fewer than 50 images per ebook - and most of them under 800x600 pixels. (That's not totally accurate as I've done - for one book - a resize from 1280x960, 32-bit color to 640x480, 256-color mode of all the pictures. Thankfully there were fewer than 20 images. )

I have found that I didn't like the direct-to-mobi conversion done by Mobipocket Creator or Mobigen because the PDF books in question didn't re-format properly - lots of inserted page numbers and title/author lines where they didn't fit. By doing a two-step process, I could run the .doc files though Word to strip out all that junk.

But I keep getting the image that much of what you want to read involves lots of pictures or may even be *ALL* pictures. In which case, you may well be happier waiting for the Astak 9.7" ebook reader. (Yes, yes. I work for NAEB, but I'd rather urge you to buy a product that suits your needs and have you be so thrilled with my suggestion that you urge your novel-reading friends to buy Cybooks from NAEB than take the chance of urging on you a device that won't be quite the right 'fit' and have you pissed off enough to give negative feedback to your friends and family.)

Derek
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:32 PM   #8
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As I've said, my main objective is to read eBooks and, although not as important, manga (comics). If I had to sacrifice one of these, it would be the manga reading, but it would be really nice to have a solution that at least does both reasonably.

I've checked out those Astak eReaders, and it seems they are still in development. And I couldn't find any reference to Mobi format support (?).

Anyway, I've been browsing the forum and found the thread with the Manga2Ebook software. Sounds hopeful (and it would be great to see it's results in a photo with a Cybook displaying the software's results...). The only problem is that it brings the PDF issue again, although I've understood that the resulting PDF are sized for the eReaders standard dimensions (?). I guess that if I converted chapter by chapter, rather than volume by volume, the PDF files wouldn't be too big.

I've also "heard" something about ZIP files support (it would solve all my problems and make me buy the Cybook right NOW) in a firmware update, but the latest update didn't add this feature...

Oh well, I'm inclined to buy the Cybook and enjoying eBooks and manage all the manga hassle until ZIP support comes... If ever.
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over View Post
As I've said, my main objective is to read eBooks and, although not as important, manga (comics). If I had to sacrifice one of these, it would be the manga reading, but it would be really nice to have a solution that at least does both reasonably.

I've checked out those Astak eReaders, and it seems they are still in development. And I couldn't find any reference to Mobi format support (?).

Anyway, I've been browsing the forum and found the thread with the Manga2Ebook software. Sounds hopeful (and it would be great to see it's results in a photo with a Cybook displaying the software's results...). The only problem is that it brings the PDF issue again, although I've understood that the resulting PDF are sized for the eReaders standard dimensions (?). I guess that if I converted chapter by chapter, rather than volume by volume, the PDF files wouldn't be too big.

I've also "heard" something about ZIP files support (it would solve all my problems and make me buy the Cybook right NOW) in a firmware update, but the latest update didn't add this feature...

Oh well, I'm inclined to buy the Cybook and enjoying eBooks and manage all the manga hassle until ZIP support comes... If ever.
Having never gotten into Manga, I'd not heard of Manga2Ebook. I'll have to check it out. There's this website, www.bigheadpress.com, which has the online versions of "The Probability Broach", "Roswell, Texas" and the like - all graphic novels in the finest Libertarian tradition, which I think I'll see if I can cast into Cybook graphic ebooks. Thanks for the tip.

Look, as far as an ebook reader is concerned, right now - until we can see what Astak/Netronix are offering in the touchscreen-capable versions - I believe that the Cybook is the best ebook reader out there - despite its current lack of some features. Your Mileage May Vary.

Derek
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:35 PM   #10
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No eink device is going to have a battery life of months between charges.

That said, the Gen3 is good for reading Mobi. But PDF seems to be a major issue. So if you really want to read PDF and it is that important to you, then the Gen3 is not for you. The best currently available device for PDF and Mobi is the iLiad.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:55 PM   #11
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I own a Gen 3, and I can confirm that the PDF reader is worthless. If I could choose a device again, I would fork out the extra cash for the iLiad.
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Let's see if I understood. If those 10 volumes of Blame were, on average, 200 pages each... In the Cybook I would have to scroll 2000 pages as if each one of them was an eBook?
I had manga on the SD card.
After each session of reading, I remembered, or wrote down where I got to, and before next session I took SD card out of Cybook, into card reader on my PC, nd deleted all the pages I read. That way the first page that popped up in Library was always next to read.

But if you are planning to read many at the same time, this procedure may not be for you.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:26 AM   #13
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This will be easier with Sony PRS & PDFLRF

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I had manga on the SD card.
After each session of reading, I remembered, or wrote down where I got to, and before next session I took SD card out of Cybook, into card reader on my PC, nd deleted all the pages I read. That way the first page that popped up in Library was always next to read.

But if you are planning to read many at the same time, this procedure may not be for you.
Reading manga can be much easier with Sony PRS. You can convert each zip file containing jpg/png files into one LRF file using the program called 'PDFLRF'. (Actually, PDFLRF can batch convert multiple ZIP files as well). During the process, the program will make the mangas more readable on 6 inch screen. After the conversion, you will have one file for each book and the reader will automatically remember where you left off. However, I agree with others doubting whether 6 inch screen is ideal for reading manga.

Similarly, PDF files can be also converted by PDFLRF and they are quite readable. However, not all the files will work well. For example, PDF documents with extremely narrow margin on the sides will be hard to read even after the conversion.

If mobipocket is not important, Sony can be a good option, but if mobipocket is important, Iliad may be the best option AFAIK.

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Old 05-25-2008, 02:28 AM   #14
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I own a Gen 3, and I can confirm that the PDF reader is worthless. If I could choose a device again, I would fork out the extra cash for the iLiad.
Completely agree with this comment. Cybook Gen3 sucks when it comes to PDF and the main reason is not that its screen is so small.. it's something you can live with provided you have good eye-sight. No, the reason is that a substantial number of PDF files simply give a blank screen when opened, or crash the device.
Gen3 also sucks when it comes to mp3 play, looking at pictures, etc. Really.. I believe the only thing it is more or less good at is reading mobipocket books.
Also, Bookeen is fickle when it comes to answering their email, some people get responses in 10 minutes, others don't ever get an answer. Their firmware upgrades have proven to be downgrades more than upgrades so don't expect any improvement towards the future either.

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Old 05-25-2008, 04:19 AM   #15
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I own a Gen 3, and I can confirm that the PDF reader is worthless. If I could choose a device again, I would fork out the extra cash for the iLiad.
Have you used an iLiad "for real", as a matter of interest? I owned one for several months before buying my Gen3. For me, the Gen3 is a far better machine.

If reading PDFs is your main priority, then yes, the iLiad is better. However, it's close to double the price of the Gen3, takes almost a minute to boot, has a short battery life (around 10-15h, depending on what you're doing), and for me was just too big to carry around with me everywhere, which is what I do with the Gen3.
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Do not buy a Cybook nicewahoo Which one should I buy? 5 11-15-2009 04:19 AM
Buy Opus/Wait or get Cybook Repaired? pakiyabhai Bookeen 13 08-16-2009 04:33 AM
Where to buy Cybook /Bebook in Munich, Germany bbusybookworm Which one should I buy? 7 03-30-2009 09:54 AM
Buy Cybook now or wait for Readius? myral Which one should I buy? 15 10-29-2008 09:04 AM


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