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Old 07-14-2008, 11:41 AM   #1
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Advice, Hanlin v3 vs Cybook Gen3

Hey All, I'm considering getting a e-Ink based reader to replace my Palm Tungsten C which I've been using for the last few years, mainly because it's hard to sit and read in the sun with the Palm.

I narrowed my choices down to the iLiad, Cybook and Hanlin. The iLiad nearly covered everything I wanted (and more) unfortunately, I was put off by the estimated 15 hour battery life and high price tag.

The Cybook and Hanlin aren't as feature rich as the iLiad, but I don't really need all the extra features anyway, cost and battery life are more critical than extra things such as wifi support.

There's not too great a price difference between the Hanlin and the standard Cybook + optional cover, and feature wise they're both similar with the exception of the Cybook supporting mobi-pocket. I read in a post on here that the Hanlin may be getting mobipocket support in a firmware update, has this happened or been confirmed?

I don't have many DRM'd eBooks at the moment and plan to buy from Bean for my sci-fi addiction. There's also the option of buying .lit and converting if needed for mainstream books not available on Bean. So the mobi-support is more a convenience than critical.

Has anyone on here owned or used both the Cybook and Hanlin. Which do you personally prefer? Which has the better build quality and which has the better interface? The Cybook looks to use a nav pad to move around, whilst the Hanlin has a few more buttons, any comments on which is nicer/more flexible to use?

One plus for the Hanlin is the support for folder based navigation. Although again I read on here that the Cybook is supposed to be adding support for this in a future firmware?

I really can't decide between the two at this time.
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:07 PM   #2
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I think you mean "Baen" rather than "Bean", perhaps?

I've never used a Hanlin, but I've used a Gen3 since last November and been very happy with it indeed. So much so, in fact, that I bought another one!
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:33 PM   #3
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I think you mean "Baen" rather than "Bean", perhaps?
yes I did

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I've never used a Hanlin, but I've used a Gen3 since last November and been very happy with it indeed. So much so, in fact, that I bought another one!
I'm 50/50 at the moment. If I can't make my mind up in the next day or two though, I might just flip a coin
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:38 PM   #4
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yes I did



I'm 50/50 at the moment. If I can't make my mind up in the next day or two though, I might just flip a coin
Right now, the Hanlin V3 only directly supports a few basic non-drm formats and its own special one. And the DRM'd format support won't happen right away. However, Open Inkpot is working on creating a complete package of operating system (OI - a distribution of Linux), bookshelf/library manager (Madshelf) and ebook reader app (FBReader). Now FBReader reads a lot of ebook formats, including html, chm, txt, rtf, and non-DRM'd mobipocket - but it doesn't support any DRM'd format at this time. Still, it's not too difficult to buy-and-convert DRM'd titles to non-DRM.

Derek
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:28 PM   #5
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The Hanlin V3 (lBook V3) supports FBReader today, see FBReader port to (Lbook|Hanlin) V3. It also supports FB2 (with or) without FBReader, and this is a "good enough" format for almost all DRM-free purposes.

I don't own either one, but I think the Hanlin is an interesting choice if you don't need a DRMed format. If they added a screenshot capability that would push it into the recommended category. I don't consider any ebook reader to be complete without one, so today only the iLiad and the Kindle qualify.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:54 PM   #6
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And if you care about respecting the GPL the Hanlin seems to be a better choice. I have a Cybook but I would never buy one today and the main reason is the GPL issue.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
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And if you care about respecting the GPL the Hanlin seems to be a better choice. I have a Cybook but I would never buy one today and the main reason is the GPL issue.
Yes, that does have a bearing on my decision. From what I could gather Hanlin has released some things but not everything required yet? Where as Bookeen have refused to release anything stating NDA issues.

All other things been equal that would definatly sway my decision towards the Hanlin.

The iliad seems to be one of the few devices that is totally GPL compliant which is a big plus in their favour and tbh I'd have paid the extra if it hadn't been for the poor battery life.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:20 PM   #8
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Note that the FBReader port for Hanlin/lbook/etc V3 is a community effort. I still like Coolreader (it comes with the official firmware) best for reading fb2 because the better header and also the true page numbering. FBreader assumes that a page is about 2000 characters long; it's a feature of the original feature and not just the port. Ad for html, rtf, pdf, doc, whatever Hanlin support them natively.

I got the Hanlin because it's an "open" device, it uses a common Nokia battery (you can find clones for 1 euro if needed), it supports folder and especially because there are frequent updates.

Ad for DRM, the publishers realised that for music is a lost cause and for instance Amazon offers DRM-free mp3. e-books market is very limited but I hope that they'd grasp that we don't want such limitations. Example, I won't buy a shirt that it'd allow me to wear it in a specific town and nowhere else... Baen did it right but is a small publishers.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:26 PM   #9
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FBreader assumes that a page is about 2000 characters long; it's a feature of the original feature and not just the port.
That seems to me to be a very clever design decision. You get a measurement of position that do not depend on the font size.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:38 PM   #10
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That seems to me to be a very clever design decision. You get a measurement of position that do not depend on the font size.
Probably there are many that like it so, but eventually you'd settle to specific fonts, size, layout etc and providing that such ebook readers are page based, unlike browsers for instance, then I prefer to show me the "real" page. It's personal preferences ultimately, but at least there is the option for character counting (FBreader) instead of actual display screens (Coolreader).
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:08 AM   #11
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That seems to me to be a very clever design decision. You get a measurement of position that do not depend on the font size.
The Kindle does the same - it displays position in units of 128 bytes.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:09 PM   #12
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I think I might end up getting a Hanlin v3. It's a little cheaper than the Cybook, supports folders and looks to be a little more gpl compliant (even if it's not fully).

Cuppa then need to make my mind up and just buy one

OpenInkPot sounds great and will be something I will keep my eye on in the future, but doesn't really have much bearing on the Cybook vs Hanlin decision as it's supposed to be supporting both.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:20 PM   #13
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The key thing is what format you want to read books in. If it's MobiPocket, then the Gen3 is clearly the better choice. If you're happy with the formats that the Hanlin supports, then go for that.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:27 PM   #14
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The key thing is what format you want to read books in. If it's MobiPocket, then the Gen3 is clearly the better choice. If you're happy with the formats that the Hanlin supports, then go for that.
Since FBReader works on Hanlin I would say it is a better choice for Mobipocket books. If you for some strange reason want to rent books contaminated with DRM the decision might be another.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:39 PM   #15
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I disagree - I don't think that FBReader is an especially good Mobi reader. For example, as I recall from using it on the iLiad, it doesn't support dictionary lookup, nor does it support bookmarks. Both of these are important to me personally.
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