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Old 08-06-2008, 01:31 PM   #1
rachaelandrews
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Best for font size support - Ilead or Cybook Gen3 ?

Hi bods,

I am looking for an e reader. Main concern is that I have very poor vision so large fonts are a must. And I mean large !

Abit of research tells me that the Cybook gen3 can have user defined fonts. Does this really mean that I can add whatever font I choose in whatever size (The wiki seems to indicate a choice of 12 font sizes - are they user configurable or set ?) The large size is more important than the choice of fonts, iyswim.

I hear that the Ilead can run some third party applications after requesting shell access from iRex. FBReader seems to support really large fonts, and as I understand it the included MobiPocket reader will go up to about 36pt but with limited font choice ? How many font sizes does the Ilead support ?

I see that some people on this forum seem to favour the Cybook gen3 if visual acuity is an issue.

I like the Ilead for tinkering, wifi, note taking and the large screen. But the Cybook is attractive for being lighter and less expensive. Both support audio books from what I gather.
I just don't know which to go for !

Are there any other concerns I should be considering with regards to readability that would sway me between one device or another ?
I have seen neither device in the flesh and neither am I able to (unfortunately this is not going to change).

I have also considered the Sony PRS 505 (not large enough font sizes from what I have read), and the Kindle (not available here in the UK yet). Are there any others that could suit my font requirements better ?


Thanks for any info.


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Old 08-06-2008, 01:55 PM   #2
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This is as large as the fonts get on either device.

And only on the CyBook can you really use your own fonts. iLiad is usually only a non-serif font.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:26 PM   #3
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WELCOME!

I have very poor vision also. In fact, just a few minutes ago, I went downstairs to the cafeteria to get some lunch. I read the posted menu, then walked up to the server and asked, "What exactly is Hawaiin sausage?" She looked puzzled for a minute, then said, "Oh, you mean Italian sausage?" I'm finding that my reading and writing are becoming much funnier now that I can't see my errors!

I use the EB-1150. It's plain and boring, not much use for anything beyond simply reading. But it's inexpensive, and I've found that I can download books in PRC format and use the conversion software mobi2imp (found at the wiki link at top of page). It lets me convert books with a large format and then zoom it again once it is on the EB-1150.

Pro: It is backlit for reading at night.
Con: It is the same old screen like the old Palms used to have, so it is easy to blur out in bright sunlight.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:29 PM   #4
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BTW, where are you located? There are meet-ups in the works for all over the place.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:47 PM   #5
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There is another alternative. The Sony reader allows you to read .RTF files (Rich Text Format). So if you can get your "books" into that format you can create a file with larger fonts size. The Sony only you to view in "Small", "Medium" or "Large", but that is based on the input file's font. I used this capability for my mother as her eyesight was failing up to a size that was totally impractical on a 6" screen, i.e. not enough room to display even one word. This was at approximately a 48 point font.

I have not tried this with any of the formats available on my Cybook since I have sufficiently large display capability inherent in that reader.

Personally I will not buy a Sony (ever again) but that is my personal bias. However it does allow (with considerable conversion effort) larger size text.

As DixieGal said, if you can get together with someone who has a reader, you can check it out for yourself. And the regional get-togethers on this forum are very good opportunities to see & touch a variety of readers.

Good luck & welcome to Mobileread.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:52 PM   #6
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You may be able to get a larger font still on the iLiad using PDFs (customized to the screen size) or FBReader, and both support multiple fonts and will hyphenate which helps for large fonts. In any case, the practical limit is set by the size of the screen where the iLiad wins easily. For screenshots of the iLiad, including the contentlister (menus) see Things you can do with your iLiad.

Also, see Does the new CyBook support ultra-large fonts and Font Sizes.

For actual size screenshots (bitmaps of the screen) print them on paper at 4.7" by 6.2" (iLiad) or 3.6" by 4.8" (Cybook). This is very close to what the device will show, except the background is grey rather than white.

Last edited by wallcraft; 08-06-2008 at 02:57 PM. Reason: Added "actual size" comment
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies.

Getting my hands on either device at a meet is not going to happen - personal circumstances dictate I am a homebody right now, hence my saying that I can't see either device in the flesh for the forseeable future and that is not going to change. Thankfully there is always product return.

The font sizes on the Ilead and the Cybook don't seem to be too far apart looking at the screen shots (don't have a printer so I can't print them out to get a real feel for it).

The larger screen of the Ilead would means I'd get more words per page with larger fonts. I read quickly so I'd be turning the page forever with a smaller screen I expect but well, I could deal with it. I don't fancy converting everything to be readable on the Sony so that one is out.

A question about eink --
Currently I read large print (meh - not large enough !) books with a lamp over my shoulder to help bring up the contrast (warm ears here we come). It has to be very bright (I have myopic macular degeneration and cataracts forming - as I said, poor eyesight) so this also puts the non eink EB 1150 out I expect.
As eink devices are not backlit, does this mean that shining a lamp on them will make them easier to read in the same way that shining a lamp on a paper book makes it easier to read (for me anyway) ?

Question questions. Thanks for your patience.


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Old 08-06-2008, 04:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachaelandrews View Post
As eink devices are not backlit, does this mean that shining a lamp on them will make them easier to read in the same way that shining a lamp on a paper book makes it easier to read (for me anyway) ?
Yes. I was amazed at how good E-Ink looks when illuminated by a full-spectrum lamp. You might get glare from the screen though.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:48 PM   #9
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If you do not mind converting content, you can get almost any size is good for you on a Sony Reader PRS-505.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachaelandrews View Post
As eink devices are not backlit, does this mean that shining a lamp on them will make them easier to read in the same way that shining a lamp on a paper book makes it easier to read (for me anyway) ?
Yes, exactly - it's just like paper in that respect.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:51 AM   #11
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Thanks again for the replies. Your help is much appreciated !
It's my birthday in October. I suspect one may turn up then. I better decide which one to drop hints about.

The Ilead is winning it so far. Trust me to favour the most expensive one...

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Old 08-07-2008, 07:19 AM   #12
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Odd - I've just noticed that for some bizarre reason I have constantly spelled Iliad wrongly as Ilead. Brain fade ! Oops.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:37 AM   #13
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The biggest font size on the CyBook Gen 3 is 1/4 inch (6mm) from baseline to cap height, i.e. the height of a captal H.

The brighter the light, the more readable eInk displays become.

Paul

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Odd - I've just noticed that for some bizarre reason I have constantly spelled Iliad wrongly as Ilead. Brain fade ! Oops.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:32 AM   #14
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The biggest font size on the CyBook Gen 3 is 1/4 inch (6mm) from baseline to cap height, i.e. the height of a captal H.

The brighter the light, the more readable eInk displays become.

Paul
Aaah, thanks for that. I can visualise it better now. I reckon I need bigger ! FBReader on the Iliad looks more and more my cup of tea.

Now it has got to be the weirdest coincidence in the universe if you are not the esteemed Mr Paul Durrant of the NMUG ?


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Old 08-08-2008, 07:22 AM   #15
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Hi Rachael,

Yes, that's me. NMUG - Norwich Mac User Group. www.nmug.org.uk A very informal usergroup - no membership fees, just a mailing list and a monthly meeting.

Now back to font sizes. I've just done an experiment with scaling up a font - using a font editor to make it twice its nominal size. This seems to work. Using that font, I can get text on the CyBook with a cap height of 12mm.

Mind you, at that size you only get about four words per page!

Paul


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Aaah, thanks for that. I can visualise it better now. I reckon I need bigger ! FBReader on the Iliad looks more and more my cup of tea.

Now it has got to be the weirdest coincidence in the universe if you are not the esteemed Mr Paul Durrant of the NMUG ?


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