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Old 08-08-2008, 07:14 AM   #1
janineo
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Hanlin V3 vs Cybook Gen3?

Hi All,

I know there is a similar thread to this already, but the author had different priorities to me

I've been using an old Palm m505 to read eBooks for a while now. I have a selection of about 30 mobipocket format books, both DRM and non-DRM, and I will likely buy more.

The Hanlin V3 seems to support DRM-mobi in the comparison matrix, but that isn't borne out by the comments in this forum.
Does it support DRM-mobi or not? Will it in the future, if not? Is it simple to convert my mobi books to another format?

The Cybook does support DRM-mobi, but I get the impression from reviews and posts that it has issues with the ergonomics of the page turner, and it's battery life is worse. What are the ergonomics of the Hanlin like? I can't find much info on that.


I also read a lot of fanfiction off the internet. At the moment I'm using the mobi software to convert HTML pages to mobi format, but it's not always a great result. I sometimes have to hack the HTML file first to get rid of side frames, weird colours, CSS styles, images, etc.

Do either the Hanlin or the Cybook provide decent software to convert HTML pages? Or is there a decent 3rd party app out there?

Thanks for any help
Janine
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:21 AM   #2
HarryT
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The original version of the Gen3 had a very stiff page turning button; that's been completely fixed in the 512MB model; it works extremely well now.

Battery life is a total "non issue" on both machines; both let you read for days without having to recharge.

The Mobi creator/reader software is by far the best Mobi conversion software out there.
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The original version of the Gen3 had a very stiff page turning button; that's been completely fixed in the 512MB model; it works extremely well now.

Battery life is a total "non issue" on both machines; both let you read for days without having to recharge.

The Mobi creator/reader software is by far the best Mobi conversion software out there.
Thanks, it's good to hear all that!
I will probably go for the Cybook now, as it definately supports DRM-mobi.
As it's european make, I guess I'm going to have an easier time getting hold of one here in the UK rather than importing from the US?

Is the protective cover available worth the extra cost?

Thanks,
Janine
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janineo View Post
The Hanlin V3 seems to support DRM-mobi in the comparison matrix, but that isn't borne out by the comments in this forum.
Does it support DRM-mobi or not? Will it in the future, if not? Is it simple to convert my mobi books to another format?
The Hanlin V3 does not currently support DRM Mobipocket. There was available, for a very short time, a firmware with Mobipocket support, but it was quickly retracted for unknown (to me at least) reasons. To the best of my knowledge, Mobipocket support is still in the works, though, and "should" be available in a couple of weeks or months, at most.

Converting from Mobipocket to other formats is relatively simple once you've installed and gotten the hang of the necessary tools, although it may not be legal for DRM-Mobipocket where you live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janineo View Post
What are the ergonomics of the Hanlin like? I can't find much info on that.
Nothing spectacular, in either direction. The bookshelf is a bit spartan (no cover images) and very easy to use, although it has an odd default sort order (by date). There are two sets of page turn buttons on the left edge and below the screen, but they could be placed a little better, and having a third set on the right edge would be nice for maximum versatility. I haven't encountered any major usability problems with the V3.

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Do either the Hanlin or the Cybook provide decent software to convert HTML pages? Or is there a decent 3rd party app out there?
If you find one, let me know. As far as I know, there is no app that does a good job on all HTML input. Especially stuff with fancy formatting often needs some manual pre-processing, regardless of the tool you use.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:25 AM   #5
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Is the protective cover available worth the extra cost?
It is absolutely essential (IMHO).
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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I was in a similar position to you, upgrading from a Palm PDA to either the Cybook or Hanlin (at the time Sony wasn't available in the UK)

I went with the Hanlin and I'm glad I did.

Advantages: Battery is a common nokia type that is easily and cheaply obtained. Hanlin is cheaper than Cybook. Wider supported formats without need to convert, just drop on SD card and you're away. The book shelf uses a dir hierachy too, you put folders on your SD card however you want, then just navigate it via the menu system on the Hanlin. Personally I think this is a key feature and something the Cybook makers should consider adding.

Downside: If you want mobi, you may or may not get it with the Hanlin. There was a firmware update that added it, but it took way too long to turn a page and was removed from the newest firmware. Whether that was the reason for the removal I couldn't say. Also the cybook does look nicer. The Hanlin isn't quite GPL compliant, although they're a lot more compliant than the Cybook! Finally, the material the case is made out of, had a strong smell, although after a week airing it, that's gone (wouldn't stop me buying it again, but worth knowing about in advance

With the release of the Sony reader though, I think my choice would now be Hanlin vs Sony, especially since Sony added .epub.

If you want mobi support the cybook may be the better choice. If you're happy to convert books from mobi to html/fb2 or another format, then the hanlin may be a good buy and _might_ in the future get mobi support again (but there is no guarantee)

The hanlin does support epub and recently .lit support has been added, although both still need a bit more work before I'd be happy to recommend their use, they are usable, just not quite ideal yet. Currently the best format for the hanlin (imho) is fb2. It's trivial to go from .lit to html to fb2, which includes all the cover art, images and so forth in a nice readable format. Hopefully the .lit and epub viewers will reach a similar level before too long.

For conversion software, I've been using convertLit, then any2fb, a set of python scripts that do a great job of going from html to fb2. They'll take all linked images from the html page and embed them into the fb2.

Sony/Hanlin/Cybook are all good devices from what I could gather when I looked into them. Don't rush into buying one, but equally don't agonise over which to get for too long They're all good for different reasons and I'm sure I'd have been just as happy with the Cybook or Sony as I am the Hanlin.

Last edited by JoeD; 08-08-2008 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janineo View Post
Thanks, it's good to hear all that!
I will probably go for the Cybook now, as it definately supports DRM-mobi.

Is the protective cover available worth the extra cost?
You have to pay extra for a basic cover? That sucks. it is pretty essential to protect the screen IMO.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:57 AM   #8
janineo
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Thank you all for your replies, I appreciate it.

I'm going to wait a little while before I make a decision (lots of expensive house DIY to do during the 'summer', so no spare money) but I'll certainly let you know my decision.

Maybe the Hanlin will have mobi support by then, as that's the main thing swinging me toward the Cybook at the moment

Many Thanks,
Janine
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