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Old 10-14-2008, 08:33 PM   #1
ProDigit
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So,which one?

Hi,
I'm kind of new to this ebook readers, but I liked the fact that we're dealing with a very small device compared to a laptop, that allows me to read books; and I even like the fact that it's Black and white; paper-like!

I just had some questions:
First is, I have few books in pdf format, which show both text and image.

Let's say on the top of the left column of the page there's text and on the right column there's a picture.
Then a page goes on with having text on both left as right side of the screen.

1- How well does a ebook reader display a (normal color) picture,like say a .jpg? and further that,how well does it retain the original layout of the book?

2- Does an ebook allow pdf pages that are A4 and notebook format to be read at 90 degrees? (making the length of the screen displaying the width of the page).

3- How long on general can you read on one charge?
Imagine I'm on a train one hour per day reading a certain book.Am I able to make the week through with a device like this,or does it need daily charging?

4- How long is the boottime of some of those devices? Is it 'instant on', or does it take a few seconds?

and
5- I read somewhere some of these devices having 'Windows CE'.
Does that mean the device runs on a form of Windows,so I can install small .exe and .msi files on it, or does it have another OS, which only allows you to view and browse through documents or mp3 files?

So,last question:
For me only 3 things matter:
1- Big screen,good resolution; using that white background, and fake ink thing; meaning, not like a PDA which has background lighting.
2- Second most important thing, I'd like it to be cheap!

3- The looks: It may look complicated, I don't care.. Touchscreen to make notes on the device would be awesome, though it isn't a 'must'.. Cheaper and big screen are more important. Also a very flat device seems nice, but again isn't a 'must'!

Which one would you recommend?

Last edited by ProDigit; 10-14-2008 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 10-15-2008, 08:53 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, ProDigit.

Battery life and boot time information is included in the matrix. Take a look and a few of your other questions might be answered. I love the battery life on my Sony PRS-505. I read 2-3 hours daily and only charge once or twice a month.

I think most devices allow you to change the screen orientation (portrait or landscape). I know the Sony 505 does.

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Old 10-16-2008, 04:06 PM   #3
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Well,after doing some research on various mentioned and unmentioned devices, I wanted to put some of my findings on 'paper'. Generally I'm reviewing e-ink devices here:

1- I didn't really like the hanlin OS interface and looks, it doesn't mention anything of landscape .pdf view,it has a great library and great price too. If I would get one, I would probably go with V3 or V8(in black if possible);but no thank you...

2- From Sony:
- The PRS 505 has few options (no SDK), and expensive books. But has the best sales price yet! This one is good if you don't read lots, want a quality device that you can take with you on holidays and maybe buy one or two books per holiday (less than 10 per year).

- The Sony PRS 700 is too expensive for what it has

4- From Irex:
- Iliad is what I want, only it's twice the price of a Sony, and doesn't support SD cards.. Given a much lower pricetag, I would probably go with the 'book edition', since I don't need Wifi. What I really like is the bar on the left for page swapping!
- Irex Digital reader is too large and pricey for me.

6- Kindle offers not much for it's 3G connection;Amazon and Wikipedia. Not possible to download Gutenberg books with it. I also really dislike it's looks! Buy this one over Sony if you're a reader that buys lots of books regularly. Books on amazon are on average $9.99; in the sony shop that's $14.50.

7- From Netronics:
- EB500: screensize is pretty small, despite having 800x600 pix; 128Mb flash memory.
- EB600: Identical than EB500, only with USB1.1 interface,and 6" screen.
- EB610: Identical to EB500, only with 512Mb ram, and 6" screen
- EB611: Identical to EB610, only with Wifi (pretty useless)
- EB900/EZ900: (AKA Astak Mentor) 9,7" screen, 4GB flash,64Mb ram, If I had to choose this brand it'd probably be this one, despite it's expected heavy price tag.
There's some controversy I've seen around the internet concerning this. One device will be released nov.'08,the other one around may '09.

8- Polymer Vision Readiusespite it's small formfactor, I don't like the screen to be flexible, rolled up like that. Neither the 320x240 (QVGA) screen. So I'd not enjoy this device. Besides, noone really knows if you can view books with it, or buy them...

9- Ectaco Jetbook: NO E-ink!! It almost got me! Too small screen, and priced the same as the Sony PRS550. Not interested. Has a whole bunch of dictionaries, interface languages and language support I don't need. No mention of the display resolution!

10- StareBook STK-101 is older technology sold for a price higher than the Sony PSR-700. So it's a nono for me.

11- Plastic Logic Reader: First,the reader is business aimed,so we can expect this to start selling around $800,and in 6 months perhaps drop $300. it has almost no controls,so everything needs to be done through a touchscreen. I dislike touchscreens in a sense that, if you need to use it a lot the touchscreen gets destroyed easely. If you only use it to select an item on the screen ok, but not to do both typing and swapping pages! So only the price, and then the controls say to me a big nono.

Those where all devices I found online. Anyone can add some more, I'd be delighted to search into them,and perhaps find a weak spot of the device.

It's really hard to find a good device out there. I guess there's a general rule to buy the newest is usually better feats. Older devices fabricated in 2006 for example, don't have many of the newer improvements,and often sell for a not much lower price.

Last edited by ProDigit; 10-16-2008 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:04 PM   #4
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Just a few comments on your list here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
- The PRS 505 has few options (no SDK), and expensive books. But has the best sales price yet! This one is good if you don't read lots, want a quality device that you can take with you on holidays and maybe buy one or two books per holiday (less than 10 per year).
Sony ebook store is not the only place to buy content for the Sony. There are many places that sell ebooks in Sony format, as well as free sources. And, if you are willing to convert that opens up more. If you are willing to "liberate" (remove DRM) that opens up even more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
- Iliad is what I want, only it's twice the price of a Sony, and doesn't
You don't say why this is the one you want. However, many have said that if your main use is recreational reading of fiction books, this is not the best choice due to the poorly implemented mobi reader and battery life and support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
6- Kindle offers not much for it's 3G connection;Amazon and Wikipedia. Not possible to download Gutenberg books with it. I also really dislike it's looks!
Looks aside you can use Whispernet to download public domain books from feedbooks.com and from here. But, how you can dismiss the Kindle because it has an "extra" feature that the others don't even have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
Those where all devices I found online. Anyone can add some more, I'd be delighted to search into them,and perhaps find a weak spot of the device.
You didn't list the Bookeen CyBook... which many people here have. It is OEMed by Newtronics however has Bookeen written firmware.


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Old 10-16-2008, 05:30 PM   #5
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There are two major strategies for handling DRMed ebooks:

a) Buy from vendors who support your device
b) Buy LIT (MS Reader) break the DRM and format shift to any device

Under (a), Sony has its own store but also anywhere selling Secure Adobe (PDF or ePub) providing the (usually minor) issues with displaying Secure Adobe on the PRS-505 are not deal breakers. The other options are the Kindle (Amazon has the best single ebook store), or the Bookeen Gen3 which is the best 6" MOBI option.

Under (b), which is not legal in some places, the best choices are probably Sony PRS-505 or Bookeen Gen3, although the Hanlin may be an option as well. Note that MOBI and eReader are alternative to LIT, and there are mixed, (a)+(b), strategies for these formats (although no EInk device reads DRMed EReader).

Since the Kindle's AZW format is DRMed MOBI, it is possible to buy from Amazon (AZW) and from other stores (LIT) and use both on the Kindle and have all ebooks available for other device types in the future. Note that some Kindle ebooks are in the TOPAZ format which has not been cracked.

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Old 10-16-2008, 05:53 PM   #6
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A few corrections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
Well,after doing some research on various mentioned and unmentioned devices, I wanted to put some of my findings on 'paper'. Generally I'm reviewing e-ink devices here:

1- I didn't really like the hanlin OS interface and looks, it doesn't mention anything of landscape .pdf view,it has a great library and great price too. If I would get one, I would probably go with V3 or V8(in black if possible);but no thank you...
It does have a landscape mode if you zoom the pdf.

Quote:
7- From Netronics:
- EB500: screensize is pretty small, despite having 800x600 pix; 128Mb flash memory.
- EB600: Identical than EB500, only with USB1.1 interface.
tte 600 has a 6" screen hence the model number beginning with a 6.
Quote:
- EB610: Identical to EB500, only with 512Mb ram, and 6" screen
- EB611: Identical to EB610, only with Wifi (pretty useless)
That is why it is an option. Some will love it and if you don't then don't buy it
Quote:
- EB900/EZ900: (AKA Astak Mentor) 9,7" screen, 4GB flash,64Mb ram, If I had to choose this brand it'd probably be this one, despite it's expected heavy price tag.
There's some controversy I've seen around the internet concerning this. One device will be released nov.'08,the other one around may '09.
There will be no unit in November. Not one, nada, the 9.7" was taken back to the drawing boards when the prototypes were to easy to break due to the glass substrate on the screen. Expect a version next year with a plastic backing which should be more rugged.

Quote:
9- Ectaco Jetbook: NO E-ink!! It almost got me! Too small screen, and priced the same as the Sony PRS550. Not interested. Has a whole bunch of dictionaries, interface languages and language support I don't need. No mention of the display resolution!
640x480

Quote:
10- StareBook STK-101 is older technology sold for a price higher than the Sony PSR-700. So it's a nono for me.
It is the same hardware as the netronix devices. I doubt that they are continuing the product in the west anyway.

Quote:
Those where all devices I found online. Anyone can add some more, I'd be delighted to search into them,and perhaps find a weak spot of the device.
You missed the cybook.
Quote:
It's really hard to find a good device out there. I guess there's a general rule to buy the newest is usually better feats. Older devices fabricated in 2006 for example, don't have many of the newer improvements,and often sell for a not much lower price.
Most of the 2006 devices are undergoing revisions and have newer models even though they are often derelict at updating their english web site. Consider the Cybook recently produced a 512K model while the 2006 design was 64K. Sony upgrades their devices every year to a new model and firware upgrades are also available.

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Old 10-16-2008, 07:55 PM   #7
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Hi,
thanks for the many counter perspectives!
Please take note that most of the points are my personal views,and may not reflect yours.


About the battery on the Iliad, this is indeed bad; very bad even... 15 hours is very little compared to the other devices out there!
And I wonder why the battery life is so different compared to the rest...(I had overlooked that one)
So, If I'd disable the wifi, would I still get the same results?

I was looking into the Iliad, and upto now haven't found anything about the refresh rate when using the pen stylus. So that might be another drawback...

If so,I'd probably want a book edition instead.

I liked the Iliad because you have the option to draw on it (touchscreen), and it has a side-bar that I find very natural for swapping pages.
I also like to read .pdf files with mainly text, now and then a small picture.
I've compared the resolution with my laptop, and I can read most of my A4 pdf's quite fine in 1024x768 resolution.

For me personally 3G won't do the trick. I mean, there's not much I can do with that, and most of the time I'll probably be browsing the internet from home anyways,uploading books from my laptop (since I always want to keep a backup of my files, I'd prefer them to pass my laptop). If I ever go on a journey, I'll pre-load some books I have, just like you would do when you go traveling (take a few books with you).
Usually I'm not longer than 24 hours away from an internet connection, and since I can't go on skype,forums etc.. with it (what I much more comfortably can do with my laptop), I'd rather pay less for a device that can do less things I don't need anyways..

Besides,devices like the kindle and Sony's reader kind of already make me not want to buy them because they want to stay within their own circle. Buy books from sony, buy batteries from sony,etc... I dislike those closed circle enviroments...
But I'm glad you tell me that via conversion there are possibilities to playback other fileformats through the reader!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post

You didn't list the Bookeen CyBook... which many people here have. It is OEMed by Newtronics however has Bookeen written firmware.

BOb
So, it's a bit confusing.. the Bookeen Cybook is not connected to the Netronics EB600 ??


Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
...
...

Note that some Kindle ebooks are in the TOPAZ format which has not been cracked.
I on the majority will read my own downloaded (unencoded) .pdf files,and if possible html or doc files.
I have various of free books available from a site that uploaded .pdf files that no longer is... The .pdf files are legal, and most of the books are over 25 years old; but still a valuable resource.
I also have books from the gutenberg website.
On a very rare occasion I will want to download a new book; mainly science, bio or something like that.

I also wished to create my own e-books. I have plenty of books at home,and a program that automatically converts scans into .pdf.
I know it's a lot of work, but I feel happy with that!

I'm the type of person that has little money and lots of time,if you know what I mean. However cracking drm I am not planning on doing.



Dalede:
- Thanks for noting about the landscape!
- 6" has been corrected;I forgot to add it.
900:
- Probably that's why some website mentioned about the EZ900 being released around may 2009. The EB900 can be scrapped from the matrix then...


All above updates and corrections have pointed out that right now the Sony PSR-505 will be most interesting for me. the cybook is a tad more expensive,and at this moment I see little improvement of the cybook over the Sony PSR-505.
I can get the Sony 505 for $275, while the cybooks starts from 300.

Anyone have any ideas when the next device will come out ? (plastic Logics excluded, which will be released somewhere in 2009)?

Last edited by ProDigit; 10-16-2008 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
About the battery on the Iliad, this is indeed bad; very bad even... 15 hours is very little compared to the other devices out there!
And I wonder why the battery life is so different compared to the rest...(I had overlooked that one)
So, If I'd disable the wifi, would I still get the same results?
That IS the battery life with the WiFi disabled. If you make extensive use of the WiFi, the battery life will be a lot less.

The iLiad is really a very different class of machine. It's much more of a general-purpose computer than a dedicated eBook reader. Think of it as a Tablet PC with an eInk screen - in that context, a 15h battery life is excellent.

Quote:
So, it's a bit confusing.. the Bookeen Cybook is not connected to the Netronics EB600 ??
The CyBook Gen3 is, in hardware terms, very similar to the now-discontinued Netronix EB100, but Bookeen wrote much, MUCH better software for it than the Netronix machines have. The Gen3 has the best support for MobiPocket books (MobiPocket is by far the most popular commercial eBook format) of any eInk device on the market. It is a truly excellent machine which many people on this forum have (including myself).

Quote:
I on the majority will read my own downloaded (unencoded) .pdf files,and if possible html or doc files.
I have various of free books available from a site that uploaded .pdf files that no longer is... The .pdf files are legal, and most of the books are over 25 years old; but still a valuable resource.
PDF is the worst possible choice for an eBook format. PDF was never intended to be used for books, and have horrendous problems when used as an eBook format. Virtually any other choice of format is better. Avoid PDF files like the plague.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:20 AM   #9
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yeah,not much I can do about that. I think I have about 20 PDF books, and I'll see how this other format is doing.
Before I used to take my laptop with extended battery (3 + 5hrs) on the plane,to read fullscreen.
It was about all I had back then,and PDF really is the best format for pc and printing I find...

The only 2 reasons I want to buy an e-book reader is because of the e-ink technology and the extreme battery life! I mean, I can easily take one to the beach for a long weekend.

Concearning the Irex Iliad, do all versions have battery life like this?
I understand that for a laptop 15 hours is really good, but not for book reading (why I initially bought it for).

I kind of miss some nice gadgets on the ebook readers, games like eg: oxo, mahjong, 4 on a row, chess, Sudoku, ...
And maybe small programs like chronometer/clock, calendar,...
GPS +3Dmap would be awesome!
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:54 AM   #10
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Concearning the Irex Iliad, do all versions have battery life like this?
I understand that for a laptop 15 hours is really good, but not for book reading (why I initially bought it for).
15h (or so) is the battery life of the iLiad v2, which has a larger battery than the original v1. The v1 will typically work for 10-12h on a battery charge, provided that you don't make extensive use of the stylus or WiFi.

The new iRex DR1000 readers currently have a battery life of about 5h, although this should improve with future versions of the firmware.

For comparison, I read on my CyBook Gen3 for a couple of hours a day, and at that level of usage, the battery charge would last about 3 weeks.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:19 PM   #11
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the first gen Iliad doesn't seem to have wifi nor touchscreen,that's why I asked (the book edition).
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
the first gen Iliad doesn't seem to have wifi nor touchscreen,that's why I asked (the book edition).
The first Gen iLiad does have the same features as the Gen2 one.

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Old 10-17-2008, 02:24 PM   #13
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the first gen Iliad doesn't seem to have wifi nor touchscreen,that's why I asked (the book edition).
The book edition is a 2nd gen device and does have a touchscreen but no wifi. It is about $100 cheaper. If you need Wifi then buy the iLiad.

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Old 10-17-2008, 04:38 PM   #14
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so even The book edition has low battery life?
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:47 AM   #15
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so even The book edition has low battery life?
Yes. It is the same as the v2 except for the WiFi, and the WiFi is off by default on the v2. If you are considering an iLiad, the Book Edition is your best bet unless there is a particular application for WiFi that you need and you know ahead of time will work on the v2.

Another problem with the iLiad (v2 and BE) is that it isn't really possible to use it when plugged into the "travel hub" to charge the device. The bottom line is that if a 15 hr battery isn't enough don't buy the iLiad. I find it is enough when using it around the house, but I typically take my Kindle with me instead when traveling.
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