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Old 10-13-2008, 11:45 AM   #1
redbaron101
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ereaders for the uk

Just when I keep making up my mind on which to buy, something else comes up and brings me back to square one. As a uk consumer, we now have the choice of bebook (£229), gen3 (£179), iliad (£400), sony 505 (£199) all from high streeet retailers (wh smiths, waterstones, sony shop), well apart from bebook which looks like a uk website.

For me the iliad although a worthy product, but is way too expensive, but I'm torn between the sony 505/bebook and gen3. Does anyone know of any other uk websites or uk retailers selling other models for reasonable prices ? Or if you had to choose between the 505/bebook and gen3, which one?

decisions, decisions!!
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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The CyBook is the best buy at the moment:

Full Mobipocket Suport, including word look-up in dictionaries
Fonts can be installed, and large range of font size (unlike Sony)
Case included in the price
Cheapest

The main drawback to the current generation of 6" devices is the glass substrate of the eInk screen. This time next year we should see similar machines with plasic substrates, which should be much more robust.


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Originally Posted by redbaron101 View Post
Just when I keep making up my mind on which to buy, something else comes up and brings me back to square one. As a uk consumer, we now have the choice of bebook (£229), gen3 (£179), iliad (£400), sony 505 (£199) all from high streeet retailers (wh smiths, waterstones, sony shop), well apart from bebook which looks like a uk website.

For me the iliad although a worthy product, but is way too expensive, but I'm torn between the sony 505/bebook and gen3. Does anyone know of any other uk websites or uk retailers selling other models for reasonable prices ? Or if you had to choose between the 505/bebook and gen3, which one?

decisions, decisions!!
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:06 PM   #3
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http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Sony_vs_Cybook

(Just to clarify, Sony's also get a case as standard - Cybook's didn't use to, but the WHS deal includes one, which I suspect is why it's mentioned!)
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by redbaron101 View Post
Just when I keep making up my mind on which to buy, something else comes up and brings me back to square one. As a uk consumer, we now have the choice of bebook (£229), gen3 (£179), iliad (£400), sony 505 (£199) all from high streeet retailers (wh smiths, waterstones, sony shop), well apart from bebook which looks like a uk website.

For me the iliad although a worthy product, but is way too expensive, but I'm torn between the sony 505/bebook and gen3. Does anyone know of any other uk websites or uk retailers selling other models for reasonable prices ? Or if you had to choose between the 505/bebook and gen3, which one?

decisions, decisions!!
Its Frustrating isn't it

Seriously, while the iliad is great for Looking at PDf's and making notes, i would Probably not suggest getting that unless those are you main priorities.

For recreational reading one of the 6'' Devices is best.

The Cybook Gen 3 is currently the best deal as you know, especially as it includes the case. With it you get the best mobipocket support, Dictionary support and Font support.PDF Support is basic but usable. Drawback is that it is light, so might be a little more delicate then the others (I've personally not had any problems, but it's just something to keep in mind)

The Sony has the advantage that it is probably the most sturdy of them all with a metal case, and is definitely the most elegant looking.It also had refilow support for PDF's which none of the others do. Drawback is that purchase options are limited unless you format shift. However if you have a lot of your own documents you want to read on it, it supports RTF natively, so is a nice bonus.

The Bebook has the most varied format support, but while it supportd mobipocket, it is a very limited application. The advantage is that there is a active development community so that those deficiencies will be rectified in time.

The thing is that all the current devices have a glass substrata so you do have to treat them with care, but a good case, and a little caution should prevent any accidents .
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bbusybookworm View Post
Sony... Drawback is that purchase options are limited unless you format shift.
Although that's less so since the last firmware update added ePub support as a native format.
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by gwynevans View Post
Although that's less so since the last firmware update added ePub support as a native format.
The range of ePub books is still vastly less than that of MobiPocket, although it is very easy to buy in other formats (eg LIT) and convert to Sony's LRF format.

I would, however, second the recommendation for the Gen3 for all the reasons mentioned: mobi format support, dictionary lookup, fonts, and something else which hasn't been mentioned - the fact that it has a user-replaceable battery.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:09 AM   #7
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The range of ePub books is still vastly less than that of MobiPocket, although it is very easy to buy in other formats (eg LIT) and convert to Sony's LRF format.

I would, however, second the recommendation for the Gen3 for all the reasons mentioned: mobi format support, dictionary lookup, fonts, and something else which hasn't been mentioned - the fact that it has a user-replaceable battery.
That's a very important fact. Go for the Cybook.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:37 AM   #8
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In fairness I must add that the Gen3 is not the only machine to have a replaceable battery - the BeBook has one too.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:57 AM   #9
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For general "book" reading I think the cybook from WHsmiths takes some beating. It is light and very easy to use. I would prefer a form of directory support rather than just the library view as it ca take a while to find books if you loads of them, though probaly not much worse than most other 6" size units.
For reading pdfs from scientific/technical and other similar uses, the DR1000 is excellent, however it is at a very early stage in it's development as you may see from the forum & expensive. The stylus is a very useful addition, though full touch sensitivity would be even better.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:26 AM   #10
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In fairness I must add that the Gen3 is not the only machine to have a replaceable battery - the BeBook has one too.
As does the Kindle.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:58 AM   #11
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so does no one think the bebook is worthy? - I do like the fact that bebook appears to have an active community and support. It also supports custom fonts (true type - ttf - fonts) and search being promised 'in the near future' in a firmware update. Their latest firmware addresses mobipocket supporting drm mobi and drm prc files. Their next release is tagged to include ereaders pdb format. currently the bebook supports
Pdf, doc, html, bmp, jpg, png, gif, tif, djvu, fb2, wol, txt, epub, ppt, lit, chm, rar, zip, mp3, mobi,prc, html, altho I think I read somewhere the lit reader might still be a a little flakey.

I never realised the glass/plastic substrate might be a problem, and i have to admit the sony looks very sexy, especially compared to the others.

I think for me the gen3 price is very attractive, but the good support for the hanlin clone has me umming and erring. . . and to think i was just about ready to rush out to waterstones to buy the sony - it was only due to it being out of stock that i havent got one, and now we (in the uk) suddenly get more choices!
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:11 PM   #12
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so does no one think the bebook is worthy? -
If I had to decide between the BeBook and the CyBook, even given the dictionary and font differences I would choose the BeBook. Those two issues can be fixed with firmware updates which Hanlin has seemed to be releasing in a timely fashion. The biggest issue I see with CyBook is the total lack of customer support. Granted, 95% plus of electronic devices never have a problem... but you are rolling the dice.

If I lived in a place where the Sony is supported I would choose it over the above two. I feel it is a better made device and Sony has proved they are commited to this market. They have also commited to a large influx of content on their US/Canada store. The no mobipocket support is totally eliminated by the existence of mobi, ereader and lit drm removal tools. And calibre converts those formats to LRF/ePub perfectly well. In addition the Sony is the only device that supports Secure Adobe PDF/ePub books which are used by a LARGE amount of libaries and ebook stores.

In the US I think the best choice is the Kindle. It opens up a large content provider that you just can't buy from with any other device. (Yes, I think Amazon should open this up, but that's not the point.) Once again, mobi drm removal tool doesn't limit you to the Kindle store. However, I've yet to find a book that is availble in Mobipocket that is not available for the Kindle. The wireless shopping and delivery of Kindle content is just a bonus as is Wikipedia access.

Anyway... there are my rankings.

BOb
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:22 PM   #13
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so does no one think the bebook is worthy? - I do like the fact that bebook appears to have an active community and support. It also supports custom fonts (true type - ttf - fonts) and search being promised 'in the near future' in a firmware update. Their latest firmware addresses mobipocket supporting drm mobi and drm prc files. Their next release is tagged to include ereaders pdb format. currently the bebook supports
Pdf, doc, html, bmp, jpg, png, gif, tif, djvu, fb2, wol, txt, epub, ppt, lit, chm, rar, zip, mp3, mobi,prc, html, altho I think I read somewhere the lit reader might still be a a little flakey.

I never realised the glass/plastic substrate might be a problem, and i have to admit the sony looks very sexy, especially compared to the others.

I think for me the gen3 price is very attractive, but the good support for the hanlin clone has me umming and erring. . . and to think i was just about ready to rush out to waterstones to buy the sony - it was only due to it being out of stock that i havent got one, and now we (in the uk) suddenly get more choices!
The main Reason people may not recommand the Bebook so much is that while it has a lot of features, many of them have not been implemted properly.

The Mobipocket reader is very basic, well behind the Cybook's which while not as full featured as the desktop client is very nice.

Also, while the Bebook does support fonts, it does not do it sirectly currently, and youhave to use a workaround to install new fonts. in Contrast on the Gen3 installing new fonts is as simple as just dragging and dropping a new font in the fonts directory.

The Bebook does however support a lot of other formats like fb2 & chm and is the only one which currently has folder based navigation.

It does really depend upon what your priorities are.

If you just want to purchase and read books the Gen 3 is probably the best bet as you have a lot for choice in mobipocket books, and you also get the advantage of being able to buy easily from American stores (Get some advantage of the exchange rate )

If you have a lot of your own documents and want PDF support which allows reflowing of text then go for the Sony. Keep in mind that while it does support ePub, sources and prices for it are quiet high and it may make for sense to buy in another format and Format Shift them for the Sony.

If you want the support for the most formats, and don't mind doing a little tinkering at times definitely go for the Bebook. As you said their development is the most open and fast of all the three, so if you are interested in such, its a worth option.

In the end its a question of priorities. While I have the Gen 3 and love it, I'm also interested in the Bebook, for testing if nothing else.
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:38 AM   #14
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Also, while the Bebook does support fonts, it does not do it sirectly currently, and youhave to use a workaround to install new fonts. in Contrast on the Gen3 installing new fonts is as simple as just dragging and dropping a new font in the fonts directory.
hmmm.., changing fonts on bebook isnt that hard - , "Connect your BEBOOK to your computer via the USB cable. Copy your TrueType font file in the 'Font' folder of the BEBOOK internal memory. You will then be able to choose it in the 'Font Family' submenu."

the tinkerer in me shouts bebook (I always tend to mod nearly everything i buy to some extent or other), but the sony definitely has a place in my heart, but the incredible price of the gen3 is sooo tempting! hmmmm, maybe Im better off flipping a coin!
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Old 10-15-2008, 06:02 AM   #15
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hmmm going through the gen3 forums, it looks like the race is narrowed down to sony or bebook - it appears that its 50/50 whether you get a problem with gen 3, thats too high in my opinion, although im sure the 50% with gen 3's that dont have a problem will disagree with me.

hmmm bebook or sony 505 . . . .
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