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Old 11-23-2008, 12:17 PM   #1
johanm
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Device: BeBook (Hanlin v3) and iPod Touch
ebook reader for emagazines

I am looking for an ebook reader that will meet my needs :
  • small, handy, lightweight
  • less straining for the eyes than computer/lcd screen
  • budget 300 euros
  • must be able to display emagazines (linux magazine and php architect for example) and ict books (o'reilly, apres, php architect, wrox).

I have several questions : hardware (which device is best suited for my needs) and software (converters to ebook friendly formats).

I've uploaded (temporarily) 2 ebooks for testing purposes:
http://www.johan-mares.be/bebook/phpa_09-2005.pdf if you could test pages 19 (graphic with text, bottom of page) and 20 (plain text and colored code on light colored background).
http://www.johan-mares.be/bebook/mys...rpt-5.1-en.pdf, if this text is readable, my other ict books will be too

If you test them, please mention the ebook reader and zoom level you've used.

I live in Europe so don't suggest the kindle or sony ebook readers. Given my budget I've found 3 candidates:
  1. asus eee pc notebook: I don't want another pc, I already have a dual boot desktop, a desktop used as xenserver hypervisor and a macbook. Heavy. No less eye strain ().
  2. iPod Touch: very nice gadget , lots of feautures, maybe good for reading half an hour but not for hours (eye strain), battery life.
  3. BeBook or Hanlin v3: looks very good , good battery life, looks like it can handle o'reilly ict books (http://pookey.co.uk/blog/archives/61-BeBook-review.html), but from reactions so far I think I can forget reading emagazines. Ofcourse the emagazines are the most demanding ebooks that I have (I've got lots of other ebooks), but if I can't read those magazines on it, it becomes a lot less useful for me.
  4. Any suggestions ? If some of you have other ebook readers like the iliad, could you test the phpa_09-2005.pdf ?

Software. It looks like chm files are a real pain in the ass on ebooks. I found that I can use iCHM (on Mac) to convert chm books to pdf (a bit smaller fontsize, but if the mysql-linuxunix-excerpt-5.1-en.pdf is readible, than the converted chm ebooks will be too).
Does anyone have any experience with ABC Amber Conversion software ? Links for CHM and for PDF. Apparently you can even convert to fb2 and rtf. Can fb2 and rtf display images ?
Any other conversion software available ? Maybe to convert pdf emagazines to something more readible on reader ?

It is ofcourse possible that I will have to wait till the technology matures. It's better to be safe than sorry. Better to be disappointed before I spent my money.

Thanx,

Johan
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Old 11-23-2008, 01:57 PM   #2
Mononofu
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Well, I have an eee PC as well as an iPhone, but I still consider buying a BeBook.

- the eee PC:
altough it is possible to read books, it isn't very comfortable: the battery runs low after some hours, it's heavy and the screen isn't that good for your years, and it's quite big too.
- the iPhone
The only problem in reading is the quite small screen, even though you can read normal ebooks, reading magazines and A4-Pdfs is quite difficult, although not impossible.
Another problem arises if you read in the dark: even if you turn the screen brightness to the lowest level possible, it's still quite bright, and it starts to hurt in the eyes after some hours.

Still, nothing manages to run as long as a dedicated ebook on a single charge, and the display looks just like normal paper. On the downside, you have to pay 300€ for a device which is only able to display books, and nothing else. (well, it can play music, but who hasn't got any sort of iPod?)

The BeBook is the only possible choice for me, since the big iRex just uses way to much battery (it doesn't even last 10 hours) and all the other readers are seemingly unable to display A4 pdfs in a way so you can read them.
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Old 11-23-2008, 03:41 PM   #3
johanm
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Okay, I've uploaded 2 more pdfs. The same document as http://www.johan-mares.be/bebook/phpa_09-2005.pdf, but converted to:
- black and white http://www.johan-mares.be/bebook/phpa_09-2005b.pdf
- graytone http://www.johan-mares.be/bebook/phpa_09-2005c.pdf

Is this an improvement over the original document ? (see pages 19 for drawing and p 20 for code). The drawing on p 19 becomes unreadable in black and white and the comment in the code samples is gone. I fear that the comment in the code sample will be unreadable in graytone.

thanx,

Johan
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:40 PM   #4
Mononofu
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Well, I change my mind: it is indeed possible to read books on the iPhone, and, if you invert the colors (black background, white text), actually quite comfortable.

Thus, I will wait for a large-screen eBook reader capable of more than 10 hours of battery life, will costing less than 300€. (i.e. waiting another year ^^)
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:46 PM   #5
DDHarriman
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If not a miracle happens, I would agree. See the price of the new Iliad... and I do not see that one getting lower anytime soon.
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