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Old 02-09-2009, 02:39 AM   #1
dnullify
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slightly overwhelmed...

Hey all!
just to introduce myself, i am a high school student in the bay area- California, and a typical bookworm since a young age. being a member of numerous hobby-based forums, i know i'm going to come off as a thoroughly noobish person with yet another "what to buy" thread.

anyway, i've always placed digital readers as unattainable- based on price, but now they have really caught my eye.

i first looked at the amazon kindle (hence thinking they're all unattainable), but i figured:
a- way out of my price range (and there's a v2 coming out tomorrow right?)
b- wireless is kind of unnecessary for me, and i'd like to be able to torrent popular books, and not be held hostage by amazon...

so now my main interest is in a Sony prs-505. (bit pricey, but i think i'd be able to find one used.)
i also read about an Astak reader here, but the thread had 86 something pages, so i am not sure as to what there is available.

i suppose what i'm looking for is a reader that:
-has long battery
-expandable memory
-will allow me to read all sorts of formats (basically things i can torrent, as well as buy from 3rd party online stores- not just one particular store)

all for a decent price... (even i'm laughing at that statement.)

I also wouldn't mind something like a touch screen, or key pad... perhaps wifi or some sort of connection. I would enjoy these features, but i don't want to get carried away trying to get the best of the best.

thanks in advance for advance!
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnullify View Post
i suppose what i'm looking for is a reader that:
-has long battery
-expandable memory
-will allow me to read all sorts of formats (basically things i can torrent, as well as buy from 3rd party online stores- not just one particular store)

all for a decent price... (even i'm laughing at that statement.)

I also wouldn't mind something like a touch screen, or key pad... perhaps wifi or some sort of connection. I would enjoy these features, but i don't want to get carried away trying to get the best of the best.

thanks in advance for advance!
I'd suggest waiting at least another six months. Meanwhile, get yourself a second-hand Sony Clie, and Mobipocket Reader. With your young eyes you should find a Sony Clie very good as a portable ebook reader. If you can find one, I'd suggest the SJ-20, which has a monochrome screen that works well in sunlight as well as when using the backlight.

Why? Because in all current eInk readers the display has a glass substrate. And being quite a large display, and very thin glass, it's very fragile. And the screen is by far the most expensive component in the device. In the next six to twelve months, eInk screens with a plastic substrate should be appearing. These will be much more robust.



BTW, this forum is definitely against copyright infringement. And there are /enormous/ numbers of really good out-of-copyright books around, including on these forums.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:28 AM   #3
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The Sony 505 has explandable memory and an extremely long battery life (usually two weeks, 3,000 page turns). If you get something with wifi or touch screen it'll shorten the battery life. You can buy from several different websites, as long as they have a Sony readable format (LRF is my favorite).

You can also get them on sale brand new, you just have to keep your eyes open. Circuit City had them on sale, but I don't know if they have any left.

I super duper love my 505 I've always been a bookworm.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:01 AM   #4
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You should look at the E-book Reader Matrix. The only older device (not on that list) you might consider is the PRS-500, older screen technology and no support for Secure Adobe PDF and ePub but lots of readers here are happy with it. Another possibility is the Jetbook, sold at Fry's, but that isn't EInk.

For $299, Books on Board sells the Bookeen Cybook and Astak sells the EZ Reader, which is a Hanlin V3. So the PRS-505 is your cheapest new EInk device option.

With any device, you will probably need Calibre on a Desktop PC to format shift ebooks to the format prefered by the device.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
And being quite a large display, and very thin glass, it's very fragile.
It is not THAT fragile.
I have been using my Sony Reader PRS500 for a very long tine.
There are quite a few people on this forum that use their e-ink readers daily for quite a long time.

My reader travels with everywhere. I have dropped it many times. It still works.
When I use my reader outside the house, it always travels in a homemade padded box from composite reinforced plywood, ir in a thin tin box in my laptop bag.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
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a large display, and very thin glass, it's very fragile.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
It is not THAT fragile.
[...]
When I use my reader outside the house, it always travels in a homemade padded box from composite reinforced plywood, or in a thin tin box in my laptop bag.
I rest my case. :-)

They can survive trauma, including being dropped. But it really doesn't take a lot of the wrong kind of pressure for the screen to break - anything that presses on the screen can do it.

My wife's CyBook is currently with Bookeen for screen replacement. :-(
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:15 AM   #7
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The best reader for stolen eBooks is NONE at all.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:02 PM   #8
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Used Kindle 1's are dropping in price at Amazon.com. They are currently going for $225, but that will likely drop as the Feb 24th release date for the Kindle 2 approaches and passes. This would be a very good deal if the price drops under $200, as it is likely to do.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:37 PM   #9
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I'm in the SF Bay area; local Craigslist regularly has PRS-500 (the old, now-unsupported version) for between $150 and $200.

I second the recommendation for a Clié and e-reading software (I prefer eReader to Mobipocket, but it's a matter of taste, and there's certainly more commercially available for Mobi). Find out if you *like* reading books on a small, portable device before you commit to an eInk reader that doesn't do anything else. If you find yourself unwilling/unable to read novel-length books on a small screen with metal edges, you can at least use the Clié for puzzles and an address book.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:40 PM   #10
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The best reader for stolen eBooks is NONE at all.
Sorry of it sounded like I intend to dpwnoad copyright infringed material- I don't. I meant things like some of the google books, free online poetry, and nonfiction works.

I am steering away from a kindle mainly because I don't think it handles anything other than amazon books, and I don't like the idea of having to pay to have my JPEG and word filed translated. That's why I am looking towards the sony 505. I'm going to look up the other brands that have been posted here as soon as I get home. Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:48 PM   #11
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The Kindle happily reads non-DRMed Mobipocket ebooks. And there's even a way to find out the Kindle's Mobipocket PID, and so download DRMed Mobipocket ebooks for your Kindle.

The Kindle also reads PDF, although that's not very good if the PDF isn't sized for a 6" screen.

You also don't have to pay for translations - just use Mobipocket creator (free) and copy via USB.

Quote:
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I am steering away from a kindle mainly because I don't think it handles anything other than amazon books, and I don't like the idea of having to pay to have my JPEG and word filed translated.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:53 PM   #12
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Amazon does not charge for translation if you have the documents emailed back (vs downloaded directly to the Kindle), and the Kindle will read any DRM-free MOBI ebook.

Calibre can convert to MOBI (for the Kindle), or to LRF/ePub (for the Sony). So there is no need to get Amazon involved at all.

The Kindle does have a keypad, a good built in dictionary, and an EVDO internet connection (but only a very basic web browser).

If the PRS-505 ends up being cheaper, it is certainly just as capable for reading ebooks as the Kindle.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:37 PM   #13
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Does that mean hat there is a way to put pdfs, HTML and other formats onto the kindle?
Is there a program that will do all the translation to kindle's format, including word files?

I would probably more often just load books on via cable and computer rather over the air. If it does turn out to be cheaper I might still choose kindle.

However, the problem I feel with the kindle, Is that it looks clunky and hard to hold vs the sleeker 505 (the only one I've seen in person)

Seems like the more I think about which would best suit me, the more difficult the decissions become!

Edit: I looked up the Sony clie sj20, and I found it's too small for me. (my eyes aren't the best.).
The new kindle looks superb, but that price!
Right now, for me it is between a used kindle, or a used prs-505.

What can the 505 do that the kindle can't? I mean, assuming there is a program to translate formats like jpeg, html, and doc filed to kindle's language other then emailing to amazon... (the only reason I prefer the Sony other than asthetics)

Last edited by dnullify; 02-09-2009 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnullify View Post
Sorry of it sounded like I intend to dpwnoad copyright infringed material- I don't. I meant things like some of the google books, free online poetry, and nonfiction works.

I am steering away from a kindle mainly because I don't think it handles anything other than amazon books, and I don't like the idea of having to pay to have my JPEG and word filed translated. That's why I am looking towards the sony 505. I'm going to look up the other brands that have been posted here as soon as I get home. Thanks for all the replies.
Hello, denullify, and welcome to MobileRead. As you can see, you will find lots of interesting info and advice here.

enjoy the ride......
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:41 PM   #15
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Does that mean hat there is a way to put pdfs, HTML and other formats onto the kindle?
Is there a program that will do all the translation to kindle's format, including word files?
If you have MS Word on your PC than Windows MobiPocket Reader will convert DOC to MOBI. Or convert them to RTF first and then Calibre (which has its own forum here) will do the conversion for you. Calibre started out as a PRS-500 library and conversion program, but is now an "all EInk devices" tool.

The PRS-505 has the advantage that it reads PDFs. For the Kindle you must convert them to MOBI (using Windows MobiPocket Reader or Calibre) and sometimes that does not work well. However, in those cases I'm not sure how well the PRS-505's "reflow" will work either.

The "email to Amazon" PDF conversion was originally very similar to Windows MobiPocket Reader's conversion (Amazon owns MobiPocket), but it seems to have been improved recently. If reflowing does not work, it sends back a MOBI containing images of partial pages. There are programs for the Sony that take this approach (and some of them can output MOBI for the Kindle also).
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