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Old 03-08-2009, 01:33 PM   #1
Astabeth
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Question To Kindle Or Not To Kindle?

Hello!

I just found mobileread today and have already found lots of useful information. I hope to buy a mobile reader by the end of March and am trying to decide between a Kindle 1 (if I can find one), Kindle 2, Sony 505, and Sony 700.

The features important to me:
readability
replaceable battery
light to read in the dark
built-in dictionary
support for a variety of formats
ability to buy other than from amazon
sturdiness
memory card access

I have heard that the older versions of each brand are easier to read, but the newer ones are faster but have glare. I have only ever seen a Kindle 1, briefly, but it looked good as far as readability.

I also use a macbook. I have an old PC, but it is unreliable sometimes. Ability to download via whispernet is not important to me as long as I can get books on the reader via my mac.

The 100 free books on the Sony is leaning me that way...but I think readability is my first concern.

I would be grateful for any pros / cons, or other information. Or is there another brand I am overlooking? Any helpful information is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Astabeth
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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Hello, Astabeth, and welcome to MobileRead.

You've come to the right place for advice and opinions.

Personally, I have the K1, (two, actually) and love it.......I don't care to upgrade, but many who have the K2 love theirs also.

Remember the K2 does not have a user replaceable battery, nor can you use an SD card.

Many have said this is not important, but it is to me.

Neither have a backlight, becuase the Kindles are "e-ink" technology. This means its as easy on your eyes as reading a paper book. Anywhere you can read a paper book, you can read the K. If you need a light, you'll need a light for the K. There are lots of tiny booklights that work great with them........I just usually use my bedside or chairside lamp.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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Don't let the 100 free books sway. They are Public Domain books are free in many other places as well. The Kindle 1 and Sony 505 are both good choices.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:50 PM   #4
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I have contacted amazon about the non-replacable battery and they said
Quote:
We learned from the first generation Kindle that changing the battery was rarely needed.

We are providing the Kindle 2 with one year Warranty. If you require additional warranty, there's also an optional 2-Year Extended Warranty you can purchase separately to add an additional year and more comprehensive protection, including coverage for battery replacement and accidental drops and damage (limited to one incident). The Extended Warranty is sold and administered by Service Net, a third-party warranty service provider.

You can purchase the 2-Year Extended Warranty for Kindle 2 within 30-days of the date your Kindle 2 shipped for $65.

If at all your battery fails after the warranty period, we will fix it for you at minimal cost.
I've read other areas saying minimal costs are between $35-$55, but it all seems to be speculation and not hard figures.

Personally, I like my kindle, and find myself using wisper net, just to check out new books to see what I may read next. It's nice being able to see a book at a store, and then next time I sit down to read hop on wispernet to read reviews. (note not ALL books are available, but there are a suprising amount that are)

Last edited by demoric; 03-08-2009 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 03-08-2009, 02:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demoric View Post
I have contacted amazon about the non-replacable battery and they said


I've read other areas saying minimal costs are between $35-$55, but it all seems to be speculation and not hard figures.

Personally, I like my kindle, and find myself using wisper net, just to check out new books to see what I may read next. It's nice being able to see a book at a store, and then next time I sit down to read hop on wispernet to read reviews. (note not ALL books are available, but there are a suprising amount that are)
Here is an article from pc advisor
http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/index.cfm?newsid=110690

You'll notice the quote from amazon themselves is $59 to replace the battery.........and if you take out the extended warranty, (which costs $65) its only good for two years.

Charles Tritschler is the amazon Kindle unit director

As for the battery, Tritschler said it was made nonremovable to accommodate the Kindle 2's thinner size. "We really pushed to make it as thin as possible," yielding a device that is just 0.36 in. thick.

A nonremovable battery does not require solid casing like the removable kind do, meaning they take up less space, he said. And Kindle 2 now has a chip for active battery management that was not in the original. That chip regulates charge flows and helps make the battery last for two weeks when not in wireless mode, or four days when connected wirelessly, he said.

Tritschler announced today that the Kindle 2's battery can replaced under warranty for a year. After that, it can be replaced in the Amazon factory for US$59.

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Old 03-08-2009, 02:57 PM   #6
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I don't know of a single e-ink device that does all of that. If you're willing to use an LCD screen, that opens the field, but in e-ink the only device with a built in light is the Sony 700, but as with the 505, it has no dictionary. I don't think their batteries are technically user replaceable, either, but people do just like they do with iPods. If you're willing to use an external booklight, I think the Kindle 1 is closest to your list. The Kindle 2 has no external memory card or user replaceable battery. You can buy cases with built in lights for all three of the non-lit models you mentioned or use the clip on kind.

As for sturdiness, the screen is the weakest part and they all have that in common. None of these devices are what I would call rugged and none of them stand out as more durable than the rest. A good case is a must.

Sony does support more formats out of the box without conversion. If you're willing to convert files (and possibly remove DRM which may not be legal where you live) you have many options for the Kindle. The Kindle Myths and Partial Truths article covers this topic quite well.

You may want to check out the Which One Should I Buy board if you haven't already. There are a lot more options out there these days than just the Sony and Kindle.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:07 PM   #7
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Based on the features you listed as important, I would think the Kindle 1 is best for you. There may be other brands I'm unaware of though, I really only researched Sony vs. Kindle.

readability - I think they're all equally readable.

replaceable battery - Available on all except Kindle 2

light to read in the dark - Only on Sony PRS-700. However, the 505 has the light-wedge cover (light it built into the cover) which is very handy. This was one of my big needs too. Kindle has 3rd party lights you can clip on.

built-in dictionary - Kindle 1 or 2.

support for a variety of formats - Well, this is the tricky part. Check out the handy Matrix. Sony supports the Sony DRM format and ePub. Kindle supports Amazon store and Mobi - NON-DRM. It is possible to convert DRM Mobi to Kindle.

ability to buy other than from amazon - I'm not sure how to answer this one, but I believe the Sony has more options here.

sturdiness - I think they're all pretty sturdy. Popular opinion seems to favor the Sony for usability.

memory card access - All but the Kindle 2.

Having just gone through this decision, I wanted the PRS-505 but ended up with a used Kindle 1 simply because there are a lot of them on Criagslist right now. A lot of people upgraded to the Kindle 2 and I found a still-warrantied version 1 for a good price.

I use a paperback Light Wedge on the Kindle and it works great. I'd rather have one like the PRS-505 has with the built-in wedge but oh well. I was even OK with the light wedge on paper books even though you have to move it every time you turn the page. With an e-reader they're perfect.

I'm also able to convert my public library's ebooks (Mobi/PRS) format pretty easily and read them on the K1.

The added benefit to me is that I can still buy wirelessly from Amazon when I want to. I would rarely, if ever, buy a new hardbound book only because there are literally millions of paperbacks I've never read. First-run books for $10 is pretty cool to me.

Oh yes maybe the most important part, the Sony software doesn't work with the Mac - it's PC Only.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:07 PM   #8
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I agree, the Kindle 1 is closest to covering all your bases. You don't get backlight, but you do get replaceable battery, memory card, and built-in dictionary. I note you don't mention that don't care about "ability to buy other than from sony", which would see to be just as much an issue with the Sony as it is the Kindle. Which is to say, not much of one, as you CAN buy from other places so long as they don't have DRM.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:46 PM   #9
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As you can see from my devices, I have a variety. Personally I prefer my EZ Reader (Hanlin V3 family & includes the BeBook) but with Openinkpot's (OI) firmware. OI does not read any DRMed formats but does read several unDRMed formats. There is said to be dictionary support (I think) but I have not found it. With OI, I have much more flexibility on how the page displays (e.g. margins, line spacing, indenture of first line, status bar content & size, font size & type).

All that said, I would highly recommend (what is my second choice reader) the Kindle 1. Check ebay and Chraigslist. They are going for around $190 to $260 and have most of your requirements. Without DRM you can convert to almost any format you wish with free SW, e.g. Calibre, Book Designer, Mobipocket Creator. Or DL many of the public domain books here that may already be in your required format. The Kindle 1 (and 2) can read unDRMed Mobipocket.

Last edited by slayda; 03-08-2009 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 03-08-2009, 04:09 PM   #10
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i think you might get biased answers by posting in this part of the forum, but i would say get the kindle. Even a K1 wouldn't be horrible, but i would go for the K2
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Old 03-08-2009, 04:36 PM   #11
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As others said, there's nothing that fits all those needs.

If you really want an ereader now, I'd suggest doing what I did last week. Buy a used Kindle 1 locally on Craigslist. I scored one about 5 months old for $200. The price is right and it will fit my needs fine for a few years until their are fancier readers out at lower prices. The go for cheaper on Craigslist than Ebay (closing in the $230's and the cheapests last week) and you have the advantage of being able to meet and check it out before forking over the cash.

The light thing always makes me curious. Do people not have lamps? In all my years of reading I've never once owned a book light. Just read by the lamp on the couch/chair/nightstand by the bed etc. I guess I could see it for married people wanting to read in bed while their spouse is sleeping or something--but I'd just read in another room and go to bed later.
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
The light thing always makes me curious. Do people not have lamps? In all my years of reading I've never once owned a book light. Just read by the lamp on the couch/chair/nightstand by the bed etc. I guess I could see it for married people wanting to read in bed while their spouse is sleeping or something--but I'd just read in another room and go to bed later.
Correct! My wife can somehow sense a trace amount of light, which will instantly awaken her and cause her to strike me repeatedly with the bedside clock. Well, not really but it definitely wakes her up.

Greg.
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
As others said, there's nothing that fits all those needs.

If you really want an ereader now, I'd suggest doing what I did last week. Buy a used Kindle 1 locally on Craigslist. I scored one about 5 months old for $200. The price is right and it will fit my needs fine for a few years until their are fancier readers out at lower prices. They go for cheaper on Craigslist than Ebay (closing in the $230's and the cheapest last week) and you have the advantage of being able to meet and check it out before forking over the cash.
Depends on where you're located. If in a larger city, this is true. I'm mid way between two large cities, each a little over 100 miles with an even larger on over 200 miles away. For me, considering gas costs, Ebay is cheaper.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:15 PM   #14
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Depends on where you're located. If in a larger city, this is true. I'm mid way between two large cities, each a little over 100 miles with an even larger on over 200 miles away. For me, considering gas costs, Ebay is cheaper.
True, one of many benefits of big city life I suppose!

I'd be wary of buying from eBay, and would only buy from a seller that had a return policy listed in the auction.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:52 PM   #15
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Hello!



The features important to me:
readability - Sony 505 or Kindle I
replaceable battery - Kindle I (I can't say if the Sonys have replaceable batteries or not)
light to read in the dark - Sony 700 (but I think the standard light wedge will fit any ebook reader)
built-in dictionary - Kindle I or II
support for a variety of formats - either Sony or Kindle
ability to buy other than from amazon - either Sony or Kindle
sturdiness - either Sony or Kindle
memory card access - Sony or Kindle I


The 100 free books on the Sony is leaning me that way...but I think readability is my first concern.

I would be grateful for any pros / cons, or other information. Or is there another brand I am overlooking? Any helpful information is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Astabeth
The same 100 free books are probably available for the Kindle as well ... most of the public domain books are out there for free for just about any ebook reader you can name.

Whispernet is one of those things that you never really need .... until you find yourself in a situation where it would be really so nice to have it ... and then there it is.

For example, every time I find myself at the airport getting ready to take a flight, I wander through the bookstores. Most of the time I see some new book that I'd really like to read on the trip .... and I flip on Whispernet, and check out the price for the book on Amazon (and it's usually about $20 cheaper than the cost of the book at the airport where they always overcharge), and I buy the book and download it immediately.

But, with either type of reader (meaning Sony or Kindle) you can download books onto your computer and then transfer them onto the ebook reader. It's not particularly difficult to do .... in fact it's rather easy.

I love my Kindles. I bought three of them and have never regretted it for a single moment.
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