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Old 05-12-2009, 02:02 PM   #1
JzeroT1937
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Need Recommendations on Which Device to Buy

I'm moving to Shanghai, China in about 3 months to teach English for a year, and my mom has decided to buy me an E-reader whereas I can't exactly lug my entire library with me. I was contemplating the Kindle 2 (DX is out of the question with its hefty pricetag), but I don't like how it lacks expandable memory, requires you to convert PDFs (which it will likely scramble on its 6 inch display anyway) and features overhauled DRM protection. I won't be able to use Whispernet since I'll be in China, so the web and ubiquitous bookstore are of no advantage to me.

Conversely, I feel that Amazon is the most dedicated producer of E-readers available at the moment, if only because they advertise at the top of their homepage, are attempting to lead the market, and have their own proprietary file format. If I get a Sony 505, for instance, would it be impossible to read a kindle book?

I'm looking for recommendations on the best e-reader at or under $400 that meet my needs (expandable memory, the ability to read multiple file formats, DRM-protected or not) and that's not going to be outdated or break on me in a few months.

Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:27 PM   #2
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First off, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to read a Kindle book without a Kindle. One has to actually own a Kindle or ipod/itouch to be able to purchase ebooks from Amazon.

The type of device for you depends on the books you plan to purchase. Each device has it's pros and cons and the file formats it supports.

If you want to compare other online ebook retailers against Amazon check out Fictionwise.com and BooksonBoard.com. Both retailers have formats that can be read on most devices. In some cases you may need to remove DRM or shift the ebook to a different format. Also, with certain devices, borrowing ebooks from your local library is an option.

Let us know any other information you can and check out the Wiki at the top of the page. Among other information you will find the ebook device matrix which compares most of the available devices and the formats supported.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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Well.... okay. It's complicated.

If you get a Kindle here, have an american credit card number, etc... I believe you can download Kindle books from the website and then load them via usb to your Kindle. Even in China.

You can only buy Kindle books if you have a Kindle (and want to download the files). IN that case you could download the files, crack the DRM (perhaps), and then convert it into something Sony could use.

That'd still involve you needing a Kindle, of course.

The Sony store situation would work similarly.... with an American credit card I believe you can purchase over sees (someone will correct me if I'm wrong.) But on the sony you have a few advantages and disadvantages:
-it can read ePub (not that it is really a big advantage at this point, as most places aren't using it)
-it has reflowable pdf support - of course, this is kind of so so itself.

The disadvantages are that the Sony store doesn't have nearly the selection as the Kindle store and the prices are much higher.

Both, and other, ereaders offer about the same otherwise - access to other online book stores (though the prices are often very high or they only sell a niche market) and almost anything you find for free (feedbooks, etc) is available on anything or convertible.

I'd go with the Kindle though - best prices, best selection. Accessing via the web through the device itself is nice, but for me it's all about the selection and prices.

IF you can, indeed, download in China.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:34 PM   #4
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Also... keep in mind, expandable memory is nice but isn't that big of a deal. Your average ebook is less than a meg. It's one of those things that all geeks want on everything (me included) but in an ebook reader it is less necessary than one would thing.

As long as you have some sort of computer at least. But even then! 2 gigs of ebooks is a LOT.. thousands.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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Okay, so let's say I get a kindle--is it easy to convert other format books like Epub to a format the kindle can read? I ask only because I know there are many places where you can get public domain reads, like this very board, but fear I may have trouble getting them onto my Kindle.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:14 PM   #6
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If you are interested in ePub, then get a 505 or 700. They support ePub without having to convert.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JzeroT1937 View Post
Okay, so let's say I get a kindle--is it easy to convert other format books like Epub to a format the kindle can read?
The Kindle reads DRM-free MOBI ebooks. This is one of the most common formats. Calibre will convert any DRM-free ebook to MOBI for you.

The Kindle 2 or the Sony PRS-505 are both good choices. One other possibility is an EZ Reader (Hanlin V3), which is actually made in China but would be easier to buy over here before you go. Fry's usually has it at a good price. The EZ Reader reads DRMed MOBI ebooks and a wide range of DRM-free ebook formats.

I suggest getting your ebook Reader well in advance of your trip, so there are no surprises once you get to China.
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
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The Kindle reads DRM-free MOBI ebooks. This is one of the most common formats. Calibre will convert any DRM-free ebook to MOBI for you.
And Calibre will convert to LRF or ePub which will work very nicely on a 505. So if Calibre is going to be used anyway, then get a 505. It's cheaper in price, better hardware, better software and it has an SD slot.
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Old 05-13-2009, 04:12 AM   #9
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Just about anything without DRM can be converted to be viewed on the Kindle. So ePub, lit, etc...

My suggestion is to check out the various book stores, see who has what you want at the prices you want it.

What ebook reader that's going to be bet is going to have a lot to do with your reading habits. I read mainly non-fiction - the Kindle wins HANDS DOWN. I, not too long ago, looked up the last thirteen books I purchased at every store I could find. Only a couple were available anywhere but the Kindle store, and one of those was almost three times the price. Not even a competition. But if I read a lot of genre fiction there'd be other options.

If you read classics mainly, however... than just about anything works.
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