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Old 07-23-2009, 06:27 PM   #1
JBean
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Sony, Jetbook, ESlick, or BeBook? Also: Canadian custom fees?

I'm looking for an ebook reader mostly for reading journal articles (pdf) and free ebooks (html, txt, pdf), and preferably under $300. I'm in Canada, so the wireless functions of the Kindle and Sony are useless -- plus, I'm not particularly interested in ebooks that have access to large bookstores and whatnot. What I need most is something that'll allow me to read comfortably, pdfs especially, with minimal eyestrain (don't want to end up blind by the time I finish grad school!).

The Sony 505, Jetbook, Foxit Eslick, and the Hanlin V3 seem to be the ones that most likely fit my requirements. Since I'm only looking for ebook readers that can support pdf and txt (html would be a bonus), cheaper would be better.

-The Sony 505 seems to be the most widely available reader in Canada, but I've read reviews that say pdf files get resized on the screen and cannot be zoomed in. If this is the case, then the Sony 505 would be a no-go for me as the font size on articles tend toward small.
-The Jetbook seems pretty good in that changing pages is quick and smooth (and is cheap!), but I've heard that the LCD screen gives more of eyestrain.
-The Eslick should handle pdf files well, but I've heard mixed reviews on its battery drainage problems and etc.
-The Hanlin V3... again, mixed reviews and a bit pricier than the Jetbook, but it appears to be the only one out of the four that supports html files.

So what would you guys suggest?

Also, a question for Canadian buyers: if I'm ordering from sites like newegg.com or mybebook.com rather than dell.ca, would I be slapped with a hefty customs fee? The Eslick is $280 after shipping and the Hanlin V3 is $295, but would I be paying much more than that after taxes and customs?
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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The jetBook does not do PDF reflow, but it gives you the following options:

-Portrait or Landscaped mode
-Fit to Screen or Fit to Width
-Optional cut out whitespace from margins (handy)
-Zoom settings: 50%/80%/100%/200%/400%/800%/1600%/3600%/6400%
-The ability to scroll around PDF's with the arrow keys
-The ability to read PDF's by quadrants or 9-piece divisions

I've found it quite manageable if I format my PDF's a bit first. Usually I use fit-to-width with whitespace removed.
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Old 07-23-2009, 06:56 PM   #3
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Kralik: thanks for the tips! But what exactly is pdf reflow? Jetbook's pdf options don't sound too different from the way I read pdfs on my laptop -- I have to zoom in for the text and then scroll around to read the entire page.

I'm kind of leaning toward Jetbook at the moment since it's the cheapest and I'd like to try out an ebook reader before putting money into something like the iLiad (but I hear newegg's shipping is pricey, and again, the customs fee issue...).
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:13 PM   #4
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But what exactly is pdf reflow?
Reflow is extracting the text from the PDF and treating it like a web page, where increasing the font size rearranges the text on the screen. This is what the PRS-505 does with PDFs in its M and L font sizes. You can try this out on your Windows PC, see Sony's Windows ebook Reader, which includes links to photos of PDFs on a PRS-505. Note that Sony's PC software now emulates a PRS-700, with extra font sizes.

I would not recommend the Hanlin V3 for PDFs, but see Hi, Can someone take photo to show me some files displayed in V3,BEBook or Ez Reader for examples. Note that the next Hanlin V3 firmware will switch to mobile Adobe Digital Editions (like the PRS-505), so it will then also reflow PDFs.
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:55 AM   #5
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Reflow is extracting the text from the PDF and treating it like a web page, where increasing the font size rearranges the text on the screen. This is what the PRS-505 does with PDFs in its M and L font sizes. You can try this out on your Windows PC, see Sony's Windows ebook Reader, which includes links to photos of PDFs on a PRS-505. Note that Sony's PC software now emulates a PRS-700, with extra font sizes.

I would not recommend the Hanlin V3 for PDFs, but see Hi, Can someone take photo to show me some files displayed in V3,BEBook or Ez Reader for examples. Note that the next Hanlin V3 firmware will switch to mobile Adobe Digital Editions (like the PRS-505), so it will then also reflow PDFs.
Someone correct me on this, but I believe it depends on the source of your pdf's. Most of my pdf's are academic articles. Many of the older pdf articles are just pictures of pages and they don't actually contain any text. As a result, you can zoom in and out but the text doesn't refit to the page (ie, reflow).
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:51 AM   #6
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Many of the older pdf articles are just pictures of pages and they don't actually contain any text. As a result, you can zoom in and out but the text doesn't refit to the page (ie, reflow).
Correct. Even a partial page image can sometimes stop reflow from working. If the device does not also offer a "zoom" option then PDFs of images can be hard to read. You can try to optimize them off-line using PDFRead.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JBean View Post
Kralik: thanks for the tips! But what exactly is pdf reflow? Jetbook's pdf options don't sound too different from the way I read pdfs on my laptop -- I have to zoom in for the text and then scroll around to read the entire page.

I'm kind of leaning toward Jetbook at the moment since it's the cheapest and I'd like to try out an ebook reader before putting money into something like the iLiad (but I hear newegg's shipping is pricey, and again, the customs fee issue...).
You can order jetBook from Canadian website www.newegg.ca. I think it will be no custom fee in this case
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:59 AM   #8
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Kris: Correct, if you order from newegg.ca or dell.ca there are no custom fee's. I've ordered readers from both the above for family members and not had a problem.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:32 PM   #9
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Kris: Correct, if you order from newegg.ca or dell.ca there are no custom fee's. I've ordered readers from both the above for family members and not had a problem.
yes, it is good to know. I think they shipped it from Canada, right?
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
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The Hanlin V3 is the same product as the Astek EZ Reader and is available from the US at http://www.theezreader.com/
There is new firmware available that adds ADE software for PDF and ePUB. It is the same as that available for Sony with all the features but a new version with some added stabiltiy and features. It does reflow for PDF.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:44 AM   #11
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The Hanlin V3 is the same product as the Astek EZ Reader and is available from the US at http://www.theezreader.com/
There is new firmware available that adds ADE software for PDF and ePUB. It is the same as that available for Sony with all the features but a new version with some added stabiltiy and features. It does reflow for PDF.
What is the custom fee and cost of shipping to Canada?
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:20 AM   #12
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...
The Sony 505, Jetbook, Foxit Eslick, and the Hanlin V3 seem to be the ones that most likely fit my requirements. Since I'm only looking for ebook readers that can support pdf and txt (html would be a bonus), cheaper would be better.
....
There are no devices currently that supports HTML well - the implementation is generally basic. But of course it's (edit)*not* worse than you can convert the files.

Last edited by Ea; 08-05-2009 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:19 PM   #13
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I ordered a Cool-ER recently. Shipping was $20 (to Canada). Duty through DHL was something like $43.

For most shipments from the US, Duty tends to be roughly tax+$10. When you pay less, it's a good day.

Last edited by PoV; 08-04-2009 at 09:24 PM.
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