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Old 07-24-2009, 10:42 AM   #1
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Not an easy choice

First off, I'm in Australia. So my options when it comes to readers that are sold locally are limited -- as best I can tell I can get an iLiad, a Bebook, or a Cybook. Assuming there are supplies, of course.

Of these the iLiad is far too expensive. I'm cautious about the Cybook because although I can accept that it's either Mobi or ePub DRM, not both, I can't really accept that taking one means completely giving up on the other in DRM-less form. Plus there's no telling what the ePub support will be like anyway.

The Bebook is out for the very prosaic reason that the fonts are too small. I've got very poor vision and having only three levels of zoom is just not adequate. I'm a bit uncertain about whether OI is entirely up to being a main reading platform -- no device to test it on and AU$500 is a bit over my "impulse buy" threshold.

So I may have to go for the "import and hope it doesn't break" approach. That opens up the Sony devices and the Kindle. In principle I really like both the PRS-505 and the PRS-700, but again the font-size issue comes up the the 505 and by all accounts the 700's display isn't as crisp thanks to the touchscreen membrane. In any case it sounds like both models may be on the way out.

The Kindle's a "maybe" but I'm not thrilled about the sort of mucking about that'll be required to get anything recent on it. No buying books from Amazon so it'll be kindlefix or "liberating" purchased books and converting to MOBI. The "use our format or sod off" approach on both Kindle and the Sonys does not appeal.

My *ideal* reader would be something like the Kindle DX but without the keyboard and with much wider format support. Oh, and available locally. Not going to get that, I know.

Are there any worthwhile options I'm missing?
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mjmcleod View Post
I'm cautious about the Cybook because although I can accept that it's either Mobi or ePub DRM, not both, I can't really accept that taking one means completely giving up on the other in DRM-less form. Plus there's no telling what the ePub support will be like anyway.
It's so very easy to reflash the CyBook, however, that once both firmware versions become available you need do no more than have two SD cards - one with the Mobi firmware on and the other with ePub on; reflashing takes less than 5 minutes.

The ePub support should be excellent, given that it's using the official Adobe SDK.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:21 AM   #3
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The Cybook is probably the best 6" reader if you have poor vision, particularly when the new firmware arrives with folder support (you will want to use its largest library view so navigation will be faster with a folder hierarchy).

The OpenInkPot firmware on a Hanlin V3 is good enough for everyday use, but it is configured for good eyesight. See File Navigation: Hanlin V3 vs OpenInkPot and BeBook font sizes and types.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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Not sure I know what you mean by font size is problem in 505.
What is the problem.
I use calibre free program to make epub and sony formats any font size I want. And I have about 4 to 5 zoom levels. In regular mode you have 3 zoom levels but in landscape mode it increases them so that is where i get 4 or 5 font sizes. So batch convert your ebooks to the font you like in the 505 and then at night, with limited light, increase it , and during the day with plenty of light decrease font size. Works for me. The 505 has proved track record on this site. It's the forum room with the most posts and most members (most of the time). The other readers are good too, I was just responding to your comment about limited font sizes. If that is your concern , it shouldn't be. My font sizes are just the way I like it , and you can make them to your liking too!
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:41 PM   #5
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There's 5 levels of reflowable zoom for PDF and ePub in the new ECO Reader, the Australian version of the HanLin V3.

See attached photos (thank you, nrapallo, for this beautiful ePub version of Moonport). My photos don't do this justice - the text is crisp and clear.

Adobe DE (PDF and ePub) and Mobipocket (without DRM) are supported, along with all the usual formats for HanLin V3s.

http://www.centralbookservices.com.au

I'm affiliated with CBS and we're in Melbourne.
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Last edited by cbell; 07-24-2009 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:46 PM   #6
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There's 5 levels of reflowable zoom for PDF and ePub in the new ECO Reader, the Australian version of the HanLin V3.
That looks it'd suit my needs perfectly. The retailer says "usually ships in three weeks", do you have any idea when they should really be expecting stock?
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:56 PM   #7
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That's pretty accurate, as we're expecting a delivery of ECO Readers within the next 2-3 weeks. We're accepting pre-orders.

If you'd like to email the 'contact us' link at the bottom of the CBS website, I'll email you with more information (please mark your email att: cbell).
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:07 PM   #8
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Not sure I know what you mean by font size is problem in 505.
I'd been working off the reviews/etc I've seen online. I hadn't realised that you can set the font sizes in ePub files -- I've been reading ebooks for years, but only the rather basic eReader format -- so it's good to know that's an option.

I don't suppose it helps much with DRMed ePub though -- or is the metadata stored in an unencrypted part of the file?
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:20 PM   #9
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gee, I don't know about DRMed ePub and changing font sizes with calibre or other programs, I'm looking forward to hear from the guys that tried it.

Last edited by richman; 07-25-2009 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:08 AM   #10
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Thanks all for your advice and suggestions.

In the end I've opted for the Cybook Opus. My prior reading devices have all had screens in the 3.5-3.9" range and the real problem with them has been the eye-strain from LCD (and the oh-so-chunky fonts on the Palms!). I'm not planning on reading PDFs or anything else tricky -- just straight linear text -- so the 5" display should be more than adequate.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:40 AM   #11
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The Cybook Opus is not out yet and the price that is suggested is 350 dollars. I saw a 1 minute french made video of it, and it does look cute, looks like a cool device.

I think if it was priced about 150-200 like the jetbook, it would sell but if the price is 350 , seems kinda high. My 505 cost me 150 dollars with sony deal, even though the 505 sells for 279 dollars retail , I know I wouldn't buy it at that price. I mean my 505 and netbook together cost 350 dollars. But you are looking at speciality item and of course it's gonna be high when it first comes out. That is why I went with the 505 because it was at end of cycle and price came down. Since you are gonna do straight linear text, any of these devices should work for you.
I like the small size of cybook opus, user replaceable battery, fast page turns, 1 gig storage, but without reviews out on it and user reviews, if it was me I would want to get a reliable one with good track record. Even the kindle 2 is only 299 now. But if putting it in your pocket is important to you, the cybook opus it is.

p.s. On there website it states 280 price plus 25 dollars fedex shipping, total price 305
http://www.bookeen.com/shop/productd...?ProductID=445

Last edited by richman; 07-27-2009 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:46 AM   #12
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the opus is available for ordering now on bookeen's site (and other sites too). i tried it out at the last paris meetup ; it's a really nice device and the epub support looks really good. another nice thing is the accelerometre which allows you easily rotate the display in landscape format ; if you have poor vision this should allow you to enlarge the text quite a lot and still have a nice line length.

whichever device you get, i'm sure you'll be really happy with it. be sure to tell us all about it when it arrives ! in the meantime, you can get a lot of good info here to be ready for it, and don't miss our ebook upload section to stock up on tons of great books to read on it, for free !
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:47 AM   #13
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I already have a backlog of books to read on it.

Been "liberating" my old eReader books and getting them converted to ePub. And I'm going to have to pick up a copy of Solaris Internals.

When booksonboard.com says "Adobe Digital Editions" do they mean DRM ePub or DRM PDF? And if the latter do DRM PDF ebooks have the same annoying problems as many regular PDFs when it comes to small displays, or should the text reflow properly?

(Not keen to spend US$60 to find out I can't actually read the thing...)
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