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View Poll Results: Which new e-reader appeals to you the most?
Sony Reader 15 20.27%
iRex Iliad 48 64.86%
Jinke Hanlin 3 4.05%
Undecided 3 4.05%
Dedicated e-book readers don't appeal to me. 5 6.76%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-05-2006, 07:24 AM   #1
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Poll: Which e-reader would you choose?

In case you haven't been paying attention or have been incommunicado in an undisclosed location, three new E Ink-based e-book readers are coming soon:Sony's Reader, iRex's Iliad, and Jinke's Hanlin.

Based on the what we know so far about each of these three upcoming e-book devices, which one appeals to you the most? After you cast your vote, please feel free tell us why you voted the way you did in the discussion thread.

Vote after the jump.

Related: Sony's new e-book reader officially announced, More details on the Iliad ER 0100 e-book reader,A Librie for the rest of us
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Old 01-05-2006, 09:43 AM   #2
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The Irex sounds like the best, especially with wireless support but a lot depends on price, DRM etc. I have a feeling the iRex will be more expensive than the other two.

The Runner up for me is the Hanlin, it sounds like a great unit. The Sony is a non-starter with me, I do not trust them.

The big question for all these devices is, presuming they need to connect to a computer, will they work with Mac OS X?

That and I still like a backlit screen. The eBookwise 1150 is just comfortable in your hand and that backlit screen is great for reading in bed or without a reading lamp. If somebody would come up with an eBookwise 1150 with a really high res color screen that would be what I'd prefer.
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:00 AM   #3
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I choose the iRex because of its 1024x768 display. Unfortunately the price is still an unknown, and I've set my upper limit to $600.
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:14 AM   #4
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I chose the iRex Iliad due to its wireless connectivity, formats, and larger screen. While it might be more expensive than the other two, I think there's a strong possibility that it may be offered at a discount when purchased with an electronic newspaper or e-book subscription (leveraged with wireless delivery), similar to how you can get $100 off different Audible Ready devices when you sign up for Audible.com.

If I could pay under $300 for the Iliad with a monthly subscription that gives me 2 e-books per month along with a daily newspaper for $15-20/month, I'd be all over it.
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:15 AM   #5
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I'd be happy with the Sony Reader if it wasn't from Sony. With all the bells and whistles of the iRex, it's certainly not going to be cheap. And I am not willing to pay a fortune for a dedicated e-book reader. ;(
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:15 AM   #6
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If I had to choose only one it would be the Iliad hands down.

I would consider the Sony as well once I start seeing hands on reviews. I have little trust for the company, but if the DRM is reasonable and the content is such that the particular books aren't available anywhere else digitally I would probably get it.
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:59 AM   #7
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I will pile on with the iRex.

The Hanjin is a close second, but the proprietary OS coming out in its first version, the proprietary file format that other formats are converted into (at least according to the scant specs released so far), and the fact that its primary market is a non-English speaking country create uncertainty.

I can't make any decision about the Sony device since no specs have been officially released, but given Sony's behavior in the consumer electronics space in the past three decades - and their behavior as a content provider in the last 5 years - makes me immediately dismissive of this effort.

If the photos we've seen so far are anything to go by, the iRex is a nice piece of design. The Hanjin, much like the Libre, looks busy and noisy in comparison.

EDIT: Sure, I scroll down the page and there are the Sony specs. They don't change my decision though. Look at the supported formats: the first one listed is their proprietary own, while the formats listed for the iRex are all commonly used.

Last edited by rmeister0; 01-05-2006 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:32 AM   #8
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iRex or Hanlin

I'm not rich, so if the the iRex is $500 (and from what I've heard, that's 2-300 under the likely price, then I'll wait for the Linux Jinke device this spring.

Sony is not an option, I just don't trust them, either.
 
Old 01-06-2006, 04:14 AM   #9
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It is not possible for me to vote until I know more. I am happy reading on my PDAs and am not willing to erase my eReader and .LIT DRM ebooks (yet). An ebook reader is also one more device to carry around. The only thing I can vote on this early is which company I am unlikely to buy from.

So, the reader should be cheap (face it, a better one will soon come out), use CF or SD card instead of internal memory, support a DOS-compatible filesystem so books can be copied to the card in a cardreader, have an acceptable DRM (as I would have to buy some books), support PDF so I can read my tech literature on it, have a reasonable size and be light. Yes, I know, I am in for a l-o-n-g wait but so be it.

The ideal reader is probably a foldable eInk paper connected to a small box you have in your pocket.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:23 AM   #10
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I have to admit that after looking at Sony's offer, I'm starting to warm towards it.

Assuming that the Iliad's specs are true, it is undoubtedly the superior machine. However, I somewhat doubt that it really has everything stated... at least, not without being horrendously expensive. I have a feeling that the stated Iliad specs are of a prototype that will not reach mass production, at least, not without some of the more esoteric (for an eBook reader) features removed (e.g., WiFi, wired ethernet, SD or CF slot, USB host, touch screen).

The Sony Reader is much more conservative in terms of specs, which means, it is also much more likely to be the production model. After all, it is in essence a simplified and somewhat less pretty Libre. However, the real advantage with the Libre is not the device itself, rather, content.

With the release of the Sony Reader is the unveiling an e-Book store that will actually sell popular books in the format. If they do it right, it may well become the "iPod" of the e-Book market. Furthermore, unlike the digital audio scene where you can convert your CDs into MP3s that will work on any third party player (and as such, many people already having a large volume of "legacy" content not bound by DRM), you cannot simply "convert" your dead-tree books into a digital format.

AFAIK, there will be no such service with the iRex Iliad and it would be in Sony's interest to not make their book service compatible with any other player (ala iTunes Music Store).

Let's be clear... public domain literary content will not make eBook readers mainstream. Being able to get the next "Harry Potter" will.

Regards,
Michael Tam
 
Old 01-08-2006, 09:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered
Assuming that the Iliad's specs are true, it is undoubtedly the superior machine. However, I somewhat doubt that it really has everything stated... at least, not without being horrendously expensive. I have a feeling that the stated Iliad specs are of a prototype that will not reach mass production, at least, not without some of the more esoteric (for an eBook reader) features removed (e.g., WiFi, wired ethernet, SD or CF slot, USB host, touch screen).
I was worried about that too (and I think some people like Laurens here, as well). The only fact that keeps me hoping is that iRex is a spin-off from Philips, and I cannot imagine them spreading "hot air".

But then again, read closely what they say on their website:

Quote:
The iLiad platform allows for customized versions of the electronic reader that can be created for special (B2B) markets.
If you read "allows for" as "comes in", then you're probably right, and the first generation of the iLiad is meant for the mass market.
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Old 01-09-2006, 06:54 PM   #12
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Here's a quick check of del.icio.us for the popularity of the iRex vs Sony Reader.
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Old 01-10-2006, 08:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by doctorow
If you read "allows for" as "comes in", then you're probably right, and the first generation of the iLiad is meant for the mass market.
You probably mean "the iLiad is not meant for the mass market."
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Old 01-16-2006, 05:22 PM   #14
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I only found out about the iliad this evening from a post in the engadget article on the Sony Reader. This is how I see the situation.


Positives:

Iliad, larger screen with many other features not available on the sony. Highly desirable. Wide variety of supported formats. Touch screen input. Wired and wireless networking.

Sony Reader, More compact for easy transportation. Focused design no frivolous extras ( excluding mp3 playback ). They have a content provision system to back up the device. Supports SD card so even if Mac support is lacking you can get files onto the device. Supports conversion of a number of formats into sonys BBeb thing.

Negatives :

iliad, left to fend for yourself on the content front. No mention of what DRM methods are supported, possibly restricting you to either classic content or the shadier methods of acquisition. reduced battery life due to the extras like wifi, usb host etc. Larger screen makes for a less portable device.

Reader, it's a Sony product. Not likely to support OSX. Less support for various formats, natively.


Tough choice, but given that they come out at roughly the same time (supposedly) at least there is the chance for real world comparisons before shelling out the cash.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:05 PM   #15
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Wow am I really the first who voted Sony Reader?! I understand your resentment, after all, Sony did everything possible wrong with their Sony Librie reader. But if what has been said at the CES is right, then Sony has no plans to restrict reading material to its proprietary format. Given that, I'd pick the Sony because it's mobile and most certainly comes at a lower price than the iLiad.
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