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Old 10-26-2009, 06:44 PM   #1
Plato
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Question Classical Greek & Chinese Reader

I'm looking to buy a reader before Christmas, but need help choosing which one to buy. I've read over some threads here, but I still had a few outstanding questions.

Here are the vital features:

- Good quality screen
- Price >$300USD
- Ability to display English, Greek and Chinese
- Access to all Ancient Greek and Chinese texts
- Ability to search text (English-only is fine)
- Battery life
- Storage capacity

I intend to take the reader, and load lots of English-translations of ancient texts. I will also load a number of ancient Greek and Chinese texts (simplified Chinese is fine, I'm not that finnicky). I do not read any books written after the fall of Rome, and I do not want to take any notes on my device.

The Amazon store charges money for a number of its Classical texts, and I am having trouble finding most of them, especially in the original language. B&N does a better job thanks to Google Books, but Google Books is freely available for all. These two readers therefore share a significant downside (they lock me into their respective stores), without any upside (I don't intend to purchase any books).

I was therefore thinking the Sony line of readers would be my best bet, as the internet allows me to find and download every Classical text in existence for free. However, I saw a review where the display lighting was shown, and it was very ugly and distracting compared to the Kindle (looked like they lined light-bulbs up on either side). Also, there is a new model coming out; does anybody know what sort of price to expect? I looked at the Sony webpage, and whilst I couldn't find the price, I noticed their current top reader was quite expensive ($300).

At this point, my current plan is to wait until the end of November, so i can see the new readers that are coming out. However, there are so many readers out there now, and about to be released, that I'm not sure if I'm missing out on the best product by focusing on the big-names.

EDIT: I'm just going to wait a month or two. By the end of November, the Nook will be out and I will take a look at it in person, and hopefully there'll be some sales on.

Last edited by Plato; 10-26-2009 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:38 AM   #2
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Look at PocketBook 301+ - this babe reads all languages from the box, Greek and Chinese as well Hebrew and Ukrainian.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:52 AM   #3
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Look at PocketBook 301+ - this babe reads all languages from the box, Greek and Chinese as well Hebrew and Ukrainian.
Including classical Greek, with its accents and breathing marks that are not used in modern Greek?
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:57 PM   #4
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Hmm, that 301 doesn't appear to have a keypad or anything, so would I be unable to search text? The 360 looks very stylish; is 5" screen difficult to read compared to the 6"? What's the quality of the screen like; can I read it in the dark like the Kindle? It looks like it could just fit in to my pocket in everyday life, which would make it worthwhile in its own right (no more sitting about twiddling my thumbs waiting for the train/plane/whatever).

EDIT: It also costs around $300, which means it is in direct competition with every other reader, like the Sony 600. Why does it cost so much? It's smaller afterall. Seeing as both the Sony 600 and Pocketbook are unlocked devices, is there a webpage that lets me download the languages I want, and then upload them on to the device?

I'm starting to think that getting both Classical Greek and Chinese languages on the device is an unrealistic proposition, though. I guess I could survive with just English translations, and Chinese seems to be available, but the search text function is a pretty important point; I often remember a quote, and the text, but not the page. Therefore I need to either boot up my laptop and text search the document, or spend 20 minutes flicking through the book.

Last edited by Plato; 10-27-2009 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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Including classical Greek, with its accents and breathing marks that are not used in modern Greek?
Honestly, I didn't know about the accents and other marks in ancient Greek. I thought it had the same alphabet as the modern Greek and that's it....
I can tell you one thing... .no, two))) - the guys in Ukraine were successful in displayin old Church-Slavonic texts with all their tyldas and fancy letters in PB, and they say that basically, everything depends on the typeface (font). If there is a true type font that can display Classic Greek text with all its chachkies, then you'll be able to install it to any PocketBook. At least this is how it works with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Hebrew, Arabic and all Cyrillics. That's how I understand it from my non-very-computerish background.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:20 AM   #6
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If you can load your own fonts, that shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:24 AM   #7
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What's the quality of the screen like; can I read it in the dark like the Kindle?
The screen quality will be the same, since both are eInk. A 5" screen is a little "sharper" than a 6", since it has a higher pixel density (200dpi vs. 167).

What do you mean, by the way, about "reading a Kindle in the dark"? With any eInk screen you need some source of external illumination.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:22 AM   #8
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I have the Sony PRS-505. I make my own Classical Greek files by cutting and pasting text from Musaios (or from the internet on Perseus project or some other, similar site) into word, increasing the font and decreasing the margins, then converting them into PDF using a free PDF creator program. I have had no problem with fonts not being properly displayed. I haven't tried displaying any Chinese text. What type of files do you have? If you like, you can send me a trial file in Chinese and I can try to load it onto my reader to see how the text is displayed.

If you are interested in the Sony PRS-505, I believe that you could probably find one for between 200 and 250 USD if you live in the United States, target seems to have them on clearance.

Sorry, I just realised that you are looking for something with a search function, which you don't have with the 505, the only Sony models with a search function are the 600, 700 and the upcoming 900 models.

Last edited by Latinandgreek; 10-28-2009 at 11:58 AM. Reason: search function
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:19 AM   #9
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If you can load your own fonts, that shouldn't be a problem.
Sure, you can load your own fonts and make your own folders in PocketBooks... honestly, I can't imagine how you CAN'T do that...
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