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Old 11-16-2009, 05:45 AM   #1
et1976
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Advice on reader for a UK user.

Hi,

New to this whole ebook thing, but want to buy one as a Christmas present. Have looked at some comparison sites and think I have narrowed it down to:

Kindle 2
Sony Touch
BeBook (not sure which model but definitely 6")
Cool-er

It will be used purely for reading novels, particularly when travelling, so the ability to make notes, read news feeds, and pdf/text files etc is not important.

I think the Kindle and Sony are coming out top considering the reviews I have read. I have been able to try out the Sony in a local shop and it really looks good, very neat, but I have the following reservations about them both:

Kindle
- what are all the small buttons down the bottom? they look fiddly and seem to take up a good chunk of the device.
- is the proprietry format and the fact that you have to buy books in US$ going to be a pain for someone in the UK?

Sony Touch
- is the touchscreen just an expensive gimick?
- do all readers have that 'flicker' when you turn the page - the colours seem to invert?
- am I paying extra just to have the Sony name on it?

The BeBook and Cool-er I am considering just because they are cheaper than the Sony and they look 'tidier' than the Kindle. I figured maybe I don't need a feature-packed device, but is it a false economy - should I just spend a bit more and get something higher quality?

Would appreciate any comments on the suitability of any of these for my needs.

Many thanks!
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:35 PM   #2
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I have the Sony touch and also live in the UK so I will give you my own thoughts.

Some people may view the touchscreen as an expensive gimmick but I love being able to turn the pages using a quick swipe of the thumb and also I really love the dictionary feature where you just tap on a word for a definition. I don't use the notes much but has been handy for jotting things down which I think of as I'm reading - shopping to buy and mundane things normally!!! I really like this added feature.

There is a slight flicker when the page is turned, have to say I barely notice it and I'm a pretty quick reader. I think that is just the way the e-ink hardware works so I assume it would be like this for most ereaders and not just sony.

I got my Sony touch from whsmiths and the price was £219 which was the cheapest I could find anywhere on the Internet so I think I got a pretty good deal. I guess you do pay a little more for the Sony brand but when I compared this price to say something like the cool-er which was almost £200 - it was a no brainer for me.

If you don't think the touchscreen will be necessary then perhaps the sony pocket edition would be a better bet and, again, I found the bet price for that at whsmiths for £149.

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:09 PM   #3
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I have to say Im pretty much against the Cool-er. They have taken the basic Netronix EB-600 and made it with even cheaper materials. The result is a device with buttons that are hard to push,creaks when you do and seems like it will break from normal use.

What annoys me most is that they intend to sell them on QVC. My worry is they will actually sell allot, leaving all of those people thinking that the average ereader is like this and turn them off to purchasing the lesser known models.

Please take a look at the reviews of the others you havent mentioned - PocketBook (which I sell), the Elonex one which available at Borders there or even Cybook. They are all much better versions of that EB-600 hardware than the Cool ER.

Of course you have to live with the Firmaware as well and Firmware is why I chose the PocketBook line for my store.

Last edited by Dulin's Books; 11-16-2009 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
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I have to say Im pretty much against the Cool-er. They have taken the basic Netronix EB-600 and made it with even cheaper materials. The result is a device with buttons that are hard to push,creaks when you do and seems like it will break from normal use.
Do they have "control" over what it's made from? Looking at it, the Cool-ER looks like an absolutely 100% standard EB600; aren't the materials specified by Netronix themselves?
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:37 PM   #5
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thanks for your help. I too have seen the Sony for £219 at WH Smith and thought it was a pretty good deal.

am now also considering the Elonex (£166) but Borders don't sell it anymore (at least not in the UK), so I'm wondering why they have 'dropped' it... and have read a review which says it is slow to turn pages. Can't find many reviews around for it to compare though.

ruled out the Cybook thing as I've seen too many comments on poor reliability and subsequent bad customer service.

am leaning towards Sony, but have read mixed things about the viewing experience on the touch screen. The one in the shop seemed fine in artificial light but there was no sunlight there to test it in. Also, have seen many recent recommendations to new buyers for the older 505 model. this seems to be the same price as the Touch, so not sure why I would go for this as it seems to be discontinued. Is the non-touch screen that much better that it makes it worthwhile?

Wish I could try some more out!
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:16 PM   #6
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Well perhaps they didnt specify which materials they wanted perhaps its a cheaper design that Netronix offered them because Interead wanted to market a lower price. but they definitely got cheaper materials than in a PocketBook 301+, FoxIt or Cybook Gen 3 etc.
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:21 PM   #7
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Reading on the sony 600 in direct sunlight I actually found easier than in artificial light - had no problems at all with that. As the screen is not backlit and it has a light grey background, in dimmer light conditions I find I need to use either overhead lighting or a clip-on light. Having said that, the same would be true if I read a normal paper book.

I read some mixed reviews about the sony 600 - I think a lot of reviewers felt the screen wasn't quite as good to read from as the older 505 model. This seems to be because the contrast isn't quite so good and some slight glare which basically is attributed to the addition of the touch screen. As I've never seen the older version and have nothing to compare it with, it's not been an issue to me.

I also did not want to buy into "older" technology. If there was any way you could try the sony 600 under a range of different conditions, then you could be certain whether it was the right model or not. I don't know if your local sony centre could accomodate this?
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:51 PM   #8
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My mom has a 600 ans she loves it.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by et1976 View Post
Hi,



Sony Touch
- is the touchscreen just an expensive gimick?
- do all readers have that 'flicker' when you turn the page - the colours seem to invert?
- am I paying extra just to have the Sony name on it?

The BeBook and Cool-er I am considering just because they are cheaper than the Sony and they look 'tidier' than the Kindle.
I own a Sony 700 and played a good bit with the Sony 600. The touch screen is not just a gimmick; it really adds to the useful of the device (the entire screen area becomes a page turn button, but one that is difficult to trigger accidently). There is, however, a trade off in clarity.

As for the flicker, they all have that. The Cybook Gen 3 does have the ability to turn it off, but you get some ghosting as a result. It does look cool when one page dissolves into another, though.

Have you considered the Pocketbook series? The 301 has the same hardware as the cooler, but superior firmware. It is very stable, allows extensive control over the appearance of your books, supports very many formats (including Adobe DRMed PDF and Epub), has annotation, a search function, and dictionary support, and comes with, in my experience, excellent support. The 360 is my new device; it has the same firmware as the 301 but also has a accelerometer to allow it to shift orientation automatically. It has a 5 inch screen, however, and I do not know if that would be acceptable to you. You can order from within the EU in Germany, so you can get support without the hassle of overseas shipping. I hear that the prices in the US are better, though. I purchased mine for $239.

Luqman
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:53 AM   #10
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thanks to all for your help.

I looked at the PocketBook (the 6" version) and it does seem to be very popular but I couldn't see anywhere to actually buy it online. Also I figure by the time I have added on the shipping (and possible import) costs the price may be racking up.

I'm going to go back to the Sony store and compare the Touch and the Pocket (no touchscreen) more carefully and see if I see any disadvantage in having the touchscreen - if not I'll probably go for that. Otherwise I think I'll plump for the Elonex for cheapness.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:41 AM   #11
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I am in the UK, I have spent two months researching and reading about readers, I initially was going to get a Sony as I could view and test these in the shops, I then moved towards the Bebook Mini, but after reading the reviews and experiences of people on this board I have ordered the Pocketbook 360 from the US site www.pocketbookreader.com as they distribute to UK, there is also a chap in Germany who can supply, check the pocketbook threads for info. I will no doubt give my opions when it arrives, but the company reply to the threads on this site and appear to address questions/requests very quickly and completely.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by et1976 View Post
thanks to all for your help.

I looked at the PocketBook (the 6" version) and it does seem to be very popular but I couldn't see anywhere to actually buy it online.
They are available from my webstore as well. dulinsbooks.com
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:25 AM   #13
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do all readers have that 'flicker' when you turn the page - the colours seem to invert?
Yes. But that's the kind of things you don't see anymore after a little while. Cybooks have an option to deactivate that, but then, some trace of previous pages remains, which is even more anoying.

Quote:
ruled out the Cybook thing as I've seen too many comments on poor reliability and subsequent bad customer service.
They are slow with making updates. But personaly, bookeen suport is one of the best i've seen.

PSR-600 have a touch, that make the screen itself a lesser quality than 505 or non tactile model. On the other hand, it offer note taking capability.

Having used both 6" and 5" , i feel 6" a better size. While 5" have it's adventages for portability.

And as you're in the UK, i would rule out any reader not ePub capable.

Last edited by EowynCarter; 11-23-2009 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:36 AM   #14
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If I was buying again, I wouldn't hesitate to buy the Sony Pocket edition. I currently have a PRS505 and I love it.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:38 AM   #15
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I've had a Sony 60 for just over a week and I'm delighted with it.

Particularly good points:

- Excellent build quality and styling. Many of the competitors look and feel cheap
- Easy to hold and turn pages
- Easy to shrink/enlarge type size as light changes
- Supports a wide range of formats
- The SD card slot

Imperfections:

- I have no problem with the screen, but I can see why other people comment on it
- I don't lije the font, although I understand why they use (it's a Times-style serif font)

Alternatives I considered:

- Kindle - rejected because of the locked-on format, restricted features in the UK and, IMO, it's pig-ugly
- Sony 300 - no card slot
- Elonex - looks and feels cheap
- Cool-ER - feels really cheap

Things I'm not happy about with the 600:

- Sony's Ebook Library software. It's rubbish. Sony software is always rubbish. I don't know why, but it is. By rubbish, I mean it crashes, it's ugly, the UI is half-baked, and it's limited in functionality. But luckily there's Calibre, which is also ugly and has an odd UI, but works very well and has great functionality.
- Accessory prices are stupid. Basic cover - £25; leather cover - £40; cover with light - £50. I mean, come on!

Hope that helps
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