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Old 12-29-2009, 07:31 AM   #76
Bremen Cole
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Originally Posted by Fledchen View Post
If/when something close to my ideal ebook display device comes along, I'd probably buy it. Right now there's nothing on the market that would work better and have fewer drawbacks (from my perspective) than what I have now.

I have a severe visual impairment and have, for the most part, given up on reading standard print books, even with low vision aids. Ebooks are wonderful, but only if I can configure how they're displayed to match my needs. I've become adept at converting books to LRF using Book Designer. I guess most consumers don't care much about font options, justification and margins because I see very little mentioned about configurability in most product descriptions. My main problems with my Sony 505 are worries about durability (glass screen) and the ergonomics of page turn controls. I get cramps in my hands if I don't switch fingers every 20 pages or so.
I have a visual impairment as well (though not severe) and gave up paper books years ago. The ability to choose font size alone drove me to using laptops, desktops, Pocket PC's, PDA's, and lately iPod/iPhone to read. Along the way I found the other benefits of ereading, and am a happy 10 year veteran.

I would not buy now simply because there is nothing out that suits my needs as well as what I have. I don't care about playing mp3's, viewing photo's, writing notes, wifi and/or 3g...etc on my reader. I just want it to allow me to read a book, and what I have does that just fine.

I will say that back lighting is something that I would be interested in when they are able to wed it with the eInk technology.
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:42 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
Generally that's true, but right now there happens to be a lot of devices that "should" be coming out soon. The unique timing right now might be an exception to the basic rule you stated.
I so agree.

So here I sit, waiting to buy my first e-reader. And researching a lot.
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:33 PM   #78
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More than Kindle and Sony

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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
I am very happy with my Sony, however, lately, the Kindle has been tempting me. I heard you can finally get non-English dictionaries for it, which is something I couldn't have on my Sony. The 'read to me' feature also interests me, I use only 'liberated' books so the publishers restrictions on this feature would not affect me and I could use any book with it. All of my current books could be easily converted with Calibre and it would pretty much be business as usual for me, except that I could read French books and use the read to me feature. I also am interested in getting a newspaper wirelessly delivered to me every morning. And finally, my stepfather is interested in trying out an ebook reader, so I figure I may be able to tempt him with whichever reader (the Sony or the Kindle) I decide I no longer want to keep.

I know there is *always* something new coming out and the fear that you'll buy something and then something new will come out is never a reason not to enjoy a new technology. However, it does seem like we are at a bit of a tipping point right now as far as ebooks go, and six months from now, it really will be a whole other ballgame. If I got the Kindle and then they did announce an Apple Tablet---or something else I hadn't even thought of yet---or the price gets cut in half---I would be upset. This feels like more than just 'something better is always coming down the pipe.' It really feels like the industry is finally hitting a critical mass with the ebook genre, and it may be foolish to plunk down hard core funds prematurely.

As I said, I am all set up as far as books go, can continue buying where I am, in fact have advantages to do so because my liberated books will work with all the technology (dictionaries, read to me etc.) of the Kindle. But, except for not having those two features, the Sony really does meet my needs, otherwise. I am just going around in circles here about whether I should treat myself, because I really would use those features often and am a serious/prolific enough reader that I will enjoy it, or whether I should just be a little more patient for a litte while longer and see how things shake up...
Dear Ficbot:

Just remember that Kindle Sony are two makers. Things are already shaking up!

What if you did NOT have to buy from one website? What if you were free to purchase from 300 websites? What if you could pay a lot less, read in 20 different formats, have Text-To-Speech and not have to pay extra for the case? What if you could do all this for $199.

I am NOT here to sell you something. I just want you and others to look at what else is out there. Go to the CES show in Las Vegas (January 7-10) and see all the eBook Readers. Or, go to www.theEZreader.com and have a look around.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:23 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
But, in fairness, the same is true of most readers. If you ignore the "big players", who genuinely can design their own machines, there are really only two manufacturers around: Netronix in the Republic of China, and Jinke in mainland China. All the other machines on the market (with a small number of exceptions) are made by them. Astak sell both Netronix and Jinke devices; Pocketbook are Netronix, as are Bookeen, and Cool-ER. BeBook are Jinke, etc etc.

What distinguishes the various suppliers are whether they use the "stock" factory firmware (as all the Jinke clones appear to) or whether they simply use the manufacturer's hardware and base operating system and write their own firmware (as Pocketbook and Bookeen do, for example).

Speaking personally, I looked carefully at the Pocket Pro, and went for the Pocketbook 360 instead. The Pocket Pro has a number of shortcomings which I disliked, such as the extreme difficulty of navigating hyperlinks, due to the lack of a simple "D-pad" navigation control.
Excellent observation Harry, all models will eventually be rendered as afterthoughts as the industry evolves. And exactly it will be the brands that invest in developing their own firmware rather than simply re-branding the factory supplied firmware. That was the point I was trying to get at thanks for being more concise for me, ...and great you are finding it fun to use!!

With the PB360 the only thing I am not fond of is the click on the buttons...wish it was a silent click but ya can't have everything. At least its not near as loud when you hold the device compared to flat on a table. to me this is the small issue I don't mind with a device because the use is not diminished. It's only really an issue in a quite setting where others might be trying to concentrate or in bed with a light sleeper sort, but then the light thing inherent to all devices using EPD epaper panels like the Eink brand panels.

My reason on the Astak my sense about Astak being on the ropes already is not based solely on the firmware/reading software issues but also hardware probs as well. from the posts by the Astak rep on MR, Astak seems to have essentially no real input hardware and QC at the factory and apparently little input as to the final product they are being delivered. Maybe that is because while those things can be had, it comes at a price which Astak might not be able to afford or willing to spend. Computers are no different, the same factory can make a models for a dozen brands all with the same firmware and hardware but with QC at different levels. Laptop brands are no different. It can be next to impossible for a small player who is trying to grow a brand to get much in the way of exact hardware specs and end up just silk-screening their name on the front with a custom branded version of whatever OS they can get.

Mfg's/brands that survive will be those who invest in stability of their own firmware and exert real in-house quality control and testing of the devices as they are received from the factory that makes them...face it these factories will push around the weaker brands because they can and these small fishes in the pond with a very small market share. I will say Astak appears to have tried, but seem impotent in terms of results or they are just not very good at putting the wood to the factory...

I too had high hopes for the Pocket Pro (I like the design, colors are fun and the whole 5" size is perfect for novels but the PB360 is vastly more stable and just appeals to me more. Others will feel differently for sure) but like you found, it just fell flat. I feel a lot of the future of the company hinged on the success of the device which will affect their relevance to the factories making the readers. Astak still could improve but it's going to mean serious changes, especially in marketing and an in-house software department.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:26 PM   #80
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If I was to buy a new reader now, I'd order a Sony Reader PRS-900. But as I have a 505, I'd rather wait until after CES to see what's happening with readers. And as the plasitc screens are coming in 2010, I want to see what happens.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:26 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brecklundin View Post
Excellent observation Harry, all models will eventually be rendered as afterthoughts as the industry evolves. And exactly it will be the brands that invest in developing their own firmware rather than simply re-branding the factory supplied firmware.
Like laptops, routers and everything else some will, some won't. How much this will matter depends on the base quality...
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:35 PM   #82
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How does that work? I have a Sony and am unable to convert the books from my Sony to my new Kindle DX ( which I adore) or just dont know how. Love to know how its done please. Pm's are fine.

Natalie
If the eBooks you want tot covert from are LRX then you cannot do it as LRX has not had the DRM broken and I think they never will.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:47 PM   #83
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I don't think this is a good time to be buying a large-screen device, because there are many that will be released in the next few months.

However, it's a very good time to be buying small-screen devices, with all sorts of interesting new ones on the market. I've just bought a Pocketbook 360, and that's a very nice 5" device. There's also the new firmware releases for the Bookeen devices (Gen3 and Opus), which make them well worth looking at.
Given some of the rather stupid bugs in the the ePub firmware, I'd stay away from the Gen3.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:51 PM   #84
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But, in fairness, the same is true of most readers. If you ignore the "big players", who genuinely can design their own machines, there are really only two manufacturers around: Netronix in the Republic of China, and Jinke in mainland China. All the other machines on the market (with a small number of exceptions) are made by them. Astak sell both Netronix and Jinke devices; Pocketbook are Netronix, as are Bookeen, and Cool-ER. BeBook are Jinke, etc etc.
Don't forget Amazon, Sony, B&N, & iRex who have their own hardware.
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