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Old 01-11-2010, 12:51 AM   #1
Davimee
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is there a backlit device?

Hello, I just recently found these forums and tonight decided to take the plunge and register. I've been reading on my Palm T/X for a couple years, and I love the portability! I don't usually read for more than 30 minutes to an hour at a time, and I love being able to stick it in my purse for when I have a few minutes here or there to work on a book. Unfortunately it's showing signs of coming to the end of its life (it doesn't always turn on when I press the power button). I really don't use it for anything besides reading, so I've considered looking into ebook readers. However, I really like the fact that it is backlit so I can read in bed at night without having to use the light. I thought about looking into one of the e-ink devices, but my eye sight is not the greatest and I have a bit of difficulty reading a paperback without a bright light shining right on the book. I know you can purchase book lights for the e-ink readers, but that, along with their larger size, kind of takes away some of the portability. I've also recently discovered my local library will begin loaning out ebooks through Overdrive later this Spring. I would really like to be able to read those books, but it seems like there is no software on my Palm that would support that. From the research I've done, it looks like any Sony ereader would work for this, as well as some others. But I am very hesitant to consider an e-ink device because I am afraid I would have difficulties reading it. We do not have a local B&N in our town, or I would go there and see what an ereader actually looks like. I considered purchasing an Ipod, but since one of my main reasons for wanting a new portable reader is to be able to read DRM epub files from the library, I don't think that would work. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks, and I appreciate you taking the time to read through this!
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:01 AM   #2
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try this

You may want to pay a visit to the JetBook forum. That device has an LCD screen that you may be able to read without an external light source.

Good luck with your search for that perfect device for you!
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:43 AM   #3
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actually the jetbook has no backlight either so it needs external light of some sort. There are quite a few LCD based devices out there now, I forget which ones book folk have found the best...I know one person here is now using an Archos 9 tablet device with success. I few are also using the Archos 5 as well but I don't know when versions of the Archos devices are those being user.

There also was a neat device from China posted here over this past week (maybe weekend) that was affordable and pretty well reviewed...but for the lige of me I don't remember the name or website. but if you hunt, I think the "News and Commentary" section you might be able to find some references to LCD readers. If I find it I'll come back and post it...I seem to remember this device was running Windows CE, maybe?
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:46 AM   #4
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Something you could look into is the Sony PRS-700 which was either liked a lot or not at all by those who used or tested them. I would visit the Sony device forum here and look into opinions. It is a 6" eink panel but not backlit, it's side lit with LED lighting. Do a lot of reading on it should it be of interest because there seems to ba a fair amount of hyperbole about the 700 because a great many people who actually own and use one seem very happy. Still there are issues which are valid as well.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:53 PM   #5
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I know you asked for a backlit device, but there are not that many at this time.

You mention portability for the reader and the light. I have read many people having good things to say about the PRS-300 with the Sony cover with light attached. Model number: PRSA-CL3 It's still has a small footprint and the light is always available. I can not vouch for the brightness of the light, but it does address the portability issue.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:33 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your suggestions! I didn't even realize ebook readers existed (other than the Kindle) until a couple months ago. I'm thinking about checking more into the e-ink readers afterall, even though they're a lot bigger than my Palm and don't have backlighting. I suppose I could always increase the font size if I'm having difficulty reading, as long as there is a light near by. I think I have other questions but I'm so new to this I don't even know what to ask. And I don't want to sound dumb. I'll be in a big city sometime in the next couple months so I will try to go to Barnes & Noble and look at the nook. My main concern with seeing it in the store is that the store lights will be so much brighter than anything I'll ever experience in real use, so I'm not sure if it will give me a good idea as to how easy it is to see the screen. I'll continue browsing these forums and learn all I can about ebook readers. I don't even really know what I need... at this point I'm happy reading free books I can download from Google Books and Gutenberg, so I'm hoping to find something that doesn't cost too much. I figure I'll spend at least $200, but I'm hoping if I wait a few months I won't need to go much over that.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:00 AM   #7
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My two cents: just about all the eReader makers decided not to add a backlight because 1) it is not a popular option since most people don't like to read in dark light
2) it adds to the cost and therefore shrinks their profit margins
3) it drains the battery & kills the selling feature of e-ink readers (8,000 page turns or two weeks on a single charge)

The Sony PRS700 had one but none of the new ones do.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Speedy eReader View Post
My two cents: just about all the eReader makers decided not to add a backlight because 1) it is not a popular option since most people don't like to read in dark light
2) it adds to the cost and therefore shrinks their profit margins
3) it drains the battery & kills the selling feature of e-ink readers (8,000 page turns or two weeks on a single charge)

The Sony PRS700 had one but none of the new ones do.
1) E-ink devices cannot be backlit so I don't think it has to do with whether or not reading the dark is popular or not.

2) Again, backlighting is not an option with E-ink and the cost is already pretty darn high - with or without an LCD screen.

3) LCD screen do suck the life out of batteries. Since E-ink isn't backlit, owners can enjoy some great battery life on their readers.

4) The Sony readers that do have built in lighting use side-lighting above the screen, not backlighting.

I only know all some of this because I anxiously await the day I can buy a reader or device with backlighting and good battery life. Pixel Qi, anyone?

Last edited by Katelyn; 01-15-2010 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:39 AM   #9
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Thanks for the information, Speedy eReader and Katelyn! After reading through these forums I've decided to go with the EZ Reader Pocket Pro, and get a booklight.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:24 PM   #10
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I only know all some of this because I anxiously await the day I can buy a reader or device with backlighting and good battery life. Pixel Qi, anyone?
Me! Me! I'm a bed reader, and just can't live without my LCD screen (backlit). A booklight just won't do it for me.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:22 PM   #11
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Me! Me! I'm a bed reader, and just can't live without my LCD screen (backlit). A booklight just won't do it for me.
I agree... I mostly read on nightshifts (supporting disabled people). All lights in the house is out, and I've tried to read on my Hanvon with a booklight, but it doesn't do it for me, so I'm now back to reading on my Palm during those hours.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:53 PM   #12
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I used to have a Sony 505 and, though it was far from great lighting, I used the Lightwedge for night reading (every single night btw). I gave the 505 to my sister for Christmas and picked up a Pocketbook 360. I enjoy the versatility of the 360 but I have to use a silly headlamp to read at night. I didn't think it would bother me as much as it does - but it does. A lot.

I am anxiously waiting for something to come out this year that will my next best reader. The Pixel Qi screen will make it to a number of tablets - the Notion Ink Adam is looking pretty darn amazing (check out the video of a prototype). If not something like that, then one of the forthcoming 7" MIDs (mobile internet device) will work nicely.

Today I picked up my monthly supply of books and for the first time, I put them on my 360 AND on my IPhone. Yes, the Iphone screen is teeny but it's backlit. 'Nough said
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:06 PM   #13
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It's a bit heavier than an eink reader, but the eBookwise 1150 is a backlit device. (and it's $129) I use it and also my Dell Axim X30.
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:57 PM   #14
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Me! Me! I'm a bed reader, and just can't live without my LCD screen (backlit). A booklight just won't do it for me.
I'm a bed reader too, but nothing beats a nice desk lamp or a room light. I have one of those cheapy clip-on lights as well, but it's more cumbersome and bothersome than just flicking on the room's light.

Honestly, I bought a ereader because I wanted to get away from backlit reading. I do enough of that everyday sitting in front of my computer typing out code, reading PDFs, and doing research. Having a backlit device just leads to more eyestrain and it still doesn't compare to reading words on a piece of paper (though the e-ink displays come pretty close).
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:28 PM   #15
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Check out the Nokia N900 series (or the N800 series, cheap on eBay).

It's a 4" (diagonal) backlit LCD. Supports FBReader, PDF, etc. -- anything that a standard linux distro can do, it can basically do. Plus it'll play movies, view pictures, etc.

m a r
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