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Old 02-09-2010, 12:15 AM   #1
judahis
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Question BEST 7-INCH NETBOOK AS E-BOOK READER?

I have been following e-book readers for many years and continue to be disappointed at the high price and general lack of ability to annotate text and save the text. So, I have pretty much decided to go with a 7-inch netbook but most of the reviews seem not to indicate excellent ones. Anyone with a suggestion? Also seems to be with problems with Linux on many of them. Is there a problem with Linux and compaibility with epub, .txt, .doc etc.? Must one go with Windows?
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:09 AM   #2
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I recently bought an Asus EeePc 701 (one of the earliest models and now discontinued), which was being sold at the bargain price of £99. It has an 8 Gb solid-state disk and the fan is barely audible, so it is quiet in use. Although small (7"), the screen is very crisp and legible. That model comes with Xandros Linux preloaded; I dumped it in favour of Eeebuntu, which is great, and shortly to be upgraded to version 4.

I mainly use mine plugged into an external monitor and with a wireless keyboard and mouse, for word-processing (because it's so quiet), but now and then I take it out and about as well. FBreader is reckoned to be the best Linux ebook software, though I don't use it myself.

If you can find a 701 at sale price, it might very well fit the bill.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:24 AM   #3
Bremen Cole
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I had one of the Asus 701's two years ago when it first came out. (early adopter) You can also dump the Linux and put XP on them and they run great. I was amazed how much faster it was with a clean and light XP install... anyway, yes the screen was great but FOR ME the form factor just didn't work for reading. If they would fold all the way around it would have been better for me....

In general, any of the netbooks that have an LED backlit screen are going to be pretty good. But the old school LCD ones, not so much....

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Old 02-09-2010, 12:02 PM   #4
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I have the Dell Mini 10V. This is a 10 screen and comes with windows 7 it has an very readable LED backlit LCD screen and I can read for hrs and hrs. Battery life is only about 3 hrs with the 3 cell battery I have but have been told that there is a 6 cell battery that can double the battery life. I normally read with the AC plugged in. What I like is that it is very good with PDFs and I also have kindle for PC, the BN reader, Sony reader, msreader and the mobireader. I have calibre on a desktop that I can also use to keep up with it all. The only thing that I would like to have in the netbook that I do not have is for it to be a convertible so that I could read on it like a tablet.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:01 PM   #5
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:07 PM   #6
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Well, it's 8.9 inch, not 7 inch, but I just got an Asus T91MT tablet/netbook. I'm loving every second of reading on it. It swivels and converts from netbook configuration to a tablet configuration.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:53 PM   #7
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Ah, yes, the Asus. I've got that one on my list for my husband - I vet them, and someday he'll get around to looking at my list and will choose one. I'm rather hoping he'll get the Asus tablet so he can have both a keyboard and a touchscreen. I've been there and decided to go straight tablet this time.

We have yet to see if I'll read on it beyond web browsing - I have a Sony 505 with a light wedge, and I can't imagine a much better experience (battery life, etc.) than that. It would annoy me to have to plug in.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:33 PM   #8
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What are you planning on reading? How do you want to use your reading device? I don't know of any Linux e-reading software that annotates, but I'm no expert on the OS (as far as I can tell, FBReader does not annotate). With Windows, you'd have more reading software choices as well as the additional option of downloading PDF XChange Viewer for annotating PDFs. I don't think there is anything comparable for Linux (I use WINE to get PDF XChange on my HP Linux Netbook, so that's an option, I guess).

That said, I can't imagine reading anything except PDF articles on my netbook. If you're a techie, you could always spend $90 on an eBookwise 1150, which allows you to highlight text and handwrite notes with the stylus. It's quite old school--you might feel like you're in an 80s sci-fi movie when using it--but if you have the know-how, you can convert most major formats (.lit looks really good, in my experience), and transfer marked up books back to your computer. The disadvantage is that you have to use a Smartmedia card to retrieve books from the device to your computer, and you have to use a propriety software viewer to read the books on PC. It's very much a legacy device (be warned), other choices would look better and be more flexible about formats, but other readers are not $90. For great ergonomics, annotating ability, and backlit reading in bed--well, I've found the device a pleasure.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:51 PM   #9
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I have to eat my words. We found out that Best Buy.com has the Lenovo S10-3t convertible multitouch tablet (Amazon doesn't even have it for sale yet, which is a shame because we could have saved a bundle on shipping as Prime members, but we're too impatient). It's ordered for my husband. Along with a memory upgrade. Hurmph. Well, that's the last of the tax return!

Since my 505 is mine mine mine, I imagine he'll use it for reading. I'll report what he thinks in a week or so, along with my review of the Archos 9.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:13 PM   #10
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Neat, that would be great to know how the S10-3t works as a reader. I wonder if there is any Windows e-reading software that really takes advantage of touchscreen for highlighting/annotations? I think there is a lot of potential in these tablet Netbooks coming out.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:30 PM   #11
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I was not aware the Lenovo S10-3t was even out yet! It looked pretty interesting on paper, may have to have a look at that.....
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bremen Cole View Post
I was not aware the Lenovo S10-3t was even out yet! It looked pretty interesting on paper, may have to have a look at that.....
After a brief survey, I think this is for me! Looking for a tablet (with handwritten annotation ability built-in) as a netbook alternative, but I like this (even with the keyboard) for the same price as the iPad. Not much hands on info available.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:13 PM   #13
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True, true, I'm not even sure how long it's been out, it might be just a matter of days since Amazon isn't selling it yet. He's upgrading the RAM to 2 gig and the OS to Home Premium right off, so keep that in mind when I tell you how he likes it.

I found that Best Buy was less expensive with better specs than the Lenovo web site. Very strange. The Lenovo web site had prettier cases, but that in no way made up for the poorer specs on the Lenovo site, I'm afraid.

I think we hijacked the 7-inch netbook thread. Should we take this elsewhere?

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Old 02-09-2010, 11:13 PM   #14
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The Dell Mini 10v is a very nice netbook and eminently hackable. I have large hands and was pleasantly surprised at how well I could use the keyboard. It also has a nice screen.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:01 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I recently found some old 8.9-inch Sony Vaios that might do the trick and in my price range. Anyone have any experiences with these?
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