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Old 02-24-2010, 01:10 AM   #1
Polydwarf
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Fastest e-ink reader for epub page turning?

I'm looking around for e-ink reader options, and the primary concern I have is page-turning speed. My plan is to use it for personal reading of epub short stories and novels, not technical pdf's. But, I read pretty quickly, and I've found I'm more sensitive to page turning speed than a lot of people. Since this isn't a question handled very well by the wiki's ebook matrix, I'm looking for input.

Here are some other typical questions/answers that I can think of for features (besides the fact that, yes, I would like ponies, unicorns, and rainbows ). If there are others, I'm more than happy to answer.

Screen Size : I would prefer 6" or up. I've played a little bit with the Sony 300 at Target, and a 5" screen just seems... small.

Folder Support : Not really a concern for me. My current plan is to load a few books onto the device at a time from my PC, rather than putting my entire library on the device.

Note Taking : Not a concern for me.

Dictionary : Not a concern for me.

Language : English (US)

3G Connectivity : A little bit of a concern, but not much of one.

WiFi : I'm not sure... If I can load books from my PC to the device wirelessly via Calibre/etc, instead of via usb, that might be kind of nifty. It's nowhere near a "significant" decision point, though, because I always have multiple cables hanging out of my PC anyways, so another one (or re-using a mini-usb one) isn't really a big deal.

Touch Screen : I don't really care. I realize that at the screen size I'm talking about, touch screens are pretty common, but I doubt I'd use it very much; I hate wiping fingerprints off my iphone, and I imagine I'd hate it on this too.

Screen Clarity : I really care (commence Sony 600/900 flame fests here)

Price : $450 max; cheaper is better

Looks : I'd prefer something that doesn't look like a piece of plastic squashed by a sumo wrestler (IE, kindle; way too much white plastic for my tastes), but I'm much more interested in speed/functions over looks.

The obvious heavyweight choices are Sony 600/900, and iRex dr800sg. However, there are plenty of other 6" readers that are cheaper than a Sony 600, but it's hard to tell things like screen clarity, and true time-to-change-a-page off of youtube videos (ie, sometimes you can't tell when someone actually clicked the button so you can't tell how long the page change actually took).

As for units I've actually seen... I saw a beat up Sony 300 and 600 display kiosk at a local Target store. I tried an Astak EZ Reader a few months ago. That's about it for my personal hands-on experience. There's a Sony Style store in the next suburb over that I'm going to try to get to soon to play with a 900.

If anyone has other reader ideas/feedback, I'm interested in hearing them.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:31 AM   #2
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The DR800SG is advertised as having fast page turns, and MobileTechReview's IREX DR800SG review confirms that it is faster than the Nook.

The only way to tell for sure is side by side comparison of two devices on the same ePub. The 5" Hanlin V5 is only about 25% faster than the 6" Hanlin V3 for example, even though the former has 2x the cpu speed and a newer display controller.

The nearest 6" competitor to the DR800SG is the Onyx Boox 60 (Bebook Neo). This is certainly worth considering.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:28 AM   #3
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Look at Boox 60 or PocketBook 302, you can see them here, btw:

www.ereadersandtablets.com
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:03 AM   #4
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The Neo has a much, much clearer screen than the Sony 600/900, due to its use of a Wacom touch screen (which is physically underneath the eInk display) rather than a resistive touch screen (which is on top of it). I'm very impressed with the Neo (which is the same machine as the Onyx Book 60); well worth a look.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydwarf View Post
I'm looking around for e-ink reader options, and the primary concern I have is page-turning speed. My plan is to use it for personal reading of epub short stories and novels, not technical pdf's. But, I read pretty quickly, and I've found I'm more sensitive to page turning speed than a lot of people. Since this isn't a question handled very well by the wiki's ebook matrix, I'm looking for input.
You may want to look at the Onyx Boox 60 or the BeBook Neo then (both use the same hardware and very similar firmware). It is very fast when it comes to turning pages. And you can choose between full and partial screen refresh.

Quote:
Screen Size : I would prefer 6" or up. I've played a little bit with the Sony 300 at Target, and a 5" screen just seems... small.
The Boox/Neo have a 6" screen, which works for me. The text zooming and reflowing is excellent.

Quote:
Folder Support : Not really a concern for me. My current plan is to load a few books onto the device at a time from my PC, rather than putting my entire library on the device.
FWIW, the Boox/Neo supports arbitrary directory structures.

Quote:
Note Taking : Not a concern for me.
Dictionary : Not a concern for me.
Both are supported, but the dictionary support is still a bit flaky with the current firmware.

Quote:
Language : English (US)
No problems here.

Quote:
3G Connectivity : A little bit of a concern, but not much of one.

WiFi : I'm not sure... If I can load books from my PC to the device wirelessly via Calibre/etc, instead of via usb, that might be kind of nifty. It's nowhere near a "significant" decision point, though, because I always have multiple cables hanging out of my PC anyways, so another one (or re-using a mini-usb one) isn't really a big deal.
The Boox/Neo has built-in WiFi, which I personally prefer over 3G connectivity. It's useful for downloading and reading documents when your're not near the PC. When I'm around, I usually either use the USB cable (it appears as a mass storage device when connected) or just take the SD card out of the reader into the PC to synchronize the data.

Quote:
Touch Screen : I don't really care. I realize that at the screen size I'm talking about, touch screens are pretty common, but I doubt I'd use it very much; I hate wiping fingerprints off my iphone, and I imagine I'd hate it on this too.

Screen Clarity : I really care (commence Sony 600/900 flame fests here)
With the Boox/Neo, you have the best of both worlds - it uses a Wacom touchscreen which only works with a stylus: no fingerprints, much better contrast and readability. But you can fully use it by using the navigation button on the bottom of the device. In fact, I mostly use the stylus when browsing the web, not when reading a book

Quote:
Price : $450 max; cheaper is better
Check Dulin's books for current US prices - I paid 279 EUR for my Boox.

Quote:
Looks : I'd prefer something that doesn't look like a piece of plastic squashed by a sumo wrestler (IE, kindle; way too much white plastic for my tastes), but I'm much more interested in speed/functions over looks.
The Boox looks a tad bit like an oversized iPod. Here are some pics from mine:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenzgr/...7623312901012/

Quote:
The obvious heavyweight choices are Sony 600/900, and iRex dr800sg. However, there are plenty of other 6" readers that are cheaper than a Sony 600, but it's hard to tell things like screen clarity, and true time-to-change-a-page off of youtube videos (ie, sometimes you can't tell when someone actually clicked the button so you can't tell how long the page change actually took).
I directly compared my Boox against the Sony 600 and the difference screen quality was notable. The touch screen does reduce the contrast and readability.

Quote:
As for units I've actually seen... I saw a beat up Sony 300 and 600 display kiosk at a local Target store. I tried an Astak EZ Reader a few months ago. That's about it for my personal hands-on experience. There's a Sony Style store in the next suburb over that I'm going to try to get to soon to play with a 900.

If anyone has other reader ideas/feedback, I'm interested in hearing them.
I think you should seriously consider looking at the Onyx Boox or BeBook Neo
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:01 PM   #6
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Wait for the Alex next month.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LenzGr View Post
You may want to look at the Onyx Boox 60 or the BeBook Neo then (both use the same hardware and very similar firmware). It is very fast when it comes to turning pages. And you can choose between full and partial screen refresh.
Full/Partial Screen Refresh? What is this about? I thought all e-ink displays had the same inherent behavior, that they had to fully black the screen, then fully un-black it, then do just the text. Are some readers... better?

Personally, I've always wondered why a reader couldn't keep track of the page it's displaying, and say to itself "Well, I set <xyz pixels>, so I only have to clear those".. Is that about the size of what a partial refresh is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenzGr View Post
I think you should seriously consider looking at the Onyx Boox or BeBook Neo
Given your sig, I would never have guessed

Seriously, though, I appreciate the feedback.


Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
Wait for the Alex next month.
What's the big draw for the Alex? I've read a little bit on it, and what it mainly strikes me as is a nook-clone, where they actually figured out something to use the touchpad for.

Is the e-reader portion of it better than the current crop of readers?

Last edited by Polydwarf; 02-24-2010 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:22 PM   #8
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You can see a video for the Alex here. It's not really a nook clone. I like the concept much better than the nook because the LCD screen is much more useful. I think it's priced too high at $399 but I'm considering selling my 505 and buying one.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Polydwarf View Post
Full/Partial Screen Refresh? What is this about? I thought all e-ink displays had the same inherent behavior, that they had to fully black the screen, then fully un-black it, then do just the text. Are some readers... better?

Personally, I've always wondered why a reader couldn't keep track of the page it's displaying, and say to itself "Well, I set <xyz pixels>, so I only have to clear those".. Is that about the size of what a partial refresh is?
Yes, it seems that this depends on the display controller used to drive the eInk display. The first eBook reader devices did not seem to support partial page refreshes, while the recent ones (like the Boox/Neo) do.

Here's a YouTube video that shows the difference (and gives you an impression of the screen refresh rate):

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Old 02-24-2010, 05:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by LenzGr View Post
Yes, it seems that this depends on the display controller used to drive the eInk display. The first eBook reader devices did not seem to support partial page refreshes, while the recent ones (like the Boox/Neo) do.

Here's a YouTube video that shows the difference (and gives you an impression of the screen refresh rate):
Ahh, cool. Thanks for the video.

It wasn't quite what I was picturing in my head, but I do like that a lot more than the readers that flash all black then back again.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:24 PM   #11
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Just got back from the Sony Style store..

I'm not sure if it was the lighting in there or what, but the 900's looked like flashlights shining into my eyes with all the reflected light coming off the screen.

There was a fair amount of art-deco spot-light type lighting. But, I had to twist and turn the screen and my body to get it to a point I could actually read the text (It was tethered to a pillar-display).

So, I'm going to say no to the Sony's. On to trying to find Boox/Neo/irex in my area.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:34 AM   #12
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The Boox/Neo is only sold on-line, AFAIK.
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