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Old 03-17-2010, 11:38 PM   #1
sordie
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IREX DR800 or DR1000?

I've been reading this forum for a while; it is a very useful site with lots of great information, and thanks to everyone for your contributions - much appreciated.

My interest in this forum started because I have been looking for an ereader for about 4 months now. Finally, as the post title suggests, I am close to making a decision, so I have decided to post a question myself. I tend to read lots of technical and business docs, mainly in the form of PDFs (and frequently large, scanned PDFs). I also like to read lots of novels. I am lucky enough to have a Tablet PC (a Fujitsu) with a 12" Wacom screen. While it is fantastic for reading/annotating PDFs, it is heavy (just below 4 lbs) and the fan is amazingly loud (one reviewer on the Web referred to it as "screaming like a Banshee"). Let's just say it is the last thing you'd want to curl up with in bed or in your cozy chair.

I would like to get a reader that'll let me read novels (epub), be extremely portable, and also allow me to occasionally work on PDFs when my Tablet is not available (on the move or in bed). Another feature that is important is annotation and note-taking. I like to scribble notes when I am on the go; and when I read PDFs, annotation is a must. Several months ago I bought the Sony PRS-600. Although I loved it for novels, I returned it in the end. The glare was really unpleasant in low light conditions and the 6" screen made it very awkward for PDFs, even for infrequent use.

So I started to look for a larger device. With the upcoming firmware update, DR800 and DR1000 both seem to fit the bill. It also looks like I can get a used DR1000 for the same price as a DR800 (I don't believe new DR1000s are available any more - I know IREX site says "temporarily unavailable", but it has been "temporarily unavailable" for a couple of months now, and to me that suggests that IREX could discontinue the DR1000). Having not seen either ereader in person, I am having a bit of a difficulty deciding.

DR1000 seems to have several attractive points: larger screen, excellent PDF handling, yet still light enough to be fairly portable. On the other hand based on everything I have read, I do have some concerns as well: As I said above, it is not currently being sold by IREX, so I am hesitant about buying a potentially orphaned device. Also, based on posts here, it seems to have power management issues. Finally, build quality seems to have had some issues as well.

DR800 has a smaller screen, but it is IREX's latest and greatest device, and the one they'll be working to upgrade for the next little while. Also,the smaller size means excellent portability.

So here is my question to you all - especially for those who own both readers- is there anyone like that. Is the PDF readibility on 800 similar to 1000 - I realize the 2 inch difference means they definitely won't be the same. Is the build quality of 800 improved over 1000? Finally, given the use case, which one would you buy, and why?

Thanks in advance to all of you for your help.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:05 AM   #2
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well only the 800 for sure..
1000 has some problems
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
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I went through a very similar process about a month ago. I went for the DR800 - and I live in Europe so had to pay more than in the US. I'm very happy with it; can read for far longer than off my laptop, there are some issues with reflowing PDFs at the moment, (I read a lot of academic articles), but that will (hopefully) be improved with the next firmware release. I haven't owned an ereader before so haven't really got anything to compare it wit, but the unit in combination with Calibre gives me everything I need.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:02 PM   #4
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I have had a DR1000 for well over a year now and am very satisfied with it. Battery life is much better than a laptop (about 10 hr). I use it mainly for technical pdf articles, annotating pdfs, and journaling. The dictionary lookup works well. Various third party software has become essential installs for me. It does not read DRM epub documents, however. The screen is a big, thin piece of glass so you have to be careful with it. Also, where the miniUSB plugs into the unit is vulnerable. The plug can exert much leverage on the socket, so you have to be watchful of that too. It is a work horse, though. I use it constantly.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:29 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone, your comments are very useful. Tjdean, can the 1000 read non-DRM epub? TGS, I am not in the US either, so would have to pay the higher price. Did you find that 8" screen provides sufficient screen area for you to be able to read the academic articles without reflow?

Tjdean, one more question: yousaid the screen is fragile de to size. Would the cover sold on the IREX site provide sufficient protection to carry it around in a backpack or a satchel?

Thanks
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:53 AM   #6
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Well, I just in love with my DR800SG, the screen is the best I saw (Sony 505 was good too, but due to slow page turns flashing and ghosting annoyed me).
The portability is on par with Sony. And ability to use 3rd party software is a big bonus. No advantages over DR1000 of course in the last regard.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:54 AM   #7
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The DR1000 cover is fine and gives plenty protection. Most if not all present e-ink displays have a glass substrate and are "delicate" to a degree and so care is always required.
The present DR1000 firmware doesn't allow non-DRM epubs (though fbreader has been built for it and it may allow that, I've never tried.)
The New firmware supposed to be released next month is based on the DR800 and will read epub by default but not Mobi. (You'd have to use fbreader again I suspect). However the new firmware will not allow you to transfer any scribbles you make on your pdfs to another device, unlike the current firmware. This latter point probably limits the proposed new firmware use in my case. Hopefully a solution to that can be resolved.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:47 AM   #8
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Indeed the cover offers adequate protection. I have a soft briefcase and I took the thick cardboard the covered the device in shipping and cut it in half and put the pieces on either side of the laptop insert in my briefcase. It travels fine like that. I make sure my briefcase is either vertical or I make sure it is on top of stuff on the airplane. On the other hand, I treat the device in ways that probably would make some folks shutter. I am a forest scientist and take the device with me when I am out in the woods. If it is damp, I enclose it in large ziplock bag. I can scribble through the plastic. I live in the southern part of the US and thus watch the temperature during the summer.

I think fbreader works with drm-free epubs. I don't plan on sticking with the current firmware version (1.7.1). I don't need adobe digital documents.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:10 PM   #9
sordie
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Thanks everyone. Your comments were helpful. I was still pondering whether 1000 might have fitted my needs better when I found out my used source is no longer available. So the decision has become easy; I'll go with the 800.
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