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Old 04-13-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
DArenson
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Which ereader should I get?

Hi everyone!

I'm looking to buy my first ebook reader. Maybe you can help me choose?

* I live in Canada, so it must be available up here.

* I want to spend up to $250 or so.

* My perfect ereader will let me shop around for books, and read books from different ebook stores. E.g., if one book is unavailable in the Kindle store, ideally my ereader should also let me buy it from a different store. Or if the ereader is bound to just one store (like Kindle), that store should offer all the books I like for a good price.

* I prefer no backlight. I like electronic ink.

* I like a good design where the ereader "disappears" -- should be lightweight and simple, and feel like a printed book.

I like the Kindle overall, but the problem is that it forces you to only buy books from Amazon. Not all books are yet available in the Kindle store, and they're also all marked up here in Canada. However, I still haven't ruled out Kindle.

The iPad seems too much -- it has various features I just don't need. I only really want to read books, and don't care about the other apps. Also, iPad has a backlight and is more expensive than the other ereaders.

How about Sony Reader? Or maybe the new Kobo? Anyone have one of those, and would care to tell me how they like it?

Any thoughts about what's the right one for me?

Thanks!

Daniel
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
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There isn't one best reader as even for similar requirements, different people like different readers. There have also been many threads on the board so you may want to check them out for reference.

If you want to shop around for books, it's probably best to stick to the epub format as that is becoming the de-facto standard.

I personally like the Astak 5" Pocket Pro as it can read multiple formats, has good support on the MR board and is quite small and light.

Many of the readers linked to a particular store, such as the Kindle, Nook or Kobo, can be difficult to use with other stores so do keep that in mind.

Also, when you do get a reader, look into using Calibre to manage your library and reader, it's a great piece of software and has great support on the MR board.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:20 PM   #3
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Honestly, it sounds like either the Kobo or Sony would be great for you. I have used both. The Kobo is imho much prettier---the quilted back is very nice and even the basest text file can look elegant with their attractive interface. I have seen several people's eyes bug out when they saw the bookshelf view. It's inexpensive and will be available far and wide at every Indigo. The big con with the Kobo is, it's a bit laggy at times. Not sure if this is just because I have a pre-release version, but it is noticeably slower than my Kindle and a hare slower than my Sony was (which is also slower than the Kindle). It is not bad once you get a book open and are just plain reading, but if you like to jump around a lot, open things, close things, use menus etc. you may find the occasional slowness irritating.

Last edited by ficbot; 04-13-2010 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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Does Kobo support ePub? For example, I sometimes download the free classics from Google Books in ePub format. As far as I know, you can't read ePub books on a Kindle. Can you transfer them onto a Kobo and Sony Reader? (The Kindle also has a library of free classics, but those are actually not free up here in Canada, and they don't have as many titles as Google Books.)

How about buying an ePub book from the Sony Store, and transferring it over to Kobo -- or vice versa? Would that work?

I agree that based on pictures (never held or used one) the Kobo is beautiful. A really snazzy looking gadget. I've used Kindles before, and while I love the screen and how text appears on it, the controls were a bit clunky. I also found the ratio of buttons-to-text a bit jarring. I want my ereader to feel like a book, not a gadget, and Kindle's keyboard and multiple buttons seem a bit too much. The Kobo looks pretty because it's simple; just a screen and a few buttons.

How did you get your hands on one? I thought they're not being released until next month.

Daniel
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:27 PM   #5
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Yes, Kobo supports epub. You can buy from them, from Sony, Books on Board etc. I have tested books from Kobo, Sony and Fictionwise with no problems. A few books would not allow me to change the font and I was told this was an Adobe issue and they expected to fix it with a firmware tweak. It's probably not my dream device because I really use the text to speech feature on my Kindle a lot (I am not a music person) and it lacks the ability to group or tag the books into collections. But is is a perfect device for someone who just wants to read a book straight through then read another one, without having to worry about lots of controls of extra features to fiddle with. I can see it being perfect for somebody like my mother who would load up a dozen books before she leaves for Florida for a month and not really care if she had an on-board store or something.

I got one because they sent out a press release about it and it had a local number as a contact, so I called and asked for a unit to review for Teleread. It's a loaner and I have to send it back this week at some point, and it's missing some features that will be available in the full version.
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:31 PM   #6
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Kobo and Sony can both read PDF and ePub that are encrypted with the Adobe's DRM, therefore you can purchased books from the same sites and use on either device.
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:41 PM   #7
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Nice. So far I'm really liking how Kobo sounds. It's also only $150, compared to the Reader, which is $300. I'd splurge on Reader if it were truly superior, but sounds like they're both great devices.

How does the text-to-speech on Kindle sound? Robotic voice, or sounds like a good audio book? I like audio books for my MP3 player (use them when jogging or walking), but Kindle is too large for that sort of usage.

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Old 04-13-2010, 05:59 PM   #8
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The Sony will cost a bit more than the Kobo due to added features like a touchscreen (good or bad), built-in dictionary, highlighting and note-taking. The Kobo will have more internal memory, choice of two font styles and bluetooth connectivity.
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:07 PM   #9
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Search YouTube for Kindle text to speech and you'll see plenty of videos with a sample of the voice. I think it's plenty satisfactory, good for this sort of thing. I use it while I am walking to the subway and when I am at the gym.

You mention you are in Canada. If you are in or near the GTA, I am happy to meet up with you and let you see the Kobo, but it'd have to be this week since I have to return it.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:54 PM   #10
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Thanks, guys,

The Kobo sounds like it's just what I need -- simple, elegant, and can read ePubs. I'll buy one when it comes out next month.

ficbot -- nice to meet somebody else here from the GTA. Are you on facebook?

Daniel
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