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Old 05-06-2010, 01:38 PM   #1
NoHolyGrail
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Which reader for note-taking?

I'm looking at upgrading to a reader device with the ability to take notes. I've tried out a couple devices in stores (PRS-600, Nook), but I'm wondering what other people's experiences have been. I'm not really interested in "scribbling" notes with a stylus, just some sort of "typing". My impressions so far on some of the devices I've considered:

Nook -- tried this in the store, but the virtual keyboard seemed cramped and caused typos
Sony Reader 600 -- keyboard seemed better, but activating the note-taking mode was incredibly difficult on the units I tried in the store
Pocketbook 360 -- heard it's not really ideal for taking notes, but I still dream that after the learning curve, it may come as naturally as old-fashioned texting on a phone
Kindle 2 -- QWERTY seems like it would be great, but I think I'm too wary of Amazon's business practices to go for this one

Which readers do you recommend for taking notes? Did any of your devices turn out to be better for this purpose than you expected at first (learning curve)? Are there any newer devices coming out that I should wait for?
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:39 PM   #2
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I'd suggest the PRS-600 as being the best for this. It's not at all difficult to enter notes on.

Another device which can do it is the BeBook Neo / Onyx Boox 60, but the note-taking facility isn't currently very good. Improvements are promised for the next firmware release, but never count on such things until you see them.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:44 PM   #3
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I have tried all of the eReaders you mention, for the exception of Pocketbook 360. I actually own the PRS-600, and I would recommend it. Activating the note-taking mode is not very difficult... you just have to push the options menu, and tap on the edit/add notes button.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:28 PM   #4
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What kind of note-taking?

I don't think ebook reader is really ideal for notes. Have you consider things like smart phones with keyboard or something like IPod touch which has touch screen? Or even IPad.

I bought pocketbook 360 few days ago and writing with it is very slow. When you need 3 clicks for letter and screen updates slow like all e-ink there is no hope to ever learn to type fast. It is great device for reading but not for writing.

Last edited by Kameli; 05-08-2010 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the input. Sounds like I should give the 600 another try. Just a shame that the price is comparable to the Nook and Kindle 2, but without the perks of an internet connection. Still, my focus is note-taking so it sounds like the way to go.

I had considered taking notes on my cell phone (still using a 9-key for the moment) and have done so once or twice. I might try to do that for a little while to see how it goes, but I'm guessing it would be much more convenient to have it integrated into the reader.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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I don't have a 600 but the touch screen should make for excellent hand written notes and graphic annotations.


I do have the kindle 2, and can tell you note taking us quite easy on the kindle.

What I like is how fast and easy it is to start annotation on the device. You just move the joystick to the location of the word you want to highlight press down, select text and press down again

To write a note you just start typing, when you're done just hit the save button and your note is saved. The note is displayed on the screen as a number on the screen so it doesn't obscure your text.

To delete you just move your cursor to the note and hit delete.

One thing that Amazon does well is provide easy access to your notes. So you can archive them or access the your notes from any text editor. This was one point of frustration I had with the Sony was how difficult it was for me to access my notes.

The keyboard is easy to use and responsive, my one beef is the keyboard keys are too spaced out. A more compact keyboard would have been faster to type on.


Personally it think it is going to come down to how you use the device.

It you draw graphics and scribble notes the Sony outshines the kindle.

However if your note taking is mainly highlighting and typing the kindle is a much better choice. Having to type on a virtual keyboard with a pen is no where near as good as typing on a physical keyboard.

Last edited by =X=; 05-11-2010 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHolyGrail View Post
Pocketbook 360 -- heard it's not really ideal for taking notes, but I still dream that after the learning curve, it may come as naturally as old-fashioned texting on a phone
For all my love of the Pocketbook 360, the note-taking function is horrible and shouldn't have been installed in the first place. It's not old-fashioned texting in the phone, but more on the wave of those videogames which make you select letters by using the d-pad and confirm them with a button. The system is ok for videogames when you insert chains of some letters like nicknames, but taking notes with such a function is nightmarish.
And to add insult to injury, the notes are saves as... BMP images, so you can't work with them later on.

While it is a minor issue for me as I don't take notes, I can confidently say that the PB360 is definitely NOT apt for note-taking.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
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I actually own the PRS-600, and I would recommend it. Activating the note-taking mode is not very difficult... you just have to push the options menu, and tap on the edit/add notes button.
I tried this again in the store, but then I still have to select text (highlight) and double-tap on the highlighted text to get to the point where it gives me the option to use the on-screen keyboard. Aside from the annoyance of that being at least 5 actions before finally beginning to type a note, I get stuck on the double-tapping highlighted text every time. Sometimes it takes me half a dozen tries before it registers. By which point I would have forgotten what I wanted to enter in the note. Maybe I just have unsteady hands, or maybe the demo unit wasn't as responsive as it should be.

I did see in another thread here that there's an alternative method. Bookmarking a page and then single-tapping the upper-right corner will bring you immediately to the menu where you choose between "scribble" and "keyboard". This worked much better for me.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:04 PM   #9
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Thanks again to everyone for your input. PocketBook 360 definitely doesn't sound ideal for note-taking (although I'd expect the typing works adequately for using the search function and dictionary look-up).

=X='s description of the Kindle's functionality sounds great, but I'm just too wary about the way Amazon handles things. Wish there were another QWERTY device available.

Does anybody know if the Copia devices might be good for this when they come out? Are there any other readers coming out that I should maybe wait for?
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by NoHolyGrail View Post
=X='s description of the Kindle's functionality sounds great, but I'm just too wary about the way Amazon handles things. Wish there were another QWERTY device available.
I'm not sure what you are concerned about, but I've been burned by every eBook company I've dealt with except Amazon. I have also had books removed from my bookshelf because company xyz has chosen not to do business with zyx. I've lost books because a DRM scheme change from one format to another and the company no longer supported the older DRM. I think as I buy more books from Amazon I'll eventually have issues with their policies. To date the only thing that I've come across was a book I know I didn't buy showed up on my account and I was charged for it. I called them up and said I did not buy that book. Amazon gave me a refund. Most eBooks stores say tuff or give you credit.

There are ways you can keep amazon from accessing your device. For instance you don't have to register your device. You might not get the Internet but at least you don't have Amazon accessing your device remotely.

As for invasiveness well I'm currently reading a book I scanned and OCR'd it' called "The Alchemy of Finance" and the annotation is coming in handy. For my personal notes and for errors in the OCR.

Another option is to turn 3G off permanently and not worry about Amazon accessing your device.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:35 PM   #11
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I was wondering if my notes will stay if I up load the ebook back to my computer for later reference.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:40 AM   #12
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The Sony 600 is available for $199 now until May 22nd at many stores (including Bestbuy, Sonystyle, and Borders).

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