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Old 08-02-2010, 04:15 PM   #1
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Recommend an E-Reader for a friend?

A friend has asked for a recommendation on an e-reader to buy for his girlfriend. I don't even own one. I'm happy with my older IPAQs and SmartPhone, but she wants a dedicated e-reader. I know it's personal preference, but does anyone want to make a suggestion?

Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:33 PM   #2
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Without more info it's hard to say. What's important... Dictionary? 3G &/or WiFi?, Library Books?, Touch Screen? Note Taking? Folders or Collections? Memory Card slot?
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starson17 View Post
A friend has asked for a recommendation on an e-reader to buy for his girlfriend. I don't even own one. I'm happy with my older IPAQs and SmartPhone, but she wants a dedicated e-reader. I know it's personal preference, but does anyone want to make a suggestion?

Thanks.
As bad as coosing any really personal item.
Tech level?
Own a computer and want to use it with the device or only use only the device.
Primary reading use (wants near full size PDF's?) or reflowable media.
What existing Library does it need to be compatible with (no DRM jailbreak required)?
Sources of additional material?
Smallest screen acceptable.
Color or E-Ink?


Not simple
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:49 PM   #4
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I'd suggest asking a mod to move this to the "Which device...?" section, where partisans of every available gadget that can read ebooks will proclaim the benefits of their particular device of choice.

They'll all be wrong, of course, except those who advocate the Sony PRS-505 (especially in silver) but you'll be able to get a wider selection of wrong advice.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
I'd suggest asking a mod to move this to the "Which device...?" section, where partisans of every available gadget that can read ebooks will proclaim the benefits of their particular device of choice.

They'll all be wrong, of course, except those who advocate the Sony PRS-505 (especially in silver) but you'll be able to get a wider selection of wrong advice.
Lol, love what you said

Anyways, on topic, I own both a iPad and a Pandigital Novel. Love both, but use them for certian things.

iPad Benefits:
-Nice 10" screen
-Can use all readers (Kindle for iPad, BN eReader for iPad, all the others that have their own iPad app)
-iBooks is nice if you make and import your own ePubs
-More than just an eReader

iPad Cons:
-at least $500 price tag
-Not to good in the sun
-all the other bad things that are known

Pandigital Novel Benefits:
-7" screen
-When hacked, can do all the same things that a phone with android on it can do
-$170 at Bed Bath & Beyond (reason why I got it )
-Can take ePubs with its own built-in eBook reader.
-Has a music player and video player as well if you want to use it for that
-Can use your SD card in it
-Alright display of screen in the sun, make sure it is facing you though and not at an angle.

Pandigital Novel Cons:
-Screens not that responsive, but it's better than some
-Whatever you can find about it that's bad, is usually right

All-in-all, I use both my iPad and Novel to read on. The novel is really good at night because the screen isn't near as bright as my iPad. One reason why its better in the sun. But besides what I said, it will depend on what your girlfriend wants in her reader. Don't let me sway you in any way or fashion to what reader to get.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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Have you considered looking at Craigs list in your area? As new readers come out people are upgrading and some bargains are to be had.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:27 AM   #7
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To all who replied - Thank you - with special thanks to those who listed models and pros/cons. I know it was a difficult question when I gave little info, but I have little info. I suppose I could/should have said - for the average user who lies within the central 40% of the bell curves of technical competence and reading material and price sensitivity and resistance to DRM and .... - what would you recommend that will work well with Calibre, but it wouldn't have provided much more info to base the recommendation upon.

I asked here as I didn't want anything that wouldn't work well with Calibre and because I know many names here, so could perhaps judge the replies better. If anyone has a brief "I like the gizmo better than my old whizmo because ..." I'd love to hear it. Thanks again.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:58 AM   #8
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The PocketBook 360 is very nice for the following reasons:-
  • 5" device so fits easily in handbag. Also very lightweight.
  • Has a hard cover for screen protection when not in use. Cover clips to back of reader whilst reading.
  • The pearly ivory model is very feminine and stylish.
  • Screen has very good contrast.
  • Has auto-rotate so usable in either hand.
  • Reads many different formats including epub, pdf
  • Display of books very user-customisable.
  • Several hacks available to those who wish to do such things. All of which are applied using simple drag-n-drop. e.g.
    - Choice of dictionaries
    - Choice of themes
    - Choice of fonts
    - Choice of games
  • epub has fully justified right edge and 6 zoom-levels in AdobeViewer.
  • epubs can be read with user choice of either AdobeViewer or FBReader.
  • pdfs can be read with user choice of AdobeViewer or pdfviewer
  • Folder support

Just my opinion. However, it's not cheap.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:12 PM   #9
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Amazon is known for ease of use, so if the girlfriend wants little effort I would suggest the upcoming Kindle 3.

However, the Kindle 3 has a lot of flaws to my way of thinking. Since you expect the girlfriend to be willing to use calibre, she apparently has the energy to learn a little bit about how to use the device and make the most of it, as well as access to a computer.

In that case, I would recommend the jetBook Lite, which uses an SD card, has the reflective TFT screen (which I prefer over the eInk vizplex), and uses user-replaceable flashlight batteries. The JBL now can handle ADE ePub DRM as well as eReader DRM.

It was on sale two weeks ago at newegg.com for $89.99 with free shipping, and will undoubtedly go on sale again.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:17 PM   #10
kovidgoyal
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Another consideration for calibre integration is reading news. Currently, the news reading experience is most pleasant on the Kindle, because of its special navigation features with the joystick (you can skip to next/previous article, see the list of sections and so on), with a simple click or two of the joystick.

SO if she's planning to read a lot of news, the Kindle would be a good choice.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
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if she's planning to read a lot of news, the Kindle would be a good choice.
Thank you. That's the kind of specific Calibre integration issue that I was looking for.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:57 PM   #12
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I would say the new Kindle is a good choice. She already uses Calibre, so she shouldn't have much of a problem with converting. It depends, if she wants library books, some don't offer mobi format.

I use calibre and it works well with the Nook. I have it rooted though (which is pretty simple), and if I didn't I probably would have went with the Kindle 3. If it's not rooted it doesn't have very good organization. When rooted you can set the Nook up (via tags in Calibre) similar to the collections on a Kindle. The thing about the kindle (besides amazon and DRM) that I didn't like was that it didn't show my book covers until I opened the book. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, but sometimes I remember the cover and know I wanted to read it because of reviews or recommendations, but can't remember the title. The battery life on the new Kindle will be much better than the Nook. I have had my Nook for 4 days and I am at 50% battery life (I have played with it extensively though). If she lives near a Barnes & Noble she can go into the store and read any book for free for an hour.

Kobo works well with calibre as far as I know. It is small and light. It is a lot slower though, and the screen isn't quite as nice as the Kindle or Nook.
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:07 PM   #13
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New Kindle, the price is good ($139), it's the newest e-ink technology... can't go wrong with that. Only problem is that it's sold-out right now so if you order now, it'll probably be like a month or more before she gets it.
I would have recommended the Sony readers (I love my touch-screen PRS-600) but it seems like Sony abandoned support for them.

Last edited by wolfing; 08-03-2010 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:27 PM   #14
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New Kindle, the price is good ($139), it's the newest e-ink technology... can't go wrong with that. Only problem is that it's sold-out right now so if you order now, it'll probably be like a month or more before she gets it.
They're saying that if ordered now they'll ship on or before Sept. 4th, that's a week or less after the initial release day.
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