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Old 09-02-2010, 06:39 PM   #1
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6" screen - are people happy with it?

Dear all - I am a newcomer to digital reading and have still to purchase my first reader. I have been reading on PC up till now. I really like this community - the posts sound friendly and helpful.

I'd like to ask about people's experience with the size of screen. The E-Book is supposed to take the place of a paperback (for example). But do people find they are turning pages very quickly with a 6" diagonal screen? From the books I have, on average I would say the reading page is more like 7 or 8" diagonally.

Any reason why 6" seems to be standard and are people able to read at a comfortable pace with this size?

Best wishes
Jim
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:45 PM   #2
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I own both a 5" and a 6" device. 5" sometimes seems small but due to the weight and the size is really handy, and 6" is indeed appropriate for any standard novel.

Textbooks on the other hand would rather need a 9" device, IMHO.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
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6 inches is a good compromise size, actually. Remember that, unlike a paper book, fonts are enlargeable in an ebook, so the issue of making pages big enough to host letters big enough to be readable is not an issue here. In fact, there are people who are very comfortable with screen sizes of 3.5 or 4 inches (smartphone users) and there is a good market for really pocketable readers of 5 inches.

However, I adhere to K-THom's opinion. Books made for advanced reading require much larger sizes. Eventually, I think they'll require double-screen readers in order to be fully functional.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:00 PM   #4
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It's probably a standard (or common) because it's a good balance between screen size and weight/price. e-ink screens don't seem to be cheap and readers aren't all that light.

Anyway, you definitely do change pages more, so I guess you probably end up reading slower. But after a while you really don't notice the difference.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:31 PM   #5
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When I'm reading a paper book, I don't think "oh no, another page turn, I'll get worn out at this rate". They happen beneath my threshold of notice. I'm reading an ebook now that's 2750 pages on my 5½" screen at the large type size I favor. Amazon says it's 480 pages in hardcover. The fact that I'm theoretically changing pages almost six times as often simply doesn't register. If it ever did, then I'd know the book wasn't working for me.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:38 PM   #6
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I can read on my smartphone, but I greatly prefer my Kindle. The six-inch size feels like a good compromise between portability and screen real estate. I'm also guessing that six inches was the best marriage of size and price that Amazon could get from Viziplex 4-years-ago when they were designing the K1.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:45 PM   #7
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I'm with Jadon on this one. I never notice the page turns if the book is good enough. I just increase the text so I am comfortable and away I go!

I have a 5" device by the way... It it so nice, light and VERY portable. Very handy (pun ~ intended).

I find that I just get "in the flow" and never notice the clicks/page turns. I'm just reading.

Marilyn

Last edited by Mickey330; 09-02-2010 at 07:46 PM. Reason: Durn spelling...
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:04 PM   #8
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6" is excellent for novels. Plus the device itself remains small enough to cart around easily.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:17 PM   #9
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It depends on the devices you are comparing and your needs. My 6" Mentor was next to unusable for reading scanned image type PDF books. My 5" JBL works much better for the purpose. The Mentor added a margin around all images and text on any kind of book. The JBL can be set to not do so. There are many factors that have to be considered besides screen size, such as ease of use, features like zoom, contrast, resolution, speed, battery life, etc.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:45 PM   #10
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It's a good question -- is 6 inches really satisfying?

I got a Kindle 2 first and fell in love right away ... with a properly formatted book, at a comfortable font size, it's pretty close to a mass market pulp novel. When the eyes are a little tired, you can bump the size up -- something you can't do in print.

The Kobo is the identical size but uses a different font (two, actually, times and a sans serif) but there is less control over the size and books and epubs are sometimes not as well formatted as Kindle books from Amazon.

Now with Kindle 3, Amazon has done away with the top title bar on every page, provided finer control on font sizes, added a condensed serif and a sans serif, and even given control over line-spacing. You can get more words per page, comfortably, than the Kindle 2 ... making it even closers to the word count of a pulp paperback.

So ... while larger screens (and colour) will benefit magazines and pdfs, for reading novels, that 6 inches is really an ideal trade-off between words per page and handy form factor. Hate to be size queen here, but 5" doesn't seem like enough (I've seen them in stores but not lived with one); Sony's 7" models aren't sold in Canada; and I don't want to pay the extra expense to go to mammoth sized 9.7" Kindle DX.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:55 PM   #11
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I love my Sony Touch. I don't notice how often I'm turning the pages, I'm too wrapped up in the story. What I absolutely love is that I can adjust the font to a size I'm comfortable reading.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:55 PM   #12
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I have found the 5" Libre screen to be great for reading just about everything but;
1. books with lots of images
2. PDFs (some work great with reflow but most of mine (just free stuff) don't work well)
3. magazines from google-books

Even newspapers (from Calibre news-feed) work great (when they have a TOC).
6" I imagine would be more than adequate for everything but the above mentioned (which IMHO would require a much larger screen. Say 9"? ).
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:22 PM   #13
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6in satisfying? Not to me.

I find 5in more satisfying because of portability and lightness; it is simply less stressful to hold. Part of it is ergonomics (I really like the design of my Pocketbook 360; both the hardware and software) but part of it is that I find 6in to be something of a "tweener" size.

Given the lack of alternate products, I can't say for sure but I suspect a 7-8 in screen in a 16x10 aspect ratio would result in a better mid-range product than the 6in products out there.

For bigger screens I think I'll have to wait for plastic-substrate color screens before I find anything satisfying. The iPad is definitely too heavy and even the KDXG looks too heavy for extended sessions. I have some hope for the PB90x but even there...

In the end we'll have to make the most of what is offered because it doesn't look like the vendors have much interest in experimenting with alternate screen sizes/aspect ratios.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:26 PM   #14
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I have a Sony 505, and it is the perfect size for me. I can hold it one handed, turn a page AND eat or drink or whatever with the other hand, all at the same time.
I still wonder about a 900 or the new 950 though. Bigger IS better, right?
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:57 PM   #15
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Honestly, it doesn't really matter that much to me whether it's 5" or 6" screen. I used to own a 5" device, Sony 505 and now have a Nook. I guess it all depends on the font size you use to read IMO. I don't feel like I turned page that more often on the 5" than on the 6". I usually read with small or medium font. I also found the portability of both to be quite the same. The 6" for me isn't any less "portable" than the 5".
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