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Old 09-15-2010, 09:01 AM   #1
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The Quest for that Elusive Hi-Res & Large Format eReader

I've been looking into eReaders since I saw and tried the first Sony ereaders some years back. They were too clumsy, small and expensive for my taste, so I skipped them.

At one point I had the tabletPC bug, but all the high-res tablets soon disappeared from the market and then I finally go to try out my friend's tabletPC and understood it was not me.

Last year I was really up-beat about Que from Plastic Logic and Skiff's Pro Reader.

Now they are both practically dead (or in limbo aka "let's wait a year more").

Then I tried my brothers iPad: too glossy, too short battery lifetime, too low res, no sunlight legibility. Otherwise I loved it.

So here I am, still waiting for that elusive high-resolution and large format ereader.

After Que/Skiff are now out of the picture, are the anything else on the horizon on the high resolution and large format ereader front?

Size: 10"+
Resolution: 1368x768 or preferably much higher (1600x1200, or full-hd)

I'm almost ready to break down and buy Kindle DX graphite, although it's not what I want. I read mainly non-reflow PDFs and I don't want to scroll/zoom/scroll/zoom all the time and have no time/patience to start converting my files.

All the Sony/kindle/android-tablet/ipad offerings currently just fall short of this.

So a large format / high res PDF reader it is. But is anybody planning on making one? Or is this quest still doomed to fail another year or more?
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:06 PM   #2
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Resolution of the larger eink displays is currently 1200 x 825.

The PocketBook 902 and 903 will be out in a few weeks and they have incredible PDF support.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paaThaka View Post
Size: 10"+
Resolution: 1368x768 or preferably much higher (1600x1200, or full-hd)
I can agree with your preference for a higher resolution, but do you really want to set the 10" baseline at 1368x768?

Surely for reading non-reflow pdfs it's the width in pixels that matters, and 768 is the same as the iPad which you note as "too low-res".

(If you're reading in landscape rather than portrait I've found that 1024 is sufficient on a 10" screen, but I'm interpreting that your need is for a device to read full page in portrait.)

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Old 09-15-2010, 05:43 PM   #4
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I feel your pain. I read mainly .pdfs and it can be a pain to do that on a 6" screen. I can't wait for Notion Ink's ADAM which will have a 10" Pixel Qi screen; it should make the formatting a little bit easier, especially in a landscape mode.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the comments.

Graham is right that 10" and lowest resolution I gave is probbaly too low. Although I wouldn't mind high dpi, if there's enough pixels otherwise and not a huge battery drain.

I looked at something like WeTab today:
http://wetab.mobi/en

It's basically a mediatablet, competing against iPad and the same screen/battery issues remain. So not really a good read after all.

The same issues plague device like ICD Vega:
http://convergeddevices.net/products/vega.html

Notion Ink Adam (also low-res)
http://www.notionink.in/

Entourage Edge
http://www.entourageedge.com/entourage-edge.html

All have a glossy unreadable screen and battery life usually below 10hrs.

Of course, they are all expandable, hackable and will in the end support most formats.

I see the market currently developing towards full-color media/pc tablets at sizes from 7" to 11" but with fairly low resolution.

Then the actual reader market seems to be concentrating on the pocketbook sized (7" and smaller) currently b&w (soon color) eInk type book readers. Again with fairly low res.

All the big and more high resolution b&w ebook readers seem to be dead, postponed or in limbo.

Surely there is a market, if only within the group of all university students for c. A4 sized high-res ebook reader with open format support?

Is it just a technology thing that no such displays exist?

Well, I'll keep looking and trying to resist the lure of DX graphite, which I can't even get with proper recharger for my region. Sigh.

EDIT: Oh, almost forgot.

The new Pocketbook Pro 903 does indeed look quite promising. Personally I'd still prefer a higher res, but it is the best so far that I have seen, has pen input and is not vaporware

Last edited by paaThaka; 09-16-2010 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:32 PM   #6
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There is also the Lattice from Innoversal, but it will probably use the same PixelQi screen as the Adam (neither of which should be glossy and will read just fine in the sun in reflective mode.)

Dulin's Books speculated there could be a Qualcom Mirasol announcement soon. That one may have the best high-res potential (as much as any as yet unreleased product does.) The screen looks kinda glossy but the video of text in the sun is still readable.

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Still waiting on a reader for cookbooks and gardening (oh the dream of going to the nursery with my library in hand!)
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:51 AM   #7
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Now that Pocketbook Pro 903 is almost shipping, I think I'm ready to break down.

For me it has enough of the features I want:

- 1200 x 825 resolution, 9.7" screen (a mid-res screen, but best available in resolution)
- micro-sdhc slot for expansion
- pen for making scribbles / notes
- pdf, rtf, html/jpg/png, doc and djvu support
- basic search (not full library search?)

I was ready to order Sony PRS-950SC due to it's dual memory card slot, but it has much lower resolution screen (there's a third party utility for djvu support).

Kindle DXG looked nice, but I'd rather have a pen than a keyboard and no-memory card support is just too restrictive (many of my files are in hundreds of megabytes).

Guess it's understandable that the specific requirements a researcher has (big hi res screen, pdf support, marking ability) are not just that big of a market segment.

Hopefully somebody will produce such a reader/note-taker in years to come, instead of producing the same run-of-the-mill 5"-6" ereader knock-off, which the market is now saturated with.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:59 AM   #8
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I don't think it's out there, and I'm sure it won't be until the makers get off the wide-screen kick. That's one benefit of the iPad - thankfully it's not widescreen, but rather 4:3.

I was looking at some of the smaller android tablets - the 7" Cruz ones - and discovered that despite its other flaws the cheaper one was much more desirable to me purely because it has an 800x600 screen rather than the 800x480 of the more expensive model.

The problem seems to be that everyone wants 16:9/16:10 landscape for video - but we readers want 3:4 portrait for pages. It's annoying.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by paaThaka View Post
I'm almost ready to break down and buy Kindle DX graphite, although it's not what I want. I read mainly non-reflow PDFs and I don't want to scroll/zoom/scroll/zoom all the time and have no time/patience to start converting my files.
Go for Kindle DX. There's no need of zooming at all with A4 PDFs on it.
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Old 10-20-2010, 12:59 PM   #10
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I think the PocketBook Pro 903 has the same resolution as Kindle DX G. Also, it allows me to read DJVU files without hacks and supports memory card for keeeping lots of files / books, unlike Kindle.

Of course the best would be a combination of these : Pearl from Kindle, pen / file support from PocketBook Pro and dual-memory card slots from Sony PRS-950SC.

But no such luck, so one has to compromise.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:20 AM   #11
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Well, the Pocketbook Pro 903 looks quite good, but the price is pretty high. Remember that Euros are worth a lot more than dollars these days. If the price predictions about Notion Inks offering aren't totally off that would buy you a Pixel Qi driven Adam a few weeks later. And that's a lot more for my taste, mainly because it has many uses. Of course if you are totally dependant on having looooong battery life, it won't cut it. But I prefer to have something that can do more than simply reading. If I wonder about something I'm reading I like to be able to google or wiki it, for instance.

I would probably have bought the Innoversal Papyrus if that had come out in September, like they said. But it's beginning to look a bit dicey. There hasn't been an update to their page or blog since August, as far as I can see. Notion Ink on the other hand are really active, and it doesn't in any way look like vapourware to me. Of course I would love to be proven wrong about Innoversal, I usually am optimistic. But the total lack of communication from a company never is a good sign.

Last edited by Mastiff; 10-21-2010 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:43 PM   #12
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Yes, EUR prices are higher, but my main currency is euro. Notion ink Adam prices, once imported to EU will be converted straight to euros. So, if it's $449 with the Pixel Qi display, it'll cost 449EUR (minimum) here in the EU.

So for me the price is the same.

Yes, Adam does look interesting, but as I'm after a high-res display and it has almost 40% less resolution than PocketBook Pro 930, the decision is fairly easy for me.

YMMV, of course.

I'd love a reader with a 1440x900 resolution minimum.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:02 PM   #13
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Well, I think you're going to have to wait a long time for that. I don't think there's much of a market for such a high res.
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