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Old 01-08-2011, 06:15 PM   #1
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PB903 vs. Entourage Edge vs. Adam vs. Kindle DX

I am at a point where I really cannot wait for better readers, as in color, are released nor can I wait for true large format screens. My needs are pretty well defined.
  • largest screen I can find as of today;
  • need to be able to read in direct sunlight or at minimum under conditions where traditional LCD's fail;
  • sort of must be able to read Kindle format books as many of my references are only in ebook form via Amazon but there are also some in either PDF or DRM epub;
  • ability to take notes with preference to active digitizer/capacitive touch;
  • web browsing over wifi is a nice extra that would be quite handy;
  • if the ability to hand write notes is on the device need to be able to have or add HWR app to convert notes to plain text as well as preserve the original note(s) associated with the page in a book they were added;
  • color is a huge bonus but not a must-have right now, still preference to a reader with color today like the Adam or the Edge.
  • external memory card slot;
  • user replaceable battery would be a big plus but not absolutely needed as I can take any device apart to replace the battery even if it's soldered in, well maybe on the last part though I doubt many devices solder batteries in place these days just to reduce the potential damage to a lithium battery from over heating during the soldering process.

don't really need
  • video. eventually it will be nice but for now it is not a factor;
  • 3G or 4G is not a must have but could be of use at times;
  • I am sure there are a few things left out but nothing comes to mind on this spur of the moment post.

Right now it is between the Edge, the Adam (I know this might still be a few months out which is a negative for sure plus it is a first generation device) and the Pocketbook 903.

Overall the Edge seems to offer me the best solution for my individual needs yet the Adam seems to have a better long term upside so far especially as I would opt for the wifi Pixel Qi device though I am disappointed that the price of the Pixel Qi devices is higher than the normal LCD device as the Pixel Qi was supposed to be cheaper even at RTM.

The PB903 is the dark horse for me as it does most everything I want but is unlikely to ever support Kindle books. As I mentioned many of the books I absolutely must have are out in ebook form only in Kindle format and others only as PDF's. So the lack of Kindle support is a minus though I still can strip them via my old version of K4PC which I keep tucked away safe inside a virtual machine and backed up in case Amazon tries to sneek in an upgrade with a book download. Heck I don't think my version can even sync so it's just right.

The Kindle is running butt-arsed last due in no small part to it being overpriced compared to the other devices as well as less future proofed than other devices. Though it does seem to handle PDF's reasonably well which is OK. Still like the PB903 being unlikely to support Kindle books the Kindle DX will never likely support DRM epub. The Kindles also have a horrible way to take notes. The keyboard is fine for notes of only a few words or without special symbols but for more complex note taking the Kindle really is poorly designed. To me the Kindle is not really a research tool by any stretch. However the PB903 seems designed for such a purpose as Pocketbook seems to be active in the education market so while it comes in 3rd in my list, it has potential to be more than a 6-month and out device.

It is the last part in the paragraph above I simply have to avoid, I do not want the hassle of buying yet another reader in 6-month or even a year. This is why the Adam seems, on it's surface, to be neck-and-neck with the already existing Edge (the full size not the pocket edge as the last thing I need is yet another small format reader).

So as I have not been keeping up on what seems to be a very quiet market right now, I thought I would ask if anything else I have missed device wise is out there, and remember a 9.7" display is the bare minimum size and I have zero interest or need for anything smaller.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:02 PM   #2
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You will have to weight or set your #1 priority here.

If you need and outdoor/indoor device, you have only once choice: eink. But the problem is that Kindle DX is the only with the biggest screen among eink devices however, it does not read ePub but MOBI or AZW. So, unless you 100% really need access to public libraries and ePub ebooks, I would suggest Kindle DX, because screen size, access to Amazon store (like you mentioned) and PDF capabilities. Sony handles PDF pretty well but you won't have access to Amazon books.

There is no perfect device but if you choose one based on the kind of books you read and like. you will have an ereader for years...
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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thanks for the input but the reality of the issue is I would sooner go without and wait for the Adam or buy a Edge. My reason is the DX is simply lacking in far to many areas/ the Adam addresses the need to have the ability to use it on the spot no matter where I might be...and the reality of it is the DX does not provide the flexibility to read in pretty much all lighting conditions. Also, as I mentioned taking hand written notes is a must have feature because, again, the entire Kindle family is horrid at taking complex notes and even simplistically formatted notes are less than fast using a Kindle of any sort.

And please don't feel I am being dismissive of your suggestions. I think you offer a nice suggestion. it is just I know my needs and know the devices released in the past few years well. I just don't know a lot about the newer devices nor any that might have been introduced at CES this past week. In fact there was not much discussion of CES as in years past. It was so much so that I am sensing the boom for dedicated ebook reading devices is now on the down slope of the growth curve. Instead they are going to be replaced by a more multifunction device. Just look at the money each book seller is putting into their desktop and phone OS reading apps. I feel even they understand while there will always be a market for the EPD type dedicated reader, the demand curve is due to stagnate soon.

Right now if I was to be forced to choose an EPD only device I am leaning to the Pocketbook 903 (but the glossy screen bothers me a lot), the Adam even if it is just finally shipping and last would be the Edge. However the Edge is due for a version update so I would tend to wait for that reason as it is a first generation device and their second should be quite improved. A dark horse I suspect might be out soon is the next iteration of the large format Kindle reader but they have not come close to a device geared toward research instead producing devices best suited to simple recreational reading so much so I would easily prefer even a 3-4 year old regular tablet or slate PC.

And obviously ever device involves a compromise of some sort. It has been that way since the first products rolled off the assembly lines. That was why I took the time to list what I see as important features for me as well as what I view as pluses and minuses for devices of which I am currently considering.

So thanks a lot for your comment as it's important to read everyones take even if it's for something I am least likely to consider for a a variety of reasons all of which are important to me. Who knows there might have been something significant I over looked!!
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #4
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Well I wouldn't wait for the Adam, I'd go for the eDG which seems to fill most of your needs and has all of the hard requirements you need.

The one negative with this device is it does not have access to the market, but with some research I'm sure you can find how to root the device if that is something you're willing to do.

The DX is also a good choice, I know you have issues with the features it offers are the ones you are most concerned about, sunlight, battery, PDF, access to annotations.

My rooted nook had far more features than my k2, but I find I prefer my kindle to read because it handled the above requirements so well.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:41 PM   #5
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I'm deciding between the Kindle DX and the Pocketbook 903, myself. I have read on one of the threads here recently that the Kindle DX does not support notetaking for PDFs, and neither does the Pocketbook 903. I believe that note-taking for PDFs has been promised for both, in a future update (with the caveat that Kindle DX users have been waiting a long time for that update, thus far in vain, whereas the 903 is a very new device, so with any luck an update may be coming shortly). I don't own either device, so my information may be wrong.


Also, there IS a colour e-ink device, if you really want colour:

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...=hanvon+colour

I think that it's priced at around $500 U.S.D (There is a link to the price somewhere in the thread), but I don't know where and how it can be bought.

Another choice is the iRex DR1000, if you manage to find it used somewhere (Craigslist, ebay). It's screen is actually somewhat larger than that of the KDX, and it supports mobipocket - so "liberated" Kindle books can be read on it, I assume. It has a touchscreen with note-taking capabilities. The problem here is that it is not sold anymore, and may be hard to find or expensive (I believe it used to sell for about $1000, if I recall correctly, which is why I never bought one!).

https://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/IRex_Digital_Reader
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:03 PM   #6
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Wouldn't buy the Kindle DX as it lacks support for a few of your requirementes. Furthermore KDXG won't get any update soon, if any.

Unfortunately the PB903 needs a lot of firmware improvements to really fit your requirements.

Don't know the two others.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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I am also deciding, and from my research I would go for the PB903 or the Adam, depending on your priorities.

PB903 doe not have annotation yet, but with the open software design, development community, and annotation software out there (Xournal) I believe we will know soon whether it's possible.

The Adam looks like a fantastic device, and if I were looking to pick up something with more functionality, that's what I would get. A benefit of that is with Android running, you can have a very large selection of software to install on it to cover most of your needs. It also has potential as a laptop replacement, with USB host functionality (keyboard and mouse), 1080p HD video, and all sorts of goodies.

The Edge seems a bit clumsy to me. I may be missing something, but with PixelQi, why bother with two screens?
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mr. Relativity View Post
PB903 doe not have annotation yet, but with the open software design, development community, and annotation software out there (Xournal) I believe we will know soon whether it's possible.
Currently i believe soon means 6-12 months.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:06 AM   #9
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Super feedback everyone...thanks!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by =X= View Post
Well I wouldn't wait for the Adam, I'd go for the eDG which seems to fill most of your needs and has all of the hard requirements you need.

The one negative with this device is it does not have access to the market, but with some research I'm sure you can find how to root the device if that is something you're willing to do.

The DX is also a good choice, I know you have issues with the features it offers are the ones you are most concerned about, sunlight, battery, PDF, access to annotations.

My rooted nook had far more features than my k2, but I find I prefer my kindle to read because it handled the above requirements so well.
I have to admit I am a closet fan of the Edge and have lurked on their boards for a while now. And you are right it has almost everything I need already present. Not too worried about an "app store" since as ya point out, there are always workarounds for that sort of thing.

I am, however pretty much not going to get any newer Kindles until we see a color device, even they I am not sure Amazon has the desire to stay on the forefront of devices instead preferring to provide a software solution to other device brands. In the long run I sense this is a better decision for them. Plus it caters to the people like most here who prefer a more flexible device rather than a rigid option the current Kindles provide. Plus Amazon does not seem serious about the Kindle DX as a research and business tool when compared to other devices like the Pocketbook (the whole company is targeting the educational market which also will lead to a solid research tool. The Kindle's note taking fails for me as I simply cannot live with their kludgey keyboard setup. That is especially true for notes using complex symbols and if editing a math problem hand written notes are almost a must have. But most of my research these days is in a totally non-science related field.

I did note on the Edge boards many have an opinion the pen is too thin for comfortable writing beyond shorter notes. I took that to mean it's not too good for taking classroom or meeting notes. Neither of which are a problem for me anymore, thank goodness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latinandgreek View Post
I'm deciding between the Kindle DX and the Pocketbook 903, myself. I have read on one of the threads here recently that the Kindle DX does not support notetaking for PDFs, and neither does the Pocketbook 903. I believe that note-taking for PDFs has been promised for both, in a future update (with the caveat that Kindle DX users have been waiting a long time for that update, thus far in vain, whereas the 903 is a very new device, so with any luck an update may be coming shortly). I don't own either device, so my information may be wrong.

Quote:
Also, there IS a colour e-ink device, if you really want colour:

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...=hanvon+colour

I think that it's priced at around $500 U.S.D (There is a link to the price somewhere in the thread), but I don't know where and how it can be bought.
I've looked at all the new videos of the Hanvon color device and I went away disappointed in the performance and the UI seemed very confusing. The brand is fine by me as they make a devices for several companies. Their in-house software did not seem very well designed for now so if I were to consider it, I would rather wait on getting in line for an Adam in the next few months. I would need to wait on a Hanvon anyway as for now they are only releasing in China. At least that is what I understand the situation to be for now. I am sure it is a support issue combined with the real world logistic hurdles in developing a global distributor and point-of-sale presence in other parts of the planet. In a way one of the reasons Pocketbook impresses me is they have developed both a very strong presence in their home country of Ukraine but also have built out a worldwide network covering support and sales at the same time. This was no small feat.

Quote:
Another choice is the iRex DR1000, if you manage to find it used somewhere (Craigslist, ebay). It's screen is actually somewhat larger than that of the KDX, and it supports mobipocket - so "liberated" Kindle books can be read on it, I assume. It has a touchscreen with note-taking capabilities. The problem here is that it is not sold anymore, and may be hard to find or expensive (I believe it used to sell for about $1000, if I recall correctly, which is why I never bought one!).

https://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/IRex_Digital_Reader
The irex devices, while there were nice at the time, are now a total non-starter unless I can find a DR1000 for $200-$300. Even then not sure I would buy an old device which didn't ever really get the attention and exposure it needed so there was no capital to grow and improve the device. But for a long time I expected them to be the brand to beat because the DR1000 was so darned close. maybe it is the Newton of it's era? bummer because I really liked it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDream View Post
Wouldn't buy the Kindle DX as it lacks support for a few of your requirementes. Furthermore KDXG won't get any update soon, if any.

Unfortunately the PB903 needs a lot of firmware improvements to really fit your requirements.

Don't know the two others.
I agree about the DX. To me it feels like a device which never really was complete on the drawing board and each version has been rushed to market. Then add the price to the equation and the DX sinks fast to the bottom of my list. The next version could be a surprise though I might have gone in a different direction by then. In fact I am willing to bet that is a given.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Relativity View Post
I am also deciding, and from my research I would go for the PB903 or the Adam, depending on your priorities.

PB903 doe not have annotation yet, but with the open software design, development community, and annotation software out there (Xournal) I believe we will know soon whether it's possible.

The Adam looks like a fantastic device, and if I were looking to pick up something with more functionality, that's what I would get. A benefit of that is with Android running, you can have a very large selection of software to install on it to cover most of your needs. It also has potential as a laptop replacement, with USB host functionality (keyboard and mouse), 1080p HD video, and all sorts of goodies.

The Edge seems a bit clumsy to me. I may be missing something, but with PixelQi, why bother with two screens?
I REALLY LOVE the look of the Adam as well as the feature set. Like you mention it has almost everything a person could ask for in the real device to offer us a reader, mobile computer as well as a solid enough desktop or even power laptop replacement on the road.

As for Xournal, I use Xournal on my Nokia N800 and really like it a lot, the N800, well not so much because the touch display has become so erratic and suffering accuracy issues to be almost unusable after the first year of use. And this was despite many, many screen calibrations. On that device everything went downhill after the initial update to OS2008 which also buggered the camera and Nokia's response was something along the lines of oh-well...so it was my last Nokia device I will ever own.

I also really am drawn to the Edge even with a few short comings which are nothing I would mind working around. The size is not an issue for me at all. I sense it's more an issue of getting used to the new sort of device with two screens rather than one.

However I feel a new version could be due anytime now. from reading the Edge boards one problem with the Edge is the LCD side is not Wacom but rather just capacitive which is OK I suppose. As for the point of dual panels of the Edge given the presence of the Pixel Qi, working with multiple apps such as a book open one the EPD side while looking up references on the LCD side. To me the whole selling point of the Edge is the dual panels though dual Pixel Qi might be so sweet I would never leave the house!!

Anyway, to everyone very solid input on your research results. Not sure I am any closer to a decision but it really helps to just read the decision process of others. Plus it really helps to know I am not alone in my insanity.

I know this is a long post but just am too tired to break it out into individual response posts. I am a tired and lazy, lazy man.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by snipenekkid View Post
  • sort of must be able to read Kindle format books as many of my references are only in ebook form via Amazon but there are also some in either PDF or DRM epub;
Ah, a big caveat to be uttered here.

While the eDGe is a great (in every sense ) device and I have no regrets about getting and using it: Be aware that you can't read .prc -Files on the eInk-side! There is the possiblility of rooting and there may be workarounds, but if you want to use the standard-firmware it's "epub und pdf only" on eInk. No problem with "Kindle for Android" on the LCD-side though, but that's probably not what you want it for.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:49 PM   #11
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beachwanderer:

thanks for the heads-up on reading Amazon and mobipocket content being restricted to only the LCD side. I actually happened across that in a large thread over on the Edge site discussing what folks would like to see in the next generation Edge. So thanks for reminding me of that issue.

If I do get an Edge I don't have a problem format shifting so I can read on the EPD side of the device. Still it's a hidden gotcha on the device.

Otherwise.....
I am now leaning very strongly to the Adam over any of the other devices. I spent an hour yesterday with the NookCOLOR and the iPad as well as the regular Nook and current Sony readers at our Walmart. One thing I was surprised by is the weight of the NookCOLOR. With all the complaints about device weight I don't know why I haven't read more complaints about that device. It felt quite unwieldy in my hands. I suspect it's do to what appears to be an odd aspect ratio on the device as well as display but that thing felt heavy. I did like the handling of the iPad, however the glossy screen is a non-starter for me. Still under good conditions that screen is GREAT. Nice device but would never even add it to the discussion.

One thing I did when playing with the iPad was to get more than a passing look at how well the 9.7" screen devices would work for my now 50-mumble eyes. And I feel if adjusted properly I could make it work. But then again at the price point on the 9.7" devices does one really want to be forced to that particular compromise? Of all the aspects of a reader, dedicated or not, the display is the single most important. There is a part of me that really wants an 11"-12" screen. Still given the increasing importance I get something soon it is nice to know that after spending a bit of time with one I could manage as long as I can adjust font size.

Of course if Pocketbook would come out with a 903 in color...the Adam would have a very solid challenger even if both are still very new devices. I just like the the people at Pocketbook and also really like the way Notion Ink handled getting the device right rather than getting the device right now. It's one area I worry Pocketbook has veered away from that very idea. Many companies as they grow can be forced by investors to get something out before it's ready, often even a year before it should really have been released.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:27 PM   #12
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wow, some yutz has an Adam on ebay right now but obviously does not have it and since there is no known ship date for current pre-orders that is majorly screwing yourself if you actually try and win it as a pre-order type item. Might as well order from Notion Ink directly.

I won't post a link but anyone should be able to find it...it's already at $450 for the LCD/Wifi version but no indication about any memory specs...nice way to bank some cash until the things hit the market.

hmmmm, I could use some extra cash -- hmmmm --- naw, that is way over the top!

Oh, I see the seller has posted a screen shot of the invoice that has an estimated ship date. so, odds are it's legit but still, why order this way? but hey whatever works for a person, it's not my money they are spending!! Can't wait until people actually begin posting info on their Adams.

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Old 01-14-2011, 05:17 AM   #13
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I just found this:

http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/tag/notion-ink-adam/

Also:

http://notionink.wordpress.com/
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:29 AM   #14
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Helpful info...thanks. I had read the NI blog earlier today, errr, yesterday but apparently glossed over the FCC and CE certification. It brings me back to the old days when the FCC was doing everything possible to try and turn system builders into criminals because we dared to use an 'unapproved so therefore unsafe" power supply and case combination. But these days with all the wireless I sort of like that they are hopefully doing their job but I still sense they are in the pockets of the big manufacturers as they have been since the dawn of time!!
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:33 AM   #15
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After reading this thread and participating in it, I think that I might hold out for the Adam Pixel QI wi-fi.
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