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Old 02-13-2018, 02:47 PM   #1
robilarocn
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Trying to find a compact Android tablet to use as an ereader

Looking for some advice. I have a large library of epub books that I read currently on a Samsung Tab S2 8".

I also have a couple of 7" tablets, all of which would be vastly preferable but all have limitations.

What I am looking for is a 7" android based device, as compact as possible. I use Moon + Reader Pro (which I love btw) and as noted have roughly 11k of books.

I like to keep my entire library on my device and have found Moon Reader to have issues with pulling books off Micro SD cards in various devices. Also the sheer quantity I have may be part of the issue.

What I currently have in 7" devices:

Huawei T2 7.0 Pro 7" (16 GB version). I love this tablet (well technically a phablet) but the big issue with it is storage. While it does have a micro SD slot, as mentioned above, I've run into issues trying to pull content off a micro SD card. Also this device only has Android 5.1.1. Because its also a phone, a big chunk of its storage is phone related apps that cannot be uninstalled (And I've never found a decent root kit for it). Only have about 550MB free on the device currently (and that is with zero other apps installed and all apps that can be disabled, disabled and updates removed).

Samsung Tab A 7" (16GB version). Got this recently, will be sending it back. While it is very bare in terms of embedded apps (which means it has most of its 16GB free), it only comes with Android 5.1.1 and has a pretty awful screen. Also incredibly slow

Nexus 7 (2013) 16GB. Used this for awhile, found one new on Amazon. However, it has issues. It goes into a constant reboot state if I power it off or it runs out of batteries, necessitating a complete reload (a 2 day process with my library).... I ended up throwing it out after rooting and multiple other efforts to get it working stable.

Asus Memopad 7 (16 GB). This was a decent little device except it has really slow hardware and a very low res screen that results in eyestrain during extended reading periods.


So what I really need is a 32GB , 7" tablet that has at least Android 6.1 with at least a 1080P screen. The only device I have ever found (other than the Nexus 7 32GB which disappeared a long time ago) is the Huawei Mediapad X2 32GB which has been discontinued. I also can't verify what Android OS it runs (started at 5.1.1).

I've also owned E-Ink devices, most recently a Kobo Aura One. My big issue with it aside from being bog slow is it only comes with 8GB of storage standard and the Kobo reading app does not capture ebook metadata. That's a big one with a library as big as mine.

So are there any other devices out there in the wild? I looked at the 32GB kindle oasis but it has the same metadata issues that the kobo does plus its $500 in Canada, a bizarre price for an e-reader.

I've been relegated to using my Samsung Tab S2 which is a great device but simply too big to stick in a coat pocket. Great when I am travelling with a laptop bag but too big otherwise.

Help!
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:10 PM   #2
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Looking around it seems that the 7" form factor has fallen out of favour except as a bargain basement device. The current Lenovo Tab 7 devices don't even have SD Card slots (which is a pity, because otherwise they met my needs quite nicely.)
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:21 PM   #3
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Agreed. I had high hopes that Google would release an updated Nexus 7 but apparently that is no longer on their roadmap.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by robilarocn View Post
I've also owned E-Ink devices, most recently a Kobo Aura One. My big issue with it aside from being bog slow is it only comes with 8GB of storage standard and the Kobo reading app does not capture ebook metadata. That's a big one with a library as big as mine.
I can't suggest a device, but wondered about this statement. What do you mean that the Kobo does not capture ebook metadata? It has most of the DC metadata plus series info isn't hard to add. What else did you mean?
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robilarocn View Post
I've also owned E-Ink devices, most recently a Kobo Aura One. My big issue with it aside from being bog slow is it only comes with 8GB of storage standard and the Kobo reading app does not capture ebook metadata. That's a big one with a library as big as mine.
Kobo reads the metadata from the OPF in the ePub or kepub. If it's not correct, it's because the eBook has it wrong. Nothing wrong with Kobo and the metadata.

Where did these eBooks with the incorrect metadata come from?
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by robilarocn View Post
I've also owned E-Ink devices, most recently a Kobo Aura One. My big issue with it aside from being bog slow is it only comes with 8GB of storage standard and the Kobo reading app does not capture ebook metadata. That's a big one with a library as big as mine.
I'm not sure what you mean by "does not capture ebook metadata". The KA1 reads the metadata from the content.opf file which internal to the epub. If that file does not have any metadata, the KA1 has nothing to display. BTW, one of reasons I use calibre to manage my library is that it makes it a lot easier to download better cover images and metadata for insertion into the epub before sending it to an ereader. It took a while to do the initial updates but updating any new epubs I add is relatively painless. Being able to see the updated cover, metadata and series info on my KA1 makes it worthwhile.

The only other way I can read your statement is that you were hoping that your KA1 would somehow connect to the Internet and locate your missing metadata.

Last edited by DNSB; 02-13-2018 at 10:33 PM. Reason: fat fingers cause typos...
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:04 PM   #7
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These are books that I have converted via calibre, not books I bought through the Kobo ecosystem. The built in kobo reading app does not capture series data.

See my pic below in moonreader.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:06 AM   #8
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If you can find a Kindle Fire 6 I think you would be very happy. You can put Google Play on it without rooting. Moon+ works well on it. The KF6 is still being updated by Amazon.

My Nexus 7 still works without issues. Have you tried a factory reset?

Sent from my XT1528
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:30 AM   #9
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These are books that I have converted via calibre, not books I bought through the Kobo ecosystem. The built in kobo reading app does not capture series data.

See my pic below in moonreader.
The problem is that the series information is not part of the Dublin Core metadata, and hence not part of the epub 2 standard. That means most ereaders and apps do not support it. Any app that does display it would have to be reading the series info from the calibre specific metadata. Getting support for non-standard metadata in a device is up to the development team. And it would be understandable if they decided not to.

But, the Kobo devices do support series info. Books downloaded from their server will populate the series info. But, it isn't read from sideloaded books. The KoboTouch driver in calibre can populate it for sideloaded books. That isn't ideal, but it is the way it works.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:57 AM   #10
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I know it's not an Android device, but have you considered the iPad Mini? 7.9" screen, 128GB storage and a 2048x1536 pixel screen? Lots of good reading apps available, and you can run Calibre Companion on it. To my mind it's one of the best small tablets available. I don't know why, but it seems to be difficult to buy an Android tablet with more than 64GB storage.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:49 AM   #11
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I know it's not an Android device, but have you considered the iPad Mini? 7.9" screen, 128GB storage and a 2048x1536 pixel screen? Lots of good reading apps available, and you can run Calibre Companion on it. To my mind it's one of the best small tablets available. I don't know why, but it seems to be difficult to buy an Android tablet with more than 64GB storage.
I had a Mini 4 for a long time, the 128GB version. Eventually gave it to my daughter.

Marvin is a great reading app but I had two issues with the Mini.

Size.. same size as my Samsung Tab S2 8". Plus the S2 actually has a better screen than the Mini (Although the mini has better battery life).

ITunes. I find Itunes to be a huge pain. I know there are ways of sideloading books onto it but the drag and drop functionality inherent in Android is just so much better. Heck, you can even easily email books to yourself and download them into moon reader in seconds. The IPad IOS is such a pain to work with when you want to do things that it doesn't like. Buy books through IBooks and its a piece of cake. Buy books from Amazon, convert them and then load into Marvin via ITunes, a huge pain.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:50 AM   #12
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The problem is that the series information is not part of the Dublin Core metadata, and hence not part of the epub 2 standard. That means most ereaders and apps do not support it. Any app that does display it would have to be reading the series info from the calibre specific metadata. Getting support for non-standard metadata in a device is up to the development team. And it would be understandable if they decided not to.

But, the Kobo devices do support series info. Books downloaded from their server will populate the series info. But, it isn't read from sideloaded books. The KoboTouch driver in calibre can populate it for sideloaded books. That isn't ideal, but it is the way it works.
I wasn't aware of that info, thanks. I buy my books from Amazon and convert to EPUB. At this point, I would have to run my entire library through calibre (again) in order to have them populate the data on the Kobo based on what you are saying?

And then again the other issue is that the Aura 1 only has 8 GB of storage and is still bigger than a 7" tablet.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:54 AM   #13
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If you can find a Kindle Fire 6 I think you would be very happy. You can put Google Play on it without rooting. Moon+ works well on it. The KF6 is still being updated by Amazon.

My Nexus 7 still works without issues. Have you tried a factory reset?

Sent from my XT1528
I tried everything under the sun with the Nexus 7. I may have gotten one with faulty memory. I did factory resets, even rooted it and put a clean android image on it.

It would work fine right up until the battery died or it got restarted. Apparently this is an issue for some of the units. I spent a couple of months trying to get it to work properly. Too bad because it was great as a reader. High res screen, fast enough to handle my entire library and a decent battery life.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:04 AM   #14
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Buy books through IBooks and its a piece of cake. Buy books from Amazon, convert them and then load into Marvin via ITunes, a huge pain.
These days, though, you can use Calibre Companion with it. Makes life a whole lot easier, hence the suggestion. Oh well, it was merely a thought .
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:07 AM   #15
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I never use iTunes to place files on any of my iDevices. Dropbox works great, simply use the "Open With" feature to open a book in whichever app you want to use. I even use iBooks sometimes for epubs.

Kindle books can be emailed to the Kindle app on the mini, or pulled from Dropbox.

I picked up a second mini a few months ago when Best Buy had them for $299. I use the 16gb in the kitchen, and the new one with 128gb storage as my go-to device for taking with me when traveling etc.
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