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Old 11-22-2015, 03:03 AM   #1
johnawebb
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Howdy.

I'm a writer and would like to be more mobile, for longer, than a laptop currently allows me. Many of my contemporaries still swear by the twenty-plus year old technology of the AlphaSmart, but I'd like more. I'm surprised there isn't already a viable option for this, but I guess it's a pretty limited market.

I keep having this wild thought that I'd have it made with a Nook Simple Touch, rooted to android, with a full size keyboard. My ideal setup would run an android text editor like JotterPad, would work with an external full-size keyboard, and be wifi enabled so I could use a browser to look up references. I don't care much about pics, and not at all about video. My thought is that I could get hours longer use out of it, even typing to the screen. As I understand it, a Nook Simple Touch doesn't have bluetooth, so I guess the keyboard would need to plug in? Is this too wild a dream?

If anyone has any thoughts about whether this is possible, or it being a good or bad idea, could you school me? Like many writers, I'm pretty well flat broke and would hope to have a viable plan before I started investing in a dead end pursuit.

Thanks!

John
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:10 AM   #2
johnawebb
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Ive been searching around this forum and the web, and it doesn't seem possible yet... am I wrong?
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:59 AM   #3
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What you want to do is not only possible but trivial, though I have my doubts how satisfactory you would find the experience. You should consider a normal Android tablet if you don't need the e-ink display. Bear in mind that an e-ink device of the type you need is basically an Android tablet with an e-ink display. But many Android apps are designed for colour, and some apps can be unusable. Also, battery life is comparable with a tablet rather than a dedicated e-ink reader. And if you did go ahead, the old NST would not be a good choice.

All you are really describing is an Android e-ink reader with a keyboard. A search on the forum will find a few choices, and they are becoming more prevalent. Bluetooth is probably a must, since it is probably the easiest way to get a keyboard working. You should confirm that a bluetooth keyboard will actually work with whatever you choose. Support for the Google Play Store out of the box or at least the ability to install it would be good to avoid a more complicated process installing a text editor of choice. Onyx make at least one model with relatively recent Android and Bluetooth. The T68 has a 6.8 inch screen. The Boyue T62 is also sold under other names, but does not have bluetooth support. The keyboard and e-ink tablet will remain separate units unless you can locate a suitable cover with provision for a keyboard. I know there used to be such covers sold with bluetooth keyboards for some popular tablets such as Samsung Galaxy models and IPads. If you don't mind this a foldable case at least will make it practical.
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:50 AM   #4
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Excellent. Mostly, my concerns are battery life, a full size keyboard, and cost. If i can get 10 hours or more out of another eInk tablet, I just need to shop price. I found similar threads about using an ST for an eWriter, here on these boards, and they were having difficulty with it.
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Old 11-23-2015, 03:22 AM   #5
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Good. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 11-23-2015, 12:51 PM   #6
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A Nook ST has been successfully used with a keyboard attached to it via a specialized cable. It's not trivial, but it's not a huge job, and it's proven to work. There's a blog on it that you should be able to find without effort.

The work has also been done with jail-breakable Kindles to function as a secondary e-ink monitor. An old DX would be nice.

Re: other e-ink devices to use with a keyboard, make sure they will work first before ordering. I'm pretty sure the Onyx included this functionality, but functionality can be removed. Verify the new FW still includes the functionality.

In any case, it's not as trivial as some suggest. I personally would not waste a dime unless it's absolutely proven to work out-of-the-box or with really minimal work.
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