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Old 11-22-2019, 12:26 PM   #1
vagabondvivant
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What is the cheapest e-reader I can turn into a word processor?

I'm looking for an e-reader that I can hook up a keyboard to (either via OTG or BT) and write on.

That's it.

I don't need any other features than that. The word processor doesn't even need to be fancy. A Terminal-style text editor is perfectly fine. I just want something I can sit under a harsh sun with and not have to worry about glare.

So far the only "solutions" I've found are $300 e-ink tablets, well outside my budget.

I purchased a Boox Caesar 2 for this purpose, but the lack of wifi makes app installation impossible (unless there's a way to sideload apps that I'm unaware of). I've also got a Kindle 10 that I'm more than happy to jailbreak, if that's an option.

Otherwise, I'm in the market for a reader that'll let me use it as a word processor. I don't care if it's old, needs to be rooted/jailbroken, or what — so long as it works and doesn't cost too much.

Are there any readers out there that can do this?
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Old 11-22-2019, 06:21 PM   #2
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UPDATE: Turns out I am able to sideload a text editor app onto the Caesar 2 via adb, I just had my command wrong. I was also able to use a keyboard over a powered OTG cable, and though the refresh was pretty sluggish, it functioned as a rudimentary word processor.

That said, the lack of touch interface makes the app a huge pain to use, so the search continues —*this time for a cheap e-reader with a decent refresh.

In any event, I'll consider this case closed but leave the thread open just on the random chance that, five years from now, someone googles up the same problem.
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Old 11-22-2019, 08:38 PM   #3
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why would you want to write on an ereader? There is an eink typewriter like device out there i just do not remember the name of it.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:16 PM   #4
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I use an alphasmart. Very cheap and really nice to separate the writing experience
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:17 PM   #5
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The cheapest tablet AFAIK is the nexus7 used or an old fire
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:27 PM   #6
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The cheapest tablet AFAIK is the nexus7 used or an old fire
New, 7", Fires are currently on sale for $30. Get an OTG adapter and you can hook up a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse to it.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:39 AM   #7
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Maybe an Android ereader?
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:45 AM   #8
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Echoing the above - if all you want is an on-the-go low-feature word processor, grab an Alphasmart on ebay. They cost next to nothing, they're hardy, and the keyboard is great.
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Old 11-24-2019, 03:20 AM   #9
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I use an alphasmart. Very cheap and really nice to separate the writing experience
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Echoing the above - if all you want is an on-the-go low-feature word processor, grab an Alphasmart on ebay. They cost next to nothing, they're hardy, and the keyboard is great.
An Alphasmart Neo is a really nice option. I have one and find that it's great for getting words down. You're not distracted with the format, you can concentrate on the content.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEO-BY-ALPH...sAAOSweW5U~2~d
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Old 11-24-2019, 06:36 PM   #10
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If you're interested in the Alphies, go for the Neo2, purely because it's a slightly newer model. I have both the Neo and Neo2. Once you have one, you get addicted!
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:00 AM   #11
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If you're interested in the Alphies, go for the Neo2, purely because it's a slightly newer model. I have both the Neo and Neo2. Once you have one, you get addicted!
Has anyone here used the Dana?
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:15 AM   #12
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Has anyone here used the Dana?
My understanding is that the battery doesn't last as long as the Neo's: just a few hours as compared to the Neo's 700 hours. The Flickr group still exist, some there use Danas. There's also an Alphasmart group on Facebook.
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:46 AM   #13
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Has anyone here used the Dana?
The Dana is a whole different creature. My brother had one and I tried it for a while. It had a good keyboard, but the weight was off and it didn't work well on your lap (top heavy, it tended to want to try to nose dive to the floor). Also the screen was kind of dull. It ran on Palm 3.x (I believe, maybe it was 4.x). As mentioned elsewhere the battery life is not nearly as good. It attempted to be a full-fledged word processor. Some people like them a lot but I'm not one of them. I like the simplicity of the Neo. Any formatting can be done on the computer (at least that's the way I look at it).

But the Dana is pretty cheap now (when they show up) so, if you're curious, it probably wouldn't cost much to try one out -- and resell it if you didn't like it.

EDIT: Well, they were pretty cheap. Right now there's only a couple available on eBay. It's been a while since I checked.
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:15 AM   #14
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The Dana is a whole different creature. My brother had one and I tried it for a while. It had a good keyboard, but the weight was off and it didn't work well on your lap (top heavy, it tended to want to try to nose dive to the floor). Also the screen was kind of dull. It ran on Palm 3.x (I believe, maybe it was 4.x). As mentioned elsewhere the battery life is not nearly as good. It attempted to be a full-fledged word processor. Some people like them a lot but I'm not one of them. I like the simplicity of the Neo.
The ergonomics and design of the Neo are amazing - shove it in a backpack, use it on your lap, just perfect.
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Old 11-29-2019, 02:23 AM   #15
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I came across the Alphasmart and normally would've jumped right on it, but what I didn't mention in the OP is that I travel a lot (and for long stretches when I do), so I'm trying to keep my load minimal.

Since I already carry an e-reader (Kindle 10th gen in this case), it's worth it to add a 6oz folding bluetooth keyboard to my pack for the ability to write outdoors. A 2+lb Alphasmart, however, is another story.

That said, I found the Likebook Air on Aliexpress and it looks like it might be exactly what I want — an e-reader and e-writer in one. If it is, then it'll replace the Kindle in my pack and bring me one step closer to leaving my laptop behind completely.
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