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Old 12-18-2010, 04:40 AM   #1
Pica
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Need help finding an e-reader please

Hi all,

This is my first post, although I've been reading this forum for several weeks now. There's really a lot of great info here but I must admit - I'm really overwhelmed and my head is more then done in! lol I know what I want but I can't find it. I just want an e-reader, not an It's-got-everything-under-the-sun-and-it-does-back flips-too kind of toy. lol

I want to buy an e-reader for my father who suffered a stroke a while back, because of this I need an e-reader with certain specs ...

Must have:
- All buttons have to be on the right hand side of the reader (bottom of the reader is fine too as long as the buttons are used with the right hand only)
- E ink display
- Adjustable font size
- 6" or larger screen
- Be able to start reading from the same page you left off at when you shut the system down last
- Expansion Slot
- Long battery life between recharging
- User able to replace battery
- Wall charging option (dad doesn't have/want a computer)


Would like (but can do without):
- Dictionary
- Grayscale levels no lower then 8
- Folder system
- 1GB internal memory
- Non-slip grip


Do NOT want:
- Wi-Fi, 3G, ANY internet wireless service
- External keyboard
- MP3 player/movie player (although not a deal breaker, I really don't care for these)

A price around $250 would be great but a bit more is ok as dad is worth it.

Dad is not too tech savvy so when it comes to an e-reader - the simpler the better. I don't mind a 'stripped' down e-reader as long as it meets all of the above must-haves. Any and all help is deeply appreciated!

Thanks,
Pica
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:15 AM   #2
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Sony PRS650 ticks most of those boxes.
Buttons are on the bottom but also has a touch screen so he would be able to swipe the screen to turn pages
Dont think you can replace the battery
Can be walled charged but if your Dad doesnt have a computer I assume you are going to be loading the books on the reader for him?
It has the new Pearl E-Ink screen which is fantastic
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:33 AM   #3
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you should add the nook and kobo to the list, those these are wireless you don't have to use it. you still have the option using the usb for sideloading books.

both have great non slip grip especially the nook which has a rubberized back. both have buttons on the right side. and both fit all your wants and needs .
the Sony 650 is pretty solid but very expensive, the nook and the kobo are considerably cheaper and are great ereaders.

the sony and the nook will have better contrast. I would narrow it done to these three.
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Old 12-18-2010, 08:08 AM   #4
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Most of the major players meet those requirements so you might as well look deeper into *how* you are going to use it and, most importantly, where you are going to get the ebooks from.
Otherwise, you may as well buy the cheapest reader from the established players: Kindle, Nook, Sony, Pocketbook, Bookeen, etc.

Oh, and $250 is on the high side these days (by at least 50%) for a good 6in eink reader without 3G. If it doesn't have wireless you shouldn't go much above $169 and you might even safely go to $100 on a sale. At $250 you're actually closer to the mainstream for 10in readers than for 6inchers.

But first of all decide what books you want to read and where you're ging to get them
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:51 AM   #5
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You might want to checkout the Pocketbook models.
The 301 is the standard 6" reader. The 602 adds a couple of improvements like WiFi, Text to Speech, Dictionary.

http://www.pocketbook-usa.com/products/compare/1:6/

There is a Pocketbook Forum here on Mobile Read if you have any questions about them.

I'm wondering though, if you don't want WiFi or 3G and he doesn't have a computer, will you be loading books on for him?
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:14 AM   #6
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SD card was mentioned so I'm guessing that is how books would expect to be loaded. Kindle3 does not support sd cards but the wifi can be ignored or even turned off and books loaded through usb. Long battery life and 4gigs of internal memory. The cheaper version is $139. A silicon shell would make it non-slip. Buttons on both left and right. I would imagine a stroke victim might have trouble with a swipe on a touch screen if the hand movement were compromised.

Wish your dad well.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:34 PM   #7
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Nook 1st gen. has all of your "must have" but long battery life. It last about 7 days. But it is better than LCD screen devices for sure. Battery can be replaced by user. A bit heavier than Kindle 3.

Kindle 3 would be your second option, but has no SD card or external storage. However, screen resolution is much better and battery life is about 3 to 4 weeks. Kindle 3 dictionary is better too.

Both are easy to use but they come with wifi at least. Most e-ink readers do and I would see that as a nice bonus not a problem.
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:17 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the quick replies!

Kiwimick .. I'm really liking the 650 but I think that the in-built battery might be an issue later on. I'll be sending the e-reader overseas so when it comes time to change the battery, I think it'll be more practical for me to send a battery that can be easily changed versus them having to take the unit apart to change the battery or having to have the unit sent back to me or Sony. Does anyone know what is the average life expectancy of a rechargeable battery? The only other thing that made me shy away from this one was that someone posted a review stating - "The PRS-650 only has one set of buttons to turn pages. For one handed page turns, you pretty much can only use your left hand." I realize that there is also the touch screen option but I wasn't sure how practical it would be after a few hours of reading with the smudging and such, so I was leaning more towards buttons (but might have to settle for touch screen).
Yes, I'll be loading the books on the reader for him and will send him more on memory cards over time. Thank you for your reply.

Boswd .. I think the Nook is off my list based on some of the reviews I've read about it. One that keeps coming up under the 'cons' is - "Fairly short battery life for an e-reader (around 4 days of general use with wifi off somewhat due to touch screen)" and "very glitchy" and "frozen nook" (apparently a common problem according to people in the community forum on the Barnes & Noble's website). At one time I was leaning real heavily towards the Kobo but then I decided against it .. to be honest, I can't remember why right now, I'll have to give it another once over. Thank you for your reply.


Fjtorres .. The *how* is just for reading, nothing more. I've got loads of e-books on my computer already that I will be loading onto the reader (mobi, pdf, epub, etc). Once I send my father the reader the only option for reading more books will be the ones that I load on memory cards, therefore, most of the books are going to be any free books I find on the web or from the computer collection I already have. I will not be buying any from Amazon or B&N or any other online site. The Kindle and Nook are off the list but I will look into the others. Thank you for letting me know about the prices - I've seen listings from $139 - $399 - It's nice to know what an average cost should be. Thank you for replying.


Vadimled .. I've bookmarked that site and I'm sure I'll be getting a lot of use out of it. Thank you.


Abookreader .. I'm not sure about the 602 but I know the 301 has a built in battery which is one of the things that I was wanting to stay away from. Also, and if I'm wrong please let me know because I really need to know .. I'm guessing that 'operative memory' is internal and flash memory is external? So the more books you have loaded the more memory you need to make the reader run smoothly. With only 64MB or 256MB of internal memory wouldn't the reader be real sluggish fully loaded? Yes, I'll be loading the reader initially but later on I'll be sending more on memory cards. Thank you for your help.


FF2 .. You're right about the hand movements being compromised. He can't use his left hand at all and I'm afraid he might drop the reader by swiping a touch screen (not to mention smudging although I'm not sure how big of a problem that is). I think buttons would be a better option because his hand would already be on them while holding the unit (if the buttons are on the right hand side that is). I really don't want a Kindle simply because of the external keyboard. I don't think that he'll ever use it. It's just one more thing that'll get in his way and only frustrate him more, especially if he's in the middle of reading when his hand accidentally hits a key or his hand slips onto the keyboard. Thank you for your reply and kind wishes.


Jocampo .. The Kindle is a no go because of the keyboard and because it doesn't offer a memory card slot. The option for using a memory card is a real must as it's the only way that I'll be able to get him more books in the future. Thank you for your reply.


Has anyone ever heard of or does anyone have a Gemei? I was looking at the GM2000 because all the sites that referred to it said that model came with a 7" LCD or a 6" E ink screen but I can't seem to find any info on their site (or anywhere else for that matter) about the 6" E ink reader.

Thank you everyone for all the help, it's truly appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pica View Post
The Kindle is a no go because of the keyboard and because it doesn't offer a memory card slot. The option for using a memory card is a real must as it's the only way that I'll be able to get him more books in the future


would you mind to explain why an SD card is your only way to get him more books? Like Nook, you can download via wifi with Kindle. And with most ereaders, locally via USB.

I can't comment on your keyboard concern, I think is a personal choice and preference. In my opinion, Nook virtual keyboard is sluggish and slower.

Did you check Sony? It's eink as well. They have several models and it's an awesome hardware. But you will have to validate book's collection, it is not so good like B&N or Amazon.
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:48 PM   #10
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I'm not sure why you're opposed to a built in battery. The lithium batteries in these readers last for years. Just use a USB cable to plug the reader into the wall or computer for charging. I figure that by the time my reader stops charging, there will be much better readers on the market.

My Sony is very intuitive to use. My 83 year old mother, who thinks that anything electronic is a result of black magic, had no problems with reading books on mine. The page turn buttons are on the left, so I don't know how well that would work for you.

I think it was the PocketBook that has the ability to tip the book to turn the page using a built in accelerometer. You might want to check with the folks in that forum for details, but I'd think that tipping the reader would be an easy way to turn the page one handed.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:02 PM   #11
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Well, from my experience the eInk screen will likely crap out long before your battery - so personally I'd recommend you reconsider your requirement of the User changeable battery.

To make a note of "getting him books" I'll mention that for my Mom and her Kindle - when all else fails I have her leave her 3G on and I email the books direct to her Kindle using Calibre. It costs about 15cents a book to do that for us (I'm not sure of International 3G email rates) but it saves alot of hassle. She sits there and waits and I can do all the work remotely. I don't know of any other eReaders that have that function but maybe somebody does. Can you do that with a nook?

I've done some work at the Library and Senior Citizen Center teaching how to use eReaders and from my experience those with hand control problems really like the Kindle with its left and right side buttons choices. I admit that they seemed to do much better with the larger buttons on the K2 than the K3 with its skinnier ones.

Also remember that on the Kindle you can turn the sound all the way down on Text To Speech and then the page turns happen automatically. I use that all the time when I'm on my treadmill for hands free reading. I assume the Pocketbook with Text To Speech might be able to do that also, but I've never tried it out.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:22 PM   #12
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Jocampo ... An SD card is my only way of getting books to him because he lives in a very remote area in South America. Where he lives there is no TV, no cable, no computer, no wi-fi, no way of downloading books.
As to the keyboard issue, I agree for most it is a personal choice and a matter of preference but in this case I think it's more a matter for less frustration as stated in my reply to FF2 in the above post.
Since I doubt he'll be using the keyboard (internal or external) having an external one is just like having a speed bump in the Daytona 500 - a very unnecessary feature that will only frustrate him when it gets in his way.
I do like the Sony 650 that Kiwimick suggested with the exception of the built-in battery.
What did you mean by 'validate book's collection'? Is there certain software you have to use with Sony to install/read books?
Thanks again for your reply.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:28 PM   #13
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Polly .. The only opposition I have to built-in batteries are just the ones I stated above to Kiwimick. I guess I'm thinking along the lines of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. lol If I can find a reader that he's comfortable with and functions well, then I won't look to replace it when bigger and better ones are available. I'd much rather replace the battery then the reader.
LOL@black magic. My dad doesn't have that mind frame but unfortunately he just can't wrap his mind around the simplest tech things (even email) but I think he should do ok with an e-reader once it's set up and ready to go.
Unfortunately buttons on the left are a problem as he can't use his left hand at all. Now that page turn option sounds cool, I will definitely look into that.
Thank you for your reply.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:28 PM   #14
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HI Pica

Just got my reader out to check out reading one handed (right) and found it comfortable to hold with my thumb on the front on the page turn button. The 650 is small enough to fit comfortably into your hand and it worked fine with me

Mike
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:36 PM   #15
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With Sony, if your books are DRM free, you can just drag them onto you Reader (or the SD card), using no software at all (as if it were a USB stick). You can also use this free program:

http://calibre-ebook.com/

to manage your books, switch formats, and send them to your reader. Sony also has their proprietary software, which you would have to use if you bought books from Sony.

After reading through the posts, I think that the Sony reader might be a good fit for your dad, but I just thought I'd mention (since you mentioned that he lives in South America) that Barnes and Noble now carries e-books in Spanish, if you are interested.
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