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Old 03-11-2018, 04:13 PM   #1
cincomay
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Question I'm ready to quit Kindle--but for which device?

Hello!

I've been reading the Calibre forum here for years and years, but I've never posted before. I hope the experienced e-reading folks here can help me narrow down my search for a new ereader!

I've been using Kindles for about a decade (Kindle Keyboard, several basic models, tried and hated a Paperwhite), but I'm unhappy with my current Kindle Basic (purchased in mid 2017) and am ready to try another company. I live in the United States and only need English-language support.

E-ink models only, please, because reading on backlit devices gives me headaches. My budget is $300 or under, and I would prefer smaller models due to small hands.

I am primarily a fanfic reader, so sideloading via Calibre is crucial, and a good ebook store is not. I read a whole lot of articles via Pocket on my phone, so Pocket support would be amazing (but is not required).

I read mostly before bed in very low light on my device's largest font size. I tried a Kindle Paperwhite in early 2017 for three weeks and hated it because using the lit screen (while convenient) gave me insomnia. So I'm interested in models with color-change (non-blue) lights or no lights at all, or the option to turn off the light entirely (so long as those models have huge fonts!).

I'm not a fan of Kindle Basic's touch screen: I'm constantly highlighting things when I meant to turn the page, and accidentally changing the font size. I would prefer a model with page turn buttons (either instead of or in addition to touch screen) because I hate moving a finger to turn the page (on
Kindle Keyboard I could just press down while holding the book, which helped me avoid repetitive stress injury discomfort). Ability to turn off the touch screen would also be helpful. Moving from chapter to chapter or scanning through pages quickly are features I would enjoy.

I've investigated some options, and frontrunners appear to be the Nook Glow Light 3 and the Kobo Aura H2O 2 (although I do not need a waterproof device).

I never take notes or make highlights, and I also don't use Internet-interactive features, but maybe I would if those features were better than the ones on Kindle. I don't need PDF support. I occasionally use Overdrive through my local library, so compatibility with that program would be appreciated but is not required.

On my old Kindle Keyboard I loved to switch between reading and listening via Text-to-Speech. My current Kindle Basic has Text-to-Speech via bluetooth headphones, but I find the audio menus difficult to use and the feature eats battery at a shocking rate. I would appreciate any kind of Text-to-Speech feature, but especially ones with a headphone jack and visual menus.

The tl;dr version of my ereader requirements:

- American fanfic reader with small hands seeks new ereader that supports sideloading from Calibre. E-ink only, under $250
- color-changing front light or no light (or ability to turn light completely off + very large font size)
- sideloading via Calibre
- page turn buttons appreciated! Ability to move between chapters/scan through pages would also be great
- font options (especially size, but also margins and spacing would be appreciated)
- Pocket support not necessary but a huge plus!
- Overdrive compatible would be great but not a dealbreaker
- Expandable memory is nice but not necessary
- Internet/wifi/waterproof features mainly unimportant
- Text-to-speech appreciated but not necessary

What do you think?

Also, I gather that Kobo may be releasing a new Mini in the next few months--is it worth waiting to see if that has a color-changing front light?

Thank you for your thoughts!

May
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:48 PM   #2
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Old 03-11-2018, 06:16 PM   #3
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Get several kindle keyboards (i have 4). They are inexpensive on eBay. I can't recommend anything as my only experience is kindle (which you say does not meet your needs) and Barnes and Noble. There is no text to speech option on the Nook Glo3 although it does have the option of using touch screen and buttons. The Nook would probably meet your basic needs, but given the current uncertainty of the Nook brand, I can't really recommend it unless we come up with a way to bypass the registration as we can on the Nook Simple Touch as registration is otherwise required just for it to operate.

Last edited by Tarana; 03-11-2018 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cincomay View Post
Also, I gather that Kobo may be releasing a new Mini in the next few months--is it worth waiting to see if that has a color-changing front light?
I don't think there's much chance that Kobo will release a new mini (lighted or not).

I'm like you, I have trouble with front-lit eInk screens, so I stick with non-lit ones. If you like a 5" screen and are comfortable embedding fonts into Calibre, you might want to consider a Sony PRS-350. They're relatively cheap on eBay now. These are well-built, small eReaders with sharp text. In addition to page turn buttons they have a touch screen, but you have to swipe, not touch to turn pages. For the cost (under $25, including s/h) you might buy one to try it anyhow.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-Pocket...IAAOSwqaJaiyeU

If you would rather have a new eReader (without a light and a screen that can be turned off), you might consider an InkBook Classic-2 (new for $80 on Amazon).

Or, you could buy a few old Kindle Keyboards (as mentioned by Tarana). They're cheap now and still solid. I'm not that enamored with my Kindle 8th Generation either. It may be one that goes on the auction block.
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:02 PM   #5
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As for a new Kobo Mini, that was someone's wish that was posted and GoodEReader picked it up as fact and blogged about it. It's not happening.
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:03 PM   #6
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My suggestion is the Kobo Aura H2O 2nd Edition.
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:05 PM   #7
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As for a new Kobo Mini, that was someone's wish that was posted and GoodEReader picked it up as fact and blogged about it. It's not happening.
Unfortunately. I think 5" eReaders are pretty much a thing of the past. But there's a lot of good used Sony PRS-350s out there. And, every now and then, you even find a new Kobo Mini. Actually, someone has some new ones on sale (right now) on eBay. $69 for one, or $99 for two, which includes s/h from Canada. (Beware, however, the seller only has 26 ratings.)
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:54 PM   #8
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The Kobo Mini is touchscreen only and I couldn't find a way around registering it. I would never turn on the WiFi if it didn't force me to. I prefer to sideload things.

Sonys are relatively cheap now if you want to take a chance on an older device. Shopgoodwill.com is a good place to pick them up besides Ebay. I've bought most of my Sonys secondhand and they've all had good batteries. They're also great for sideloading fanfic onto. The 350 is a nice small size although I'm mostly attached to my T2 right now. It's bigger than the 350 though.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:03 PM   #9
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I got a Kobo Aura 6" 1+ years ago it still doing ok. Got it off e-bay.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:37 PM   #10
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I really like the Nook Glowlight for night reading I really love my oasis
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:11 AM   #11
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:16 AM   #12
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My suggestion is the Kobo Aura H2O 2nd Edition.
I'd recommend the H2O first edition over the 2nd edition. 1E has an SD card, 2E doesn't, and the only “major” feature of the 2E to compensate for that loss is that it lets you tint the light orange at night. *Yawn*.

I wound up buying first edition H2Os for my parents for Christmas, and am considering getting another for myself before they become hard to find; they're great devices.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:43 AM   #13
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I'd recommend the H2O first edition over the 2nd edition. 1E has an SD card, 2E doesn't, and the only “major” feature of the 2E to compensate for that loss is that it lets you tint the light orange at night. *Yawn*.
Which is exactly what the OP is looking for.
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:47 PM   #14
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Try a Kindle 4/5, the last of the non touchscreen Kindles. Available on ebay cheap. Sounds like your library of ebooks is already Kindle compatible though of course they can be converted to epub if you go with another brand of reader. If you liked the Kindle Keyboard the K4 and K5 have similar interfaces but without the hardware keyboard, so physically smaller units. The lightest Kindles made until the Kindle generation 8 Basic unit. Does have audio with a headphone jack and is MP3 compatible. If fully updated firmware installed they still can be used to buy and download Amazon books. Batteries on mine still in good shape.

Another unit that might meet your requirements is an older Sony, either the PRS-650 or the PRS-T1. Have touchscreens plus switches across the screen bottom and both have audio support with a headphone jack. No support from Sony any more but work with Calibre.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:38 PM   #15
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I'd recommend the H2O first edition over the 2nd edition. 1E has an SD card, 2E doesn't, and the only “major” feature of the 2E to compensate for that loss is that it lets you tint the light orange at night. *Yawn*.
The Kobo Aura 2nd Edition doesn't have the color changing front light, so far as I know. Only the larger H2O2 and Aura One have that.
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