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Old 02-13-2019, 07:17 PM   #1
pwalker8
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The right tool for the right job

or why I have multiple devices for reading ebooks.

I'm a big believe in having the right tool for the right job. In general, a multi-purpose tool does a lot of different things ok, rather than one thing really well.

My main reading device is a big iPad pro. It lets me read with the reading app I prefer (Marvin). it has a big screen, so I have nice big fonts so I don't have to wear reading glasses and I can keep my entire book collection in Calibre Companion on the device, making it easy to find the book I want. The disadvantage is that it's big and I have to recharge it pretty much every night.

My secondary device is an iPad mini. It has the advantage that it's small and light enough to carry easily in my vest pocket in order to read for lunch. It also has all my book collection and I can easily sync my reading locations so I can just pick up where I left off.

My third device is a Kobo Aura. The main purpose for this device is to carry backpacking and reading in the sunlight. It's advantages are that's it's very light, handles sunlight well and has a long battery life. Heck, I pulled it out of my day pack today after it had been in there for over a month. There was still a 99% charge left. The big disadvantage is poor book management and it doesn't sync with my other devices.

Today, I had that most dreadful occurrence. I left my iPad at home and was forced to use my iPhone 8+ as a reading device at lunch. It was certainly doable and I managed to make it through lunch without going into reading deprived convulsions, but it did convince me that I need one more tool. A ereader to keep in my car. I'm a very absent minded person, so the obvious solution "just remember to bring your iPad, dummy" doesn't work so well for me.

The requirements for this eReader are - it has to hold a change for a long time. It's of no use if I pull it out and it has not charge left (this removes an iPad from the running). It needs to be able to sync with my other devices and I need to be able to easily get whatever I'm reading onto the device.

There is no perfect device like this, but the one that is closest is the Kindle Oasis. It's bigger and has a battery that will hold a charge. Since I get some 90+ percent of my books from Amazon, I can download books fairly easily to it. It doesn't sync with Marvin, but it does sync with the Amazon app on my iPads. I think this will work, or at least work better than using my iPhone.

And for those who are wondering, yes I have a flashlight stashed in each room of my house, plus a flashlight on my key ring and flashlights in my car and vest. I also have multiple pocket knives and multitools stashed around. A man has to know his limitations.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:56 PM   #2
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I'm all about emergency devices, but I don't need it to have my current read, it just has to have something I can read. Something light and/or short stories or essays fill the bill. And I'll echo what you've said about your Aura; I find that Kobo devices, even ancient ones, retain a charge indefinitely, which makes them ideal for the device in one's emergency stash.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:58 PM   #3
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Do note that due to its thinness (ergo smaller battery), the Oasis 2 has worse battery life compared to other Kindles.

Another thought, while Kindles do have longer standby time, you can power down an iPad or a Fire HD tablet prior to storage to eliminate power drain whereas the Kindle will remain in standby mode steadily losing charge the whole time.

Last edited by ilovejedd; 02-13-2019 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post
Do note that due to its thinness (ergo smaller battery), the Oasis 2 has worse battery life compared to other Kindles.

Another thought, while Kindles do have longer standby time, you can power down an iPad or a Fire HD tablet prior to storage to eliminate power drain whereas the Kindle will remain in standby mode steadily losing charge the whole time.
A (really) long press on the power button powers them OFF as evidenced by the full boot sequence.
But even that mode sips power to poll the button, so a charg will be needed every month or so.

Last edited by theducks; 02-13-2019 at 08:37 PM. Reason: a test failed
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:37 PM   #5
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A (really) long press on the power button powers them OFF as evidenced by the full boot sequence.
But even that mode sips power to poll the button, so a charg will be needed every month or so.
5-7 seconds pressing gets you a menu to turn off display. ~40s is forced restart.

I think only way to power down the Kindle is to jailbreak (halt command).

Meanwhile, Kobo allows shutting down their readers.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:36 AM   #6
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That’s correct, there’s no way to turn off a Kindle using standard firmware. Having said which, in aeroplane mode, a “sleeping” Kindle will retain its charge for a very long time (easily a month or two).

Does it matter, though? Just keep a USB charger in the car. Many modern cars have a USB power socket, and those that don’t can do USB charging from the cigarette lighter socket.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:31 AM   #7
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That’s correct, there’s no way to turn off a Kindle using standard firmware. Having said which, in aeroplane mode, a “sleeping” Kindle will retain its charge for a very long time (easily a month or two).

Does it matter, though? Just keep a USB charger in the car. Many modern cars have a USB power socket, and those that don’t can do USB charging from the cigarette lighter socket.
Yep. The question is how long does it take to go from dead to usable for an hour or so.

I didn't know that the kindles wouldn't power down, still I should be able to remember to pull it out, charge it, sync any new books then put it back in the car. It's just a case of getting into the habit of doing it at a given time each week. I'm pretty sure it will last a week in stand by without too much battery drainage, especially if I leave it in airplane mode.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:35 AM   #8
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I'm all about emergency devices, but I don't need it to have my current read, it just has to have something I can read. Something light and/or short stories or essays fill the bill. And I'll echo what you've said about your Aura; I find that Kobo devices, even ancient ones, retain a charge indefinitely, which makes them ideal for the device in one's emergency stash.
Yep. The vast majority of the time, I tend to read something different at lunch than my normal ebook. Frequently, I prefer non fiction at lunch.
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:35 AM   #9
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I have three "right tools". My Glo HD, my phone, and my reading glasses (as opposed to my progressive glasses). If I plan on reading, my Glo HD and reading glasses are the right tools, if I'm out and about, my phone is the right tool.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:21 AM   #10
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Leaving a Kindle in your car in Atlanta in the summertime might not be good for its longevity.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:43 AM   #11
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Even in moderate temperatures a closed car can get extremely hot. 70 degrees on a sunny day can elevate temps in a car to over 100 degrees in just 30 minutes. We get huge swings of temperature here in northeast Ohio. I doubt there is a reader that could survive it.

I'm with issybird on this one, I don't need my current read, I just need something to read. My iPhone 7+ is fine for reading, especially since the addition of scrolling in the Kindle app.

There is also a well worn copy of Jane Eyre in my car. It's been in there for years, and has saved me from boredom a number of times.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:46 AM   #12
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Even in moderate temperatures a closed car can get extremely hot. 70 degrees on a sunny day can elevate temps in a car to over 100 degrees in just 30 minutes. We get huge swings of temperature here in northeast Ohio. I doubt there is a reader that could survive it.
I'm sure that many people leave Sat Navs in cars in precisely such conditions, and they survive it just fine. I don't think electronic devices are as fragile as you're suggesting!
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:31 AM   #13
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It's not the components so much as most now use glue to hold them together. Extreme temperatures can break the glues down. In South Georgia temperatures can get over one hundred in the summer making the inside of your car feel like a blast furnace.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:37 AM   #14
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The specified range of storage temperatures for a Kindle is -10C to 45C (14F to 113F), and I'm sure there's a fair amount of tolerance built into that. I'm certainly not suggesting leaving a reader in direct sunlight in summer in your car, but it should be OK in the glove box.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:34 AM   #15
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Yep. The question is how long does it take to go from dead to usable for an hour or so.

I didn't know that the kindles wouldn't power down, still I should be able to remember to pull it out, charge it, sync any new books then put it back in the car. It's just a case of getting into the habit of doing it at a given time each week. I'm pretty sure it will last a week in stand by without too much battery drainage, especially if I leave it in airplane mode.
I used to keep an emergency cellphone in the car for my dad since he tends to be forgetful. One of those $10-15 pay-as-you-go prepaid kits. It was always left on (around 3-4 weeks standby time?) so that way, it would always be reachable (or at least that was the idea). We have dual-port car chargers but even then, the device rarely had a charge when needed.

I also keep backup Paperwhites and I've often enough encountered situations where I wanted to use my backup for something or other and battery was dead. This is why I searched for a way to completely power down Kindles. I'm guessing due to the smaller battery (perhaps dual-core processor, too), the Oasis wouldn't have as long a standby time as the lower end Kindles.

If I were you, I'd keep books on either Dropbox (it's more widely supported compared to other cloud storage solutions) or an always-on, internet-facing Calibre content server for book loading. Then for the backup reader either a Kobo, jailbreakable Kindle, Fire HD tablet or iPad (can often get basic model for $249, same price as Oasis 2). Tether device to phone and download books from Dropbox or Calibre server. Keep devices powered down unless needed.

By the way, the biggest power drain on the iPad is the display. If you're just gonna keep it on standby, it actually lasts several weeks or more thanks to the *huge* battery. iPad (2018) ~30Wh, iPad Pro 12.9 (2015/2017) ~40Wh.
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