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Author Topic: Ebook reader roundup
fs

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2009 02:33      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I just saw Wired's ebook reader roundup. The Samsung looks pretty sharp, actually. I'd like to see it in person. But coming without an SD card slot is kind of a deal breaker. (I see it's not listed in the MobileRead matrix yet.

The Plastic Logic looks pretty interesting too, being sheet-of-paper sized. I could see that being useful.

(And yes, I know that reading on a screen is an abomination in the eyes of god and nothing could ever surpass ink on dead tree. Maybe we can all just accept that as a given so that we discuss ebook readers from a theoretical viewpoint as potentially interesting gadgets, even though we all know that we would never actually use one. [Razz] )

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2009 04:34      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wanted an e-reader for christmas 2 years ago, right about when kindle came out. The one I wanted was made by a french company. I can't remember the name and I didn't see it on the article's list. It appealed to me because it didn't have all those bell and wistles the the others have that I would never use.

Edit:

a bookeen ws it, but not this gen 3 cyboook bookkeen

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2009 04:56      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
It appealed to me because it didn't have all those bell and wistles the the others have that I would never use.

It's a frustrating choice--on the one hand, you can get devices that do a little bit of everything but don't excel at one particular function, and on the other, a device that does one thing well, but then you need half a dozen gadgets to fill various needs. (In general, not just ebook readers.)

So far I think the one I would buy is the Hanlin v3, largely because it supports djvu and isn't loaded down with things I don't need.

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angryjungman

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2009 12:21      Profile for angryjungman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fs:


And yes, I know that reading on a screen is an abomination in the eyes of god and nothing could ever surpass ink on dead tree.

Actually, I find reading on my Kindle to be quite satisfactory.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2009 12:28      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by angryjungman:
quote:
Originally posted by fs:


And yes, I know that reading on a screen is an abomination in the eyes of god and nothing could ever surpass ink on dead tree.

Actually, I find reading on my Kindle to be quite satisfactory.
Do you use it mostly for novels, magazines, etc., or do you use it for manuals and reference books too?

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angryjungman

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Icon 1 posted April 23, 2009 04:55      Profile for angryjungman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fs:
Do you use it mostly for novels, magazines, etc., or do you use it for manuals and reference books too?

Mostly novels and non-fiction type books (philosophy, physics, that kind of stuff). I haven't tried reading any magazines or tech manuals on it.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 27, 2009 00:07      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
fs wrote:
I know that reading on a screen is an abomination in the eyes of god and nothing could ever surpass ink on dead tree.

I think that's only true for people who grew up before the invention of ebooks. As ebooks become more common and the quality improves, I believe we will eventually reach a point where we have a generation to whom books have always been easy to carry in vast quantities, easy to search, never out of print, never out of stock and quickly updated with corrected copies if something turns out to be seriously wrong. There will always be those who love books printed on paper, but most will simply move on and enjoy the digital replacement for the analog just as most people abandoned vinyl and cassettes and embraced the CD.

Anyway.

I have a Sony Reader which I've grown quite fond of. It's the older PRS-500 model, so it isn't quite as nice as the newer models they've come out with, but I got it for under $100 on eBay because the seller thought it was broken*, so I can't complain.

Before I got the reader, I probably wouldn't have considered not having an SD card slot to be as big of a deal breaker as I do now. I have about 10 GB of manuals and other documentation from work which I've put on SD cards so I can carry my reader around instead of the laptop that comes with being on call. 9 ounces versus 4.4 pounds (not including the laptop case, adapter or anything else). Not a hard choice to make. (250g versus 2kg for those who don't understand measuring by rods and cubits).

So far this year I've read more novels and short stories on the reader than I have on paper. I had a pile of stories and articles from various websites which I had not gotten around to reading because reading novels on the computer isn't really comfortable.

I haven't really read many magazines on the ebook because I haven't been very impressed with the ones I've seen. Magazines are, I think, too visual in nature to work on the current ebooks. With few exceptions, magazines are loaded with images, fonts and creative layouts that don't translate well to the gray scale coloring and limited resolution available today.

*if you see an eBay auction for a 'broken' Sony Reader, get a description of the problem and search online. Short of being physical smashed or fried by high voltage, it's actually fairly hard to kill them for real. Most lockups can be fixed by doing a reset and, possibly, reloading firmware, but the reset procedure is odd enough that nobody would figure it out without help and even then they may get it wrong and conclude that the device is broken.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 27, 2009 00:43      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for that summary, and the tip on "broken" readers. I'm at the point where I kind of want one, but can't really justify the price tag of the new one.

quote:
With few exceptions, magazines are loaded with images, fonts and creative layouts that don't translate well to the gray scale coloring and limited resolution available today.
I think the Flepia had a color display (and a huge pricetag) so they're starting to come, at least. I saw some readers with LCD screens, but I can't see any point in them, really. Wouldn't that be like reading on a netbook, but with worse resolution?

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Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
fs

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Icon 1 posted April 30, 2009 02:59      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Came across this today: Make Brighter, Full-Color Electronic Readers? — Brilliant! (from Engadget or Gizmodo or something, I forget which) and bookmarked it to post here.

quote:
Thinking about getting an e-reader but not sure if you like reading the dim screen? An international collaboration of the University of Cincinnati, Sun Chemical, Polymer Vision and Gamma Dynamics has announced Electrofluidic Display Technology (EFD), the first technology to electrically switch the appearance of pigments in a manner that provides visual brilliance equal to conventional printed media.


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Posts: 1973 | From: The Cat Ship | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged


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