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ebook readers, or how to carry the library of congress

WangsaurusWangsaurus Registered User regular
edited September 2008 in Moe's Stupid Technology Tavern
So I've been giving serious thought into getting an ebook reader. And ofcourse I'm turning to you guys for help.
I'm basically looking for one with wireless capabilities and around 6", that wont destroy my bank account. So far the Astak Mentor 6" is looking to be the best bet.

Do any of you have an ebook reader?
Which would you consider the best bang for your buck?


As always any help is appreciated. (Also does anyone have any recent info on Fujitsu's FLEPia, A5 model)

Frag them first, and let the Respawn sort them out.
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    according to the mentors site the only formats supported are txt, pdf, rtf and html/chm. If thats true it means it can't read books purchased from any online stores unless you strip the drm, and convert them yourself. Which while possible, can often be frustrating and completely destroy the formatting of the book. Theres also rumors that it won't be released until late november/early december now.

    I have a sony prs-505 and love it, but it doesn't really fit your criteria since its neither especially cheap, nor does it have wireless

    taliosfalcon on
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    WangsaurusWangsaurus Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    yeah that's the problem. so far according to their website it's supposed to still be released late september, but i'm not sure. aside from that i was able to download a bunch of drm free ebooks through a torrent site. most of them are old books beyond the copyrights limit granted.
    the drm issue is one i'm still annoyed by. but if it has wireless and is approximately 6" i'll be good.
    as for the price i've resigned myself to the fact that i will spend around 250 - 350$ as it is.

    Wangsaurus on
    Frag them first, and let the Respawn sort them out.
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    Desert_Eagle25Desert_Eagle25 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
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    WangsaurusWangsaurus Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    damn i knew i forgot to mention something, not a fan of the kindle. too bulky with the keyboard bit on the bottom. i guess i just prefer it to look sleek and clean in a sense. what is that keyboad part for btw?
    though i admit the ability to buy books on the fly is nice.

    Wangsaurus on
    Frag them first, and let the Respawn sort them out.
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    GdougGdoug __BANNED USERS new member
    edited August 2008
    I thought the kindle was cool, until they massively cracked down on all people considering making fan sites.

    You cannot have the word "kindle" anywhere in your URL, for example.

    The level of control they want is totally antithetical to any kind of community building up around the device.

    Gdoug on
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    LuckyStrikeYoLuckyStrikeYo Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I read that a kindle v2 will be coming out soon.

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    1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Also, please to check face here.

    Looks like they have a decent amount of consolidated knowledge. The Mentor looks pretty cool, but for $250, you can get the Sony PRS-505 (e-link), the PRS-500 is under $200 online (discontinued), or the Kindle.

    There aren't a lot of options within the US, a few Taiwanese companies and 1 Italian, but they're overseas and more expensive. The Kindle and Sony seem to be the best options for an american.

    1ddqd on
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    corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I haven't used it, but the Sony reader looks extremely polished and professional...

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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2008
    The keyboard on the kindle is for web surfing, and looking up books in the main directory.

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    OrganichuOrganichu poops peesRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited September 2008
    Quick queston- are old fiction books popularly available on e-book services for purchase?

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    RookRook Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Organichu wrote: »
    Quick queston- are old fiction books popularly available on e-book services for purchase?

    How old do you mean? Because old will mean public domain, and therefor free.

    Rook on
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    OrganichuOrganichu poops peesRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited September 2008
    Sorry, I meant old as in 'not new releases'. Like the 50s-90s.

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    darkgruedarkgrue Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I read that a kindle v2 will be coming out soon.

    People have been saying that since the first day the Kindle went on sale. No, seriously (there was a lot of trolling going on in the Amazon forums with fake reviews and rumors of a new product coming out right after the first release).

    Anyway, it's all speculation. Amazon's said No New Kindle This Year, which of course we all know means that Kindle 2.0 goes on sale in time to take delivery for Valentine's Day 2009 ("What better way to say 'I love you sweetie' than the gift of the Library of Congress?") or something.

    Or not.

    I have a Kindle "1.0" - got it after a 3-month waiting period in April of this year. I love it. The goofy look isn't quite so goofy once you use it, and the e-ink screen is really hands-down better to read on than a LCD. I went camping with mine, and was able to read four books over the course of the weekend on a single charge (battery life with wireless turned off is fantastic). Being able to access the Amazon catalog through the free wireless and have instant delivery is pretty damn slick. The experimetal access features are pretty neat too, but it's not really all that great as a web browsing platform (too slow, IMO). Still, for those times when you want to ask Wikipedia something right now, I've used it to settle one of those arguments or to answer a particular question of curiosity.

    I've converted a number of books using the mobipocket software - the Kindle reads MOBI books natively, but not PDFs. Mixed results. The more complicated a book is (for example, books whose layout is fairly fixed in the book format - pagination isn't exactly a valid concept on the kindle since you can change the text size, the book will reflow pages differently than the print version), the bigger chance it'll need significant tweaking. Mostly cosmetic issues - even one of the worst examples I found was still readable.

    I'm a big sci-fi/fantasy reader, and with Tor giving away books on Tor.com (before they opened the site offcially) and Amazon by the boatloads, I probably already paid for the cost of the device just with all the books I've already downloaded. There are tons of good free books you can load straight onto you Kindle and read with no conversion or effort.

    There are still some things I wish were different about it. Graphics aren't all that great. Also, most books aren't authored in the native Kindle format. Not always a big deal. Most, even the free books in MOBI format, look and read just fine. Others might have translation glitches that cause some strange layout problems. Things like equations and other notations (like fractions, and super- sub-scripts in some cases don't get rendered correctly). I'd love to have some technical references on my Kindle, but considering they make heavy use of equations, they'd never work without serious effort and access to the Kindle authoring software. However, for it's basic function, reading text, it's pretty damn cool.

    Two of the biggest gripes I've heard: First, that the e-ink display is slow to refresh. It is. It takes a moment to render a page of text, and there is a noticable transition to a black page before a page turn (it's becuase of the way e-ink works). About what it would take to actually flip a book page slowly. It can be frustrating if you're flipping between pages quickly, but in terms of moving forward at a reading pace it's not at all disruptive/distracting. The other is that you can't read a Kindle in the dark - it's not front or backlit like an LCD. It's a limitation of the technology. I don't believe e-ink can be backlit, and if you frontlit the e-ink, you'd lose the amazing battery life. And, well, you can't read a paper book in the dark either. Not really a big deal, although while camping I did find that as the sun went down, I was likely to put my Kindle down and go play cards or Pictionary or whatever. I would have done the same with a paperback too, I expect.

    I like my Kindle, don't regret bying it even with the inevitable "Version 2" coming out sometime in the indeterminite future. Maybe v2 will be cooler. Might have a color screen (I'm kinda doubting it, I think color e-ink is still a ways out for this). Might just buy a v2 when it comes out. I wouldn't be too concerned about buying one now if it does what you want now and you think you'll get $x of enjoyment out of it. It's a significant gadget investment, so that's really a personal decision. If perhaps it's not quite what you wanted, or the price makes you think twice, or the promise of a newer better version maybe around the corner is too much of a deterrant... Well, go ahead and stick with your tree-destroying, old-school, low-tech paper books, you Luddite! The rest of us will be living in the future with our Kindles and robot cars and space stations! :D

    darkgrue on
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    WangsaurusWangsaurus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Organichu wrote: »
    Sorry, I meant old as in 'not new releases'. Like the 50s-90s.

    Books in that range would depend on whether they are public domain or not. If they are, as Rook said, then you can find them on a handful of sites for free. If someone has maintained the copyright then it gets a little more difficult.


    I have read through most of MobilRead wiki, thanks 1ddqd, and the only big difference at the moment from what I've heard about the Mentor and the Sony PRS-505 is the outward appearance. I'm waiting for the release of the Mentor to finally make my choice.

    1ddqd - Where did you find the Sony for $250? Best I have found, outside ebay, is around $275.

    Wangsaurus on
    Frag them first, and let the Respawn sort them out.
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    WangsaurusWangsaurus Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    darkgrue I refer you to this tidbit I found online.

    http://www.slashgear.com/fujitsu-shows-off-colour-e-book-display-061960.php


    Sadly the price for the small one is i think $13000, and $20000 something for the larger one. Still it's damn interesting tech.

    Wangsaurus on
    Frag them first, and let the Respawn sort them out.
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    naporeonnaporeon Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I have done probably 80%-90% of my reading on either Handsprings or Palms, for about the last ten years now. I actually prefer the old monochrome displays, oddly enough, but these days, my Palm T|X sees the most use. Backlighting is pretty great for me, since I tend to sleep about three hours less a night than my SO, and it's easy to read without waking her.

    I'll be picking up a Kindle in the soonish. I like the Reader, but for me, the deciding factor is text size; I prefer tiny text, and the Kindle offers a broader range of choice in that department.

    naporeon on
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    darkgruedarkgrue Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Wangsaurus wrote: »
    darkgrue I refer you to this tidbit I found online.

    http://www.slashgear.com/fujitsu-shows-off-colour-e-book-display-061960.php


    Sadly the price for the small one is i think $13000, and $20000 something for the larger one. Still it's damn interesting tech.

    Right :D

    I didn't mean to say color e-ink didn't exist, just that it wouldn't make it into the Kindle 2.0, 'cause the tech just wasn't mass-producable enough to put it anywhere near the existing price-point. I think most folks would buy a car before a $20,000 color Kindle, or a $2,000 one. Of course, maybe if it was encrusted with Swarovski crystals it'd totally be worth it. :P At $200... Amazon would have to stop selling real books and ship just color Kindles (heck evan at $400, there was more demand than supply for the black-and-white ones).

    I don't think Fujitsu makes the e-ink display even, they just built a prototype reader to demonstrate the technology. E-ink (the company) was showing off a prototype color reader of their own three years ago. I expect the problem is making it as mass-producable and reliable as the existing displays are. We'll get color e-ink someday...

    darkgrue on
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