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It's 2010; What's the Best E-Reader? 684

Posted by timothy
from the one-that's-out-next-year dept.
jacob1984 writes "A few years ago there was a question about which e-reader was the best. Since then, the market has been flooded with new additions, many of them more open than others. Have you bought one yet? If so, which one did you find best and why?"
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It's 2010; What's the Best E-Reader?

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  • The Sony (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:13PM (#31138130)

    By a very long mile. Great format support, including many open formats, great quality too.

  • Re:iPad? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zoidbot (1194453) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:20PM (#31138198)

    Hope you enjoyed your eyes.

    The number of people that don't yet have a ebook and "don't get" the concept if e-ink is staggering. Clue: e-ink does not melt your eyes like a TFT with a backlight...

  • Re:Kindle (Score:3, Informative)

    by mpoulton (689851) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:21PM (#31138218)

    Sorry, but this is for the "best" eBook reader, not the one "most crippled by DRM."

    I was waiting for that. It certainly must be acknowledged that the Kindle is DRM-laden. However, that doesn't automatically make it non-best. The hardware is amazing, and substantially more capable the the competition. On top of a remarkable screen, form factor, and battery life, it has WIRELESS DATA CAPABILITY! As a whole package, it's a slam dunk - notwithstanding the DRM issue.

  • by IANAAC (692242) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:23PM (#31138230)
    It reads pretty much anything non DRM I can throw at it, and it fits in my pocket.
  • The entourage edge? (Score:3, Informative)

    by My-Kung-Fu-Is-Best (898773) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:40PM (#31138392)
    The entourage edge It's not available yet (set to ship in March 2010), but it looks like its got what most people want and then some. I might be getting one myself. I've been hesitant, like most, because of price, ease of use, screen size, etc... It's not too much more than some of the other readers, so it might be a nice alternative. http://www.entourageedge.com/devices/entourage-edge.html [entourageedge.com]
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:42PM (#31138402) Journal

    and it fits in my pocket

    I have a 770 and an iRex iLiad and, although the 770's screen is one of the nicest TFT's I've ever used, the iLiad's eInk is much nicer. The form factor, however, is a problem. The 770, which is the same size as the N800, fits (along with a folding keyboard) into a jacket pocket. The iLiad doesn't. That means I can take the 770 to a lot of places where the iLiad would be inconvenient. I'd love to have a device with a fold-out or roll-up eInk screen that was the same physical size as the 770 (or smaller) when not in use. I use the iLiad in my house and for reading in the park during the summer, but I couldn't just slip it into a pocket when I got into town to read in a coffee shop when I've finished shopping and that dramatically reduces its usefulness. An eBook reader should be at least as portable as a thin paperback, and ideally more so.

  • Cybook Opus (Score:3, Informative)

    by mattbee (17533) <matthew@bytemark.co.uk> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:50PM (#31138484) Homepage

    I bought my dad a Cybook Opus [bookeen.com] for Christmas - sturdy, simple, wasn't too expensive, just epub support, no ties to a publisher/DRM. Not used it myself but Dad seems pretty happy.

  • Re:Kindle (Score:5, Informative)

    by pvera (250260) <pedro.vera@gmail.com> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:52PM (#31138516) Homepage Journal

    I own two Kindle 2s. DRM only means I can only buy protected content from Amazon, I am free to import content from other sources without involving Amazon in the process. Amazon has yet to interfere with any third parties selling content for the Kindle as long as they don't attempt to use their proprietary DRM scheme.

    It is one hell of a reader, and in an emergency Whispernet is a nice backup to have. During Snowmaggeddon here in DC I was getting better network performance from the two Kindles than from our AT&T cell phones (probably you can't compare the network traffic between these two, ever).

    By the way, two of the most popular tools used to generate content for the Kindle, Stanza and Mobi Pocket creator, are both owned by Amazon. Or you could use Calibre.

    Worried about generating DRM-free content for Kindle readers? Release your content as MOBI/PRC or PDF and that should do it, at least until Amazon feels the burn and issues a patch allowing Kindles to read EPUB.

    The biggest problem that the Kindle faces is not the DRM, it's the tug of war between Amazon and publishers that want them to raise their $10 price point for new books.

  • Re:The Book. (Score:5, Informative)

    by selven (1556643) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @07:55PM (#31138548)

    Ah yes, this old meme. Unfortunately, books fail hard at carrying capacity. One book I picked out of my shelf has 57 chars per line * 36 lines per page * 774 pages = 1588248 bytes, and one of those takes up a full pocket. I can have a few thousand of those in an ebook reader, which also takes up one pocket.

  • by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @08:06PM (#31138642)

    Basically everybody but the Kindle is using the ePub format, which is an open format. It supports DRM, but doesn't require it, and there are many sources out there who sell/provide books in it without DRM.

    The conversion software available to ePub is a bit primitive at the moment, but it does exist, from practically any format you can care to name.

  • Re:Kindle (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @08:06PM (#31138646)

    How about the you've-just-been-screwed-because-you-upgraded-your-kindle-issue?

    Check out the one-star review by Gadget Queen on Amazon's site (last review on the page):
    http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Wireless-Reading-Display-Generation/dp/B0015T963C/ref=amb_link_116589822_2/181-8601578-0208657?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=0R4JH04FW7KYM843PYA4&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=528911022&pf_rd_i=507846

    Particularly disturbing was the lost content she paid for when she switched from Kindle 1 to Kindle 2.

    2. All of my previous issues of magazines and newspapers were lost (ie, I could not re-download them specifically for the K2) because Amazon does not back up subscriptions on their server for more than 6 days. SINCE I PAID FOR THE CONTENT, I SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE THAT CONTENT ALWAYS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD. Sorry, but I won't consider buying any more newspapaers or magazine subscriptions to the Kindle 1 or 2.

    and

    4. Although Amazon says it keeps you content on their server, I found many instances where I could not download my books to my computer because the item THAT I PAID FOR was not available for download to my new Kindle2. Amazon said the book had been "pulled." Excuse me, but I paid for it, pulled or not, it should always be avaiable to me since I paid for it. When I asked for a refund for the pulled item now unavailable to me, SINCE I COULD NOT GET THE ITEM REDOWNLOADED, I was told that a refund was not possible. LESSON LEARNED: I now back up ALL my Kindle content on my computer. Since Amazon says "Don't worry, your content is safe with us." I respectfully disagree. Also, some authors issued new versions of their books for K2. However, then the original version for K1 "disappeared" from the server so I could not even download it to K2, nor K1.

  • Re:SmartQ v7 (Score:3, Informative)

    by PolyDwarf (156355) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @08:09PM (#31138662)

    Ugh, replying to myself, but I put the wrong link... SmartQ has a lovely product naming convention; they've got a SmartQ 7 and a SmartQ V7, two different products.

    http://en.smartdevices.com.cn/Products/V7/200912/04-40.html [smartdevices.com.cn] is the V7's spec sheet, which is what I meant to link.

  • by Paracelcus (151056) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @08:12PM (#31138690) Journal

    IMHO, is the Aztak EZReader Pocket Pro 5" with the Ectaco Jet Book Lite as a follow up.

    The Kindle is an expensive way to get locked in to a single vendor, as is the Nook.
    The Sony is crippled by very restrictive DRM.
    WiFi/Wimax is very tough on batteries and unnecessary to the functioning of an ebook reader.

  • Re:Kindle (Score:2, Informative)

    by StayFrosty (1521445) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @08:22PM (#31138758)

    Yes it has DRM, to protect their content. So fraking what. The ability to get new media ( in particular periodicals) from anywhere without a pc, sets the kindle apart from the others.

    The Sony Daily Edition has wireless capability, the ability to download periodicals and new content with or without a computer, a touchscreen and most importantly it's not a DRM laden POS locking you in to one bookstore.

    Did you know that the ipod also has even more intrusive DRM, but yet it is considered to be the best device out there.

    Considered the best by who? There are many portable media devices out there that are better than the IPOD both in features and price. I think you are confusing "Best" with "Has the highest market share."

    Unlike an ipod, all you need to do to add third party content to a kindle is hook it up to a computer and it becomes a usb storage device, or surf the kindle to the numerous sites out there like feedbooks to get content.

    Why are you comparing the kindle to an ipod? Pretty much every e-reader does this.

  • Re:The Sony (Score:5, Informative)

    by WuphonsReach (684551) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @08:34PM (#31138888)
    I find it very surprising that the most open eReader on the market today is the Sony. I always though that was one of the 7 signs of the apocalypse. They must be catching on to what consumers actually want. ... I hope Apple is paying attention.

    Yeah, I was rather wary about buying my PRS-505 two years ago, but went ahead and took the plunge when they got below $300. I'm extremely happy with it as it does exactly what I want for leisure, cover-to-cover reading. Open formats, a no-DRM source of books (Gutenberg and Baen's Webscription), and the fact that it stays the hell out of my way when I want to read. Takes a few weeks for the battery to wear down and I keep 200-300 books on it.

    I've averaged 1 book every week or two for the past 2 years on it.

    Very much a no-muss no-fuss e-reader. Which is a key selling point.
  • Re:Just got a Nook (Score:3, Informative)

    by sowth (748135) * on Sunday February 14, 2010 @08:39PM (#31138944) Journal

    Are you brainwashed or a shill? There are plenty of places to get legal ebooks for free. You don't have to pay anything. Start with Project Gutenberg [gutenbergnews.org]. They have countless public domain books available.

  • Re:iPad? (Score:3, Informative)

    by owlnation (858981) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @08:48PM (#31139006)

    "Hope you enjoyed your eyes."

    Every. Single. Time... When there's an ereader discussion someone always brings this up. Perhaps technically e-ink IS indeed better for the eyes, however does this really matter a damn?

    I've never used an ereader. I've no intention of doing so anytime in the next decade. I've sat behind desktops and laptops with CRT and LCD and other types of displays. I've done so for 10-15 hours at time over extended periods. I have 20/20 vision without the need for glasses, and am checked regularly. I do not suffer from headaches.

    You can tell me that e-ink is better for my eyes till you are blue in the face. I do not give a fuck. It smacks of FUD coming from people who are shills for the e-ink industry. Seriously, this is absolutely NOT an issue for me at all in any way. This will in no way affect my decision in choosing a device to read on.

    What will affect my decision is utility and price. The iPad looks like a fine choice to me, because if I'm carrying around something that size I want it to do a hell of a lot more that just display books.

    So will everyone please just stop with the e-ink is better for the eyes FUD? Most of us do NOT care.

  • Re:iPad? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nashv (1479253) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:00PM (#31139126) Homepage
    Yes, there is plenty of evidence. A backlight causes prolonged constriction of pupils while eyes are focused at close range. This leads to fatigue, and will eventually get you glasses. There is also evidence that the blink rate diminishes when staring at a backlit display, causing eyes to dry out. Of course , E-ink doesn't solve all these problems, but is better than LCD displays. For starters, http://www.aoa.org/documents/EffectsComputerUse.pdf [aoa.org]
  • Re:The Sony (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lunatrik (1136121) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:15PM (#31139246)
    I've owned an Illiad and a PRS-300 now, and the PRS-300 wins hands-down for reading books. The Illiad was handy for taking notes, but really just wasn't up to snuff for heavy note-taking, and was generally slower than the PRS. The PRS also wins on price and battery life. And, yes, Calibre is a must with Sony's.
  • Re:The Sony (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:20PM (#31139300)

    Highly agreed. I have a 500 and my wife owns a 505.

    Here's the thing tho, it all depends on your level of technical ability. If you're a Luddite the Kindle is the way to go. The ability to easily purchase content and have everything "just work" is great. But you pay for the ease of use with DRM (yes you can use non-DRM content, but then you're leaving behind the one benefit (ease of use).

    Since this is /. I assume you're of the more technical readers. In which case you don't need the "click buy download" ease of use of the Kindle and in exchange you get much wider format support, better OS support, and a smaller form factor. Actually the new smaller Sony's are kind of cool too, and you can throw it in a jacket pocket.

  • Best for Hackers (Score:2, Informative)

    by niftyguy (1745152) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:21PM (#31139302)
    is the Onyx Boox - also rebranded as the Bebook Neo. It has e-ink display, wifi, a wacom touch screen (mounted *under* the display - so that you don't get the glare issues that exist with other touch-screen readers), runs on linux, is completely open, and best of all

    has a Debian based SDK!!! which allows linux users to write their own apps!
  • Re:Kindle (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:25PM (#31139340) Journal
    Running X11 means that you can take existing *NIX apps, recompile, and run them. They'll need a bit of effort to work well with an eInk display and a tablet, but you can make that effort with toolkits that you already know, not with something new designed just for the device. It also means that third-party developers can easily add features. For example, the community-developed PDF reader for the iLiad is much better than the stock one.
  • Re:The Sony (Score:3, Informative)

    by minorproblem (891991) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:28PM (#31139362)

    Agreed, PRS-300 is probably one of the best e-book readers out at the moment if all you want to do is read novels front to back.

  • by YA_Python_dev (885173) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:29PM (#31139370) Journal
    Can you please be more specific? What do you think is not true in my previous post? I was explicitly talking about books bought from Amazon with the Kindle (which are all DRMed) and you reply saying that it's also possible to read non-DRM books from third parties. What's your point?
  • Re:The Sony (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dare nMc (468959) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:33PM (#31139400)

    Why would you call the sony's "most" open? From what I see very few of the sony readers support any format but e-pub, the only readers that don't support that format is the kindle and Illiad. So it seams it is more open than those 2 e-readers. Sure it runs linux, like many others, but with only the 505 having a memory card it seams the least hackable of the many readers running linux.

    The nook currently seams more open, it is fairly easy to hack, requiring only a micro-sd card, having wifi access, pdf access, and android having a SDK, easily the easiest developed for (once hacked.)
    But even un-hacked it is more open than the Sony, simply plug the supplied USB into your PC, the internal memory and u-SD card show up as drives, drop mp3's or epub/pdf,etc into the folder labeled for them, done.
    I will give you that using B&N store you will likely end-up with a bunch of drm'd files with more restrictive sharing (but not all that difficult to strip.) But it appears to me to you can use it identical to the Sony's, if you choose the same stores as you would with the Sony.

  • Re:Answer: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cassius Corodes (1084513) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @09:36PM (#31139430)
    No - its because its the best place to get books free. Not GP but tried Gutenberg and TPB has both a bigger selection and easier to download (i.e. 100 of books a time), also available in many diff formats.

    And yes, a publisher pays everyone who has a different opinion to you - as part of a convoluted conspiracy to make slash-dot pro-pirate!
  • Re:Answer: (Score:4, Informative)

    by Draek (916851) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @10:06PM (#31139692)

    Pirate Bay is the best source for books? I don't think so. Project Gutenberg is the best source for books, unless you want technical manuals--then it depends upon what you need.

    Mildly off-topic, but for Project Gutenberg books I'd greatly recommend ManyBooks.net [manybooks.net], they have most of the PG books available in multiple formats (and I *do* mean multiple, check it out) and with user reviews to help you find the better ones.

  • Re:The Sony (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wumpus (9548) <<IAmWumpus> <at> <gmail.com>> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @10:08PM (#31139706)

    My Sony Reader PRS 600 shows up as a drive (two, actually) when you plug it into your PC via USB, it has native support for PDF, LRF, ePub, plain text files and RTF. It also supports several image formats - if you like to see your photos in black and white, you'll be all set.

  • Re:The Sony (Score:4, Informative)

    by rotenberry (3487) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @10:28PM (#31139860)

    PRS-300 has two advantages: no WiFi and no touch screen.

    Neither Sony nor anyone else can hack in and erase your ebooks.

    A touchscreen is makes the characters less crisp, more muddy. I much prefer clear text to the minor advantages of a touchscreen.

    And it works well with Linux. Now if Sony did not supply such lame software...

  • Re:The Sony (Score:3, Informative)

    by TBedsaul (95979) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @10:57PM (#31140062)

    They can have my PRS-500 when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    I just got it back from Sony after the firmware upgrade and I found it hard to get by without while it was gone. No DRM, no restrictions. It's mine and I can use it as I see fit. Those are the highest recommendations I can think of these days.

  • by masmullin (1479239) <masmullin@gmail.com> on Sunday February 14, 2010 @11:15PM (#31140194)

    This plane runs on love baby

    Happy valentines day.

  • by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @11:58PM (#31140448)

    eBooks should cost far, far less than print books, not merely because their marginal cost of production is tiny, but because they deliver far less value than a print book

    Not at all true. almost everything that has to be done to produce a print book needs to be done to produce an e-book.

    Editing, typesetting, formatting, proofing, marketing, artwork, etc all still needs to be done. Only the distribution is different. In one case you're printing a book (an automated manufacturing process) or you're publishing a book to an e-marketplace (a bunch of servers, software and bandwidth (not free)). The reality is that the great majority of the cost in producing a book is labor, and it's all still required, regardless of print or electronic distribution, so while printed materials may cost more to produce, the cost difference is not the huge amount that people seem to think it is.

  • Re:The Sony (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @12:06AM (#31140518)

    Now if Sony did not supply such lame software...

    Ack. Don't install that crap. And with the Sony readers there's no reason.

    Option #1: Connect the reader via USB and drop files onto the drive that appears
    Option #2: Use an SD card or Memory Stick. Copy files to the card via your computer and throw the card in your reader
    Option #3: Use Calibre [calibre-ebook.com], opensource/cross platform software to manage your library and convert / write files to the reader (my favorite)

    I think the people designing the Reader hardware realized the software guys would fuck up, and so make it easy to use without installing anything ;-)

  • by Eric Green (627) on Monday February 15, 2010 @01:51AM (#31141096) Homepage
    The vast majority of novels never appear in hardback. The number of fiction authors whose books appear in hard cover barely cracks three digits in any given year. In particular, a typical midlist science fiction author such as John Scalzi will virtually never have any of his books come out in an mass market hardcover edition -- if he wins an award or something which puts him into the ALA's "buy this" lists, there might be a special hardcover library edition put out, but not a mass market hardcover edition.

    Regarding the actual numbers, I must admit that I simplified. As Scalzi explains on his blog, "In the course of the production of my book, it is touched and receives positive benefit from (in no particular order): A writer, an agent, an editor, a copy editor, an art director, an artist, a book designer, a marketer, a publicist, a distributor and a bookseller. As an author, if I lose one of those people, the final product — a saleable book — suffers in one way or another." But the point is that up-front costs before the book ever hits the printer are what comprise most of the costs for a typical trade paperback, not incremental per-unit costs. This of course is inverted for best-sellers, where the up-front costs are amortized over far more units, but there were only 157 fiction books that sold more than 100,000 copies in 2008. That's it, according to Publisher's Weekly, and I suspect the numbers for 2009 are little different. And BTW, authors typically get a percentage of the cover price that is about $1.50 per hardback, about half that per paperback. Just in case you're wondering. That gets applied toward their advance until they sell out their advance.

    In short, the argument that ebook versions of a novel should cost way less than paperback novels due to a lower marginal cost of production simply doesn't match the actual numbers. The marginal cost of production is not the primary thing driving book costs, whether ebook or otherwise. Rather, it is the up-front sunk costs in the editorial department and the fixed costs for marketing and publicizing the book which drive the costs for most books. Then there are the best-sellers, those selling more than 100,000 copies... but those are a distinct minority and are the only ones on which book publishers make any actual profits. In all of these scenarios, the marginal cost of production is not going to be even $1 for a trade paperback and will rarely be over $1.50 for a trade hardcover (obviously the last big brick Harry Potter novels cost a teeny bit more due to sheer volume of paper needed to print a 750 page novel, but not *that* much more), meaning that if we're talking marginal cost of production as the difference in price between a paperback and an ebook, we're not talking about a huge difference in price. Clearly the expectation that ebooks should cost a lot less than paper copies of the books because of lower marginal costs of production doesn't match the reality that marginal cost of production really IS marginal even for paper books. A little less, okay. A lot less? Well, that money will have to come from something other than marginal cost of production... probably either author advance, or by publishing fewer books by more marginal authors (those who sell less than 20,000 copies). Either alternative is not very good for those of us who enjoy books and buy hundreds of books per year -- mostly *not* the 150 books on the bestseller lists.

  • Re:Kindle (Score:2, Informative)

    by mysidia (191772) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:32AM (#31141266)

    Backups are designed to protect against loss regardless of cause...

    The "1984 fiasco" caused Amazon to pledge to not ever again delete eBooks from consumers' devices. By contrast, Apple, BN, Sony, and others have not made such a promise.

    It's kind of pointless to pick on the kindle about problems that should be ancient history.

  • Re:The Sony (Score:2, Informative)

    by vcgodinich (1172985) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:45AM (#31141680)
    Kindles (all of them) show up with no drivers as mass storage devices. . .get your facts right.
  • Re:iPad? Bunk! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:03AM (#31141764)

    It's a common myth, just like sitting too close to the TV or reading in the dark.
    Eye strain (fatigue) does not lead to glasses. Eye strain is a temporary condition and is not cumulative..

    I quote from your article: "Vision problems experienced by computer operators are generally only temporary and will decline after stopping computer work at the end of the day."

    http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/fact-fiction-myths-about-eyes
    http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4174#
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/12/11/a-healthy-disregard-for-medical-myths-115875-21888103/
    http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-nature/health-myths/tv-bad-for-eyes.htm/printable
    http://www.pasadenaeye.com/faq/faq08/faq08_text.html
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6787928/Most-commonly-medical-myths-debunked-in-new-book.html

  • Re:iPad? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:19AM (#31141840)

    having to post anon since Ive gone over my karma limit for the day.

    I'm assuming 1 page on a PRS 300 contains far less content than 1 page of a standard novel, Mr. Pedantic,

    No point in assuming, it's about 60% of a standard novel page's contents if you get something from gutenberg or other raw txt. 40% if the book has been typseset and formatted, eg a purchased book.

    I get this number from my 505 which has a 6" screen and displays 30 lines of average 11 word lengths (note: this is from a pure *.txt file, so there is no wasted space other than intending the start of paragraphs...purchased books give 22lines of 10words). A normal paperback book I read has 42 lines of 11 word lengths. This gives about 71.5% (or 48% for purchased books) the text of a normal paperback. the 300 is 5" so 71.5*5/6=59.5... ~60 (40% for purchased)%

    as that is the way it works on the e-readers I have tried for pocket devices. And sorry but I've played a little with a Kindle and the 505 and the refresh rate is so annoying it is the sole reason at the time I didn't purchase one.

    And thats entirely my point!!! you and the critics "played a little" !!! If you had really used the ereader you would find that "turning a page" on an ereader with optimized text (in this case the sony 505 using ePub) takes ~1second.

    Compare this to paperback where it takes .75sec.

    I am using a totally non-scientific method of timing my reader called the "steamboat" method... I count 1 steamboat aloud and by the time I am at "ohhh" of steamboat the page has turned. This is in contrast to the "mmbbb" of steamboat when turning a page in a paper book.

    Now rightly, there are some formats which take a very long time to render. eg imaged pdfs, the type where the pdf isn't text but is an image of text, takes perhaps 4 or 5 seconds to render properly... I would care about this since the actual image rendered is too small to read anyway, so I dont read any of these books (waiting for a large screen reader for these).

    It takes me 45seconds to read a page formatted on my 505... so a 1second flip really doesn't bother me. it doesn't break my concentration at all, and is arguably less concentration breaking than turning the page, since it takes less movement.

    Your argument certainly has validity for textbooks or other books where you can quickly scan the page looking for specific text. But for novels -which is what the prs505 and prs300 was made for- page refresh is a non-issue.

  • Re:The Sony (Score:2, Informative)

    by Sobrique (543255) on Monday February 15, 2010 @05:21AM (#31142110) Homepage
    I've had a PRS-505 for about a year now, and I really like it. It's clarity is good, and it's a 'no frills' sort of a device. I don't need MP3 playback, 3G connections or touchscreens. They're nice, but what I _really_ want is something that is clear, sharp, readable and with a good battery life. The PRS-505 is also quite lightweight and compact too.
    My only grumble with it, is it's very expensive to fix if you drop it (I've done so twice now, and each time netted me a bill not actually much below the price of a new one). I'd therefore consider A Tuff Luv case for one a mandatory accessory.
    I too was afraid that Sony might 'do a Sony' and make it full of proprietary bells and whistles. To my pleasant suprise, they're one of the most open ones out there, and the only nod to 'sonyism' is having a memory stick slot as well as an SD card slot.
    With the amount of internal memory it has, I've not really come close to exhausting it, so have actually used the SD card as a portable USB drive from time to time.
    The UI is good - simple, yes, but that's exactly what you need. I've handed it over to people, who've 'got' it quickly without needing any instructions at all.
    The text and text reflowing are clear and neat and easy to read.
    The 'new' one, that a friend has got - has touch screen, more screen estate. It's quite nice, but I can't actually see that much need to upgrade. If Sony did a 'ruggedized' one, that's y'know, vaguely capable of being dropped, and for bonus points capable of surviving a bit of a splash from the bath, then it'd be perfect.
    Book availability is still one thing that bothers me - I would, in general, rather pay 'hardback' price, for an ebook, than the hardback. But there's still a lot of publishers that a) Won't do eBook at all, b) do 'region controlled' ebook distribution or c) do 'unfavourable' ebook pricing - either more expensive, or later release than paper.
    I know that pirating is an option - I wouldn't feel a lot of guilt about buying a physical copy, pirating an ebook, and then reading it on my ebook reader, but I feel it shouldn't be necessary.
    The other problem with it is Amazon don't really support anything other than the Kindle, and they're a big name in the market. It's a bit annoying, as I used to use their site a lot, and now I've migrated to other retailers as a result. Especially now Amazon recommendations are getting badly pumped by shill reviewers, making them increasingly meaningless.
  • My phone (Score:2, Informative)

    by 1310nm (687270) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:32AM (#31142414)
    It goes everywhere, it's small/lightweight, 3G coverage, and has great battery life.
  • Re:The Sony (Score:3, Informative)

    by Man Eating Duck (534479) on Monday February 15, 2010 @08:51AM (#31143030)

    What do you think? aside from the screen size, pretty phreaking awesome eBook, right?

    No. For serious reading e-ink is the only way to go. Either you don't read much or you haven't tried e-ink at all if you even consider other technologies, your eyes WILL get tired if you read 4-6 hours every day, as I do. With e-ink that's not an issue. And yes, I have tried several different phones with good screens for reading, they are not even close.

    Also, it's very difficult to disregard the screen size for reading. What you describe would require me to turn the page about 5-6x as often as with my ebook-reader (PRS-600). Colours? Meh. The books I read don't require a colour display, the grayscale e-ink is great for anti-aliased fonts. The reader has absolutely no features other than reading, note-taking, basic mp3 functionality and an incredible battery life, which is exactly what I need. For everything else I use my phone.

  • Re:Just got a Nook (Score:3, Informative)

    by Stele (9443) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:46AM (#31143898) Homepage

    I put non-drm books on my Kindle all the time. There is a free program called Calibre which can convert between formats and install the files on the Kindle automatically.

  • Re:iPad? (Score:2, Informative)

    by bigNuns (18804) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:29PM (#31147398) Homepage

    Actually, the latest reference in that document is basing stuff on data from 1996 (most of the references are from the 80s or early 90s) and well... LCDs (and monitors in general) have certainly changed a lot since then. Basically... that information is no longer to be taken as gospel and is not about current technology.

    Doctors now say that really, LCD displays are not bad for the eyes at all, and what is bad is the setup of the screen (not an issue with a portable LCD like a phone) and the lack of blinking you do when reading for long periods of time (which isn't related to LCDs at all and is a problem for eInk too).

    Here is a timely blog post on the NY Times for slightly more info...

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/do-e-readers-cause-eye-strain/?ref=books

    Basically... eInk isn't really any better, lacks in contrast, and is not good for reading in low light situations.

    I think the eInk industry has done a really good job at making people believe something that isn't true. People's eyes go bad as they get older, your LCD monitor probably isn't the cause though.

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