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Thread: I think I need a digital book...

  1. #1
    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Thinking I think I need a digital book...

    Does anyone here use an e-book reader? Any comments?

    I'm reading more and more digital books, either online or on file, and although I have a very reasonable reader in the form of a Pepperpad, I would like something more portable.

    I came across the Sony PRS-505: Weight: 9 oz, Depth: 0.3 in, Width: 4.8 in, Height: 6.9 in, 7.500 pageflips per charge. Price: $299.99

    I think it is about as close to ideal you can expect for quite a while to come, making it a worthwile investment, but I never read the news about new stuff that's just around the corner.
    Are there better alternatives?
    Last edited by B@rt; 03-26-2008 at 04:45 AM.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    I would suggest maybe the Amazon Kindle instead. It's a bit more expensive but it's support for the mobipocket format gives it a lot more options as far as books go. It also has a built in Sprint EVDO modem to give you access to the Amazon ebook store on the go. So if you're out somewhere and feel the hankering for a new book it's right there. And the wireless access is included.

    You could also just upgrade to a PocketPC based phone and have access to the Microsoft Reader and Mobipocket readers on it. I've got one and have been known to use it like that from time to time. Of course, the battery life isn't as good but you're more likely to charge it every day anyways so not too big of an issue. The screen is kind of small but in my experience is still more than adequate for being able to read, you just have to turn the page a bit more often.

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    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Wink Re: I think I need a digital book...

    Yes, I have seen the Kindle as well, but since I'm in Europe the wireless aspect is not going to work, so I would pay more for a visually less pleasing machine with simular capabilities. ( I have no problem with converting to another format)

    A PDA or cellphone is out of the question, their screens are definatly too small.
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    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Help Re: I think I need a digital book...

    After browsing some more another one I would concider is the Cybook, wich is $50 more, but supports more formats.



    To be honest I think the Sony is better looking, I wonder how likely it is Sony will be adding formats, or maybe the possibility of adding them yourself? I read it runs on Linux?
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    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    Quote Originally Posted by B@rt View Post
    Price: $299.99
    better start selling trits bart

    the pepperpad wasn't small enough for you b@rt?
    gee, your hands are smaller than I thought

    honestly I prefer having a novel in paper. you can toss it around without fear of breaking something
    Last edited by Illum; 04-09-2008 at 06:41 PM.

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    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Wink Re: I think I need a digital book...


    It's a lot smallr,lighter and runs forever on a charge, and last but certainly not last, the readability in bright sunlight.
    BART

  7. #7

    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    I got the sony reader. Im quite happy with it. But the Battery life is not as god as advertised. If you just switch it of it drains the Battery in about a week since its in stand by. You can shut down it completely over a menue. But it takes some time to boot it again. Its very good to read books in the Sony format but has its problems with pdf. It cant realline the word so yo got the entire page on the little screen. If the book doesnt have pictures you can convert it in plain text. This works fine, but the Sony format gives a better layout.
    No other problems. Display is good to read in bright sunlight or very dimm flashlight. Text sice is adjustable from tiny to "almost blind can read it".
    Build quality is awesome. Finish looks like HA3 to me.


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    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: I think I need a digital book...

    Hey, thanks for the info!
    It looks like it will be perfect for me. The battery life on standby isn't that big of a deal, as long as I can switch it off completely when needed.

    Regarding PDF files, I read you get the best results if you convert them to the size of the screen, that way your font will remain readable.

    Is there software to convert to the Sony format or is the format only available as (book)files?

    Edit: this looks promising... BBeB Binder
    Last edited by B@rt; 03-28-2008 at 05:44 AM.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    Thanks for the link, i will give it a try. I read my books as txt files which is not comfortable to convert.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    I just started the same quest. I've been comparing the Sony eReader, Amazon Kindle and eRex Iliad. My brother has the Kindle and the automatic online updates of newspapers and blogs is great, but the Sony reads PDF files and is smaller, lighter and $100 cheaper. (currently top of my list) The Iliad is the most expensive, but it has a much larger display which is great for PDF files. The Iliad can read [almost] full-size PDFs in landscape mode. The Iliad can also read all Mobi books, but the Kindle can't, which is a little puzzling since I believe Amazon owns Mobi.

    Here are a few comparison articles:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/blog...s/4232344.html

    http://www.gadgetspage.com/misc/amaz...smackdown.html

    http://freshtech.wordpress.com/2007/...ad-comparison/
    Last edited by Phredd; 03-28-2008 at 03:55 PM.

  11. #11
    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Cool Re: I think I need a digital book...

    Cool, thanks.
    I like the screensize of the Iliad, but like I said, connectivity is very low on my wishlist. The price is a bit more than I would like to spend as well.
    So far the Sony is favorite for me.
    BART

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* gorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    I have converted my digital books to audio books and listen to them on my iPod and iPhone

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    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    the e-paper display on some of these things is really wonderful to look at. It really does almost have the contrast of a printed page.

    You dont say what you're going to mostly use it for? I just have no desire to download novels to the thing, the licensing is far too restrictive. At the moment the only thing thats worse is the licenses that the movie industry forces on us, even the itunes and other online market places are not nearly as bad.

    But if you just want it for reading PDF files that are otherwise not protected, then I like the sony one too. Generally I wont pay sony's price premium as they are so rarely any better anymore than anybody else, but in this case I like their form factor better than the kindle.
    -James

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  14. #14
    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Wink Re: I think I need a digital book...

    I'll be using it for books as well as pdf files. Most E-books I have I already converted to rtf or pdf, so I won't be hampered by having to read the Sony format books only.
    BART

  15. #15
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    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    The Sony directly supports PDF, but as you noted you need to reformat the pages to the screen size of the Reader. Straight text is pretty easy to do, but highly formatted pages (e.g. technical papers) just don't convert too well. The Reader does not support encrypted PDFs (e.g. purchased books with DRM). The 505 may eventually support the new Adobe Digital Editions format, which could make a larger pool of paid content availabe.

    Highly formatted PDF's that are already in a smaller size (like product manuals for cameras, etc.) look very nice on the Reader.

    RTF files are also directly supported and work great; that's what I generally use for text files, particularly public domain books.

    That said, www.manybooks.org now has the option to download PD selections in .LRF (the Sony specific format) if you want. Baen books (an SF publishing house) is also offering .LRF as well now. I bought most of my books from Baen as HTML and converted them to RTF in Word; haven't tried their .LRF yet so I can't comment on how they look.

    Sounds like you've already found www.mobileread.com - a good resource for ebook support.

    A significant consideration about the Sony is that if you want current, paid content beyond that offered by specialty houses like Baen, you're stuck with the Sony book store. Browse around and make sure you like it. As noted above you may find the Kindle / Mobipocket format better suited to authors you like.

    I've got the PRS500 and really like it. Great travel companion for pleasure reading and very handy for keeping all my gadget manuals with me.

    Regards,
    Bob
    Last edited by BobVA; 03-30-2008 at 09:11 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    I was using a display model at the local library and it seemed quite slow.

    Perhaps it was just the display, but I probably wouldint ever get one.

  17. #17
    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: I think I need a digital book...

    Baen Books is great, I just finished the honorverse series.

    I can live with the relative slow pageturns, I'm sure that will be fixed eventually, the advantage of having many books in a small package that can easily last a week on a charge is good enough for me to get one now.

    Hopefully I'll have it in a couple of weeks.
    BART

  18. #18

    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    Quote Originally Posted by BobVA View Post
    The Sony directly supports PDF, but as you noted you need to reformat the pages to the screen size of the Reader. Straight text is pretty easy to do, but highly formatted pages (e.g. technical papers) just don't convert too well. The Reader does not support encrypted PDFs (e.g. purchased books with DRM). The 505 may eventually support the new Adobe Digital Editions format, which could make a larger pool of paid content availabe.

    Highly formatted PDF's that are already in a smaller size (like product manuals for cameras, etc.) look very nice on the Reader.

    RTF files are also directly supported and work great; that's what I generally use for text files, particularly public domain books.

    That said, www.manybooks.org now has the option to download PD selections in .LRF (the Sony specific format) if you want. Baen books (an SF publishing house) is also offering .LRF as well now. I bought most of my books from Baen as HTML and converted them to RTF in Word; haven't tried their .LRF yet so I can't comment on how they look.

    Sounds like you've already found www.mobileread.com - a good resource for ebook support.

    A significant consideration about the Sony is that if you want current, paid content beyond that offered by specialty houses like Baen, you're stuck with the Sony book store. Browse around and make sure you like it. As noted above you may find the Kindle / Mobipocket format better suited to authors you like.

    I've got the PRS500 and really like it. Great travel companion for pleasure reading and very handy for keeping all my gadget manuals with me.

    Regards,
    Bob
    New guy here

    Mine sony Reader is on its way.

    I have acrobat orro 8, how to I convert them to fir the reader ?
    is there a tutorial on anywhere?


    Thanks

  19. #19
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    Quote Originally Posted by mmajunkie View Post
    New guy here

    Mine sony Reader is on its way.

    I have acrobat orro 8, how to I convert them to fir the reader ?
    is there a tutorial on anywhere?


    Thanks
    Not here, but check out the Sony section of www.mobileread.com - Do a search for "pdf" and you should find the guidelines for setting up Acrobat.

    If you want to test your files out, you can download the PC Reader software from the Sony ebook site to see how they will look.

    Regards,
    Bob
    Last edited by BobVA; 04-08-2008 at 07:35 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    I've owned the Sony since September and been happy with it. Battery life is good and can be charged with PSP chargers available anywhere. I do agree with others that the speed is on the slow side but nothing to terrible. Having to have a light shine on it took some time getting used to but no worse than a regular book. IMO the biggest issue is the sony ebook website. I've been using mobileread for most of my classics. Before buying the sony I looked at the Cybook but it seams to be always on backorder (it is now).

  21. #21
    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: I think I need a digital book...

    I've been using mine for about a week now, and I just love it!

    I will have to get a booklight for it, since it is a bit harder to read in low light as a normal book, but that was something I knew getting it.
    Hmm, maybe a customized Lightwedge or something with a lightguide panel....
    BART

  22. #22
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    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    Just glue a bunch of tritium tubes/map readers on the screen.

  23. #23
    Glowing admin B@rt's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: I think I need a digital book...

    I think in order to have sufficient illumination I would need so many vials I wouldn't see much of the screen anymore, thus defeating the purpose to use them in the first place...

    Of course it would cost more as a reader as well...
    Last edited by B@rt; 04-28-2008 at 12:15 PM.
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  24. #24
    Flashaholic* NA8's Avatar
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    Default Re: I think I need a digital book...

    I still use an old palm PDA, black and white no less. Not much different than reading the newspaper. I like that I can switch over to the other things a PDA can do besides reading books. Uses 2 rechargeable NiMH AAA's.

    Need an e-book ? Oddly enough I seldom see this website mentioned in the general media. Sort of like Linux in that respect.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page
    Last edited by NA8; 05-20-2008 at 02:35 PM.

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