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Old 19.08.2010, 15:59
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What eBook Reader to buy?

Hi everyone

I'm currently thinking of getting an eBook Reader, but am unsure of what is out there and what to get.

Now my personal requirements would be:

1) as slim, small and light as possible (less than 500g is a must)
2) good screen for reading, no glare, etc.
3) want to be able to access a large international online books store on the device, wherever I live and whatever credit card I use (I don't want to have to choose different stores and whatnot to get books in different languages, etc. like in iBooks or iTunes... that's the biggest nightmare... I want to be able to download books from US, Germany, Switzerland, UK, etc)
4) want to be able to download the books straight to the device anywhere in the world without having to use a computer (given that WiFi connection is there)
5) battery life should be a few weeks if possible
6) it should have the ability to bookmark, scribble on the pages (touch screen)
7) price is not that relevant, but less than 500 CHF if possible.


So far I only know the Kindle and the iPad, but the iPad is far too heavy and expensive for what I want. The Kindle, I'm not sure about 3,4,5 and 6. Does anyone have experience with the Kindle? Or can someone recommend any other devices? Is that Sony Pocket one any good? Or the Sony Touch version?
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:10
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

I'm not sure about the different language books aspect of 3 but the new Kindle 3G definitely works globally, also meets your 4,5,6 and is half of your budget in 7.

The 3G data access is also free so you can download books anywhere without WIFI.

For what its worth, I am seriously tempted but am going to wait until I have permament accomodation in Switzerland. If my commute is short I'll wait until Christmas at least

Edited to add, caveat on the battery life is wireless. If you're using 3G data a lot then the battery will drain more quickly, if you're just reading with the occasional download then the battery life is measured in weeks.
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:13
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

The 3rd gen Kindle as far as I know only fulfills part of 6-- you can take notes but via the keyboard only-- it does not have a touch screen. That being said, if you're most interested in reading rather than web browsing aspects I think it's the best choice (but I may be biased as I just ordered mine last week...).
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:16
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

Thanks for this. I never had an eBook Reader before, but for that price it's really an option.

So, that new Kindle has a touch screen (e.g. for highlighting and scribbling)? Is that with a stick or do you just use your hands like with an iPad/iPhone?

And does the WiFi download work abroad as well? I read that it doesn't work, but that might have been in an older version of the Kindle.

The 3G option is certainly interesting, but I can imagine you can't download when you are abroad. That would cost quite a lot for them due to roaming charges? Plus, I don't mind if I can only use it on WiFi really.....


I'm just concerned about how to get my favourite books from different countries. I don't want to be "locked" to one store, like I am on my iPhone, where I have to change stores and have different credit cards with different home addresses in the different countries. That really annoys me.
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:17
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

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The 3rd gen Kindle as far as I know only fulfills part of 6-- you can take notes but via the keyboard only-- it does not have a touch screen. That being said, if you're most interested in reading rather than web browsing aspects I think it's the best choice (but I may be biased as I just ordered mine last week...).
You are correct, I missed that point.

There are no commercially available eInk touch screens yet. You should way up the touch screen requirement with the higher resolution eInk screen (vs iPad or similar).... if you're doing a lot of reading I'd suggest the non-touch eInk is the way to go. If you're skimming/reviewing and marking up docs then maybe its not suitable.
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:17
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

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The 3rd gen Kindle as far as I know only fulfills part of 6-- you can take notes but via the keyboard only-- it does not have a touch screen. That being said, if you're most interested in reading rather than web browsing aspects I think it's the best choice (but I may be biased as I just ordered mine last week...).
How do you take notes then? And where are they stored? How do you highlight certain text? Isn't that very cumbersome to go to the exact line in the text, if you don't have a touch screen?

Sorry for my silly question but I'm kinda used to things like OneNote and stuff, where you can scribble on things, like it was real paper.
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:17
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

My advice when anyone asks me about e-books is always, right now, it's better to wait a while.

My concerns are: Lock-in to proprietary formats; and Obsolescence.

I know of Sony and iRiver products. Cheaper than the Kindle and available at Interdiscount, MediaMarkt, etc. (whereas Kindle can only be had from Amazon)

This is an area of technology that has been dominated by Amazon and competitiors are only now entering the market. Result is, the technology is improving (Battery life, Colour and Sound) and, of course, prices are dropping.

For now I am satisfied using an Atom-processor based 10" screen netbook. Compared to e-books it's a bit smaller but thicker, a bit heavier, battery only 6-7 hours. However you can do far more than just read with it.

Wait a while. Let the market fight it out.
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:20
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

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The 3G option is certainly interesting, but I can imagine you can't download when you are abroad. That would cost quite a lot for them due to roaming charges? Plus, I don't mind if I can only use it on WiFi really.....
Amazon pay the roaming charges... there is no 3G cost to pay whatsoever, anywhere in the world with the new Kindle.

The WIFI only version is even cheaper (109 GBP).

No touch screen though, as mentioned above.

Much more detail here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:22
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

I already have a powerful netbook which I carry around most times, but I don't like reading on the computer much, never have done.

I do actually prefer paper, firstly because I can highlight and make notes right next to the text and I just like to feel the paper and flick through pages.

I also like to have the books lying around at home as a reminder which ones I'm still wanting to read. And then I just pick the one I fancy. I read some over months/years. lol.

I fear that I will buy loads of books and never read them because I can't "see" them physically anymore.
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:24
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

Not a powerful netbook. A weak one. Battery life is important and you only want to read with it.
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:26
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

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For now I am satisfied using an Atom-processor based 10" screen netbook. Compared to e-books it's a bit smaller but thicker, a bit heavier, battery only 6-7 hours. However you can do far more than just read with it.
I want a device that I can just read on. Its tailored to reading books, has a screen you can look at for extended periods and has a great battery life. As a bonus it also means less distractions from the rest of the world (MSN, RSS, Email). Sometimes you need a device that does one job very well.

Competition is a valid point. I didnt like the last generation Sony I played with (and was locked-in to Waterstones) but we'll probably see more very soon.
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Old 19.08.2010, 16:28
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

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Not a powerful netbook. A weak one. Battery life is important and you only want to read with it.
Well, with powerful I mean fast, quick, small, light and easily 8 hrs battery life.
Still don't like reading on it's screen though. The eReaders' screens are far more advanced for reading.

The netbook I'm carrying around anyway (but not every day), but instead of having two or three books in my bad and another magazine, I'd really like to have just one small slim reader device. And that might even fit into my tiny netbook pouch, that would be even cooler.

I'm not worried too much about the price, more about the functionality and design.
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Old 19.08.2010, 18:47
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

I was looking at the new Kindle and it seems just about perfect. However, I do most of my reading at night and these screens don't have a backlight, you need an extra clip-on light.
So I agree with waiting a while; I'll definitely take a look at a mini iPad if it comes along.
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Old 19.08.2010, 18:51
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

Notion Ink Adam when it arrives hopefully before xmas. Has a hybrid screen for reading and for regular pad usage.

But if you want something now and cheap, I'd go for Kindle.
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Old 19.08.2010, 22:04
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

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The 3rd gen Kindle as far as I know only fulfills part of 6-- you can take notes but via the keyboard only-- it does not have a touch screen. That being said, if you're most interested in reading rather than web browsing aspects I think it's the best choice (but I may be biased as I just ordered mine last week...).
Let us know when you get it. did you order from amazon uk? I am very tempted in getting one but had 2nd thoughts when I read we cannot access the books from all countries. i.e. we can only buy books from amazon US with a US credit card.

do you know if this is really the case?
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Old 19.08.2010, 22:42
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

Coworker brough an "Alex" from the US.
I has a big e-ink black and grey screen for the e-books and a smaller screen below for what is essentially an Android phone without the phone.

Maybe an iPad with an anti-glare film would also be OK.
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Old 19.08.2010, 22:47
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

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Let us know when you get it. did you order from amazon uk? I am very tempted in getting one but had 2nd thoughts when I read we cannot access the books from all countries. i.e. we can only buy books from amazon US with a US credit card.

do you know if this is really the case?
Nope, since the 2nd generation the Kindle's gone global.
You can order it from the comfort of your Swiss home, pay with your Swiss credit card and have a Swiss-based account. For the time being the number of English books available for download from a Swiss account is slightly more limited than at the US store, but we're still talking thousands. And I think the price for bestsellers purchased on the 'global' market is 11USD as opposed to 9.99 or close to that (look at the link posted above, it's got all that info...)

And I'll be happy to post updates once I get it. I didn't order it the first day it was available for preorder, so I don't expect to get it until at least the 7th or 8th of September.
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Old 19.08.2010, 22:52
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

I think the availability of books will rise exponentially over the next few months, its itunes all over again. I'm talking myself into buying one in this thread... need to convince the budget holder next
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Old 20.08.2010, 04:28
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

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Coworker brough an "Alex" from the US.
I has a big e-ink black and grey screen for the e-books and a smaller screen below for what is essentially an Android phone without the phone.

Maybe an iPad with an anti-glare film would also be OK.
If you don't mind reading books on a laptop or an iPad, the Kindle app or software is free.
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Old 20.08.2010, 10:18
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Re: What eBook Reader to buy?

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Nope, since the 2nd generation the Kindle's gone global.
You can order it from the comfort of your Swiss home, pay with your Swiss credit card and have a Swiss-based account. For the time being the number of English books available for download from a Swiss account is slightly more limited than at the US store, but we're still talking thousands. And I think the price for bestsellers purchased on the 'global' market is 11USD as opposed to 9.99 or close to that (look at the link posted above, it's got all that info...)

And I'll be happy to post updates once I get it. I didn't order it the first day it was available for preorder, so I don't expect to get it until at least the 7th or 8th of September.
Thanks for that info. That's pretty much what I was worried about. I'm still not sure if I'll buy one, so pls keep us posted on your finding with the new Kindle once you got it
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