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Old 04.12.2008, 13:49
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eReader gadget

I'm seriously thinking about getting one of these for Chrimbo. Basically its an electronic book which lets you read pdf files or eBooks purchased from online bookshops. Most new novels, as well as a formidable back catalogue are now available electronically. The obvious advantage of this technology is that you can carry around 100's of novels in your backpocket, and if the reviewers are to be believed its exactly like reading off paper. Since the text remains on the screen regardless if its on or off, the power consumption is also exceptionally low. They say you could read War and Peace five times on a single charge.

There are a few models out there, but the one which has most stoked my interest has been the Sony PSR-505. They retail for 190 Pounds in the UK, and AFAIK they are not available in Switzerland yet.


Any thoughts?
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Old 04.12.2008, 13:55
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Re: eReader gadget

I have the earlier model, the Sony PRS-500. I bought it in the U.S. last year for 50 bucks, and it's definitely worth it. I am not sure if the 505 is so much different that it's worth the price. Now the 700 is a different story, mainly the bigger screen / touchscreen / LED lighting can be helpful.

I like reading on the 500. It let's me carry a ton of material, incl. documents I created myself. It doesn't render all PDF's well, best if they're pre-formatted for the reader.

If you're ever around ZRH I'd happily give you a demo of the 500. People sure look funny when you use it on the bus / tram.

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Old 04.12.2008, 14:02
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Re: eReader gadget

Tomcat, how friendly is this gadget to your eyes? I would imagine that reading from one of these things would be just as damaging as using a computer - or am I wrong?
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:07
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Re: eReader gadget

The reviews for the new Sony PRS-700 have been quite negative. Sony added a touch screen and a back light to the PRS-700, but the trade off has been a loss of contrast and a lot of glare. The touch screen membrane really has made things worst, and to be honest I can't see the point if you're only going to read ebooks.
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:09
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Re: eReader gadget

I love these types of gadgets and a friend of mine got a Kindle a few months ago. Walt Mossberg of the Wall St. Journal recently reviewed the Sony Reader vs. the Kindle (see below).

In your review of the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, you praised its ease of downloading books, but criticized the hardware design. You seemed to prefer the design of the Sony Reader, which costs $100 less, but said it offers fewer books. If you had to choose between them, which would you pick?
Neither is a compelling product. However, putting aside price as an issue, I would choose the Kindle, despite its design problems. The Sony is slimmer, sturdier and, unlike the Kindle, it isnít prone to accidental button-pushing. But Amazonís device can download books directly, without the need for a PC. Sonyís canít. And Kindleís online catalog of compatible titles is 90,000 books, more than triple the number Sony offers.
Unless you absolutely crave an e-book reader now, Iíd suggest waiting for a system thatís better than either. However, if youíre going to invest $300 or $400 now in a device to read electronic books, you would likely want the one with the widest selection of titles and the quickest, easiest downloading process. And thatís the Kindle.

Amazon have sold 300,000 Kindles and it is out of stock until the New Year. If you order one from the US, you'll have to pay duty.
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:12
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Re: eReader gadget

Just what i DONT need..... using even more of my day sitting in front of a computer screen (or an iphone screen).
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:19
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Re: eReader gadget

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Just what i DONT need..... using even more of my day sitting in front of a computer screen (or an iphone screen).
Its more like an Etch-a-Sketch than a computer screen since the only refresh/flicker is when you press Next Page. If you suffer VDU related headaches you should be OK with this.
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:22
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Re: eReader gadget

I would also be interested in such a device if manufacturers would put more effort in supporting a maximum of document formats instead of focussing on trying to tie customers to their own online commercial ebook offerings, which are often locked with DRM.
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:28
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Re: eReader gadget

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Just what i DONT need..... using even more of my day sitting in front of a computer screen (or an iphone screen).
I used to read a lot of books on my Palm (yes, much smaller screen) when I was commuting. The beauty of an e-book reader, especially on the Palm, is you can get it out, read a bit, then drop it back in your suit pocket. So it was good to grab a few pages waiting for a metro-line train, or on the train for only a few stops, etc. etc. I guess if you were a truly dedicated reader, than you could do all that with a paperback too... but it was good for me.

Supposedly "e-ink" based devices have much the same contrast and read-ability as paper.

The appeal of an e-book reader is to be able to load it up with my own documents - say a copy of Wikipedia, Gutenberg copies, feeds of various news websites. I used to use some little application (Sunrise?) which would spider news websites, convert them to e-books, and load it up on my palm in 1 easy step. I could grab half a dozen newspapers for my consumption on the two-hour train ride home. Even OpenOffice's ability to load a web-site and save it to a PDF was a good source.

Anyway, it's horses for courses, but I'd love on of these things - although now I don't commute, i have no time for reading ... go figure.

cheers,
(Mr)wibble
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:31
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Re: eReader gadget

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Tomcat, how friendly is this gadget to your eyes? I would imagine that reading from one of these things would be just as damaging as using a computer - or am I wrong?
I find it very easy on the eyes, and I wear contacts and already spend too much time every day looking at a monitor at work.

Remember, electronic paper is not an LCD display, it looks very different. Much higher contrast and hardly any glare ... you can even read in direct sunlight.
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:32
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Re: eReader gadget

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I would also be interested in such a device if manufacturers would put more effort in supporting a maximum of document formats instead of focussing on trying to tie customers to their own online commercial ebook offerings, which are often locked with DRM.
Agree 100%. But you can download PDF's and RTF's and DOC's to the Sony reader and it will digest them fine most of the time.
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:33
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Re: eReader gadget

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Its more like an Etch-a-Sketch than a computer screen since the only refresh/flicker is when you press Next Page. If you suffer VDU related headaches you should be OK with this.
Excellent description, and the Etch-A-Sketch description really fits.

Like I said, I will happily give demos in Zurich. Or I can take pictures of the display and post them, not sure how much value that would be.
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:34
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Re: eReader gadget

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Amazon have sold 300,000 Kindles and it is out of stock until the New Year. If you order one from the US, you'll have to pay duty.
Its pointless getting a Kindle outside of the US since a) you will need a US credit card to buy books b) the GSM wireless feature won't work in Europe. In addition it does look a tad ugly and bulky.

@Rustygraben, there are plenty of tools that let you strip out the DRM and inter convert between formats. One such tool is the free, opensource program called Calibre.
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Old 04.12.2008, 14:51
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Re: eReader gadget

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Anyway, it's horses for courses, but I'd love on of these things - although now I don't commute, i have no time for reading ... go figure
Come on mate, you know you want one
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Old 04.12.2008, 15:12
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Re: eReader gadget

Hmm, Sony reader, Asus EEE PC, Lenovo Thinkpad, regular PC, smart phone, Blackberry, iPod, cheapo MP3 player, can man have too many gadgets?

Last edited by tomcat; 04.12.2008 at 23:06.
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Old 04.12.2008, 16:47
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Re: eReader gadget

If you have not discovered it yet mobileread website has lots of information about the electronic readers, file formats etc.

http://www.mobileread.com/

Make sure to check out the forums, they have very good reviews and cover almost all the readers.
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Old 04.12.2008, 17:29
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Re: eReader gadget

I've just called the Sony Store at Heathrow Terminal 5 and they have these in stock at the Duty Free price of 164GBP (290CHF).
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Old 04.12.2008, 17:32
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Re: eReader gadget

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I've just called the Sony Store at Heathrow Terminal 5 and they have these in stock at the Duty Free price of 164GBP (290CHF).
They (505) are about 200 bucks in the States at Best Buy - just for comparison.
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Old 04.12.2008, 17:39
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Re: eReader gadget

Its an interesting gadget.

Just wondering what sort of websites you get your ebooks from? What kind of file extensions will it work with?


Cheers

Brian
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Old 04.12.2008, 23:13
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Re: eReader gadget

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Its an interesting gadget.

Just wondering what sort of websites you get your ebooks from? What kind of file extensions will it work with?


Cheers

Brian
Well, you can get books here:

http://ebookstore.sony.com/

How to create PDF's: http://www.sonystyle.com/wcsstore/So..._createPDF.pdf

I have found that RTF and DOC also work. And you can upload pictures (ha, ha, b/w screen) and MP3 (makes for a big, flat iPod).

I am sure the Sony Web site has more answers for you-
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