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Recommendations for e-Book readers

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Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Igor » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:11 pm

Despite the fact that I have been in the technology field for three decades or so, I am definitely a Luddite when it comes to "fun" technology. Am thinking of asking for a Kindle or something similar for Christmas, simply to assist my wife who likes to have some idea of what I might like. I'm guessing I would be reading a book or two a month. I don't need it to act as a cell phone, laptop or anything else. Just an inexpensive device that is fairly simple to use, and has a good interface for adjusting font size and so forth.

(I am aware that checking out books from the Library would be a more sensible option)

Recommendations?
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Huckleby » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:48 pm

Somebody wants to get me an ereader for xmas too.

I probably will get the cheapest nook. You might take a look here:
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=53587

I find the whole eReader landscape frustrating. Both nook & kindle seem to be "enhancing" their reader by turning it into a color, general purpose device. I don't want to pay extra for an iPad-imitator. I want a superior, black-and-white damn book reader.

"Superior" to me would include an embedded, context-sensitive dictionary so you tap on word while reading to get definition. Seems obviously valuable feature to me, but not there, AFAIK.

I want a larger screen than with basic Kindle or Nook, so I can get more text on screen in larger fonts. Unfortunately, the larger units sacrifice some text crispness to do more general purpose graphics. (At least this is what one person at Nook sales suggested.)

The library eBook selection is very limited. The downloads of new titles are too expensive. I'm turning into a grumpy gus over this, maybe I need to stick to real books.
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Detritus » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:27 pm

I got the Kindle Touch 3G about a month ago (birthday present), and so far I really like it. It does the word lookup thing Huckleby mentioned, using either the Oxford American Dictionary or the whole friggin' OED; I can change the display fonts & sizes; I can put my own PDFs on it as well as use it as an MP3 or audiobook player (or just as a flash drive, in a pinch), and so far I have been enjoying free books from Gutenberg and Manybooks--so far I only bought one new book for it. Yes, the screen is a bit small, and I read fast, so I do a lot of tapping to flip the page. It would be nice to have a larger one. On the other hand, I can slip it in my pocket, and battery lasts f.o.r.e.v.e.r. They say nine days of hard use without recharging. I don't know about that, but I have only recharged it twice since getting it. Worth considering if you travel a lot.
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Huckleby » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:06 am

Detritus wrote:I got the Kindle Touch 3G about a month ago (birthday present), and so far I really like it. It does the word lookup thing Huckleby mentioned, using either the Oxford American Dictionary or the whole friggin' OED;


thanks for setting me straight, my research was from a year ago, the newest edition of all Kindles have the Oxford American. The new nooks have the American Merriam, not so good but ok.

Damn, I want that Oxford o.e.d., am word nerd, but I also am ticked-off that Kindle doesn't support ePub common format.

here's detailed PC Week nook review:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/229079/b ... rface.html

here's facts from cnet
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-200 ... d-you-buy/

too bad nobody offers larger E-ink reader.
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:50 am

Fond of my Nook Color. I followed easily found, non-warranty-violating instructions to hack it so that it also boots full Android, but 90% of the time I use it in Nook mode. The reading and shopping experiences are good, and the built-in browser works fine.
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby psforsberg » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:09 pm

I've had a Kindle 3 (what they now call the Kindle with Keyboard) for about a year now. I also have an iPad with the Kindle app installed. I discovered pretty quickly that my eyes prefer the e-ink screen of the Kindle for novels and other text-heavy content, but the iPad's color backlit screen is better for magazines and newspapers.
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Mean Scenester » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:27 pm

A couple of corrections from a Kindle user (and fan) with no real Nook experience:

Amazon is not turning the Kindle into a color device the way B&N seems to be. The Kindle e-book reader is still b&w. The Kindle Fire is basically a tablet, and while it can function as an e-book reader it's not really designed with the same audience in mind and lacks some of the benefits of dedicated e-readers (most notably e-paper, which is very easy on the eyes and can be read in daylight without any trouble, and incredibly long battery life provided you're not constantly using the wi-fi). I honestly think the Kindle Fire is just capitalizing on brand recognition despite that it's really not the same class of device as its predecessors. If you're in the market for a tablet but the iPad is too rich for your blood, it's a great choice, I think. If you just want to read, don't be lured by the amazingly slight price difference between the monochrome and color version. You'll prefer the e-paper.

Also, the dictionaries included on the new Kindle models include the The New Oxford American Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionary of English, which is not the same as the OED. Personally, I find either one more than adequate for looking up the occasional word I've never bothered to look up before (the ease of doing this is one of the greatest features of e-books, IMO), and I consider myself a word geek to the core.

I too recently got the Kindle Touch and consider it a big improvement of my first Kindle (2nd gen). I like that it's more compact (and incredibly solid from a build standpoint) and that the rarely used keyboard isn't ever-present. Honestly, if you could live with a more klutzy keyboard mechanism--similar to the old video games where you had to use buttons to type your initials for the high score--you could probably live without the touch screen. Personally, the price difference was little enough that I went with the fancier version (which also supports audio, if you care).
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Huckleby » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:59 pm

Mean Scenester wrote:Amazon is not turning the Kindle into a color device the way B&N seems to be.


Thanks for great info on dictionaries and such.

Actually, B&N and Amazon are on same path, the Kindle Fire and Nook Color both being tablets to compete with iPad.

The hardware for the e-Ink screens comes from same manufacturer for kindle, nook, sony, .... so of course they all look about the same. (I read that firmware update to nook made contrast slightly superior to competitors.) So my wish for a larger e-Ink screen, if it ever comes, will probably be available across all brands at same time.

I know Amazon archives all your books for you, which I consider a nice advantage for Kindle. Does B&N do anything like that for nook book purchases at their site?
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Mean Scenester » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:52 pm

Huckleby wrote:Actually, B&N and Amazon are on same path, the Kindle Fire and Nook Color both being tablets to compete with iPad.

Apologies for injecting the misinformation here. For some reason I was under the impression that the B&N b&w was being cast aside. Admittedly, I don't pay much attention since I've been on the Kindle trolley for awhile now.

So my wish for a larger e-Ink screen, if it ever comes, will probably be available across all brands at same time.

Funny, I thought Amazon was still offering the DX, which is/was the large format version. But their site shows neither that, nor the Kindle keyboard (i.e., previous version) which they were still hyping at the time the new models were announced. My guess is they were simply liquidating the things since there's no way it's practical at this point to keep cranking them out. But I think you're right, and doubt that the larger format idea has been abandoned either by Amazon or the competition. Probably just a matter of time.

I know Amazon archives all your books for you, which I consider a nice advantage for Kindle. Does B&N do anything like that for nook book purchases at their site?

Not according to this:

http://allthingsd.com/20111107/here-com ... eparately/

The Amazon archive is really nice to have. It certainly made migrating (if you can even call it that) to the new device a stone-cold breeze. You do still have to back up any non-Amazon purchased content (though free books you snag from their site do get archived), like PDFs or free e-books gotten elsewhere. Documents you convert to the Kindle format using Amazon's service do get archived (FYI, you're assigned a something@kindle.com email address at registration and if you send Word attachments, etc. to that address they'll be converted and sent to your device at a cost of $.15 per MB). I've honestly never used this feature despite that I think it represents some pretty brilliant foresight on the part of Amazon's developers.
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Huckleby » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:02 pm

Mean Scenester wrote:
I know Amazon archives all your books for you, which I consider a nice advantage for Kindle. Does B&N do anything like that for nook book purchases at their site?

Not according to this:

http://allthingsd.com/20111107/here-com ... eparately/

I just did a chat with nook support. It seems that they do provide free archiving of purchases made at B&N site. It stands to reason that B&N would have to do this to compete.

not sure what to make of that cloud article you linked, other than Amazon is doing broader support, archiving music etc. too
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby psforsberg » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:18 pm

Mean Scenester wrote:Funny, I thought Amazon was still offering the DX, which is/was the large format version. But their site shows neither that, nor the Kindle keyboard (i.e., previous version) which they were still hyping at the time the new models were announced.


The Kindle Keyboard still lives: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002Y27P3M/ref=famstripe_kk
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Mean Scenester » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:22 pm

I thought it seemed odd. I mean, your Nook crashes and suddenly you're bereft of content? Doesn't make sense.

On second thought, I think that article I linked to is tablet-centric and the cloud service is referring to the fact that if you buy a Kindle Fire, your apps, music, books, etc. are all stored on the cloud.

Sorry for the confusion. This just bolsters my argument (which I don't think I've actually made) that these tablets should not share the same brand name as their e-reader counterparts. It's like if Apple called the MacBook an "iPod Keyboard" or something.
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Huckleby » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:51 pm

psforsberg wrote:
Mean Scenester wrote:Funny, I thought Amazon was still offering the DX, which is/was the large format version. But their site shows neither that, nor the Kindle keyboard (i.e., previous version) which they were still hyping at the time the new models were announced.


The Kindle Keyboard still lives: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002Y27P3M/ref=famstripe_kk


that's still a 6" monitor. I remember now the DX from a couple years ago. It was on market for about 10 minutes. It was pricey, but fact that it died tells me the market demands tablet features for larger unit, book readers are satisfied with small screen. damn.
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby Huckleby » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:57 pm

Mean Scenester wrote:This just bolsters my argument (which I don't think I've actually made) that these tablets should not share the same brand name as their e-reader counterparts. It's like if Apple called the MacBook an "iPod Keyboard" or something.


I agree completely,the e-ink readers are completely different animals, and the confusion causes much time wasting in shopping.
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Re: Recommendations for e-Book readers

Postby psforsberg » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:57 pm

I still saw DXs at Staples right up until Amazon released the newest Kindle models a couple of months ago.
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