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Sony E-reader


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#1 Grimjack

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 12:31 PM

I know there are alot of bookworms here, so I would just like to recommend This Nifty little gadget that I bought for my wife. It is way cool and very easy to use. My wife is now able to walk around with currently eight books (but can hold up to 80) in her purse. If you are an avid reader it is well worth the money, and the book selection is huge!!!
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#2 CuCulain42

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 01:50 PM

That has to be the nicest reader I've looked at.
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#3 styates

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 01:52 PM

Yeah, those are pretty nifty! The library where I work is considering getting several for the students to be able to check out.
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#4 Ishil

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 02:40 PM

The problem with many of the e-readers is that they only read books in their limited, proprietary formats.

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#5 kristof65

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 02:55 PM

The problem with many of the e-readers is that they only read books in their limited, proprietary formats.

That was definitely a major issue with the 1st gen Sony reader. They have finally opened it up to other formats, like PDF files, although they still haven't adopted the Microsoft Reader or Palm Formats, which are the two most common. Most of the eBook sites these days are selling in a variety of formats, so that's not as much of an issue as it used to be.

My real problem with this device is it's cost. For $300, I can buy a PDA that will also act as an ebook reader, an MP3 player, play games, keep my address book, and do a lot of other things as well. The new display tech that Sony is using for these is suited for ebooks, but at that price, I'm willing to live with the limitiations of the LCD on my PDA in exchange for the multitude of other things it can do.

Open up to a couple of more formats, and drop the price down to less than $50, and I'll buy in for the battery life alone.

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#6 Qwyksilver

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 07:06 PM

It would need to be bigger for me to get excited. I don't want to read shrunken down text so it fits on such a small viewing area. It touts that it is smaller than a paperback. Uhhh, it's a book, paperbacks are as small as I am willing to go.

How does it handle a book that is 8.5x11 pages? Or larger?

And maybe I am a purist, but I like the feel of a book in my hands and paper on my fingers.

And the thought of losing a $300 device, and 80*26.95 = $2100 in books by losing a single item, or having it stolen or broken, no way in hell am I taking that risk. Right now the only way to lose all my books is a cataclysmic fire in my apartment, the attic, and my parent's house.

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#7 Grimjack

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 11:27 PM

You can actually adjust the size of the text on the screen, making it bigger or smaller to suit your preference. Also the books are actually downloaded to the hard drive of your computer before they go into the e-reader so if you lose the device your out $249 (price at costco) but not any of the books....
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#8 Joe Kutz

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 12:37 AM

It can handle MP3 files - and since it doesn't use an internal storage (or it's internal storage can be augmented by a memory stick) it has the potential to handle a lot more music than stuff like an iPod...as well as handle it more flexibly.

Not my thing though. Few years back I had need for something that would allow me to view documents and manuals a lot on the fly. Picked up a Toshiba tablet PC. That was quite useful and more than handled the tasks at hand. While small is an interesting feature - I like a bigger screen for things other than just text. Most of the books I'd be reading on one of those would have a significant amount of images to deal with (something that I don't think the greyscale display would handle well).

#9 vutpakdi

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 07:32 AM

I like the screen (very readable), battery life, size, weight, and idea of the Sony E-Reader. It is tempting in many ways.

The E-Reader does reformat the text for RTF/text files to match the screen size and current font size (much like the Microsoft Reader does). However, if the book is a PDF sized for 8.5" x 11", things get a little screwy.

The user interface gives me some fits though. Sony user interfaces tend to be more complex and obscure than they really should be.

What may kill the E-Reader (like other e-books) is the relatively high cost of content. Most of the recent books are priced at an ever so slight discount off the hardcover price, ignoring the fact that the costs of printing and distribution (including distributor and retailer profit) make up the bulk of the costs of a real book. The DRM is also irritating.

If more publishers would follow the model that Baen Books uses (costs are less than the paperback price, many formats, no DRM), e-books could really take off.

I do find it handy to have a selection of Baen e-books on my Tablet PC for reading if I am traveling and run out of reading materials. Not quite as pleasurable as a real book, nor can I read in as many situations, but it is handy to have available.

Ron

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#10 anvil

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 07:47 AM

I use a palm Lifedrive for my e-book needs. Big screen (for a PDA). Lots of memory (4gb), miserable battery life (about 4hrs continuos reading). It was great on the flights to and from RCON last year. I have the Honor Harrington series on there now, plus some Patrick O'Brien novels. A little on the expensive side, but it's paid for now so not likely to change it out any time soon. Maybe I'll get one for my wife for her birthday.

#11 kristof65

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 08:45 AM

If more publishers would follow the model that Baen Books uses (costs are less than the paperback price, many formats, no DRM), e-books could really take off.

I do find it handy to have a selection of Baen e-books on my Tablet PC for reading if I am traveling and run out of reading materials. Not quite as pleasurable as a real book, nor can I read in as many situations, but it is handy to have available.

Ditto! Baen got me into e-books, and now theirs are the only ones I'll buy, since they've given me so many free ones. In a personal effort to help support them, I try to buy only Baen books (which is admittedly difficult), or at least buy one Baen book with any other book purchases I make.

I wish more publishers and authors would read Eric Flint's essays on how offering free ebooks with no DRM has affected his bottom line. Not the scary picture that most proponents of DRM say will happen without it, that's for sure.

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#12 Jubilee

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 08:53 AM

Even I don't read fast enough that I need to be able to carry around multiple books when one will do (well, except for a couple of europe trips when I was much younger - those flights ARE killer), and I'm not a big fan of reading off a screen. Is the screen significantly different than a computer screen? I find reading in general to be quite restful; reading a computer screen is not restful, I think because of the lighting..

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#13 kristof65

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 08:57 AM

Is the screen significantly different than a computer screen? I find reading in general to be quite restful; reading a computer screen is not restful, I think because of the lighting..

yes. That's one of the things that makes the Sony eReader so remarkable. The screen technology is completely new, using what's termed "digital paper". I haven't seen it in person, but it's supposed to do black and white text nearly as crisp as a printed page. It also only draws power when you're changing the screen display (IE, by "turning" a page), making it ideal for ebooks.

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#14 anvil

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:22 AM

At a recent convention there was a panel on e-readers, by an author who has a digital publisher. She was showing off her reader (I forget the model). What is becoming common in these things is "digital ink" which is a high contrast display without backlight. You can read it outside in daylight if you wish. It is crap for graphics, but pretty easy on the eyes, and you can adjust the font to a comfortable size. The panle was very interesting and came with some handouts, I can try to find them when I get home, as they were mostly printouts of web pages. A google of e-reader reviews should give satisfactory results.

#15 vutpakdi

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:41 AM

The E-Reader is worth seeing in person because the "screen" is very readable. The e-ink flashes a bit oddly when you are changing pages, but otherwise, the experience is the best that I've seen for reading an e-book. The text does stay displayed when the unit is "off".

Currently available consumer e-ink products are black and white only (which is why they are crap for graphics), but the technology will improve (adding colors) and costs will come down. Advertisers are pretty interested in the technology for low power consumption, but changeable displays.

Ron
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