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It's 2010; What's the Best E-Reader?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the one-that's-out-next-year dept.

Books 684

jacob1984 writes "A few years ago there was a question about which e-reader was the best. Since then, the market has been flooded with new additions, many of them more open than others. Have you bought one yet? If so, which one did you find best and why?"

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Answer: (2, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138128)

A laptop.

Reads all file formats, browses the internet at hot-spots or anywhere with add-ons, variable brightness, 32-bit color, access to free bookstores (The Pirate Bay being the most popular free store) and much more functionality that one couldn't eke out of small overpriced pieces of shit like the Kindle or -- ha HA! -- the iPad.

And yes, laptops do run Linux

Re:Answer: (5, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138176)

It's too damn heavy. I use a nokia n800 some but the screen is a little small. I'm eyeing the iPad. It looks like it's close to what I want and the wifi one is not too pricey. It may be a little big though.....must research more.

Re:Answer: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138204)

The don't have e-ink. Game over.

Re:Answer: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138272)

The iPad has iInk (which is just a revolutionary way of saying it has an LCD screen).

Re:Answer: (4, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138210)

Personally, I prefer my desktop. It may not be portable, but the screen's much bigger and with my bad vision, that's an important consideration.

Re:Answer: (1)

rjch (544288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138496)

A laptop.

Personally, I'd have said "a netbook", but maybe I'm just splitting hairs.

Re:Answer: (1, Redundant)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138506)

I use a desktop, it has a 28 inch screen.

The Sony (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138130)

By a very long mile. Great format support, including many open formats, great quality too.

Re:The Sony (5, Interesting)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138160)

Plus you can mount it under Linux and just copy over your books. My wife has a PRS-500. It's a little slow, but it is one of the earliest models. Definitely the most consumer-friendly option.

Re:The Sony (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138652)

I find it very surprising that the most open eReader on the market today is the Sony. I always though that was one of the 7 signs of the apocalypse. They must be catching on to what consumers actually want. ... I hope Apple is paying attention.

I've heard the Iliad is amazing, but I think it's about 700$.

Kindle (0)

mpoulton (689851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138136)

The Amazon Kindle. Is this even a legitimate competition?

Re:Kindle (5, Insightful)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138166)

Sorry, but this is for the "best" eBook reader, not the one "most crippled by DRM."

Re:Kindle (3, Informative)

mpoulton (689851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138218)

Sorry, but this is for the "best" eBook reader, not the one "most crippled by DRM."

I was waiting for that. It certainly must be acknowledged that the Kindle is DRM-laden. However, that doesn't automatically make it non-best. The hardware is amazing, and substantially more capable the the competition. On top of a remarkable screen, form factor, and battery life, it has WIRELESS DATA CAPABILITY! As a whole package, it's a slam dunk - notwithstanding the DRM issue.

Re:Kindle (0)

dhickman (958529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138302)

Yes it has DRM, to protect their content. So fraking what. The ability to get new media ( in particular periodicals) from anywhere without a pc, sets the kindle apart from the others.

Did you know that the ipod also has even more intrusive DRM, but yet it is considered to be the best device out there.

Unlike an ipod, all you need to do to add third party content to a kindle is hook it up to a computer and it becomes a usb storage device, or surf the kindle to the numerous sites out there like feedbooks to get content.

You don't seem to understand the word "sell" (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138554)

If they sell me content, it's no longer theirs, it's mine. To do with as I please.

Re:Kindle (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138572)

One word: 1984 []

Re:Kindle (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138366)

The hardware is amazing, and substantially more capable the the competition

Not sure about that. I have an iLiad which doesn't waste space with a keyboard and has a wacom tablet over the screen for accurate drawing. It has WiFi, runs Linux and X11, and can run arbitrary applications. It supports CIFS, so it can sync with your computer over your WLAN. It has MMC and CF slots for other apps; someone even produced a version of Wikipedia for offline reading that fits on a 16GB CF card, and there have also been ports of web browsers and RSS readers, among other things (even a terminal; the device gives you full root access if you want, or a consumer-electronics type interface if you don't). The screen is bigger than the Kindle (800x600 for the Kindle, 1024x768 for the iLiad, both the same DPI) but the overall form factor is about the same.

Re:Kindle (1)

TamCaP (900777) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138422)

I absolutely love the iLiad. It's old by today standards, yet without real competition. Unfortunately, it's pricey as hell.

Re:Kindle (5, Funny)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138490)

It's hard to imagine a feature more significant for an e-reader than running X11.

The wireless data is a bad thing (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138536)

I don't want the manufacturer to have a back door into my reader to change it, delete my books, or spy on me at their whim.

Sony's offerings are quite a bit better. Longer battery life, higher DPI on the pocket reader, and support for the industry standard book format.

Re:Kindle (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138646)

How about the you've-just-been-screwed-because-you-upgraded-your-kindle-issue?

Check out the one-star review by Gadget Queen on Amazon's site (last review on the page):

Particularly disturbing was the lost content she paid for when she switched from Kindle 1 to Kindle 2.

2. All of my previous issues of magazines and newspapers were lost (ie, I could not re-download them specifically for the K2) because Amazon does not back up subscriptions on their server for more than 6 days. SINCE I PAID FOR THE CONTENT, I SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE THAT CONTENT ALWAYS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD. Sorry, but I won't consider buying any more newspapaers or magazine subscriptions to the Kindle 1 or 2.


4. Although Amazon says it keeps you content on their server, I found many instances where I could not download my books to my computer because the item THAT I PAID FOR was not available for download to my new Kindle2. Amazon said the book had been "pulled." Excuse me, but I paid for it, pulled or not, it should always be avaiable to me since I paid for it. When I asked for a refund for the pulled item now unavailable to me, SINCE I COULD NOT GET THE ITEM REDOWNLOADED, I was told that a refund was not possible. LESSON LEARNED: I now back up ALL my Kindle content on my computer. Since Amazon says "Don't worry, your content is safe with us." I respectfully disagree. Also, some authors issued new versions of their books for K2. However, then the original version for K1 "disappeared" from the server so I could not even download it to K2, nor K1.

Re:Kindle (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138374)

Sorry, but this is for the "best" eBook reader, not the one "most crippled by DRM."

Why is the "only" factor DRM? We're talking devices not media. It accepts PDF which works for most non commercial applications. The fact you can buy books through the internet without having to buy a mobile service is huge. For features, speed and ease of use Kindle appears to be the best so far and yes ePaper is a huge deal and far more important than DRM. Based on your reaction I'm sure you don't own a Kindle which hardly makes you an authority. Take it from some one that actually uses one and reads a great deal they are a godsend. The problem with people making their decisions based purely on DRM is they miss out. It's like my iPod Touch. I watch movies with it all the time and use it every day. Just how much do the people with non DRM devices actually use them? I think all the whining from AT&T is proof of how popular the Apple handhelds are while the other services struggle to sell apps and content. The same with Kindle. It's the most popular for a reason. If you don't want an eReader then why do you care? If you do isn't it better to have one you'll use than one that makes a political statement?

Re:Kindle (2, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138582)

"I think all the whining from AT&T is proof of how popular the Apple handhelds are while the other services struggle to sell apps and content."

So I suppose that means that the best of all worlds would be running Windows ME on a 90's era Dell in sub-saharan Africa...

Re:Kindle (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138476)

leaves out the iPad doesn't it?

as for the DRM comment, what would you want, a crash all the time Nook, or something that works?

If people think we won't be locked down to hell and back on the iPad they are delusional. The nook would be nice but until they fix it the stability kills it

Re:Kindle (5, Informative)

pvera (250260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138516)

I own two Kindle 2s. DRM only means I can only buy protected content from Amazon, I am free to import content from other sources without involving Amazon in the process. Amazon has yet to interfere with any third parties selling content for the Kindle as long as they don't attempt to use their proprietary DRM scheme.

It is one hell of a reader, and in an emergency Whispernet is a nice backup to have. During Snowmaggeddon here in DC I was getting better network performance from the two Kindles than from our AT&T cell phones (probably you can't compare the network traffic between these two, ever).

By the way, two of the most popular tools used to generate content for the Kindle, Stanza and Mobi Pocket creator, are both owned by Amazon. Or you could use Calibre.

Worried about generating DRM-free content for Kindle readers? Release your content as MOBI/PRC or PDF and that should do it, at least until Amazon feels the burn and issues a patch allowing Kindles to read EPUB.

The biggest problem that the Kindle faces is not the DRM, it's the tug of war between Amazon and publishers that want them to raise their $10 price point for new books.

Re:Kindle (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138460)

I am personally very happy with my Sony PRS-505, and are taking a really good look at their new 600. It's light, sturdy, and surprisingly DRM free.

Re:Kindle (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138656)

The Sony readers all have support for DRM.

ASUS DR-950 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138144)

I'm waiting to check out this one, with a 9" screen:

I hate to say it... (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138146)

None of them have really, for my uses, caught up to iSilo for one of my black-and-white Palm systems. I mean, they're better, except they aren't small, portable, and able to use arbitrary quantities of completely DRM-free material with free conversion from basically any format.

Or if they have, they haven't yet revealed this. I really do prefer to have reading be a function of a device which I can do other things on, but none of the current of general-purpose gizmos are anywhere near the battery life of the Handera 330 (4+ hours with backlight on = ~20% of a charge at most; without backlight, I never even saw the meter dip).

I've been sorta hoping that after another round or so of gratuitous DRM, they'll come up with one that is a bit better thought through and can display plainish documents in some usable way.

Re:I hate to say it... (4, Informative)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138642)

Basically everybody but the Kindle is using the ePub format, which is an open format. It supports DRM, but doesn't require it, and there are many sources out there who sell/provide books in it without DRM.

The conversion software available to ePub is a bit primitive at the moment, but it does exist, from practically any format you can care to name.

Re:I hate to say it... (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138654)

I'm pretty sure most of the e-readers do allow you use arbitrary quantities of DRM-free material, and conversion from one format to another isn't a problem since they're all open standards when you strip off the DRM.

I have a Kindle, so its what I'll refer to -- I'm sure other readers have similar capabilities. I can take any file of format txt, mobi, rtf, and copy it to the kindle (it mounts as a flash drive) and they are immediately readable. Conversion of things like .doc are obviously more complex, but Amazon even offers to do this for you, for free if you're willing to load it on the device yourself. The only limit on quantity is memory availability. The main format lacking is ePub, which has emerged as an industry standard after the release of the first Kindle -- however, even then, it should be pretty easy to translate between ePub and Mobi, assuming no DRM.

That DRM is the crux of the issue, but this is not a question of devices but of stores. There are no good *general-purpose* ebook stores. However, if you get books from Project Gutenburg, or from Baen's free releases, or any other source of DRM-free books, the new readers have exactly what you're looking for. Don't believe the FUD thats been spread since the Kindle and other e-ink readers started to come out.

iPad? (1, Interesting)

Chris Lawrence (1733598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138148)

Well, it's too early to say, of course, but the iPad looks like it might actually have potential. I have never purchased an e-reader before as I have always preferred books, and the quality of ereaders was just never good enough for me. This is the first product I might actually give a chance. Of course, the fact that it's more of a general purpose tool and not *just* for reading ebooks makes it much more useful.

Re:iPad? (5, Informative)

Zoidbot (1194453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138198)

Hope you enjoyed your eyes.

The number of people that don't yet have a ebook and "don't get" the concept if e-ink is staggering. Clue: e-ink does not melt your eyes like a TFT with a backlight...

Re:iPad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138262)

Agreed. The iPad has what looks like a slightly larger screen and more options, but in terms of just plain *reading*, an actual e-reader with e-ink is likely best.

Didn't we go over this argument with cameras already? Specialization always beats generalization in terms of real cameras vs. cell phone cameras with 10 megapixels?

Re:iPad? (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138524)

Using your example, a dedicated camera is clearly better, but which do people use to take more photos? The iPad will fall into the same category: great at some things and good enough at others.

e-ink is good in many ways, but far from perfect.

Re:iPad? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138274)

Clue: e-ink does not melt your eyes like a TFT with a backlight...

Is that the technical phrase for a well understood phenomena or filth raised to the status of fact by repetition? Really, I'm curious if this oft repeated 'fact' is substantiate by anything other than anecdotes.

Re:iPad? (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138532)

Is that the technical phrase for a well understood phenomena or filth raised to the status of fact by repetition?

You're creating a false dichotomy; for instance, it could be slang for a well-understood phenomena.

Re:iPad? (1)

dhickman (958529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138342)

E-ink is the critical difference.

I was reminded of this a few days ago when I left my kindle at work.

So I installed the kindle app on a windows vm at home, and synced it to the current book that I was reading.

30 minutes later, I had one hell of a headache. No thanks.

Re:iPad? (1)

B1ackbeard (1417319) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138590)

No. While it might be easier to read eink readers, using a 'normal' monitor/phone display to read will not worsen your eyesight.

Came here to see someone recommend the iPad. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138242)

I came here to see someone recommend the iPad, inspite the fact that, It has orders of magnitude less battery life than a kindle & can't be used in direct sunlight and am leaving satisfied.

Re:Came here to see someone recommend the iPad. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138278)

For someone that pretends to care about reading books your spelling and grammar are atrocious.

Re:Came here to see someone recommend the iPad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138644)

I'm not the parent, but for someone that trolls like you, I'm going to tell you that I read a lot in Spanish and I care a lot about Spanish grammar and spelling. I'm fairly confident that people around the globe care about their own language too.

If you are a scientist, you're coming to wrong conclusions, quite rapidly. Way to go.

the NOOK!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138320)

Hands down... the nook is a far superior eBook reading experience to the Kindle, which is second in my opinion. I have owned both, and though the first firmware version for the nook was bugged as all get out, they fixed most of the issues before Christmas. (Unfortunately, for them, not before Walt Mossberg reviewed the errors of the initial OS.) Now, with their second upgrade and complete interface overhaul -- the second upgrade in two months! -- the nook flies, its battery life is extended, and the bugs have all been ironed out.

Moreover, how can anyone think that the Kindle's closed format is better? The nook allows a variety of formats to be read or purchased elsewhere and read on the device. Due to its Android operating system, several hacks are available allowing you to stream Pandora while reading and even browse teh web in a manner very similar to the Kindle. Most importantly, though, the nook's fonts and screen brightness are far superior to the Kindle's -- which is like reading on recycled paper, whereas the nook feels like you are reading on a new, white sheet of paper.

All in all, the nook is much better. However, this is a ridiculous poll, because over a million Kindle users who have never used a nook are going to, by default, vote for the Kindle. The Kindle was great. It is now subpar. And until they keep updating and ramping up the Linux operating system on the Kindle as regularly and as well as the Android system on the nook, the Kindle will continue to fall behind. The hardware on the nook is superior (replaceable battery, microSD card insert), and the operating system seems to be far more flexible. Game, Set -- nook. Can Barnes and Noble get enough people to try it to win the Match, though?

Finally, as an iPhone owner, you have to be insane to think that lit background technology will ever compete with eInk. Yes, eInk is slow but it is meant to be easy on the eyes. It is. I would never choose to read on my iPhone over my nook or Kindle. Nor would most baby boomers -- the biggest market for eBooks, probably, now that they are entering retirement. These are different markets in my mind. I think the iPad will be a flop when it comes eBooks. I hope so. Apple is evil! :>)


Re:iPad? (1)

dhickman (958529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138322)

What? People on here will not consider a Kindle because it has drm in it but they will consider the iPad.

At least with my kindle, all i need to do to add third party books is hook the device to my computer and start copying, or surf to numerous sites on the net with the device.

Re:iPad? (2, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138400)

Hint: if they suggest the iPad, then they have no clue about ebooks.

Re:iPad? (1)

dhickman (958529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138648)

I agree.

I was a skeptic of e-readers in general until a coworker got one and was reading the local newspaper. I went and bought one that day.

Re:iPad? (1)

zz5555 (998945) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138608)

Well, so far the iPad is the only one that might be acceptable. It has color and can also hold music and videos. Except for the books, it's free of DRM (well, the apps aren't, but I'm not including them here). I understand eInk is much better for viewing books, so I'd like to check that out. But black & white would be unacceptable to me in any ereader. I'm looking forward to seeing the color eInk when it comes out as that could be a big winner.

Re:iPad? (1)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138592)

One of the main benefits to a dedicated e-reader is that they have e-ink displays which are much easier on the eyes for extended reading than the brightly lit display of, say, an iPad.

Follow-up question: what's available in Canada? (1)

mattcsn (1592281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138164)

Either available domestically, or with a minimum of shipping hassles?

Re:Follow-up question: what's available in Canada? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138250)


Re:Follow-up question: what's available in Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138344)

Unfortunately in the desolate winter wasteland that is Canada, we do not have trees, papyrus, or other sources of plant fiber with which to create this 'paper'. Instead we must resort to using parchment made from clubbed seals.

Re:Follow-up question: what was softwood lumber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138438)

...dispute about then seeing how we have no trees?
and let me fix the last statement
Instead arrogant morons must resort to using parchment made from clubbed BABY seals.

Re:Follow-up question: what's available in Canada? (1)

Craig.Engbrecht (1745364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138570)

Well much to the amazement of those who think Canadians live in Igloo's or eat raw seal meat and fat... We live in houses, have cars, and actually have a large variety of trees... But more to the point, most e-readers or digital devices are available to Canadians, and if they are not available directly, they are available for a reasonable cost of transportation to Canada from other countries, one of which has caught my eye would be the Foxit eSlick, I personally like the PDF reader they produce, and also think it looks suitable to be used and has good specs from what I have read. Anyway laterz

It's 2010 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138200)

Screw the e-readers... It's 2010. Wheres my flying car and jetpack already?

And i want some quasi-futuristic clothes too...

Re:It's 2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138528)

Yes, screw e-readers it's 2010! Why should I be reading? Where's the thing that beams data right into my brain!?

I still use my N800 daily... (4, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138230)

It reads pretty much anything non DRM I can throw at it, and it fits in my pocket.

Re:I still use my N800 daily... (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138402)

and it fits in my pocket

I have a 770 and an iRex iLiad and, although the 770's screen is one of the nicest TFT's I've ever used, the iLiad's eInk is much nicer. The form factor, however, is a problem. The 770, which is the same size as the N800, fits (along with a folding keyboard) into a jacket pocket. The iLiad doesn't. That means I can take the 770 to a lot of places where the iLiad would be inconvenient. I'd love to have a device with a fold-out or roll-up eInk screen that was the same physical size as the 770 (or smaller) when not in use. I use the iLiad in my house and for reading in the park during the summer, but I couldn't just slip it into a pocket when I got into town to read in a coffee shop when I've finished shopping and that dramatically reduces its usefulness. An eBook reader should be at least as portable as a thin paperback, and ideally more so.

Re:I still use my N800 daily... (1)

yelvington (8169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138468)

I use my N800 daily, too ... to play Klondike. The FBReader software [] is a terrible user interface. A pity, really.

So I've tried to use my laptop. I've tried installing Amazon's Kindle for PC [] under Wine. It installs but won't run, so I don't know if it's suitable for reading or not.

Calibre [] seems intended for downloading and feeding data to devices like the Sony reader.

All in all, the laptop doesn't seem to be a good candidate for curling up with a book. If I perch it on my stomach it has a habit of spontaneously loading up Hulu and rotting my brain [] .

Re:I still use my N800 daily... (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138470)

I have been using my Nokia N810 to read ebooks recently. It does not have the all the pros of a dedicated e-book reader like non bright readable screen and long battery but it is enough for the occasional (non-drm encumbered) e books I read. If I was reading more on ebook I would probably go for a dedicated device. However none of them really caught my eyes...

Ipod Touch + Stanza (1)

Aussie (10167) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138232)

Works for me, unit is small enough to carry with a screen big enough for me to read. Stanza works well enough and I also have music, movies, games etc.

Re:Ipod Touch + Stanza (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138290)

Sadly, that also happens to burn my eyes out. It needs e-ink or something like it to really be a player.

Re:Ipod Touch + Stanza (1)

celeb8 (682138) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138394)

Yeah, I'll agree on this one. The iPod Touch's DRM doesn't negatively affect Stanza, a (currently) free app for iPod/iPhone and Windows (and maybe other OSs too but I don't bother to care). You can open just about any eBook format in Stanza including text or rtf, then it shares wirelessly to your iPod in the correct format without you even having to save it as a converted file anywhere. The function is simply beautiful and effortless, and it made this iPod I was given from a poor mp3 player that can't even do ogg (I mean really c'mon now Apple can't you do anything right but UIs?) into my new killer app.

Just got a Nook (5, Interesting)

zwede (1478355) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138234)

Reason I went with the Nook is that it accepts non-DRM epub files (kindle does not).

For its intended use it is OK. But it also has its issues. The menus are sluggish. I have had a few crashes (automatic reboots).

I'm sure ebooks is an area where we will see massive improvements in the next year or two. Faster e-ink screens, in color, and touch sensitive (rather than having a separate touch screen).

Re:Just got a Nook (1)

dhickman (958529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138368)

Where do you find epub files that are cheaper than the same book for the kindle? I considered the other readers based on the fact a kindle is locked. I found that Amazon would have the same book at half of the price as other online ebook sites.

Re:Just got a Nook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138526)

The same place the majority of the internet finds DRM free music.....

Astak Ez Reader Pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138252)

Nice. Works. Reads Adobe DRM'd books if you fancy that. If not, it's OK too. With the firmware upgrades fixing zoom problems, it's OK.

Unless you're in US the answer is NONE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138260)

Currently Kindle is the only ebook reader available in part of Europe but with very limited book catalog - so limited I did not buy one. Others offer no paid catalog at all, which pretty much means if I wanted to, well I don't know, read ebooks on my ebook reader (I know, I know - WILD) I would have to rely on pirated books only, so if I wanted to give author some money for his hard work (not Umberto Eco, read any of his books and you'll see he's not working hard :P ) I'd have to buy the paper version, which defies the whole point of owning an ebook reader.

Re:Unless you're in US the answer is NONE (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138418)

I've mostly read public domain and technical books on my eBook reader. DRM-free PDFs of technical books are available through InformIT and Safari Books Online and public domain / creative commons books can be downloaded from sites like feedbooks, which produce PDFs typeset for the exact dimensions of your device's screen. If other publishers don't want to make DRM-free PDFs available, then I'm more than happy not to buy their products...

Re:Unless you're in US the answer is NONE (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138436)

Try bebook [] , it's a Dutch company.

Re:Unless you're in US the answer is NONE (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138560)

Or you could buy non-DRM encumbered books. Despite what some industries seem to think, just because something doesn't have DRM doesn't mean it's pirated.

Stanza for the iphone (1)

smylie (127178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138306)

(Managable) DRM issues asside, Stanza for the iphone is an excellent reader if you already have an iphone, and don't want to splash out for a dedicated reader.
The screen is easy to read, books are easy to source and it's free =)

For the PocketPC - ubook is one of the better ones out there.


Re:Stanza for the iphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138328)

Oh please. The ipod touch and iphone have the worst displays on the market. You obvious don't read much if you think that shit is the best available.

Re:Stanza for the iphone (1)

joh (27088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138622)

I've read more than 200 books on my iPod touch (with Stanza) now and while I think that a larger screen is better and e-ink is better in certain conditions (enough light, slow and linear reading through a novel or so), I'm totally happy with it. The iPod totally vanishes behind the book I'm reading and what more to say about an ebook-reader?

I'm quite sure that the iPad will be a hit. It's not perfect, but it is a well rounded product offering much more than just an ebook reader.

E-ink is not as important as some people think. It does exactly one thing well (displaying static text with no backlight) and totally fails at all others. It's incredibly slow, it has no colors, it has low contrast and you can't have a decent user-interface with a touchscreen (because it is much to slow to offer good visual feedback, scrolling, or any other kind of animations). And the low energy consumption of the screen alone makes a difference only if the hardware beneath it is also very minimal. Put an e-ink screen on something like the iPad and it will run 15 hours instead of 10 on a charge. Bad deal.

I think the prices of e-ink readers will have to come down a lot or they will just vanish from the market. They are very limited devices after all.

I use a Nook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138310)

Use a B&N Nook ... like it ... Cons: wish it had better battery life ... and not as many titles available as with the Kindle.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138324)

People seem to like the EZ Reader, for it is cheap and small.

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138356)

Yup, I bought the Astak EZ Reader because of its price, open design, memory options and PDF reading capability. I was not disappointed.

The Book. (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138336)

Featuring an easy to learn lift and turn interface, people can pick up a Book and just start reading! And Book has been specifically designed to interoperate with your existing Shelves(tm).

Re:The Book. (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138502)

I'm told they're a little short on internal storage though- even the bulkiest models struggle to contain more than a couple of thousand pages of text. Heavy too, and fragile. Completely DRM laden- the texts you buy are almost impossible to transfer to other devices, and if you lose the original you can't make a backup.

Did I mention how expensive each volume is?

Not waterproof?

No backlight?

Search feature?

I'll hang on for Book 2.0...

Re:The Book. (5, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138548)

Ah yes, this old meme. Unfortunately, books fail hard at carrying capacity. One book I picked out of my shelf has 57 chars per line * 36 lines per page * 774 pages = 1588248 bytes, and one of those takes up a full pocket. I can have a few thousand of those in an ebook reader, which also takes up one pocket.

You take your shelves with you on the bus? (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138580)

That must be a real nuisance.

iPhone/iPod Touch + GoodReader app + pdfs (1)

ghostunit (868434) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138352)

The way I see it, all e-book readers have at least one fatal flaw that defeats the whole purpose of the thing. The Kindle, etc. are too large and drm encumbered. Likewise, most devices have proprietary quirks and restrictions I just won't bother dealing with.

Only the iPhone/iPodTouch + GoodReader app + pdfs combo actually satisfies my mobile book reading needs: I'm carrying the phone anywhere anyways, the screen size has proven itself big enough for reading (though one has to get used to it) the app mentioned has pretty good functionality and dealing with bare pdfs (wish it supported djvu, alas) spares me from corporate arbitrariness and other bs.

Using this combo, I wonder why anyone would want a Kindle or similar non-pocket sized devices. If you have to carry something large, why not just get a book instead?

Sony makes a pocketable reader (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138598)

And it's the same resolution as the larger ones, so has a higher DPI, thus even easier on the eyes.

I'd rather claw my own eyeballs out than read a book on my phone.

Sony eReader (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138362)

I bought my gf the Sony eReader a year back and she loves it. The fact that it reads PDFs and several other types of files she enjoys makes it the smarter choice. The Kindle has too many lock down features. It's amazing to say this about a Sony product, but it's surprisingly open for what you get. The battery life is great and the eInk is a cool thing as well. I'm waiting for the color version of the eInk to become a bit cheaper on these eReaders before I buy myself one. I read way more mags than I do books and the bright screen on laptops and i-Products hurt my eyes after extended periods.

The one with DJVU support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138382)

Most seem to try and sell subscriptions and whatnot, which is easy to see with the extra connectivity and mobile plans and I dunno what else. Thing is, I need access to information, not to be turned into a revenue stream in return for some token carrot. So, I need something with a good screen, open format support (and `EPUB' is not the be-all end-all, TYVM xml lovers), and, well, maybe open enough that I can hack new formats and a better UI into it. Also high on the wishlist are ease of feeding, like by taking AA batteries (the `wikipedia in your pocket' thing takes AAAs, which is close but not quite there), and ease of interop with my other devices. Maybe bluetooth, but a memory card slot of sorts is probably simpler; it allows for easily swapping out libraries of books. Bookmark systems, annotation systems, you name it.

The thing is, the current crop is desperately looking for a `sales channel' model. That doesn't help me get stuff done. Until then, I'll wait for the price to drop.

The entourage edge? (3, Informative)

My-Kung-Fu-Is-Best (898773) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138392)

The entourage edge It's not available yet (set to ship in March 2010), but it looks like its got what most people want and then some. I might be getting one myself. I've been hesitant, like most, because of price, ease of use, screen size, etc... It's not too much more than some of the other readers, so it might be a nice alternative. []

Re:The entourage edge? (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138604)

Thanks for posting that. It looks really good. I still think the iPad is ideal for me but that looks like a great contender, although it is heavy (comparatively) - 3 lbs vs the iPad's 1.5 and the Kindle's 1 1/8 lbs.

One area I'm glad not to be an early adopter... (1)

thereofone (1287878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138416)

Hopefully e book readers will follow the digital camera capability/price ratio trend.

How much capacity do you need? (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138610)

Books are usually around 300kb.

iPod Touch... (1)

Craig.Engbrecht (1745364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138432)

Can be good if you have good eyes for reading 6-8pt fonts... :P Works for me anyway...

My Smartphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138440)

I use my E65 as an e-reader also. I can do, almost everything with it.

Cybook Opus (2, Informative)

mattbee (17533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138484)

I bought my dad a Cybook Opus [] for Christmas - sturdy, simple, wasn't too expensive, just epub support, no ties to a publisher/DRM. Not used it myself but Dad seems pretty happy.

Que (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31138488)

Plastic Logic's Que [] . Screen the size of a sheet of paper = I can actually have all the design and datasheet PDFs I want with me, anywhere.

dead trees (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138498)

For the price of an "ebook" that goes bye-bye when my Kindle, iPad or other device dies, gets its firmware updated or broken, I can get the real, dead-tree version of the book. If I have room in my luggage for an "e-reader", then I can bring the actual book.

Wrong question (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138514)

Probably the best device for reading books is not an e-reader. If you want to use books in the old style, but digital, there dedicated e-readers could be good enough, and are several good ones. But if you have to carry a device anyway, maybe that does more than just reading ebooks is part of the things that adds weight (in both senses) to other alternatives.

For me not having to carry an extra, dedicated device is one big advantage for me. Desktop computers, notebooks, netbooks, tablets, and even cellphones are alternatives that can do a lot more than just reading books. Portablility, good enough screen, battery life, are factors that are important too, and that several of those alternatives have. And you have their functionality too (internet, work, etc). Convertible notebooks (i.e. the Asus T91 or Lenovo S10-t3), tablets (yes, even the ipad), or big screen cellphones (iphone, droid, n900, etc) are good enough book readers and provide a lot more than most of the dedicated ones

The Skiff looks nice, except for who controls it (1)

RalphBNumbers (655475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138576)

The Skiff Reader has a flexible touchable screen with more viewable area and resolution than the Kindle DX, while still being thinner and lighter.
Unfortunately, it's still a bit vapor-ish, and I don't think the consortium of publishers backing it are the right people for the job. Online distribution needs a strong device maker and/or store manager to keep the old media types in line, otherwise they'll just keep raising prices and restrictions, trying to make sure there is no threat to their traditional businesses, until the new market is completely strangled.

The iPad is at the other end of the spectrum, it handles color and refreshes in miliseconds instead of seconds but it's also heavy and thick (what do you expect with a big glass covered IPS LCD screen and ~5x the battery capacity of any of it's competitors to power it). But it does have an extremely strong device/market centered backer, and I kind of expect it's descendants to prevail in the long run as low power and high power/contrast/speed/color display technologies converge.

Entourage eDGe & Sony PRS-505 (1)

spiritgreywolf (683532) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138578)

Being a voracious reader and traveling heavily on business, I had began reading e-Books on my Compaq iPaq years ago using Windows .LIT eReader. There was also other software called Micro-book that was very nice using good fonts and an easier contrast for reading. I think the cost of micro-book was like $14 total and was well worth the price.

I eventually abandoned the iPaq and moved to the e-Ink display of the Sony PRS-500 since it was larger and a bit easier on the eyes, then to the PRS-505. There is an open-source software application called "Calibre" that is absolutely EXCELLENT for converting LIT, LRF, RTF, and even RSS feeds and websites and other formats to be readily consumable on the Sony reader (and I believe it works with many others). The only drawback I have with the Sony is that I now have lots of technical books from Wrox, Apress and Wiley in PDF format and they are simply unable to render on the smaller e-ink display of the Sony. Seriously - don't even try to do it unless you want to piss yourself off.

I've already pre-ordered an Entourage Edge since comparatively it appears to have everything I would want - a much larger (10") e-Ink display, a second LCD touchscreen display and other features that I find exciting for e-reading and playing around with programming on the Android platform. I work in the medical field doing EDI integration for hospitals using various formats and "Integration Engine Broker" tools - and the Edge looks like it would be an AWESOME dashboard platform for medical apps. I don't know yet but for under $500 to get an Android platform, wireless connectivity, etc - it seemed too good to pass up.

Kindle DX for academic work (1)

Z8 (1602647) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138606)

It's expensive, but if you can afford it (or get it as a gift like I did), it's quite nice. The big screen (9.7in, 824x1200px) makes reading PDFs easier than the other readers I've tried. It's really impractical to read normal PDFs on a 6" screen. Also, you can plug it into a computer and use it like any other USB storage device. In theory it has DRM, but I mainly use it to read PDFs (e.g. journal articles). Finally, it has wireless access at no additional charge. As long as you don't actually buy DRM'd books through Amazon, what's not to like?

Sony E-Readers (1)

CyradisNYC (1141143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138616)

I have the Sony Touch 6" model, and while it definitely has its limitations, I don't understand why it isn't taken more seriously. (IE, all I ever hear about are the Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad.) It allows the most freedom in terms of format and purchasing--it does not require DRM. New books (not in the public domain) from the Sony bookstore have DRM, but you don't have to buy something from the Sony Bookstore. I can shop somewhere else, download from Google Books, or fill it up with research PDFs. As long as it's in ePub, PDF, TXT, rich text, or BBeB I'm good. Because there are multiple places I can go to in addition to Sony's Reader Store (Kobo, Fictionwise, etc) there's no problem if one store gets in a spat with a publisher. I can go to another store that isn't fighting with them. Also, and importantly in my view, Sony is not tracking what I put on the e-reader. (The big exception is again things purchased through the Sony Reader Store--which I don't really use.) There won't be any instances like Amazon's deletion of 1984, because the Sony software is set up to not have this kind of interface with its store. While e-readers have a long way to go, this was a good investment for me because I travel for work a lot. If you think it's worth it right now (for me it was), look at the Sony models. They're the most flexible available made by a reputable company. That said, I'm hoping the technology moves along quickly as it'd be nice to have color in something smaller than an iPad.

re: (1)

da8add1e (1244554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31138638)

After getting hooked on palm eReader on my old palm device, once that became obsolete I looked around at alternatives, long story short I now use FBReader on my laptop it's open source and supports the open .epub ebook format and pretty much all others, if i can't find a ebook in the format it supports there are many tools around for converting to .epub or another supported format link - []
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