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Will an eReader Fit My Needs?


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#1 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:27 AM

I'm looking for a c-h-e-a-p solution here.

What I want is a portable device that will display PDF files that I can download to the unit, and also blogs (of my choice) that I want to download from online. I am really NOT interested in using the device to read books and plan on zero eBook purchases. As an avid photographer with three rather complicated cameras, I want to be able to access my user manuals in the field. The camera companies (Fuji, Canon, and Lumix) no longer include a printed manual but instead the manual as a PDF file.

I notice that the eReaders offer some features that I want, but for instance I note that one of them offers access to 9K blogs. That isn't necessarily the ones I would want to read.

Will an eReader (a cheap one) fill my needs (and if so, which one) or do I have to turn to a iTablet, and I won't sink that much money into this. I don't need all the internet features.

I suppose I could pick up a notebook, but that would be too large, and too costly.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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#2 Didier Stevens

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 07:34 AM

I use an eReader and an iPad. Do you have pictures or drawings in your PDF files that you want to view in great detail? Is black & white acceptable to you, or do you need to view your PDFs in color?
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#3 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 03:47 PM

Color would be nice since I want to view some photo blogs, but I probably could get by with B&W. I suspect what I'd have to pay for color would be more than I want to spend. I don't have a set price in mind, but the cheaper the better. What's most important to me is that I do not have any restrictions. that I cam view any PDF I download from my computer, and any blog that I want.

At this point, I'm not sure if I can use an eReader or if I need some other sort of gadget. Having access to the internet is not important.

Edited by LittleGreenDots, 07 February 2011 - 03:47 PM.


#4 Didier Stevens

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 04:35 PM

I think you can read blogs on any eReader by using this: there are online services where you can subscribe to blogs and that will convert their content to PDFs and deliver them to you.

I've 5 inch BeBook, aka Hanlin: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Hanlin_eReader
It's cheap, I got it here in Europe a year ago for €199.
It has no touch screen.
Battery life is very long, usually more than one month.
Changing pages is slow (couple of seconds), but I don't mind, I use it for reading books and magazines integrally, not for browsing. Searching for text is cumbersome, as you've no alpha keyboard to type it, you've to select the letters as you type.
PDF text is reflowed so you can zoom in.

Before I had my iPad, I even read Scientific American on it, was no problem, except for the pictures and drawings, the reflow algo didn't handle that well.
Now I read pure text on it, and text + pictures/diagrams on my iPad.

Edited by Didier Stevens, 07 February 2011 - 04:38 PM.

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#5 joggiwagga

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 12:51 PM

If you're looking for a cheap color eReader a lot of my patrons are using the Pandigital and loving it.
http://www.pandigital.net/pandigitalnovel

It does work with library ebooks, and seems to be compatible with anything designed for a nook. Other sources of epub/pdf/etc (ie sony store, borders, google books) can be used, though something like Calibre (free ebook mgmt software, http://calibre-ebook.com/ ) might be needed to make it work.

#6 Antikook

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 11:03 PM

I agree with joggiwagga. I've had a Pandigital Novel for about 6 months. It is easily rooted and hacked to become a full Android tablet (go to http://www.slatedroid.com for information on how to do this) at which point it can run apps to read just about any electronic document out there, plus it has WiFi for Internet address, apps to aggregate your blogs for later reading, etc.

Beleive it or not, Bed Bath & Beyond seems to be the best source for them. Under $150.

#7 joggiwagga

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:13 PM

Beleive it or not, Bed Bath & Beyond seems to be the best source for them. Under $150.


Gotta admit, not where I expected people to be finding them!

#8 Capn Easy

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 11:52 PM

My primary ereader is a Jetbook Lite, which I absolutely LOVE, but I don't think would meet the OP's needs.

I picked up a Pandigital Novel for two reasons -- first, because I wanted to hack it, a bit, and second, because it was (briefly) on sale at Kohl's for $60. I intend to replace the micro-SD card, and then updating it to an Android tablet (with the ereader retained as an application).

I may be mistaken, since I haven't implemented it yet, but I believe the most recent update from Pandigital converts it to an Android tablet.

#9 joggiwagga

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:27 PM

No clue when the last update was, but I've interacted with them since the new year and at that point they did run Android OS and have pretty much full web compatibility. I'm not seeing much difference between most color eReaders and cheap tablets, probably in a year or so there will be a more happy medium in regards to that overlap.

#10 Rick Adams

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 09:04 PM

If you haven't already made a decision, you might look into the nook color. A great looking device for a decent price, and I believe it should meet all of your requirements. I know I love mine, I'm reading more books now than I have in years!

#11 Antikook

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:33 AM

Another vote here for the Nook Color. I still have and love my Pandigital Novel, but picked up the Nook Color for my wife, the technophobe. She's happily using it for magazines and birding books (detailed color photos) and she's also been reading some PDFs my son "obtained" for her from the "For Dummies" series. Better screen and more responsive than my Novel.




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