Seeking an alternative ebook reader

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by SimsHsia, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. kureshii

    kureshii Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    It might seem weird for me to actually be creating a thread here, but I've been thinking about a second tablet just for reading e-textbooks - reading an e-textbook and taking notes on the same screen quickly becomes an exercise in frustration, even with the help of all sorts of freeware apps. Searching around for cheap, used tablets also yields little success - at least, in the context of my needs.

    It is entirely possible that what I'm seeking isn't out on the market yet, but I'm hoping someone has insider information on products that are soon to be released, or perhaps niche products not available here in Southeast Asia that might be found in other countries.

    If all else fails, I guess I'll just have to mod the Asus Eee into a tablet and add a touchscreen kit ;-)

    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget? $700 or less, preferably, up to $1k if necessary.

    2. Do you prefer a Slate, Convertible or Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)? Slate, followed by UMPC, convertible is fine but I'll prefer the other 2. I doubt UMPCs fall within my budget range, anyway

    3. What size Tablet PC would you prefer? 10" & smaller, preferably 7-8"

    4. Which country do you intend to purchase from? Any place that ships to Singapore

    5. Do you have any brand preferences? No; price is a bigger concern here

    6. How many hours battery life do you require? 3 and above

    7. What do you intend to use the Tablet for? Reading textbooks, as a second tablet screen that can be finger-operated.

    8. Do you have an OS preference? No

    9. What software and tasks do you intend to run? PDF Readers, maybe basic email and web browsing.

    10. Do you intend to play Games. If so please list. No

    Screen Specifics

    1. Do you prefer standard or widescreen? Either

    2. What resolution do you prefer? As high as possible, though I doubt SXGA is available for this...

    3. Do you require an Indoor only or Indoor/Outdoor screen option? Either

    4. Do you require a Passive or Active Digitizer? Passive - touchscreen feature is a must

    5. Do you require Wacom or Finepoint Technology? Whatever suits the purpose

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Min 2GB+512MB respectively

    2. Do you require an Optical Drive? No

    3. Do you require ability to add a second Battery or Hard Drive (Modular Bay technology)? No, though 2nd battery would be nice

    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    Key features I'm looking for: Lightweight (<1kg), moderately sized screen (7-8" up to 10"), touchscreen, moderate battery life (>3 hrs with light reading), USB/SD card slot for my e-textbooks, b/g wireless, low price. Basically, a tablet version of the Asus Eee, if that description helps.

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration? As mentioned above. Oh, anyone tried out the Kojinsha tablet yet? the price is slightly on the high side of my budget but if anyone can verify that it meets almost all my needs stated above I'll try to find it in a retail outlet somewhere and take a closer look.
     
  2. SimsHsia

    SimsHsia "I will do science to it" Senior Member

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    Hey kureshii,

    First off, it's not weird, we're all consumers as well. ;)

    Helping you out with what's available in the eBook Reader Market:

    Now, the Sony Reader seems to be one of the more popular portable eBook readers, however, it does not have wifi. I found this one, the iRex iLiad, that has Ethernet (802.3) and WiFi 802.11b only, but, as a trade off, it allows MMC and CF Type II cards, and has USB 1.1 connectivity; whereas the Sony Reader accepts SD, MemoryStick, and USB 2.0 - also its about $400 cheaper than the iLiad. Perhaps by the time the iLiad is to its 3RD Edition it will be available with 802.11b/g.

    The Sony Reader supposedly lasts up to "7,500 page turns", how many hours that is, is anyones guess as we all read at different speeds. The iRex iLiad 2ND Edition supposedly can last up to 15 hours.

    There is an upcoming eBook Reader from Hon Hai Precision Industries that has EVDO/CDMA capabilities, but is undergoing or has passed FCC inspection.

    Both the Sony Reader and iRex iLiad do not possess a passive digitizer; for the former it utilizes buttons, the latter uses a (surprisingly) Wacom active digitizer.

    --
    [Reference - eBook Reader Matrix @ MobileRead Wiki]
    --

    HP is experimenting with their own eBook reader, you can find more courtesy of MobileRead again, here. In addition, MobileRead seems to have a "What eBook Reader Should I Buy?" forum. :D
     
  3. P8RSON

    P8RSON Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    As to the hardware side of things......
    Have you considered looking for an older Fujitsu P1510.

    The screen is perfect for your size and although it's not SXGA it is larger than the standard XGA screen.
     
  4. kureshii

    kureshii Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Yup, tried looking through older ultra-portables on ebay/Amazon marketplace (which is pretty much my only option for used tablets; Singapore has a horrible tablet penetration rate), there are exceedingly few of them and none match the price point I'm looking for. I'm pretty certain the only thing that fits would be a cheap Asian ultraportable tablet, an ebook reader or a modded Asus Eee.

    The first would cost about 600-700USD (based on prices of the Kojinsha I've seen here), the iLiad is 700USD, while the Eee+touchscreen kit should cost no more than 400USD excl. shipping.

    Thanks for the recommendations and matrix Chris, it seems most ebook readers are designed for reading without requiring a touchscreen, so the iLiad ends up being on the high-end side of things. The HP ebook reader seems like a nice alternative as well, but until a price point is announced I can't really decide yet.

    Now I'm really wondering why Asus didn't try to make a slate version of the Eee; imagine, a 7" slate with a flash drive that runs Linux! The touchscreen will add to the cost, but remove the unusable keyboard and touchpad and you'll have most of your savings back =)
     
  5. HardRoc

    HardRoc Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Here's another option: Cybook
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  6. kureshii

    kureshii Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    LOL, I just caught that article this afternoon too...

    Anyway, after much consideration I have a feeling I'm going to meet my desired specs and price point probably by modding an old tablet from somewhere.

    I found a Fujitsu P1120 for cheap on ebay, will probably aim for that since it has a touchscreen and all already. Does anyone have personal experience with this model?

    Most of the reviews I've read so far seem to be positive, but is it any good in portrait mode? Right now the hinge is laptop-typical so it's in landscape-only, but by the time I'm done with it, it'll be in portrait mode =D anyone knows if doing screen rotation with a graphic utility (like Intel's default graphics utility) screws up touchscreen operation? Is it possible to work this thing in portrait mode? Any experience/suggestions greatly appreciated =)
     
  7. The Niles

    The Niles Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Fujitsu U810 Not the cheapest option but gives a lot besides being an ebook reader. Five and a half hours of battery life should also be enough for a day of reading. the Everun S6S is a little cheaper and smaller but not as good in most other respects.
     
  8. kureshii

    kureshii Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thought about that one, but decided 5.6" is too small for me... and definitely out of my budget, LOL.
     
  9. SimsHsia

    SimsHsia "I will do science to it" Senior Member

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    Hey kureshii,

    How about the Asus R2H UMPC? Same 7in screen, same resolution (800x480) as the Asus Eee; has a touchscreen, wifi, SD card slot, USB, Bluetooth, and so forth. And gets close to 3 hours of battery life with the 4-cell battery, if only it came with a 6-cell, would it probably increase battery life up to 5 hours.

    EXCaliber PC is offering it for $899 and offers international shipping, EXCaliberPC (the forum user) has visited the forums several times (ever since the Asus R1E was brought up that it's shipping out soon), and active in the Asus forum.
     
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