eBook Reader or Tablet

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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby pendrachken » 2018-11-09 01:29

pylkko wrote:Tablet's and other computers generally have some kind of backlighterd display. Perhaps and LCD or AMOLED, which means that there is a large lamp shining light, and on top of that is a layer of pixels that can change the light in different wys to form an image. E-book readers tend to have E-ink displays, which do not have a lamp, but the image is created by dark or coloured specks that can be turned on or of with electric current and which reflect light. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_paper). This is the reason that they cause less eye fatigue and are so aesthetically pleasing. You can buy linux controllable E-ink displays. People often control these with Raspberry pi's and simiar to make low power displays of information (news, calendar, weather that kind of stuff)

However, I believe that all commercial (not DIY) E-book readers -- or at least do not know of one that is not -- organized so that the content that you buy is "not yours". That is, there is a server somewhere, and when you pay for a book, you unlock access to it on that server for youtself. This means you cannot read your own made documents, pirated stuff, and need to have a mobile connection. You also cannot just give the book to a friend, for example. According to Wikipedia, Amazon Kindle has a service where you can email stuff to Amazon and they will put ot into your account (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Kindle). This is the reason that I do not have one of these readers although I like the displays.



If you googled that far you might just have found a little something called "calibre". You know the little program for Win/Linux/Mac that talks to pretty much all of the ebook readers out there ( and even tablets with ereader software ) and lets you put your own books on the reader. It even helpfully converts pretty much any format out there to any other format so you can guarantee that your reader can read the book.


I only occasionally turn the wifi on my kindle paperwhite on, and that is only if I have books lined up in kindle unlimited to download. ~600 books on it right now, 10 from kindle unlimited, 0 from being bought on amazon, and ~590 bought / pirated from other places and DRM free. So no, you don't ever HAVE to turn on the wifi.

As for the rest of the discussion about backlights - the kindle paperwhite / nook glow ( if they still make it? ) are e-ink displays with lighting. You can read in the dark just as well as you can in direct sunlight. I actually find the default ~50% brightness on mine WAY too bright. 10% is plenty to read with in dark areas, and saves the battery quite a bit. At 10% backlight I can go 3-5 weeks with wifi off and reading 3-5 hours a day between charges.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby pylkko » 2018-11-12 18:48

pendrachken wrote: If you googled that far you might just have found a little something called "calibre". You know the little program for Win/Linux/Mac that talks to pretty much all of the ebook readers out there ( and even tablets with ereader software ) and lets you put your own books on the reader. It even helpfully converts pretty much any format out there to any other format so you can guarantee that your reader can read the book.

I only occasionally turn the wifi on my kindle paperwhite on, and that is only if I have books lined up in kindle unlimited to download. ~600 books on it right now, 10 from kindle unlimited, 0 from being bought on amazon, and ~590 bought / pirated from other places and DRM free. So no, you don't ever HAVE to turn on the wifi.


I have never had one of these devices, and have always heard about how the content is not transferable and even that you do not from the perspective of legislation have the right to copy the content even for your self. I have tried to read ebooks from libraries on calibre, but it cannot open them a they have some form of DRM.
As for the rest of the discussion about backlights - the kindle paperwhite / nook glow ( if they still make it? ) are e-ink displays with lighting. You can read in the dark just as well as you can in direct sunlight. I actually find the default ~50% brightness on mine WAY too bright. 10% is plenty to read with in dark areas, and saves the battery quite a bit. At 10% backlight I can go 3-5 weeks with wifi off and reading 3-5 hours a day between charges.


Do they really have back lights? I thought they have edge lights. For me, having a back light kind of defeats the purpose. Although you cannot read in the dark just as you cannot read a book in the dark, if there is no light. I have never had an e-book reader, but some e-ink displays that I have used have the capacity to hold the image even when they are unplugged, a fact that makes them extremely energy efficient for displaying certain kind of information (that doesn't need to be updated often). But with a backlight its just mildly better than a tablet, which can probably do many more things.

Last year I read about a few new technologies that were claimed to be future e-ink killers, in the sense that they would be so much better that all manufacturers would switch to them. One of them was called "ClearInk" and other I forgot what it is called. But it does not seem to be that they have taken off or become popular.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby qyron » 2018-11-12 20:41

Technical discussions aside, for the moment, I'm still fighting to grasp why the eReader is so much more costly when compared with the run of the mill tablet computer.

THE big retailer here (FNAC) sells Kobo eReaders (it's the official eReader for the chain, although other brands are available through their "marketplace", by independent merchants) and these little underpowered - and under-featured - machines are easily twice the price of a generic brand 10 inch tablet, with entry prices opening at €119,99 and the most expensive model going for €279,99. That is a big chunk of money when compared with the average €69,90 price tag on the competition.

Besides having a lot less memory available for storage (between 4GB and 8GB), I haven't seen any mention to expansion slots although there are some competitor models that have it (a model that goes for nearly €600 can expand up to 32GB via SD card), some of these machines boast having full internet navigation capabilities (on a fully B&W screen?). The average eReader also has a screen quite small (going from 6 inches to 7.8 inches - this last one being a bit odd in dimensions).

I approached the eReaders as more comfortable option to expand my opportunities to read but as I go along, either by doing more and more research and following this thread, it seems the technology is being charged at a premium with no real added value when compared to a tablet, except for the extra long battery life.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby pylkko » 2018-11-12 21:14

One thing is that the electrophoresis based display tech is more costlier. When you compare any kind of LCD, OLED of the same size to even the most primitive E-ink display module, the price is double or triple. This probably has also to do with the fact that there are not so many manufacturers and the techs are heavily patented.

Another thing probably is the shear volume that tablets are sold in.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby qyron » 2018-11-12 22:49

pylkko wrote:[...} and the techs are heavily patented.

This was something I wanted to mention and I completely overlooked as I wrote my previous reply.

Although most - if not all - eReaders have a very wide file format reading capability (with the EPUB standard being for all practical reasons universal) I was stunned to hear sales people trying to push the notion that although this and other formats were indeed readable, it should be expected from the users poor(er) performance when compared with the proprietary format of the reader parent company.

Taking into consideration that the EPUB format is the technical standard from which proprietary formats are usually converted this is a very dirty tactic to grab users/customers.

More and more, the scenario of using a tablet with an ebook reading app is looking more and more appealing.
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