eBook Reader or Tablet

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eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby qyron » 2018-11-05 13:33

I've been looking at the scenario of buying one of these equipments lately.

My patience is going thin when dealing with sales clerks because my doubts are not addressed. I keep getting a sales pitch (I worked on sales for some time, so I'm fairly able to recognize one being hurled at me) and I'm directed to the product the store wants to move not what may actually be more suited for my needs.

Browsing and researching on the web is producing mixed results and even more doubts. I keep getting hits stating that eBook are cheaper than the average tablet and my reality is not that, with the average reader going for at least €75, with the average price parking at the €110»€130 range, and the high end readers going for more than €200. An entry level tablet, with a 7 inch screen can be as low as €35 and a beefier 10 inch model can be found at around €60.

Are there any members here that can share their experience with these equipments? Versus using a common tablet?
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby tynman » 2018-11-06 01:44

I owned a Sony e-reader for a few years. When that died after a few years, I purchased a Kobo e-reader. In my experience, e-readers are very good for one thing: reading books. I have found I am able to read stuff on an e-reader for long stretches of time without any eye fatigue. They usually claim to have other features, but I have generally found the extra features to be fairly useless.

I have never owned a tablet. Their screens aren't optimized for extended reading of text. Apparently many of them are sold, so they must be good for something.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby qyron » 2018-11-06 07:06

tynman wrote:I have found I am able to read stuff on an e-reader for long stretches of time without any eye fatigue.


That is exactly my concern.

tynman wrote:I have never owned a tablet. Their screens aren't optimized for extended reading of text. Apparently many of them are sold, so they must be good for something.


You and me both. I've used one a few (short) times but that was it. I'm still struggling with the concept.

Thank you for the input.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby debiman » 2018-11-07 06:41

i am confused why you say "ebook reader or tablet" - it seems to me you actually want an ebook reader? you only want to read ebooks with it?
you have to be careful that they aren't locked into some kind of scheme where you need to be connected to the internet to be able to read books (i heard about this; no first hand experience).
personally, i'd try to go 100% offline.
and i'd look for something second hand on ebay.
there are also specific ebook reader distros out there; iirc one of the residents here reported on it at some point.
some half-random search results:
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13863046
http://www.junauza.com/2008/11/10-linux ... aders.html
https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments ... s/d39a3fn/
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby Hallvor » 2018-11-07 12:08

I have never had problems reading on a tablet, but then I have never tried a specialized reader.

I always prefer bringing the tablet when traveling instead if bringing a heavy book. In addition, I can use it for movies and web browsing. I almost never use it at home, though...
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby RU55EL » 2018-11-07 18:18

I have, and use, both an e-reader and a tablet. I have no problem reading on them for long periods of time. The e-reader is much better in direct sunlight that the tablet and a battery charge lasts much longer. The tablet, of course, can do much more but depletes the battery quicker. The e-reader is smaller, usually my first choice when going somewhere where I may have to wait. At home, I will more commonly use a tablet. I like them both.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby pylkko » 2018-11-07 20:30

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.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby qyron » 2018-11-07 21:02

debiman wrote:i am confused why you say "ebook reader or tablet" - it seems to me you actually want an ebook reader? you only want to read ebooks with it?

Just reading. Not that I'm about to give up the "mystique" of plain old paper but more and more work is being put in digital format and there are even works I do want to read and even learn from but have no intention to keep a copy taking up room in my shelves.

debiman wrote:you have to be careful that they aren't locked into some kind of scheme where you need to be connected to the internet to be able to read books (i heard about this; no first hand experience).
personally, i'd try to go 100% offline.
and i'd look for something second hand on ebay.

The used devices I've found are either too small (under 5 inches of reading area) or nearly as expensive as off the shelf products, which makes no sense, no matter what condition the items may be in. I've even looked into refurbished units and the over pricing trend stays.
From the research I've done, some readers depend on an always available internet connection and some can access files from memory cards; I'm partial to the second model.

debiman wrote:there are also specific ebook reader distros out there; iirc one of the residents here reported on it at some point.
some half-random search results:
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13863046
http://www.junauza.com/2008/11/10-linux ... aders.html
https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments ... s/d39a3fn/

I'll take a look at these.

Thank you.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby qyron » 2018-11-07 21:08

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)

Wasn't aware of that before. I'll risk those screens will be very small. And carrying a Raspberry Pi around is not very reasonable... yet.

pylkko wrote: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.

Following this, it does make a pretty good case for the tablet.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby RU55EL » 2018-11-07 23:12

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.[...]


The current Amazon kindles with E-ink also have back lighting, but it is not required to see the display like on a tablet. The back light allows you to read in the dark.

pylkko wrote: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). [...]


Some clarification of the Amazon Kindle. The content bought from Amazon is essentially not yours. You can download it to a certain number of your devices for reading, but that is it. But, once it is on your Kindle, or cell phone, or computer, you don't need access to Amazon to read it. You only need access to Amazon to download it to another kindle, or computer, or cell phone.

You can copy any text file, or .mobi file to a kindle and read it without any problem. You can also do the same with .pdf files, but reading a .pdf on a Kindle is not the best, the format is fixed and the kindle screen is small. I've got more non-Amazon (my own, or free) content on my Kindle than books purchased from Amazon. If you want to add some of your own content to your kindle, just connect a USB cable (windows or Linux) and drag and drop. (You can also email personal content to a special Amazon address and download it to your Kindle by whisper net or wifi. But, a USB cable is much easier.) If you purchase a book from Amazon (and your kindle has whisper net, basically free cell phone access to Amazon) you can download a book from anywhere you have cell access. If your Kindle doesn't have "whisper net" you can use wifi. You can also download Amazon book content to your computer then transfer to your kindle by USB.

For reading .pdf files, a tablet works much better. Especially one with a 10" screen.

And, although I love high technology, there is nothing like the smell and feel of a high quality hard back book. Sometimes paper is the best format.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby debiman » 2018-11-08 07:37

qyron wrote:The used devices I've found are either too small (under 5 inches of reading area) or nearly as expensive as off the shelf products, which makes no sense, no matter what condition the items may be in.

that's strange. this page (price range 10 to 50 euro, cheapest first) suggests otherwise, if "6in" means 6 inch.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby qyron » 2018-11-08 07:41

debiman wrote:that's strange. this page (price range 10 to 50 euro, cheapest first) suggests otherwise, if "6in" means 6 inch.

I admit I never remember about Amazon. I'll take a look.
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby llivv » 2018-11-08 08:47

I'd go to the library and see if they have one you can borrow.
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a reader in hand is worth many at best buy or amazon
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby debiman » 2018-11-08 09:08

^ true dat.
or go to the shop and pretend like you want to buy something, then leave and order online :mrgreen:

qyron wrote:
debiman wrote:that's strange. this page (price range 10 to 50 euro, cheapest first) suggests otherwise, if "6in" means 6 inch.

I admit I never remember about Amazon. I'll take a look.

that's ebay. i think i'm traditionally more attached to ebay because amazon used to not sell second hand stuff; i'm sure the picture is similar on amazon.
btw, which part of the world?
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Re: eBook Reader or Tablet

Postby qyron » 2018-11-08 21:35

eBay, Amazon... Those sites are so relevant in my day to day life that I easily forget about its existence.

I'm from Portugal.

And sadly, where I live, eBook readers on libraries are not even considered as an idea.

I actually write a bit and from time to time I write some stories for the local kindergarten and school and I've volunteered to supply my work in PDF format, to be stored and made available for teachers, parents and students alike and I'm turned down. I'm usually asked to supply an hard copy and that is it.
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