Posted by Tim Stobbs on January 11, 2010
I love books, so to me when I hear about these new ebook readers I decided I wanted one. At first I thought about justifying to myself, saying it would be great for trips, but I really don’t travel that much. So in the end, I just accepted that my inner geek and book loving self just wanted the damn thing. Enough of a reason for a want item.
So then I started to save for one and decided I would buy it after Christmas. This strategy was two fold, one it would buy me time to research and buy exactly what I wanted and the second was to allow me some time to save up some cash for it and use some Christmas cash for it. It also had a bit of a third benefit as competition in the field heating up leading to Christmas which helped drop the prices.
So in the end I bought an Sony Touch Edition just after Christmas and the new toy arrived on Jan 6th, so after a few days of use I’ll provide my initial thoughts of the ebook reader.
- Formats matter. I primary went with a Sony because I wanted access to a larger number of file formats including: PDF, Word, RFT, and epub. That last one, epub, was a big one since it allows me to download books from Google Books or other sites that have some free downloads. It was also important because my public library has ebooks in that format as well. The Kindle doesn’t do epub, so you are stuck buying your books at Amazon.
- Touch Screen is good and bad. Buying the touch screen version of Sony’s reader offered my the ability to make hand written notes on my ebooks and save them. So I can take a quiz on a book right on the page just like a regular book. The downside of the touch screen is you end up with a bit of glare on the reading surface. So you have to watch the angle you are reading at, this isn’t a problem with a non-touch screen version where the page looks more like a page.
- No eye strain. I read for about two or three hours on Sunday and I have no eye strain at all. The text looks like a book on a grey sheet of paper. So the great thing about an ebook reader is the ability to read electronic copies of things for long periods. I like this fact SO much I’m now trying to get half of my weekly School Board packages in electronic format instead of the two inch double sided paper copy I normally get (so hopefully I would be down to a mere one inch pile in the future).
- Compact. I’ve already expanded the default memory of 512MB with a 4G SD card. Why? Because it is very cool to be able to have hundreds of books on one device. The default memory will store about 300 to 350 ebooks, so with my expansion I can now handle about 2700+. So far I’ve only put on about 20 or so, but I’m still testing out the features like the fact I can also play mp3 files on this thing which will eat up some memory. So I can listen to music and read when I take the bus all on a single device that weighs less than a hard cover book.
So overall I’m fairly damn happy with my purchase so far and I can see really using this thing a lot in the future. Yet I had plans for one of these a while ago, since I’m the kind of guy that reads four books at once having all in the same place without having to carry them all will be helpful.
Yet at $350 plus tax for the device, it isn’t cheap but ebooks are cheaper than the new hard cover editions. For example, Dan Brown’s latest goes for retail $37, my wife ordered it on sale at $22 and the ebook version is $12 at Chapters. So if you buy a fair number of new release books you might save money in the long run. In my case I don’t care, I bought it mainly for point four above. Any questions?