e-reader

Archive for e-reader

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eReatah originally launched their Netflix for eBooks subscription service back in September and changed their name to Entitle a few months later. The service heavily competes with Scribd and Oyster for users wanting to subscribe to their websites and download books  on a monthly basis.  While the competition relies on iOS and Android apps to appeal to the widest demographic of readers, Entitle is now supporting dedicated e-readers, such as the Kobo, Nook and Sony. 

Entitle has been testing their e-reader system for a number of weeks and now the books are available for primetime. In order to get started you first need to download Adobe Digital Editions. This is a free app and allows you sync paid and borrowed eBooks directly to your e-reader. Once the book has been downloaded to your computer, you can use ADE to copy it to your Kobo Aura or Nook Glowlight. Once its on your device, it will pop up under your library and you can begin reading on the go.

The support for e-readers when it comes to dedicated eBook subscription services is quite weak. Amazon is the only company to offer this functionality with their Prime Kindle Lending Library. Scribd offers apps for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire, while Oyster is limited to iOS. Entitle has apps now for Android, iOS and now dedicated e-readers. Obviously when it comes to reading, sticking with an e Ink device is better for long reading sessions.

Entitle manages their eBook subscription service quite differently from their competitors. The company only offers a limited number of books a customer can borrow on a monthly basis. For $9.99 you can download two books a month and lots of big name publishers are supporting the efforts.  The company has deals with major publishers including Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, HarperCollins Christian, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, with more than 100,000 professionally-published titles from authors like Stephen King and Dan Brown. Basically, it is a book of the month type club for a digital world.

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There has been a number of Papyre e-readers available in Europe for quite sometime. It has never really been a household name because its normally found in Spain. Their earlier devices suffered from sluggish performance and ugly aesthetics. The new Papyre 630 is breaking this mold and might be a solid device to look at if you are interested in loading in your own books.

The Papyre 630 has a six inch e Ink Pearl HD display screen with a resolution of 1024 X 758 pixels. One thing readers will dig is the inclusion of a full touchscreen display and physical page turn keys that will appeal to right or left handed readers. This edition will let you read in the dark with the built in front-lit, interesting enough the LED lights are on the bottom of the screen, similar to the Nook design.

Underneath the hood is a 1.2 GHZ single core processor, and 4 GB of internal memory. There is support for an SD Card, so you can expand it if carrying a copious amount of books appeals to you.

When it comes to reading, you have support for DRM ePub or PDF eBooks that are purchased from other retailers. You can also download and load them in yourself, the formats supported are TXT, PDF, EPUB, PDB, FB2, RTF, MOBI. Its nice to see a reader that will read a Kindle friendly format, in MOBI.

There is no store loaded on the device to buy digital books from. Instead, the company that  makes the e-reader, Grammata, has a web-based store.  This forces you to rely on the WIFI and internet browser to download books from the online store or use other websites or even Dropbox. You can buy this e-reader now for 119 euros.

In the end, this device will likely appeal to people who want a simple e-reader with no defined store. If you don’t like the other major e-reader brands, this might work for you. If you buy it for someone who is not tech savvy, I would recommend just load it up with books.


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Amazon has introduced new functionality for Kindle ereaders and tablets with Cloud Drive. Starting today, all personal documents that you have archived in your Kindle Library will be available to access, delete, organize, and share from your Amazon Cloud Drive. You can see these documents in a new “My Send-to-Kindle Docs” folder on Amazon Cloud Drive alongside all of your saved content, such as photos and personal videos.

The syncing of personal documents is done automatically and requires no management on the users part. Also starting today, new documents that you save to the cloud with Send to Kindle will be kept in their native format (e.g. MS Word, RTF, TXT) so you can access them anywhere from Amazon Cloud Drive.

Amazon recognizes that often their customers use the send to kindle plugins for major web-browsers to send interesting bookmarks or RSS feeds to their device. The company is also keenly aware that most of their users get heavily invested in their ecosystem and have more than one in the household. Being able to sync your documents and user uploaded content into your main account means you can access it on the existing hardware but also the new Amazon Smartphone.

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Texet has bucked the trend of the standard six inch e-reader in Russia with the advent of the eight inch TB-418FL. The company has released numerous e-readers over the course of the last few years and this one is the best one yet.

The Texet TB-418FL features a eight inch screen with a resolution of 1024×768. It has a the same front-lit display that Amazon and Kobo employ in their latest generation models. It has a 800MHZ processor and 4 GB of internal storage. There is no WIFI or built in bookstore, instead customers are reliant in loading in their own eBooks. It does support a myriad of formats including DOC, DJVU, TXT, PDF, EPUB, PDB, FB2, HTML, RTF, MOBI, CHM.

The vast majority of e-readers in Russia have no established ecosystem to purchase books. The market is plagued by rampant piracy and Pocketbook is the only major player that actually runs a bookstore, but tend to just have copyright free editions. iMobilco is currently one of the most notable digital bookstores in Russia and currently has 20% of the market. The largest entity is LitRes, which is the most dominant and controls 60% of the market. Sergei Anuriev, the general director of LitRes, believes that by 2015 the entire ebook segment will increase to 5%, which will be equivalent of $90 million in sales.

One of the main reasons digital sales are so paltry is because of piracy. Eksmo, Russia’s largest publishing house, recently commented that 95% of all ebooks are pirate copies. This results in close to $120 million in losses for the entire digital publishing industry. It is currently estimated that between 100,000-110,000 titles are available as pirated editions, compared to just 60,000 available legally.

The Texet TB-418FL is available now and costs 7499 rubles.


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Welcome to another Good e-Reader Round Table Discussion. Today Michael and Peter discuss the merits of reading on a dedicated e-reader and tablet. There is a ton of confusion on the virtues of each device and what they excel at doing. Today, the two lads dispel popular myths and give you their perspective on what is better for reading.

e-Readers have been around a lot longer than tablets have. Early on, if you wanted to read eBooks, newspapers and other content you wanted to have a Kindle. When tablets started to come out, like the iPad and Android devices the lines started to blur on what an e-reader is.

Michael and Peter rundown what each device does best and talk about some of the technologies on the market that make reading more enjoyable. Pixel QI, Plastic Logic, e Ink, and other displays are explained in great detail.


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Barnes and Noble has just announced the first big discount on their latest generation e-reader. The Nook Glowlight came out late last year and really improved the hardware, putting the front-lit display on par with the Kindle Paperwhite. Today, the Nation’s largest bookseller has announced a price drop from $119 to $99 for a limited time.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight features a six inch IR touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 X 758-pixel and 212 PPI. This is a huge upgrade from the previous generation Nook that only had 800×600 for the resolution. Under heavy tests we noticed that the blacks were deeper in cover art and the way fonts look when you maximize their levels.

The Glowlight technology that allow you to read in the dark has been dramatically enhanced. B&N still continues the philosophy of bucking the major industry trend of putting the LED lights on the top of the device, instead of the bottom. Overall, the light is now almost pure white, where the NST with Glowlight would often have a blue hue to it. The entire Good e-Reader review team think that that the new model has 75% brighter and clearer lighting.

All Barnes and Noble retail stores will be offering the discount starting today. You may also elect to purchase it online from the official Nook website. The deal is going to transpire until April 13th, so time is of the essence.


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The Nook app for android has been updated, providing easier access to Barnes and Noble’s extensive catalogue of books, newspapers, magazines and comics. According to the Google Play store, Nook has been updated to fix bugs, allow users to browse and sample books without an account and to get deal and book notifications.

It is clear Barnes and Noble doesn’t want the pain of creating an account be a barrier for new users in experiencing the quality of its catalogue. By not requiring an account, this no commitment relationship could be enough to get users from other ebook stores hooked and wanting more.

One of the downsides of the new update is the addition of notifications. Barne’s and Noble may view it as a way to make you aware of deals and recommendations. In our view, having a notification that acts more like spam is not the best way to make friends. According to Barnes and Noble it can be disabled by following the these steps:

Follow these steps based on your Android version. On Jelly Bean 4.1 or higher devices 1) Go to the device settings and open “Apps” or “Application manager” 2) Select “NOOK” 3) Uncheck “Show notifications”. On Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.x and lower devices 1) In the NOOK app go to Settings 2) Uncheck “Show notifications”

The new update provides a great opportunity to go check out deals or to try out that book, magazine etc. that your are not sure about. Just make sure to turn off the notifications first.

The Nook app offers access to over 2.5 million books, which includes 1 million free books. Users also have access to magazines, newspapers, graphic novels and comics all from their phones and tablets.

You can download Nook for Android from the Good e-Reader App Store.

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The Tolino Alliance has been making e-readers for the last two years. Major players of the initiative include Deutsche Telekom, Hugendubel, Thalia, Bertelsmann and World View. All of these companies banded together in a bid to fend off Amazon dominance in the German marketplace. The e-readers are sold in major phone shops, bookstores and tech shops. The first two generations of the Tolino Shine were not very compelling and suffered from sluggish hardware. In a few days, the Tolino Vision will hit Germany and bears a striking resemblance to the Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Kobo Aura.

The Tolino Vision features the same e Ink Carta screen technology found on the Kindle Paperwhite 2. This will not only provide higher contrast, but also eliminate the refreshing of the display. The overall resolution is a very respectable 1024 × 758 pixels. One of the things that stands out with this model is that the screen is flush with the bezel. The only other e-reader to do this was the six inch Kobo Aura, it almost feels like a tablet or smartphone in this respect. You might ask, what’s the big deal? 99% of e-readers on the market have sunken touchscreen displays. This makes it very hard to press on menu options or access settings that are near the edges.

Underneath the hood is Freescale iMx6 1 GHz processor and 512 MB ​​RAM. There is 4GB of internal memory, but after you take it out of the box for the first time, you are relegated to two. This will store around 1,500 eBooks on average, but you can expand it up to 32 GB via the Micro SD card if you are a digital hoarder.

This e-reader compared to the Shine line is elegant, sleek and sexy. Not only is the flush bezel a boon but it is packed with a matte and non-reflective glass. In addition, the home button has been replaced by a touch sensitive sensor. It only weighs 178 grams and can easily be held in one hand for long reading sessions.

The main reading formats are ePUB and PDF, which are the most common ones out there. It is certified with Adobe, so you can buy DRM books at other bookstores, other than the default one. You can switch between six different fonts and adjust the font-type on demand. There are numerous languages packed into the Vision, because people tend to use it in countries of close proximity of Germany.

The Tonio Vision should be in our Review labs in the next few weeks. It goes on sale April 5th 2014 for 129 euros.


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Sony has abandoned the North American market and has successfully transitioned the majority of their customers to Kobo. Today, Sony has issued a new firmware update for their PRS line of ereaders that remove the Sony Reader Store. They also have eliminated the ability to sync bookmarks and book sharing options.

When customers install the new update they have no ability to purchase eBooks anymore. Sony has confirmed that they will issue a final update in the next two weeks that will add the Kobo bookstore as an avenue to continue to make the e-readers relevant.

The firmware updates should be available to install via WIFI and are only applicable to users living in North America. If the updates are not pushed out to you yet, you can simply download them from the links below. Residents of the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia are discouraged from manually installing it, as they still have the ability to purchase eBooks from Sony.

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ICARUS3D e-reader

The tech industry was rife with Aprils Fools Jokes, and it is hard to take seriously any major announcement that transpires on April 1st. Icarus, a Netherlands e-Reader company quietly announced a 3D e-Reader on their website and the entry is still available right on their homepage. Apparently, they have developed a 3D e-Reader with passive eyewear that will give you a more immersive experience.

The Icarus 3D boasts a OE3D screen with HD resolution display with 1024×768 pixels and integrated front light. The 3D effect of the screen can be adjusted by a slider button, and can also be completely turned off. The 3D screen means you are literally pulled into the book, for an unmatched reading experience.

The Reader is apparently Adobe certified, so you can buy eBooks from major retailers and load them on the device. You can also turn pages with the touchscreen or the physical buttons. Basically, the Icarus 3D is a repackaged Illumina HD, with a 3D interface.

How exactly is the overall e-reading experience enhanced with 3D glasses? Apparently we won’t have long to wait with the company shipping it off April 8th and the cost is € 149.95.

Update: Icarus confirmed it was nothing but a hoax.


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The dedicated e-reader market is shrinking and the companies heavily invested in this space are diminished from the boom period of 2011 and 2012. e Ink is the primary player in this sector, their screen technology can be found on the Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Sony readers. Chief Financial Executive Eddie Chen recently told investors that e Ink’s revenue is expected to plunge 10% on the next earnings call.

E Ink has been seeing a cumitive decline in sales as their primary customers get more heavily invested in tablets. This has warranted a restructuring of their business and North American operations moving to a singular building.

The company is still heavily invested in the e-paper space, with 80% of their revenue still deriving from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. Taipei-based Horizon Securities analyst Stanley Hsu said “shipments of e-book devices reached a peak of 20 million units in 2012 and then fell to 16 million units last year.”

One of the ways e Ink intends on turning things around is via the red hot mobile phone industry.The company began shipping e-paper products to Russian smartphone vendor Yota Devices last quarter and is hooking up Onyx with their e-Paper Android phone.

e Ink continues to make most of their money from royalties, based on the sales performance of mainstream e-readers. They have also raised capital from new investors in Taiwan and even received an income tax refund.

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Mar
28

Readmill Acquired by Dropbox

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Readmill is a Berlin based Startup founded in 2010 by Henrik Berggren and David Kjelkerud. The company launched a simple e-reading app for iOS and Android that allowed people to buy eBooks from publishers such as Penguin, and engage in a unique social atmosphere. Today, the company has announced that it has been acquired by Dropbox and will be joining their team.

One of thing things Readmill did to separate themselves from other e-reading apps out there was to add a social layer. In February 2014 the company announced an update to its app that lets users make mentions to their friends, giving them the ability to highlight titles and pull direct quotes from the book, even if their friends are not currently engaged in the book. By using the Twitter-like at symbol, users can highlight passages, send them to a friend, and even include a note. The recipient can respond, of course, and a genuine conversation about the book can actually take place. The app also allowed you to upload ePub books to your account through the website and then sync your library to your mobile device.

In a statement, Readmill said “As of today, it is no longer possible to create a new account, and on July 1, 2014, the Readmill app will no longer be available. For the next three months, our first priority is to help you transition to other services and get back to reading. All of your books and reading data are available for export in multiple formats. Our team will be joining Dropbox, where our expertise in reading, collaboration and syncing across devices finds a fitting home. Millions of people use Dropbox to store and share their digital lives, and we believe it’s a strong foundation on which to build the future of reading. We’re delighted to work alongside this talented team and imagine new ways to read together.”

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Sony has sent out the first batch of emails that instruct customers on transferring their library of purchased content to Kobo. The process is relatively simple, you have to register for a Kobo account and click on the Getting Started Link. It will scan your library and begin uploading your books to the Kobo account. The only books that will not transfer are books that Kobo does not sell in their bookstore.

Users are reporting that the success rate of transferring their existing library of content from Sony to Kobo, is around 85%. The bulk of titles that are not transferring are self-published, magazines, newspapers, comics, manga and kids books.

The Sony Reader Store is now officially closed and users will not be able to buy anything further directly on their e-reader anymore. Sony has promised that during the next few weeks they will push out a firmware update to the Sony PRS-T1, Sony PRS-T2 and Sony PRS-T3 that will replace the Sony Store with the Kobo one. Users will soon be able to buy books directly from Kobo and read them on the Sony Reader.

Users are implored not to fret if they have not received the transforship emails yet. Sony obviously can not send out millions of emails at once, and it will take about a week for everyone to receive them.

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