e-reader

Archive for e-reader

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The Spanish eBook market have increased between 300% and 400% in the past three years. This has prompted a number of e-readers to be announced to take advantage of the digital boom. The latest entrant to the market is Szenio, who is best known for their line of tablets and smartphones. The company has just unveiled their first e-reader, the Szenio DC 1600.

This e-reader uses outdated TFT technology, which is the same screen that the Ectacto Jetbook employed four years ago. The resolution is an abysmal 800 x 600 pixels.

Underneath the hood is a robust ARM9 DualCore 600 MHZ processor and 128 MB of RAM. You have 4GB of internal memory to store your books and it supports a myriad of formats, including; TXT, PDF, HTML, CHM, RTF, FB2, EPUB.  One of the unique aspects of this device is that there is a built in comic book rendering engine. There is no bookstore loaded on it though, but you can use the accompanied internet browser to purchase content via WIFI.

You can see by the design of the reader that it bears a slight resemblance to the Kindle 5th generation. You navigate around via the D-Pad and also turn pages. There are forward, backward and settings to call up various functions.

The Szenio DC 1600 has high availability in Spain at various tech stores and is being sold for 79 Euros. I would give this one a miss if I were you. It is using really outdated screen technology and does not have a touchscreen. There are plenty of Spanish exclusives that are way better than this model, at the same price. I would recommend the Papyre 630 instead.

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LittleLostKindle

Kindle e-Readers and tablets tend to be one of the sole joys of a voracious readers life. You carry your entire library of books that you have read, intend to read or want to buy next. It can be devastating if you lose your Kindle Fire or Kindle e-reader or someone steals it. What should you do if this situation were to occur?

If you lose your Kindle, chances are it’s going to be very hard to track down who found it or get back again. The first thing you want to do is deregister the device,  you do this by visiting Amazon.com and clicking on Your Apps and Devices.  Next, click on your devicesClick the Actions button, and then click deregister device. Deregistering your device prohibits Appstore purchases on that device, and disables the use of any app purchased from Amazon Appstore for Android and downloaded to that device. You can re-enable purchasing from the device by signing in to the Amazon Appstore for Android again.  Once you deregister  your device someone can’t make any purchases via the One Click Checkout or access anything to do with Whispernet.

When you unregister your Kindle, you do not lose any of your past purchases or digital content. If you were to buy another Kindle Fire or an e-Reader you can simply use your login and password on the new hardware and sync all of your past content. One of the big drawbacks of newspaper and magazine subscriptions is that you can’t get the back  issues via sync, instead you can only get the most current one.

If you want to insure that a stolen Kindle cannot be sold on the blackmarket, eBay, Craigslist or the local pawnshop you may elect to blacklist it.  The best thing to do is phone Amazon, and ask them to “blacklist” the device. When it is blacklisted, it can not be registered by someone else. You can do this by calling Toll free: 1-888-280-4364 or international: 1-206-266-2992. If you manage to find it, or someone returns it in a lost and found bin, you can call  Amazon back  and they can unblacklist it so you can re-register it.

If you want to be an especially vigilant and upstanding citizen, you may elect to file a police report. Chances are if the value is less than $400, it is considered a petty crime and normally the boys in blue move slowly on this. So it might not be the best course of action to file for that lost Kindle Keyboard, but might be worth it for that shiny new 4G Kindle HDX 4G.

Most of Kindle loses occur on while flying and you just want to get off the plane after a long trek. If you realize you left your Kindle on the plane, you don’t want to call the airline or talk to them in person. Instead, most major airlines all have online claim forms that you can fill out. This normally takes weeks to reach a resolution but many customers have found that they get an email eventually if they have found it and then pay the postage to ship it back to you.

Kindle Fire tablets work a bit differently than most of the e-readers. If someone finds it they do  have access to all of your apps and email accounts that you have on file. I recommend that you add a password to your device, to provide a barrier for a bandit. Try and make a password that is not “password” or “123456789.” Find my Kindle is next to useless and should not be depended on.

Tablets are the type of item where it is next to impossible to get back once its stolen or lost. Blacklisting it from accessing core Amazon services would be a sufficient strategy to insure that a thief cannot use the device for their own dark ambitions. Often, a thief quickly resells it on Craigslist, and an unknowing customer cannot actually do anything with it. In this situation, normally Amazon will open a dialog with the new owner and get them to send it back in return for a discount on a new model.

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 zeus

One of the downfalls of a dedicated e-reader is that you are limited in dealing with the company who sold it. When you buy a Kobo, Nook, Sony or Kindle you are locked into that ecosystem. This presents challenges when Sony closes their North American bookstore and forces customers to switch to another retailer. Tablets overall are a bit more agnostic, because readers can choose what app they want to download and can deal with more than one company. The new Onyx Zeus e-Reader is poised to bridge the two worlds and offer a new experience.

The Onyx Zeus is a new 9.7 touchscreen e Ink Pearl Reader with a resolution of 1200 x 825. It lacks the frontlite of the competition, which will warrant customers investing in a reading light.

Underneath the hood of the Boox M96M Zeus  is a 1GHz Freescale i.MX6 Solo Lite processor and 512 MB of RAM. You can store your data efficiently with the 4 GB internal storage and boost it up via the MicroSD.

The most compelling aspect of the Zeus is the fact it is running a pure version of Android with version 4.04. This means you can easily load in your own apps and not do business exclusively with a specific company. It does not have access to the Google Play market obviously, but you can load in the Good e-Reader App Store and install things like Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Sony or a number of indie apps. Speaking of indie, the e-reader comes bundled with a bunch of notable ones such as FBReader, Cool-ER and more.

This e-reader is fairly expensive at $400 and is available exclusively in Russia. You can order it directly from Onyx in a few weeks for 14990.00 p. We will try and get a copy of this and do a hands on review shortly.

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entitle-the-netflix-for-books

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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grammata-papyre-6301

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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unnamed

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-t31

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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