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This time of year, everyone is coming out with essential reading lists to hopefully sell you a brand new e-Book for the holiday season! Here at Good e-Reader we simply enjoy the process of reading. This year, plenty of amazing fiction and non-fiction books came out and I take a look at the ones that riveted me the most.

In the video below, I go over by top 5 books of the year, and yes I own the print versions. I find the discovery process of finding a new book much more enjoyable when I leave my comfortable abode and participate in bookstore culture. On a side note, the New York Times just posted an amazing list of books that are my list to read in early 2015, so be sure to check that out.


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The ability to take screenshots is not just relegated to phones or tablets, but your Kindle Voyage too. It is rather simple to take a screenshot of anything displayed on your screen. Today, we show you exactly how to do it in another Good e-Reader Video Tutorial.

Taking screenshots just needs you to click on opposing corners on the very edge of the touchscreen. You need to ideally do it on the top right and bottom left, or vice versa. When you take a screenshot the screen will briefly flash, there is no confirmation message. If you want to access your list of screenshots, you simply need to plug your Voyage into your PC with the USB cable. All pictures are on the root drive, so you don’t need to go hunting for it.


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The Cybook Ocean is the first eight inch touchscreen e-reader and the main selling point is that you can fit more text on the screen at any given time than your standard six inch device. One of the big advancements of the Ocean is the new illumination technology that allows you to have control over the brightness of the screen during the day or night.

Today, we take a look at the Cybook Ocean and demonstrate how the front-lit technology works. You will get a sense of how the interface is designed and how the e-reader performs in complete darkness. One of the very unique things is “nighttime reading mode” which will turn the background black and the text white. This mode, is normally reserved exclusively for smartphone and tablet apps. How does it perform on the Ocean? Check out the video below.


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Bookeen has just released a new e-reader that seemingly came out of nowhere, with no fanfare or advance hype. The Cybook Muse with Frontlight gives users the ability to read eBooks in many different formats and read in the dark. It allows you turn pages with both the touchscreen and manual buttons. Is this e-reader a valid investment?

Hardware

The Cybook Muse has a 6 inch screen allowing for easy reading in all conditions, while reducing the size of the e-reader by 17% in comparison to its predecessor, the Cybook Odyssey. The resolution is 1024 x 758, and has 213 DPI, which is fairly conventional.

Underneath the hood is a 800 MHZ Freescale processor and 4 GB of internal storage. It does have support for an MicroSD card, so you can simply insert one in to store thousands of additional titles. Speaking of eBooks, there is a built in store loaded on the two e-readers, with over 100,000 books. You need to register an account with Bookeen and another one with Adobe.

The Cybook Ocean has the physical page turn keys flush with the bezel, whereas the Muse has more convention page turn keys that protrude upwards. This is appealing towards people who have used older e-readers and want to upgrade to something more modern.

Software

Bookeen has been using the Linux operating system for their complete line of e-readers for a number of years.  This e-reader is fairly basic and does not have a ton of advanced features to boggle the minds of people new to digital reading.

The homescreen comprises of the book you are currently reading with a progress bar of how much of it is remaining. Underneath that is a small carousal with all of the eBooks in your library with their cover art being displayed. If you click on any of the book covers it will automatically launch the e-reading app.

I think overall the Cybook software is fairly robust, it is super stable and never prone to crashing. One of the downsides is that there is no internet browser bundled on it, so you won’t be able to visit your favorite websites.

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Bookeen handles the core e-reading experience fairly conventionally, but most of its advanced features are a bit complicated to access. If you are buying this reader to just read books and not make highlights, annotations, look words up in the dictionary or use the keyboard, you are fine! If you want to do any of these things, be prepared to jump through a ton of hoops.

You can customize your e-reading experience by hitting the home key and then selecting the settings menu. There are options to change the font size, eight different font types, line spaces or margins. This is normally the most accessed reading features and anything you augment is dynamically changed on the screen.

PDF Viewing is a solid experience on the Muse you can pinch and zoom and get a particular frame or image showing up correctly. There is also a “reflow” mode, which will strip away all of the images and CSS elements, giving you more of an eBook experience. Depending on the extensiveness of the PDF file you are viewing, reflow can be hit or miss.

Wrap up

If you want to find out what we thought of this e-reader and if its a viable investment, check out our unboxing and video review.


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Today we look back at the top news items of the week! Make sense of the shifting climates of digital publishing, eBooks and e-Readers in one concise video!

Some of the news stories we follow this week are updates to the Amazon Kindle Fire Silk Browser for better security and the Sony Digital Paper available in a few stores in California and New York.


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Welcome to another Video Installment of the Good e-Reader Gift Giving Guide! Last month we did one on the best e-readers of 2014 and today we are basically looking back on 2014 and giving our advice for the best devices to buy yourself or a loved one. Peter and myself have very different views on technology, so you can get a sense on what we loved the most.


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Hey everyone! Welcome back to another Good e-Reader Video Comparison. Today, we evaluate the new Amazon Fire HDX 8.9, which is the model released in late 2014 and the other model released a year ago.

The new 8.9 HDX model has a few things going for it, that makes it a worthy upgrade. The main aspect is hardware based and it has a faster processor, there is also graphic improvements. The most compelling aspect is the inclusion of proper Dolby Audio, which makes audiobooks, music or videos really shine using the speakers.

On the software side of things it runs a more modern version of Android 4.4, so it has more compatibility with modern apps. Amazon borrowed an element from the Fire Phone called Firefly. It can scan book covers, bar codes, UPC labels and even music and gives the price listing on the main amazon website. Finally, ASAP should appeal to video lovers, it buffers in advance content you are watching, such as episode 2 and 3, when you are watching the first one. This cuts down on loading time and allows you not break immersion.

I think the HDX 2014 edition is worthy upgrade if you own last years model or even the first generation edition. This tablet has high enough specs and internals that it will still be relevant for a few years.


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Amazon and Barnes and Noble both have flagship large screen tablets in the form of the Fire HDX 8.9 2014 edition and the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1. These devices both  cost over $300 and provide large screens to read digital books, newspapers, magazines, comics and graphic novels. How well do they compete against each other head to head? Today we compare the full experience to give you a sense of how the hardware and software elements play out.

Lately, I have not been going into full details about the specs during these comparison videos. Tablets these days all give you quad-core processors, plenty of RAM and internal storage, on paper they are fairly even. My opinion is that it is all about real world conditions and how content looks.

The Fire HDX 8.9 model has a few software functions that make it standout in a crowd.  You can listen to a song and quickly ID it, and then buy it from Amazon, or scan a bar code, UPC and just snap a picture of a physical book and instantly get a price comparison. There is also the consumer friendly  technical support system that allows you to talk to a real person via Mayday. The best aspect of the HDX, is the Dolby Audio, which really fills a room with full and vibrant sounds, currently the sound quality is the best of ANY tablet in the world right now.

The Nook 10.1 has the larger screen, which really makes visual content look really good. It is certainly no slouch in the sound department either, with the stereo speakers. I think the most compelling aspects is the ability to access the classic Nook Store to buy any content you need, but also the inclusion of Google Play greatly enhances customers ability to download other reading apps, such as Kindle, Kobo, Comixology, and thousands of others.

In this comparison video we mainly look at how the same content looks side by side, to give you a sense of the resolution and quality. We look at an eBook, magazine, and comic book experience.


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Barnes and Noble issued two new tablet devices in 2014 and they ironed out an agreement with Samsung to provide the hardware. This was the first time the hardware was outsourced and provides a very unique experience, compared to the Nook HD and HD+. Today, we look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1.

In this official comparison video by Good e-Reader we look at the overall user experience. During this process we noticed that the 10.1 inch model had an extra widget on the home screen to give you quick access to your library.

What are the main differences between these two models? We dive deep into the reading experience. We compare eBooks, digital magazines, digital newspapers and look at all of the Nook apps that come loaded on it.

Both of these tablets have Google Play, Galaxy App Store and the Nook App Store. There is no shortage of content distribution systems available, and its really easy to download whatever 3rd party e-reading app or game you want. This is total freedom, something Nook users of the past were not able to really enjoy.


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Amazon has released their next generation Fire Tablet lineup a few weeks ago. This includes the Fire HD6, Fire HD7, Kids Tablet and Fire HDX 8.9.  They range in price from $99 all the way to $379, which are all significant investments.  Many people who read eBooks, newspapers and digital magazines tend to not always be cooped up inside the house, but are doing it outdoors. How well do these tablets perform in direct sunlight? Today, we check out the entire line of Amazon tablets to give you a sense and the results are surprising.


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The Kindle Voyage is the latest generation flagship e-reader from Amazon. Many people find themselves exclusively relying on the online bookstore and are aware they can load in their own PDF files or eBooks from the internet. Today, you will learn how to load in your own books.

First of all, Amazon Kindle e-readers read AZW and MOBI as a primary format that are easily found online. Many European bookstores actually sell eBooks in MOBI format and embed them with digital watermarks to curb piracy. There are also many bookstores and websites all over the internet that sell or allow people to download them. Sure you can buy or download, but whats the step steps?

Amazon has feature many people are unaware of. It allows you to send attachments via Email to your Amazon Kindle. If you have have registered an Amazon account and attached your Kindle to do, during the setup, you are half-way done. You need to visit your Account Management Page and then visit Settings. Near the bottom you will see a few email address and the associated devices. It should give your first name and a few random numbers, mine is michael_95121@kindle.com. You can then enter that email has the destination email address and attach any MOBI books you have downloaded from the internet and in a few minutes they will be on your Kindle Basic!

I really like a program called CALIBRE. It does some powerful stuff, like allowing you to add coverart to an eBook you have downloaded that may not have one, or to change the authors name. The feature I dig the most is being able to convert eBooks from one format to another. EPUB is one of the most common book formats out there, and is 100% incompatible with the Kindle. In the video below, I will show you how to convert an EPUB book to a MOBI one and also how to use this program on a very general level.

Finally, many people simply copy books to their Kindle Documents directory via a file manager or Windows Explorer. You can get a sense of the internal directory structure of your e-Reader and where you should be copying books manually.


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The Kindle Voyage builds upon the software and design principles of the Paperwhite line of e-readers. Today, we evaluate if it makes enough sense to upgrade from the second generation Kindle Paperwhite over to the Voyage.

The Voyage has superior resolution and DPI compared to the Kindle Paperwhite, but how does this play out in real world conditions? We show off the eBook and PDF experience to give you a sense on how the same content looks, side by side.

Finally, we take a look at the front-lit displays on both units, to show you how reading in complete darkness plays out. The results are very interesting.


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The Amazon Fire Phone has not been selling very well, and recently the Seattle company said they had to write off close to $170 million in loses. Things have got so bad, that AT&T is throwing in a free Fire Tablet in a bid to lure people over. What is all the fuss about, is this a legit good phone? Today, we do a proper unboxing video, showing you everything that comes in the box. You can get a sense on the form factor and core features that makes this unique in the marketplace.