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Multifunction v. Dedicated Ebook Reader & Samhain Giveaway

PursueThe lads at Gearlog and Teleblog are great believers of multi function devices. Multi function devices do it all: it’s a cell phone, camera, calendar, contact, ebook reader all in one. Gearlog opines that the reason that women tend to buy a cell phone separate from a PDA is the ubiquitous purse. Of course, the only purse that Gearlog could find was a laptop bag (not a real purse guys). Teleblog did a llittle better but not by much. No self respecting chick lit heroine would carry either bag.

I chose to go the two device route when buying an ebook reader for a variety of reasons. I didn’t want my phone to be with me in the bedroom while I read. The Smartphones were either way to big to hold up to my ear or the smaller, sleeker Smartphones had too small of a viewscreen for reading books. I went PDA over a dedicated device (like the Ebookwise) because I wanted to use the PDA for ebook reading but I still wanted to be able to surf the internet. I paid a premium to get the nicest screen available on a PDA. The IPAQ 4700 has a 4″ VGA screen. It does not hurt my eyes after extended reading because there is no refresh on the screen like there is on a computer monitor, but I think I would throw my IPAQ over in a heartbeat for an E Ink device with a) a backlight and b) wifi capabilities and c) a decent html viewer.

Others have chosen to go for with a Smartphone, like a Treo. Still others have chosen to purchase a Dedicated Ebook Reader, like the Ebookwise. What I am curious about is if you have an ebook reader, what did you choose and why. If you want an ebook reader, what your going to buy? I think its time for a poll. Polls not working.

Drop a comment regarding your readin device of choice (ie a dedicated ebook reader because you have a purse) and you will be entered to win 1 of 3 $5 gift certificates from my favorite ebookstore: Samhain Publishing. Thanks Christine for giving DearAuthor the chance to give away prizes. We love that!

Next week: All About the Greatness of Gowerpoint’s Ubook.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

18 Comments

  1. Tilly Greene
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 07:56:15

    I’m not quite with it this morning because I couldn’t cast a vote…but I say PDA! I rarely use my mobile [mainly my nieces phoning me or the cutie trying to find me when he's away]. Haven’t liked a dedicated ebook reader because of just that, for one thing only. If I’m going to carry it then I want to do more with the device than read.

    It’s my address and birthday book, when I travel I take a little keyboard and write on it, and I use the excel to maintain my wanted list of books so I’m never without it – never know where you’ll find a great bookshop so best be prepared. I think I’ve had my Toshiba for 5 years now and have never had a problem, and now with the 2 gb card [found out about it here and put it on the bday list] I can carry my entire ebook library and it now rivals my traditional books.

    People often ask why ebooks…that’s easy: my house is not growing any larger and my bookshelves from attic to cellar are full. I’m to the point where something has to go if I add a book so it must be a real gem.

  2. Keishon
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 08:44:47

    New ebook convert here and I would choose the PDA. I like multi-functional products as well because I use my PDA for work as a drug database and the bonus is getting to read books on it as well.

    I can’t wait for you to feature Gowerpoint’s Ubook reader. I love it. There may be some options that I’m not able to use or don’t know about. I am not always consistent with getting pics of my books but it would be nice to see a How to section on making your books look nice on your ubook reader. Or whatever options that are available that many of us clueless people don’t know about or don’t know how to use.

    Also, I couldn’t vote either :-(

  3. Lara Rose
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 09:02:42

    I couldn’t vote either, but I use a PDA. I have a Palm Life Drive, which has a rather wide screen, can connect to the Internet, has a seriously big hard drive (4 GB), can play music and movies, and keeps my schedule.

    I’m pretty new to the whole ebook world, I was always a “you can’t curl up in bed with a computer” kinda gal. But since getting the Life Drive a few months ago, I’m beginning to see the appeal. Not only that, but I’ve discovered a few authors I wouldn’t have read if I’d stuck to paper books. :)

  4. May
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 09:37:23

    I went the PDA route mostly because I’m a writer. I wanted something that I could write on when I wanted to, but I didn’t want to go for a PDA/phone combination plus a separate ebook reader. Though, like Jane, I might change my mind for an E Ink.

    I might change over in the next year to take advantage of 3G services though, and get a PDA/phone combination plus an ebook reader.

  5. David H. Rothman
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 09:37:53

    The lads at Gearlog and Teleblog are great believers of multi function devices.

    Phone-PDA devices are indeed trendy, but that’s not the same as saying they’re best for all. I myself use a Palm TX, a “pure” PDA. Of course, things can get tricky. Last night I used the TX as an MP3 player, and maybe in the future there’ll even be a way to use it as a wi-fi phone (an accessory mike is already available). No purse, but the TX fits nicely in my pants pocket—a point I should have in the original post.

    Meanwhile best of luck on the uBook paen. Lasses, I agree in advance.

    Thanks,
    David

    P.S. Next time perhaps I can consult with Mrs. TeleRead on the choice of purse graphics.

  6. Nicole
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 10:18:31

    I have an Pocket PC because I wanted to be able to go online too.

    My cell is just a simple one as I don’t really use it that much, although I might get a camera phone next time just because (didn’t last time because I just didn’t care and DH didn’t get one because he job prohibited camera phones).

    I still kinda want an eink device, I’m curious to see if it’s possible to clip a wedge booklight to one since you can’t backlight them. That would be cool. Or if they’d build one in.

  7. Robin
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 13:36:11

    I’m edging toward a Treo 650, because I use my cell all the time, and because I HATE scheduling anything, thus my innate abhorrance of a PDA device. My only frustration regarding the TREO is no built-in wi-fi. Are there any devices that solve that problem? Oh, and are Mac compatible (my biggest limitation, perhaps)?

  8. Amy S.
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 15:12:23

    I would love to have an ebook reader. Right now, I read the ebooks on my desktop computer. I want an Ebookwise reader.

  9. Charlene
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 16:03:44

    I have high hopes for e ink! Right now I have a Palm Tungsten T3, with the expandable screen (plus portable foldaway keyboard for writing). I love the multifunction, the scheduling, being able to port my document over to work on, the works. My only dissatisfaction with it as a reader is battery life. If I’m reading a very long book, I’ll have to recharge to finish. Interruption! Argh! For the most part, though, it’s such a good fit for me that I’ll wait until the ebook reader of my dreams comes along to make a change in reading devices. And then I’ll have to ask myself if I really want to carry two devices around.

  10. Lynne
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 19:38:42

    I tried a Pocket PC Phone a few years back, but I found it way too big, too. The newer models are smaller, though, so I might give one a try again. My husband has a Treo 650 and LOVES it. The PDA I use is a Sony Clié UX-50, and it can connect to the ‘net via WiFi or through Bluetooth on my cell phone. I absolutely adore it as a PDA, portable word processor, email client, and ebook reader. Unfortunately, Sony doesn’t make ‘em anymore, so I’ll be heartbroken whenever it dies.

  11. Phyl
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 19:57:06

    I got my Treo 750 2 months ago and I love having only one device to carry around. I’ve already read 3 books on it and have several more loaded and ready to read. So far the books I’ve purchased have only been available as ebooks, but this week I’m taking the plunge and buying JR Ward’s and Jo Beverley’s new ones only in e-format. If I bring any more paper books into the house, surely it’ll start listing to one side….

    Phyl

  12. jmc
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 20:51:50

    I’m loving my eBookwise reader. It’s a good introductory reader, I think, especially for someone who is not up on the different devices that are available, like me. Very affordable, great bookshelf function, simply set up and updated.

    My main reason for wanting an ereader was convenience — I like having multiple books on hand without having to carry their bulk in my satchel. When debating what to purchase, I considered whether I wanted another device that tethered me to my desk, calendar and work. The answer was no.

    Multifunction is wonderful, and maybe I’ll move to a PDA or Smartphone one day, but right now, all I want is the handheld reader.

  13. Ellie M.
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 22:08:02

    I have a cheap, basic, b&w Sony Clie that suits me dandy. Because it’s b&w, the battery lasts longer than color. With the expansion card I can hold quite a few ebooks at at time. It’s a miraculous device for my current lifestyle because I’m a nursing Mama with an infant who likes to chow down at various times through the night. I can flick on my Clie while she’s eating and read 1-handed without turning on any lights. I can also do some minor editing on it. It would take an affordable and yet rockin’ ebook device for me to trade up. The worst thing about it, and I have no clue how this compares to other devices, is that if I stupidly let the battery die, I have to reinstall everything.

    Ellie M.

  14. MeriBeth
    Aug 28, 2006 @ 14:07:20

    Um.. desktop computer. Can’t get PDAs in this small, middle-of-nowhere farming town where I live. Also, only have basic cellphones… so for me… it’s a desktop PC with Adobe.

  15. Lynne
    Aug 28, 2006 @ 14:47:36

    You’re so right about b&w PDAs, Ellie. My Psion’s batteries lasted FOREVER. The WiFi and Bluetooth on my current PDA are wonderful, but they’re murder on the batteries, which can be seriously annoying. Are they still making your Clié, or did Sony discontinue the whole line?

  16. seton
    Aug 29, 2006 @ 10:12:26

    i dont have a reader. I just store it in my laptop on MSreader

  17. Zara
    Aug 30, 2006 @ 09:55:22

    I read ebooks on my laptop or PC, but I plan to buy an ebookwise reader soon. I think it would be so much more convenient and much easier to deal with.

  18. romblogreader
    Aug 31, 2006 @ 11:59:50

    I like my palm Z22 quite a lot. :) It’s the size of a deck of cards, has a few more functions than just the ebook reader but not so many bells and whistles that they become distracting. :)

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