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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Thoughts, Opinions?

I had been planning on getting some kind of ebook reader for my birthday, but I couldn't decide what I wanted. But with being without laptop for a couple of weeks, I was thinking of going ahead, b/c I was going to get a handheld pc device. This way I could at least check email etc. Does anyone have thoughts concerning the Palm TX or Tungsten E2 vs. an HP IPAQ like this? Or have any other suggestions? With the palm can you only use their software? Would you be limited to their store? I find all the different IPAQs overwhelming.

16 comments:

Kristie (J) said...

I don't know anything to help you myself, but I know Jane of Dear Author has done a number of posts on e-readers and the like. If you search the archives, you'll probably learn quite a bit.

Ann Aguirre said...

I wanted an HP Ipaq but then my husband handed me his Lifedrive (because he found it a little too big to haul around), but it's perfect for my purse, and I'm really happy with its Ebook reading capability.

C2 said...

In fact Jane discussed the Sony ereader today. And linked to some of her earlier entries. Most excellent timing!

I'm hoping the iPhone will do everything by the time my current contract expires. ;-)

Devon said...

Arghhh! It's overwhelming. I was like if I'm getting an ebook reader, I may as well get something with other capabilities as well. I've been looking at DA, as well as Amazon and the HP and Palm sites. Everything has its detractors and its equally strong fans.

I also don't want to spend a lot. I was thinking a Palm Z22 might be good enough, but I would like some document and wifi capbility. Don't care about Bluetooth, really.

Then there's the possibility of getting an older used model on Ebay, but that makes me a little nervous too. Must ponder for awhile.

Devon said...

Ann,do you use yours for reading only, or do you use other apps as well? Like MS word type stuff.

Ann Aguirre said...

I use it as a PDA as well. It has a calendar, and it has Documents to Go on it, which means I can read and edit documents. It also lets me check email, and a whole bunch of other stuff too. I really like it, and the screen is one of the biggest I've found.

I looked at the Ipaq and the Treo in stores just today and compared them to my Lifedrive. Screen size is smaller (don't know about other comparable functions). I like a long screen for reading ebooks (with some other features), which is why the Sony Reader is no good for me. I don't want a dedicated ebook reader -- just a device that can do that job well, along with several others. The only PDA I saw with a bigger screen (only a little) was the Palm TX, but it was pretty pricey. I'm not sure what Andres paid for his Lifedrive, cos I got it when he replaced it.

Overall I endorse the Lifedrive, though. It's meeting my needs really well. I'm seeing it for a couple hundred on eBay, if that helps any.

Devon said...

Thanks for the info, Ann. I agree about the multifunction thing vs. the dedicated reader.

Just to bother you one more time. With the Palm Devices, do you have to download additional software to read books that aren't from their store? The e-books I buy are from e-pubs and it seems like the Palm uses a specific program. Am I making sense? I usually read e-books on my laptop using MS Reader.

Ann Aguirre said...

I don't know how other people do it, but I'm kind of a techno-dork. (that means I can't figure stuff out the right way, so I jury rig it). Ergo, I buy everything in HTML format, and then I convert it to a Word document.

I wasn't able to get any format to work, including Palm ebooks, pdfs, and I forgot what all. But the html to .doc is working fine cos I can open it via Documents to Go.

Maybe other people don't have this problem, but like I said, I'm not very tech-savvy when it comes to gizmos. I was happy enough with this workaround because you can buy pretty much any book in html form. I'm sure other people DO buy and read it via Palm format, though.

Devon said...

I see...thanks so much for the input!

Ann Aguirre said...

I have to tell you...

I just bought a couple of ebooks from ereader.com... Elizabeth Hoyt books. Cheap too! They were like 4.99 each or something. I have the second book already, got it free at National, so I wanted to get the first and last ones. They only offered e-palm format, but they hooked me up with the e-palm reader for free. I copied that to my Lifedrive, and my problems are solved! That's why it wouldn't read ebooks. I didn't have a reader.

How sad is that? I don't need to do the weird html to .doc workaround anymore. I can just buy it in palm reader format, and it looks really nice. Very searchable, easy to find your page once you walked away, etc. This is even better for reading bestsellers!

QB said...

Devon, I've got an iPaq. If most of your books are in LIT format, meaning you are reading them with Microsoft Reader, then you will either want to stick with Windows Mobile or you will have to get a converter program that will convert your LIT files to whatever format your device uses. Although I personally prefer the navigation within MSReader to anything else I've tried.

Besides using a Windows format that you are already familiar with, the iPAQ also uses the Mobile versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and Windows Media Player. You can also read Adobe PDF files just like you do on your laptop.

And yes, with wi-fi, you can check your mail. Mine also happens to be the model with Tom-Tom Navigation.

If the price of UMPC's ever comes down, I am sooooo buying one. A UMPC is an Ultra Mobile PC. It's a fully functional tablet PC that's about the size of a trade paperback.

Ann Aguirre said...

Further Lifedrive update:

I installed Mobipocket Reader as well on it. This lets me shop at Mobipocket.com also. Best part is, I created an account, and now I can buy / download straight to my PDAS. It's awesome. Now I have lots of places where I can get books.

Devon said...

Thanks for the info QB, and the update, Ann. As right now $$ is tight, I shall wait a bit. That gives me a bit more time to shop around, now that I've got a better idea of what I want.

Great info!

Nicole said...

I started out reading ebooks on a HP iPaq 4155. I love it as you can read just about anything on it. MS Reader, Mobipocket, most pdfs, html, rtf, doc.... I liked not having to worry so much if a certain format would work.

Of course, now I have a Sony Reader and absolutely love that.

Devon said...

Thanks Nicole. I'm leaning towards the IPAQ because of the reason you mentioned. I don't want to have to work to hard to convert files etc.

lisabea said...

I love this post!!! The Lifedrive sounds like what I'm looking for: I need a PDA option. How many books can it hold? And, heh, can I password protect them so that I don't find my kids reading my Loose-id books....ok, yes, that's censorship, but I'm a mom.