Thursday, August 14, 2008

EReader vs. the Kindle

I spent an hour and a half in the doctor's office waiting for my son to get seven stitches removed (broken glass) and read a few issues of what I call house porn (Good Housekeeping, Better Homes, etc.), but really wished I had one of the manuscripts I should have been reading with me. I didn't want to print something out, wasting paper and time, or drag my laptop around. I decided then and there, I'd get one of these reading devices.

So I went to the mall and asked to see the Sony eReader, because all the editors I know have one. I certainly like its light weight and page-like readability, but I was under the impression that you could track changes on a Word document, and I was told that's just not doable.

Is there any light-weight device I can do this on?

What's been your reading experience of the Kindle vs. the eReader, if any?

I really want to get one of these reading devices a.s.a.p., but it's really for manuscripts, not published books.

12 comments:

Sara said...

If you want to use track changes in word documents, I recommend a Tablet PC:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_PC

Sara

Paul said...

I really want either the Kindle or the eReader. Something that doesn't completely weigh me down the way my copy of The Brothers Karamazov has recently!

But if you're looking for track changes on a Word document, I'm wondering if you really want an e-book reader, or whether you'd be better off with a lightweight computer or smartphone?

Gerald Brandt said...

You may want to look at some of the 'NetBook' laptops. They are quite small, but still full fledged computers, so you can mark up documents as per normal.

People seem to like the Asus EeePC, but I found the keyboard too small, so I got an Acer Aspire One.

ilyakogan said...

Here is Nathan Bransford - an agent with Curtis Brown reviewing Kindle and talking specifically about how he doesn't read partials any other way anymore.

Kindle-riffic

I've had both Kindle and Sony e-reader and one feature is a deal clincher - Whispernet. Kindle has a "free" (included in the price of the device and in the book prices) wireless connection - you can buy a book virtually anywhere. You can also email yourself MSWord Document and it gets converted into Kindle format.

There is no way to track changes yet. You can take notes and then download them to computer. It's not the same as change tracking but as close as you can get to it.

Terra LeMay said...

Have you considered looking at some one of the new ultra-portable laptops, like the ASUS eeePC? I can't speak about the qualities of any digital reading devices, because I haven't tried any of them, but I loved my own ultra-portable laptop because I could fit it in my purse. And the newest of the eeePCs is also available with Windows XP, ans so should run Word. I'm not sure the price of the Windows version, but the earlier models were in the same price-range as most of the e-reading devices I've seen.

Lori said...

Hey Lori! Lori Strongin here!

A woman in my writing group had the same problem, so went out and bought an ultra-small tablet style PC. It fits in her purse and is a *full* computer--including Microsoft Office and Explorer.

Thought I'd share! Hope you're having a great day!

http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3422407&CatId=927

ilyakogan said...

I forgot to mention that I also carry Asus EEE PC with me. The Linux version comes with OpenOffice. I love OpenOffice - I use it even on my bid desktop. But sometimes there are compatibility issues between OO and MSWord. I don't care but you might. If you want to avoid them you want to buy MS Windows version. It doesn't come with MS Office, you will have to install your own copy.

The keyboard is fine - you get used to in in about an hour.

My other complain about EEE PC is the battery life and that it runs hot. I bought a Chinese made extended battery from eBay. I get about five hours of work but it really 'extends' out of the body of the EEE PC. The battery it comes with claims three hours of battery life - it's unrealistic. Two hours is your best bet.

The most important thing about EEE PC is the price, of course. It's the same price as Kindle but it's a full blown PC.

If you are buying Windows based one you probably want this one (it's in stock in J&R downtown)

Asus EEE PC 4 GB Windows

Debra Hyde said...

I have a Sony Reader and love it. It's great on my eyes and they never tire from E-Ink-based screen.

However, I agree with everyone else. A tablet might be better suited to your workflow needs.

BTW, the Kindle's Whispernet uses the EVDO network, which only works in the US. As I understand it, the rest of world uses GSM?

Peter L. Winkler said...

The Asus EEE PC or the HP Mini-note or Fujitsu P1610 would be good alternatives to a dedicated e-reader. They're all under 3 pounds, will run Microsoft Office under XP.

Chumplet said...

I just discovered Kindle isn't available in Canada because of the wireless provider restrictions. We only have a few wireless providers and none of them have factored in the Kindle yet.

Amie Stuart said...

My agent uses the Sony and loves it. I think someone at Folio blogged a while back on the Kindle vs the eReader also.

Personally....I want the Sony :)

Mary Jane said...

Ms. Perkins,

I would recommend a smart phone. I use my Treo 680 for writing (about 75% of my new novel was written on the Treo, and I'm editing it on the Treo). It has a program that comes with it called Documents to Go which allows you to read or write Word documents. You can type in your own comments on other's manuscripts. To find them again, you could type in a different color, or in ALL CAPS, but I would suggest using a symbol marker, like, "** That Mary Jane, she sure can write." Then, when you get the document back on a PC, you'll be able to search for ** to find all your comments.

The pros: 1) you're going to carry a phone around anyhow, 2) you can put all your comments in and find them again, 3) it's light, 4) it's cheap, 5) there is no boot up time, and 6) the full keyboard makes it easy to type once you've had a little practice.

The cons: 1) small screen.

I hope this helps.

- Mary Jane