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Thread: What's the best E-reader for a friend in Russia?

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    Подающий надежды оратор shackleford's Avatar
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    What's the best E-reader for a friend in Russia?

    I'm doing research into E-readers. My friend is a native Russian. What's the best E-reader? I've come across Pocketbook and some Sony E-reader.

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    The one which supports fb2 and djvu formats - most popular e-book formats in Russia
    I personally like Nook but it doesn't support either of the above

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    Подающий надежды оратор shackleford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    The one which supports fb2 and djvu formats - most popular e-book formats in Russia
    I personally like Nook but it doesn't support either of the above
    I read somewhere that fb2 is a common Russian e-book format. Another potential reader is the Sony PRS-T1 RUS, but it's on back order.

    It appears that the Amazon Kindle supports the Cyrillic alphabet, but the keyboard is in English.

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    There are three most popular e-readers in Russia: Amazon Kindle (Touch or Keyboard), Sony PRS-T1 and Nook Simple Touch. There are even holly wars on the topic which one is the best on e-reader's forums. All three has a high quality screen (e-ink pearl).

    None of them supports fb2 or djvu but there is a bunch of free software which can convert any e-books to any format. In addition most web sites which are used to get e-books can provide automatic conversion to any desirable format.

    My notes:
    Kindle is ready to display Russian books (.pdf, .mobi and .prc formats) and use English-Russian dictionaries just out of the box. The price is extremely low for the provided quality.

    Sony prs-T1 can be modified with additional software to be able to read any formats (except djvu, djvu should be converted to pdf which is a one button pressing task).

    Nook can also be modified with additional software as well.

    Other two popular brands are Pocketbook (the only one which includes Lingvo dictionaries but old type of the screen and extremely high price) and Onyx (supports any possible format and some models are with "pearl" screen).
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Подающий надежды оратор shackleford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCup View Post
    There are three most popular e-readers in Russia: Amazon Kindle (Touch or Keyboard), Sony PRS-T1 and Nook Simple Touch. There are even holly wars on the topic which one is the best on e-reader's forums. All three has a high quality screen (e-ink pearl).

    None of them supports fb2 or djvu but there is a bunch of free software which can convert any e-books to any format. In addition most web sites which are used to get e-books can provide automatic conversion to any desirable format.

    My notes:
    Kindle is ready to display Russian books (.pdf, .mobi and .prc formats) and use English-Russian dictionaries just out of the box. The price is extremely low for the provided quality.

    Sony prs-T1 can be modified with additional software to be able to read any formats (except djvu, djvu should be converted to pdf which is a one button pressing task).

    Nook can also be modified with additional software as well.

    Other two popular brands are Pocketbook (the only one which includes Lingvo dictionaries but old type of the screen and extremely high price) and Onyx (supports any possible format and some models are with "pearl" screen).
    I definitely want to go with a touch screen. I like the Nook Simple Touch and the Amazon Kindle Touch 3G. Can you also modify the Kindle Touch 3G like the Nook? My friend isn't exactly computer savvy, so I may have to make the software modifications before I send it to her. What do you think I should to make it as easy as possible for her? This might be a birthday present next month.

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    There is a free program called Calibre which is a must have for e-library, it also converts from everything to everything
    I use it to convert FB2 to EPUB supported be Nook. Because Nook is Android-base and because epub format is using fonts embedded inside e-book - I have no problems reading Russian books on Nook (with no modifications)

    Software modifications CoffeCup is referring to are quite complex

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    Подающий надежды оратор shackleford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    There is a free program called Calibre which is a must have for e-library, it also converts from everything to everything
    I use it to convert FB2 to EPUB supported be Nook. Because Nook is Android-base and because epub format is using fonts embedded inside e-book - I have no problems reading Russian books on Nook (with no modifications)

    Software modifications CoffeCup is referring to are quite complex
    With Calibre, do you format your e-books on a laptop and then transfer them to the Nook? You could do the same for a Kindle, right?

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shackleford View Post
    I definitely want to go with a touch screen. I like the Nook Simple Touch and the Amazon Kindle Touch 3G. Can you also modify the Kindle Touch 3G like the Nook? My friend isn't exactly computer savvy, so I may have to make the software modifications before I send it to her. What do you think I should to make it as easy as possible for her? This might be a birthday present next month.
    The additional software I talked about called "CoolReader" was not adopted for Kindle touch yet AFAIK. As Doomer said it is not a simple thing for a non-experienced person, while not an impossible thing also. Most people use sony and nook without installing this software and they are doing quite well using "Calibre" to convert books to any desired format.

    Quote Originally Posted by shackleford View Post
    With Calibre, do you format your e-books on a laptop and then transfer them to the Nook? You could do the same for a Kindle, right?
    Yes, exactly. I use Calibre to convert anything to ".mobi" on a PC and then I send it to my Kindle for reading.

    The only thing which I like to point out for Kindle (Touch or Keyboard) is the possibility to use English-Russian dictionary without any modifications. While Sony PRS-T1 provides only English-English Oxford dictionary and I guess the same is for Nook.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  9. #9
    Hanna
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    I am a big fan of ebook readers and have done a bit of research on it.

    The best company used to be iRex (Dutch), however they went bust last year (and I lost my Irex reader!)

    The best company now, is PocketBook . They have two top end models, make sure you do not get ripped off and sold the older one which has lower spec! They look very similar.
    The top end one right now is 912 Pro.

    Why is this company / product good?


    1. Biggest screen reader right now!
    2. Techie company that specialises in ebook readers, unlike Sony for example.
    3. Better quality than Kindle, Sony.
    4. Supports more formats than any other reader, less conversions and you can read books straight off the internet, instead of buying from Amazon etc.


    Pocketbook Pro is a Ukrainian company, I think. Possibly this is the best choice because it has good native support for Russian language and perhaps it's selling a bit cheaper in Russia than Sony (?).

    Pocketbook is a bit hard to find in Western Europe, but I saw it in several electronic shops in ex USSR countries. I plan to buy this model sometime soon. There is only one bad thing about it - an irritating flick of all black screen when you turn page.

    The best place to ask is the MobileRead forum. MobileRead Forums



    People who say that it's not necessary to have a dedicated ebook reader are wrong! It is not possible to read from a tablet in sunshine, or outside... The screen glares and you hurt your eyes.

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    Подающий надежды оратор shackleford's Avatar
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    Well, I was going to get the Pocketbook 612 Pro but decided I should get something more affordable. So, I went with the Nook Simple Touch last night. My friend has been learning English, so she should be able to navigate the Nook pretty easily. Also, it does support Cyrillic fonts and the ePub format.

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    The best company now, is PocketBook . They have two top end models, make sure you do not get ripped off and sold the older one which has lower spec! They look very similar.
    The top end one right now is 912 Pro.

    Why is this company / product good?
    1. Biggest screen reader right now!
    Yes, but it is only worth while reading at home, bringing it with yourself as a portable device is complicated.

    2. Techie company that specialises in ebook readers, unlike Sony for example.
    This also works vice versa - Sony has versatile experience in different aspects.

    3. Better quality than Kindle, Sony.
    Absolutely NOT. PocketBook is constantly subjected to software issues. Screen's type used by pocketbook is old enough.

    4. Supports more formats than any other reader, less conversions and you can read books straight off the internet, instead of buying from Amazon etc.
    Yes.

    Pocketbook Pro is a Ukrainian company, I think. Possibly this is the best choice because it has good native support for Russian language and perhaps it's selling a bit cheaper in Russia than Sony (?).
    NO. This is the biggest issue with PocketBook. Its price is unreasonably higher than any of Kindle, Sony and Nook.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  12. #12
    Hanna
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    Coffeecup, I was planning to buy that one! 912 Pro
    What are the software or hardware quality problems that you are referring to?
    As long as the company is working on fixing the software problem by regular releases of the firmware, I am not massively worried about that unless it's totally unstable or a terrible user experience.
    What about the hardware?

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Coffeecup, I was planning to buy that one! 912 Pro
    What are the software or hardware quality problems that you are referring to?
    As long as the company is working on fixing the software problem by regular releases of the firmware, I am not massively worried about that unless it's totally unstable or a terrible user experience.
    What about the hardware?
    Well, about the software it is not as unstable as to be a reason to reject it. It is not perfect but not terrible. What I wrote is with respect to Sony's or Kindle's quality only. There is a Russian forum for e-readers the-ebook.org where one can see the number of issues discussed for sony, kindle and pocketbook (pocketbook is far from being a quality leader).

    It is not a bad brand to buy. Actually if you need 9'' screen this is probably the best choice (it even has Lingvo dictionaries !!), there are not so many 9'' version of other brands. But if you consider to buy a portable 6'' screen it is certainly one step lower than the big three brands discussed above.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  14. #14
    Hanna
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    Thanks! There is NO other 9 inch ebook reader though, is there?
    I've got my heart set on the 912....
    My old one was 8" and that fit fine in my handbag.

    I plan to use the Pocketbook pro for when I take up my Russian studies again, in the autumn, when I am back in London.

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