May 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm #1274461
so, not exactly UL backpacking gear, but these things now weigh less than a small paperback. i'm not sure about you, but sometimes i get bored sitting at camp if i'm solo and used to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
sure, i go into the woods to get away from that, but reading is a great way to pass the time. in addition i can use the reader to store topo maps (as images i import). it's a bit harder to dig out of my pack (than a paper map), and it'd need a plastic bag in rain, but this helps justify the extra weight.
new Barnes & Noble nook: 6.5" x 5.0" x 0.47", 7.48 oz. (212g), 2GB, 6" Diagonal screen, about $140
Kindle3 wifi:7.5 × 4.8 × 0.34" (190 × 123 × 8.51 mm), 8.5 oz (241 g), 4 GB or 3 GB, 6" Diagonal screen, about $100May 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm #1741485
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
How long does the battery last?
It would be interesting to have a GPS with that size screen, and ability to store books. Also have a decent camera.May 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm #1741495
Got a Kindle (the small 3G model) for Christmas and I confess I like it. Battery life is weeks provided the wireless is left off and because they now read pdfs, all sorts of handy stuff can be loaded, including scanned guidebook pages, camera and GPS owners manuals, first aid documents and the like. And yes, it's about the weight of one paperback, although it's not as good for firestarting and, uh, other backwoods paper repurposing. The e-ink display is more readable in bright light than any LCD or even AMOLED display I've ever seen.
RickMay 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm #1741501
yesterday amazon said the kindle battery life was "a month". today, after b&n announced a 2 month battery life, the same old untouched kindle suddenly has a reported battery life of 2 months. >:-(
i'm sure this depends if you are actually reading or not. most people get a few weeks life out of them when actively reading.
none of them have a gps that i know of, and i'm sure it would/could destroy the battery life if it was in use (similar to existing phones).
but i like your thinking, would be sliiiickMay 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm #1741502
My kids love their Nook. They use it go get on the internet more than a laptop now.May 26, 2011 at 3:43 pm #1741560
Just don't say nook e-reader too fast or you might get slapped by that girl standing next to you.May 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm #1741587
Yeah i was about to post this
I work for B&N and its funny they are actually using the words 'ultra-light' in ads now
That 2 months of battery life is with the WIFI connectivity OFF, Kindle's claim on 1 month is probably based on the with the WIFI ON and theyve changed their marketing to compete with Nooks claims.
All in all i think that ereaders might start having a place in our gear lists now. If only there was a web browser on these it would be an all in one book/mp3 player/blog updater/guidebook
i'd dig it.May 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm #1741591
@elf773Locale: Vancouver, BC
I have the Kindle 3 with wi-fi/3G. I like it a lot, but buy it if you like to read. The battery life is more like 3 weeks with intensive reading with wireless turned off.
There IS a web-browser and it is quite decent. Though it doesn't do mulitple page sites. The 3G is free, works well (tried in Canada and Hong Kong) and is good for 100 countries.
Amazon gives you a dedicated email address with purchase, type in "convert" in the subject box, attach a file (PDF, word, etc) and it formats it and sends it to your kindle in like 30 sec. This way, you can zoom said document once formatted.
The screen is the best feature though, no eye strain.
I read a lot, and it excels for travel, eating and reading… basically solo travel.
I have no experience with the nook. Though I'd avoid backlit screens if you actually plan on reading a lot.
And the rudimentary audio player has very very good speakers/sound. Seriously. Drains battery power though.May 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm #1741595
@johnjLocale: Orange County, CA
Lots of trade-offs amongst them, perhaps especially with the non-aligned kobo? But FWIW, it's another 1/2 oz lighter:May 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm #1741634
@detroittigerfanLocale: Ann Arbor
I have a Kindle3 and mine weighs 7.5 oz on my scale.
I've always taken a reading book with me and the Kindle is lighter, so I'm happy. I like not having to choose a "skinny" book or worry that I'll finish it before the end of the hike. I load it up with a couple of different types of books, plus a magazine or two for some fluff. Usually have a game or two like Scrabble. I made a simple neoprene sleeve for a little protection.May 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm #1741903
most e-ink displays do not incorporate a backlight. in addition, it's not the backlight that causes (most of the) eye strain, it's the flicker and (relatively) low contrast of a conventional lcd.
neither the nook touch nor kindle3 i'm talking about here have backlights. this is by design, but makes it difficult ;-) to read in the dark. that's what my headlamp is for, and frankly i wouldn't want the additional weight nor battery impact of a backlight which is not required most of the time.
the kindle is much more established with the advantages that come from a huge userbase. if it's truly 7.5oz, i'd probably end up sticking with that one, even though i like android OS.
i'm getting one, i'll stick it in a ziplock and upload maps to it. haven't decided which one yet.
whoa. the sony one is reportedly ~5.6 oz. the battery life looks like it suffers on the lighter ones, but i think 2 weeks will be fine for most purposes. even on longer hikes i'd think i'd have a re-supply and charge opportunity prior to two weeks!May 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm #1741915
drowning in spamMember
I wish these smaller readers had the screen resolution of the bigger models.May 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm #1742045
@rdbarishLocale: New Mexico
that these readers would make availabe in e-form the kind of books I want when I am out in nature – field guides. As soon as they do, I'm in.May 28, 2011 at 4:34 am #1742110
Has anyone tried loading topo maps (like from Nat Geo's TOPO! software) onto an e-reader. I've been thinking along these lines myself (could save a fair amount of weight on a thru-hike between topos and multiple guide books now at your fingertips).
I just don't know of the resolution is decent enough to read a grayscale topo map of confidently.May 28, 2011 at 6:57 am #1742133
What file type would you use for a topo on the e-reader (guessing .pdf)? I wouldn't think it would accept .tif.May 28, 2011 at 8:09 am #1742142
These e-readers are too limited in their applications. I don't see them being around in 5 years with the advent of the tablet computer.May 28, 2011 at 9:27 am #1742155
I just tried an experiment, and it seems to work.
1. Exported a tiff from Topo! in greyscale.
2. Opened in Illustrator and saved as an .ai file.
3. Exported to pdf
4. Copied to Kindle
The resulting map when zoomed is quite readable–good enough for navigation. I might turn off the 3D shading next time to better delineate the vegetation boundaries.
So, yes and yes–you can export from Topo! and the map can be read on a Kindle. A year from now we'll be discussing color E-ink displays–if they don't suck they'll be easier to read than monochrome but in the meantime there are enough steps in the greyscale to make today's version viable.
RickMay 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm #1742190
"These e-readers are too limited in their applications. I don't see them being around in 5 years with the advent of the tablet computer."
it seems you might not understand the differences/advantages btwn an e-reader and a tablet. and/or what does the technology we use today have to do with what will be applicable or useful in 5 years?May 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm #1742231
Actually it will be the other way around. The tablets will become outdated when the e-readers start becoming more advanced. The new Nook is a step in the right direction.
E-readers are way cheaper than tablets.
E-readers have much longer battery life.
E-readers are way lighter (although even lighter would be nice)
E-readers have no monthly service charge.
Kindle WIFI = $139, battery life at least 3 weeks of daily use.
I-pad WIFI = $499 (cheapest one), 10 hours max.
I have both a I-Pad and a Kindle and I find my self taking the Kindle with me way more often than the I-pad. The I-pad is better for games and movies however.
Keep the battery life of the kindle, add color, a touch screen, a gps, and my I-Pad will become a overpriced digital picture frame :)
The biggest issue e-readers need to overcome is the proprietary formats. Once e-book formats are standardized and universal, I believe e-readers will take off big time.
For example my daughter in high school hauls around about 25 pounds of text books, that together cost a few hundred dollars. It would be way less expensive to give her an e-reader and have all the text books loaded on at the beginning of the school year. There is no way the school could afford to get everyone I-Pads.
I think the e-reader/tablet war will be like the Beta/VHS war, in this case I think the e-reader is the VHS. Only time will tell.May 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm #1742237
"E-readers have no monthly service charge."
Neither does an iPad unless you WANT it to.
"Keep the battery life of the kindle, add color, a touch screen, a gps, and my I-Pad will become a overpriced digital picture frame :)"
Add all that to a kindle, and you've got an iPad. I don't believe you can add all that and keep the battery life, or the lightness, of current e-readers.
"There is no way the school could afford to get everyone I-Pads."
Ahem.May 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm #1742239
drowning in spamMember
Add a low power e-ink kind of screen to consumer tablets and the advantage of dedicated ebook readers becomes close to nil. Price excepted.May 29, 2011 at 1:05 am #1742380
IMO e-Reader is far more superior than tablet if the books you want to read is OK in B&W. However that's not the case with photography books (for me)… I like to pass time by reading and applying photography techniques and reading those books in color display is 1000x more enjoyable.May 29, 2011 at 4:13 am #1742389
What Doug said. All those features will increase price/weight and lower battery life.May 29, 2011 at 7:32 am #1742420
@johnjLocale: Orange County, CA
As an aside, I recently bought an original Nook (refurb, $90). It's working pretty well for me, but one thing I really wish I had was zoom on PDF. Not sure which of the newer ones have that, but on mine reading good old books from google's free archive makes for a little eye strain.May 29, 2011 at 8:43 am #1742440
Kindle does zoom on PDFs, but I don't know about the Nook.
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