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Wednesday 6 April 2011

Which e-reader should I buy?

Between earthquakes and RSI, I've reached a point in my life where an e-reader would be an advantage. I'm not fussy about features.
  • I basically want to read books on it, synced from my (Mac) laptop.
  • I rarely if ever read anything that requires colour.
  • It must have native ePub capability (I'm not buying a Kindle); ideally I'd like it to support a range of basic formats like pdf, txt, rtf, html, but can survive if some of these have inexplicably not been implemented.
  • I like the idea of e-ink but am comfortable with LCD screens too.
  • Storage space and battery life are important though not to the exclusion of other considerations (including price).
  • Something RSI-friendly would be nice - lightweight, comfortable, with left-hand/right-hand redundancy.
I think I'm probably looking at a Nook or a Kobo and of the two I think I like the Nook better, but this is based entirely on looking at websites and feature comparison charts. All the charts say you should try them out yourself, but last time I saw anything one could try out was in a bookstore just before Christmas, and as near as I could tell approximately a gazillion other customers had already tried them out and broken them. As for now... half the bookstores in town are destroyed or inaccessible and the other half are on the verge of bankruptcy (okay, I admit it, I can name two exceptions, but neither has e-readers) and right now unnecessary travelling wears me out.

Bonus features I'd like but aren't necessary since I don't know if they really exist:
  • Full Unicode support (including Māori macrons). You wouldn't think this would be so hard, and yet... Seriously, let me know if you know of anyone doing this.
  • Note-taking functionality - but not if to get that I have to also get a thousand other features and pay through the nose for the combo. An iPad, for example, would be ridiculously overpowered for my purposes.
Experiences, (dis)recommendations?