E-books for reading based on electronic ink technology are entering our life more and more. And this is not surprising, lately the race has begun, new players are increasingly entering this market, forcing such giants as Amazon to make their readers better and cheaper. Not for nothing, the semi-annual priority for the new E-Ink Pearl screens and new controllers for them was “voluntarily” given to Amazon and Sony. Add a new E-Ink Pearl to the unique in size Kindle DX and get the perfect device for reading both fiction at home and technical at work - Kindle DX Graphite.
Is it perfect? Let's take a closer look. ')
A bit of prehistory
The impatient can calmly skip this part, there is little meaning here. I purchased my first e-book back in 2007, it was the Sony PRS-500, the subsequent book PRS-505 was also 6 inches in size. I enjoyed reading from the E-Ink display, but I always wanted its size to be a bit bigger, because I mostly read in my free time only at home and only fiction, because, say no more, and six inches, for technical literature in pdf, obviously not enough. And here I matured, ripe after the release of a new generation of displays - E-Ink Pearl . In the absence of alternatives, the choice was made in favor of the Kindle DX Graphite . Well, in fact, manufacturers, how much you can feed us with the prototypes and the phrases "That's it, let us release soon ...". I’m tired of waiting, and, to be honest, I’d be ready to wait for the e-book on 9.7 "only from Sony, but they don’t have it even in the plans, the better for me when choosing it. Projecting it to PocketBook fans, Azbuka, etc., we can assume that they are ready to wait for such a device from their favorite manufacturer of electronic books, but there is a limit to everything, agree.
By the time a lot turned up on eBay, in which the price shipped via USPS Priority Mail International was even slightly lower than the official price for Amazon, it is tempting. After seeing the history and reviews on the seller, ordered. The seller sent the parcel only 2 weeks after the payment and, to my misfortune, decided to compensate for this with the delivery method - UPS Express instead of USPS, it was wrapped up in Russia, as expected. He never sent again via USPS, I had to open a dispute, which PayPal immediately translated into a claim, I was not the only one to complain about it. Received a refund of their money, the seller was blocked, for the month gathered 120 negative reviews on him. While 7 years before that, he normally traded on eBay, something pereklinilo, it seems, even the letters did not respond, almost. So, rightly so. Sorry for the time spent. This was the first pancake lump.
This is what sometimes leads to savings. Well, I was not going to give up, having already wasted 40 days, so I used the shipito services, ordering the Kindle directly from Amazon to an address rented in America. Because of the weekend, the Kindle got to shipito in four days, instead of the two. They arrived at the warehouse quickly, within a couple of hours, filled out a declaration and sent it to Russia.
I received my parcel exactly 13 days after she flew out of America, the courier brought it to me directly to work. The main thing is to keep your finger on the pulse, for couriers themselves rarely call. Having estimated that Kindle had already reached my city, I wrote to EMS support service, where they confirmed that the parcel had just arrived at the central post office in my city. I found out the phones, called there, recognized the courier's phone, phoned ... voila, the work got up for about an hour, while everyone turned and twisted the device, flooding technical literature on it, admiring how great it was to read it on such a large and contrast display.
Proceed to unpacking
The size is impressive, for comparison with the 13 "machine (to avoid the next expected comments, the brand on the preview is removed):
From the photos that I saw before the purchase, it was certainly difficult to assess the quality of the new screen. Usually, after seeing firsthand, a slight disappointment awaits, so it was with previous generations of E-Ink, and all 3 generations went through my hands (let's not take into account the slight improvement of Vizplex over time, in fact, its new generation was not , only "work on the bugs"). To say that this time I was impressed, to say nothing.
Kindle DX Graphite compared to a regular paper book:
A small video, you can see the quality of the screen "live":
And this is what previous generation screens look like (Sony PRS-505 on the left (Vizplex), Sony PRS-500 on the right):
I apologize, the shooting conditions are a bit different, and it’s not possible to retake, for lack of old devices (presented to relatives).
You can read technical literature, while being quite comfortable, all formulas and graphs are very clearly visible on the screen. Enough well scanned pdf. If you want to see how this or that book will look on the device - write in the comments. We turn to the formats and their display on the device.
Natively Kindle supports the following formats: Kindle (AZW and TOPAZ), PRC / MOBI (non DRM), PDF (non DRM), TXT, Audible (format 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3. So far it is not necessary to take into account attempts to port third-party readers, which first spilled out into the Qindle, and then started porting by our compatriots FBReader. All this is still in the bud and a little damp. But let's hope, for now we are content with native formats.
In fact, not everything is so bad, I chose the basic reading format for myself, no matter how strange it might sound, PDF . Rendering based on the Adobe Reader Mobile SDK is not comparable to rendering of native formats implemented by Amazon programmers. And even here, Amazon introduced its "improvements" to the pdf reader, there is no reflow at all. Well, at least a primitive scaling done. Let's leave it on the conscience of software developers.
Let's see how different file formats look on Kindle DX Graphite:
After you make a choice with which format to deal with, the question arises as to which converters to use. Buying books on Amazon is certainly good, for those who read in English. But in the Kindle Edition format, there are no books in Russian, and what’s really perishing, many of us take books in “public” electronic libraries. As you know, we have a very common fb2 format, so for him we have to find the suitable converter (s).
For PDF, I chose a fb2pdf console converter, the development of which was started by trivee , and continued by viktorz . The converter itself, updates to it and discussion are in this topic .
As a Mac OS X user, I decided to fasten a convenient and simple GUI to it:
It works on the principle of Drag & Drop. Profile sharpened by Sony PRS 500, 505, 600, 650, 700, who wants to change it, will find stylesheet.json in the bundle resources. Drag the file or folder into the program window and get the result. fb2pdf for Mac OS X - Drag & Drop converter
Profile can be easily altered under any e-book. Styles separately , for Kindle DX and Sony PRS 500, 505, 600, 650, 700 (& other 6 ″). I tried for a long time to determine the optimal font for reading, the Droid is certainly not bad, and it is understandable for what reasons it is enabled by default, but it’s not quite ice for reading, I must admit. Stopped at 'Georgia' and 'MyriadPro', for the letter 'Lombardina Initial One'.
Windows users, you have a program Librarian, etc., to fasten the converter to it and convert on the fly, when you upload books to your device, just spit. Yes, and you should know this better than me, all the examples of launching on Windows and Linux are in the above program topic.
Posted on 10/14/2010: By popular demand wrote GUI under Windows . It cost me installing Windows to a virtual machine under Mac OS X, installing RAD Studio and a couple of days on the project itself.
The interface is made in Mac Style and imbued with the spirit of this operating system, while copying the previously released GUI under Mac OS X. The program works on the principle of Drag & Drop. Everything you need to work is collected in the installer. Install and use. fb2pdf for Windows - Drag & Drop converter
We turn to the format MOBI . There are a few alternatives, the most popular converters: the well-known omnivorous and multiplatform caliber and fb2mobi from Sk0rp under Windows.
The undoubted advantages of MOBI are: the ability to change the font size, use text-to-speech technology, the transition to links works and relative compacts include the compact size of the final book, if you use MOBI with compression. text-to-speech is implemented at a very good level, it is possible to choose a female or male voice, diction is very good, three modes of reading speed. For learners of English - a very good help, along with a dictionary. A few words about dictionaries, craftsmen have already managed to convert Apresisian's large English-Russian dictionary, so I believe that the shortage of them is no longer foreseen. Many of the undoubted drawbacks include the absence of transfers in the MOBI format, in contrast to the same PDF, where the transfers are rigidly set at the conversion stage.
With reference to both formats (pdf, mobi) - in mobi both dictionaries and search work, in pdf only search. But undoubtedly a huge disadvantage in the pdf format is the lack of the ability to click on links. The monstrous injustice on the part of Amazon, so cut the functionality of the native SDK. All hope for the speedy implementation of sub-page footnotes in the converter.
I would like to mention a little about uploading books to the device and organizing collections. In order to be able to create collections, you must register the device. Strange politics, well, not for me to judge. The device has already come registered and tied to my account on Amazon. In the beginning, I thought that the idea of creating collections right on the book was a little crazy, but using a little, I concluded that it was convenient if you don’t throw hundreds of books on the device at once. Since I adhere to the rule: read - delete, there is no problem, more than 20-30 books at the same time never poured onto the device. To maintain order on the internal memory of the device, I arrange everything in folders, Kindle easily browses the user section into the depths. He threw, identified the new books in the collection, appointed sorting by collections - the order, both in the device’s memory and on its display.
The fashionable accelerometer was not forgotten to be inserted into the device; it responds well to a change in the position of the device in space, switching from normal mode to landscape mode and back. Personally, I turned it off in the settings, so that I would not put the battery in again. Speaking of the battery, according to the manufacturer, the Kindle wireless module will work for a week, with the module disabled for 2-3 weeks.
Regarding free 3G from Whispernet in more than 100 countries, yes, this is how it works, as far as I know, in Russia, Amazon has entered into an agreement on roaming services with the Big Three operator Beeline. It works rather slowly, but in the promotional materials of the company it does appear - one book in 60 seconds. In general, it is no secret to anyone why there is a subsidy for “free 3G”; this is intended for foreigners who want to buy a book outside their home country, right from their device. Content - this is Amazon’s main profit, not a device for reading what they offer, perhaps that is why due attention is not paid to in certain aspects of software. The browser in the firmware of the second line is rather mediocre, unlike the new Webkitovsky in Kindle 3, but it performs its main function.