Mobileread
looking for privacy friendly quality ereader
#1  Tar 05-24-2020, 11:40 AM
Heya guys.
I have little experience (not ownership) with epaper. Only saw 3 devices:
a 10+ year old amazon kindle
paperwhite 4
some old pocketbook
I liked the pocketbook most and both kindles seemed similar despite the age difference.

And since I first learned about this technology I was sure I would buy an ereader some day.
However, I have this defect called perfectionism. I wanted the device to be of perfect quality and last for decades. Now as I'm aging I'm realizing that may not be viable and am willing to make a compromise (instead of continuing to have NO device at all).

I would love to hear your suggestions with these guidelines:

Nice to have's:

*No WIFI
*Open source/hackable/changeable OS
*Lots of settings is nice unless the device is very minimalistic and balanced
*I prefer systems that have their firmware updated, instead of "released and forgot" by the manufacturer. If it is possible to install a custom OS then of course this doesn't apply.
* I would like to use the device in paranoid mode. As in, I wish to never use WIFI, if it's there. So no downloading/buying from stores or libraries. Just simple PC-to-ereader transfers strongly prefered.
*nice and cozy orange light is <3
*Doesn't have to be comfortable to use. I don't think I will care much about button placement or lack of buttons or whatever.
*Good battery/Good battery time
*Removable battery is probably too good to be true? I would like to be able to change it in 3 years or so.
*Basic PDF support is big plus. Got some journals to read. No need for anything special in this regard.
*A good quality sound chip for audiobooks and music would be a very nice addition
*disk encryption
*I want to feel and know that I own the device after purchasing it and forget who made it
*Ability to write notes using onscreen keypad/keyboard would be a nice addition but definitely not must have. I have hands of an MD so stylus is useless.
*Preferably highly power efficient hardware. Don't care about speed at all.
*No bluetooth or SIM capability, if those are even 'a thing'.
*Preferably no loudspeakers, no SD/other card slots.

Must have's:

*Not Amazon
*Not bound to a single ecosystem. Shouldn't demand registration, or require internet connection. No ads. The device should wish to serve me, not limit me. Shouldn't be intrusive in any way.
*Good build quality. I want it to last for years. I understand even cheapest plastic sheit could last a decade, but still would love to have something made with care and quality components. Preferably sturdy built but not necesserily.
*6-9 inches. So I suppose medium/standard size more or less. Portability is not a huge priority. Doesn't have to fit in the pocket.
*waterproof/dustproof
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#2  Tar 05-26-2020, 03:45 PM
Judging by the lack of response, I take it the 'build quality' or ruggedness is not a thing in the ereader market.

That being said, I will help you guys help me:

I learned that these brands are BAD for me:

In my research B&N ereaders appear to be a bad choice for me, because they require online registration to even begin using the device.
Is the same practice present in other ereader ecosystems?

Amazon is already off the table. Too mainstream with all the negative sides of it.

I read that these brands have approximately what I seek:

Pocketbook is not requiring any registration, doesn't have a bookstore - my privacy need is fullfilled. As for build quality. Their Inkpad 3 is dustproof/waterproof which is nice. It is capable of running audiobooks, supports basically all formats. Has a great screen. Sounds like a good choice?

Hisense A5 Pro is good from the privacy side and has some of the features I want. Furthermore it has a good audio chip which would be great for music and audiobooks.
The build quality is questionable at best. Not water/dust proof... It is also quite small and the aspect ratio is weird which could lead to it being uncomfortable to read on.

Sony is a brand I know for using good components in their products. Is the similar said about their ereaders? Not sure whether they're alright on any other account.

Still asking for advice stands if anyone want to comment. :)
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#3  ZodWallop 05-26-2020, 05:18 PM
Honestly man, I think you just need to read around these forums. You have maybe too many wants that are very particular and sometimes contradictory.

Possibly your best bet is to buy one of those readers that runs Android. But I have no experience with those, so I can't recommend one.

I do think a Kobo might fit many of your needs. A Libra (7" screen) or a Forma (8" screen). You have to put in an email address to register it, but you can make up an email address if you'd like.

Here's a list of your features that Kobo meets:
Nice to have's:

*No WIFI - All readers nowadays will have WiFi. It can be turned off.
*Open source/hackable/changeable OS - Kobo uses Linux and is hackable
*Lots of settings is nice unless the device is very minimalistic and balanced - Kobo has lots of settings and more can be added via patches/hacks
*I prefer systems that have their firmware updated, instead of "released and forgot" by the manufacturer. If it is possible to install a custom OS then of course this doesn't apply. - Kobo is very good about releasing firmware updates for very old devices. And you can sideload the newer firmware so you don't have to turn on WiFi and let all the demons in
* I would like to use the device in paranoid mode. As in, I wish to never use WIFI, if it's there. So no downloading/buying from stores or libraries. Just simple PC-to-ereader transfers strongly prefered. - I just don't get the paranoid mindset. But anyway, you need to register your device and you can then turn WiFi off forever. Kobo works very well with Calibre/PC-to-ereader transfers
*nice and cozy orange light is <3 - The Libra and Forma both have orange lights
*Doesn't have to be comfortable to use. I don't think I will care much about button placement or lack of buttons or whatever. - Both the Libra and Forma have buttons.
*Good battery/Good battery time - I think all ereaders have good battery life
*Removable battery is probably too good to be true? I would like to be able to change it in 3 years or so. - Good luck. I don't know of any current gen ereader with a replaceable battery. Maybe they exist.
*Basic PDF support is big plus. Got some journals to read. No need for anything special in this regard. - I'm glad you say basic, because if you really wanna read PDFs, get a tablet. All readers claim PDF support, but basic is a fair description.
*I want to feel and know that I own the device after purchasing it and forget who made it - I honestly don't know what that means precisely, but you can hide/remove the Kobo store link from the home page
*Preferably highly power efficient hardware. Don't care about speed at all. - I think all e-ink readers are pretty power efficient. The ones that run Android less so than say, a Kobo, Kindle or Nook
*No bluetooth or SIM capability, if those are even 'a thing'. - I don't believe the Kobos I mentioned have Bluetooth? Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.
*Preferably no loudspeakers, no SD/other card slots. - I don't understand why you WOULDN'T want SD card slots. But they aren't available on the Kobos anyway.

Must have's:

*Not Amazon - Kobo isn't Amazon
*Not bound to a single ecosystem. Shouldn't demand registration, or require internet connection. No ads. The device should wish to serve me, not limit me. Shouldn't be intrusive in any way. - If you're sideloading all your books, I'm not sure what your point is here? Kobo has a store, like everyone else does. There are no ads on a Kobo, unless you buy from Walmart and if you do, that can be turned off easily.
*Good build quality. I want it to last for years. I understand even cheapest plastic sheit could last a decade, but still would love to have something made with care and quality components. Preferably sturdy built but not necesserily. - You might want to read up on the Forma and Libra and their light bar thingie. I don't have one, so I can't say
*6-9 inches. So I suppose medium/standard size more or less. Portability is not a huge priority. Doesn't have to fit in the pocket. - As mentioned, the Libra is 7" and the Forma is 8"
*waterproof/dustproof - The Libra and Forma are both waterproof. Not so sure about dustproof.
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#4  JSWolf 05-26-2020, 05:27 PM
I agree that the Kobo Libra H2O or the Kobo Forma fit your needs as good as can be.
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#5  ilovejedd 05-27-2020, 12:14 AM
Quote Tar
Amazon is already off the table. Too mainstream with all the negative sides of it.
Honestly don't see how being mainstream is a negative in and of itself.

If you just sideload DRM-free ebooks with Calibre, Kindles can actually be used without registration or connecting to wi-fi at all. Got a few of mine setup this way since I don't like to mix my fanfic library with my normal library (unregistered, airplane mode, jailbreak+KOReader).

Quote
Sony is a brand I know for using good components in their products. Is the similar said about their ereaders? Not sure whether they're alright on any other account.
I was very happy with the build quality on my old Sony PRS-350. I don't think Sony still makes normal ereaders, though.

That said, +1 on the Kobo Libra H2O. It's a nice reader which ticks off a number of your requirements. Registration required though.
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#6  darryl 05-27-2020, 01:11 AM
The short answer to your question so far as am aware is that there is no such e-reader.
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#7  ottischwenk 05-27-2020, 01:51 AM
Quote darryl
The short answer to your question so far as am aware is that there is no such e-reader.
Pocketbook fulfills his MUST
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#8  Tar 05-27-2020, 02:58 AM
Thanks guys. Will think between Pocketbook, Kobo and Hisense. All three seem reasonable choices to me. I would be particularly curious to hear opinions of someone who tried both Inkpad 3 and Kobo Forma/Libra or from someone who tried Hisense A5 - whether the smartphone aspect ratio hindered the reading experience?
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#9  ottischwenk 05-27-2020, 03:35 AM
Quote Tar
Thanks guys. Will think between Pocketbook, Kobo and Hisense. All three seem reasonable choices to me. I would be particularly curious to hear opinions of someone who tried both Inkpad 3 and Kobo Forma/Libra or from someone who tried Hisense A5 - whether the smartphone aspect ratio hindered the reading experience?
Instead of Kobo Forma / Libre, I would prefer Tolino Epos2 / Vision5 - they are technically the same, but Tolinos have Android as the operating system and a registration of the device is not necessary.
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#10  Quoth 05-27-2020, 05:02 AM
Registration of a Kobo isn't needed as a fake email works.
I'd regard Android inferior for eink is it's designed for LCD and similar and particularly for apps. If it's an ereader it doesn't need apps, if you need apps, an OLED or LCD tablet is better. Android is a lazy way to develop and ereader.
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