A history of eBook readers: TeleRead


SonyreaderPaul Biba over at TeleRead offers up a great list of the devices he’s used as eBook readers over time. All of the devices (edit: aside from the Sony Reader) were capable of running MobiPocket, which looks to be Paul’s eBook software and store of choice. The device list is quite varied ranging from small-screened smartphones to traditional PDAs and up to Internet Tablet’s like the Nokia 770 and N800. Of course, the list tops out with a dedicated eBook reader, namely the first generation Sony Reader.

Ironically, I find my list of reading devices to be just as varied, which is great: the more devices that can read eBooks, the better I say! Unlike Paul, I tend to favor eReader for my content and software. Using eReader, I’ve read books on a Dell X3 and a Dell X51v not to mention my all-time favorite PDA and first unit with a VGA screen: the Toshiba e805. From the standalone department, I got a few months of hands-on use with the original Cybook from Bookeen back in 2004, which was a 10.1-inch color slate design running Windows CE. (It’s worth noting that Booken has a new e-Ink model due out shortly.) These days I find the best eBook reading experience coming from my Samsung Q1P UMPC. I’m sure many readers also have various devices capable of reading eBooks; what’s your current device and content platform of choice?


Don't Panic!

I prefer MS Reader ebooks on the Dell Axim X50v running WM2003SE. I get excellent results reading my Baen ebooks online with this device.


Sony Reader. Text/RTF files are fine for me – I can drop ’em on an SD card and go. It takes longer to get them on my Treo than it does the Reader and I get more battery life than a UMPC and an easier-to-read screen than a smartphone.


My favorite reader would have to have been my Toshiba e805 with Microsoft Reader. Unfortunately it couldn’t buy its own content and keeping a PC working that could finally sealed its fate.

Right now the only bunch that hasn’t screwed me with their DRM is Sony. But their reader leaves so much to be desired, the PDF reader is little short of a disaster. The new PRS-505 isn’t much of an improvement.

The Amazon ebook reader doesn’t interest me at all since there is no company that has screwed me harder with DRM than Amazon.

The iLiad is the FIAT of ebook readers: fix it again Tony! Its hard to keep it working.

I guess that leaves the new Bookean…

Kevin C. Tofel

Thanks Scotty; good catch. Early in his post, Paul says he uses MobiPocket on all of the devices, but at the end he does clarify no MobiPocket on the Sony. My mistake.

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