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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've enjoyed carrying my large iPad to gigs for several years with a bunch of pdf sheet music (it even survived a few drops from the stand). I have many apps in it that I use for practicing music: iPracticePro, AnyTune, tuner, metronome, Notation, etc. I've been happy not to carry a backpack of Real Books and loose sheet music around any longer. (I know, we should memorize and play by ear, but I'm not that smart).

Anyways, I always thought a single purpose e-ink tablet would be the perfect replacement for paper sheet music though. After a decade watching the eReaders market develop I finally took the jump and bought the newly released 13" Fujitsu Quaderno 2nd Gen a few weeks ago. It really hits the mark!

Pros
  • A4 (~Legal correction: ~Letter) size screen !
  • all plastic, making it very thin and light.
  • high contrast under the sun light. very readable.
  • simple, single function: to read and annotate 100's of pdfs organized in folders.
  • WiFi or BT sync'ing with a computer for backup. I sync it to same folder that syncs with my iPad so they all have same content.
  • stylus annotation feels just like writing on paper. compatible with virtually any passive stylus.

Cons (arguably)
  • no backlight, feels just like paper. a con for some, but that's actually a plus for me: longer battery life, thinner device.
  • runs Android, no ability to run 3rd party apps. again, not a concern for me. I carry all other apps that don't need a large display on my iPhone which is always with me anyways. Music notation happens on the computer at home.
  • feels a bit flimsy being all plastic. time will tell how it endures.

Aside from the last bullet, there is really nothing I dislike about it. There isn't much info on them online, being only sold in Japan, but it's very intuitive to use. I bought it online directly from Japan. You'll find some manual translations online, but you really don't need it.

Happy camper! Any questions, hit me up.
 

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Keilwerth saxes (S/A/T), Selmer clarinets (S/B), Altus Azumi flute
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I like this idea. I've been reluctant to switch to using a tablet for music, mainly because I don't want to have to worry about battery life and glare.

However, I love my e-ink Kindle, and I've long wanted to own a larger format version (mostly for reading PDFs of research articles). I was excited about the Kindle DX when that first came out, but it was very expensive, and support for it languished, so I held off. And then I was disappointed, but not surprised, when Amazon dropped it completely.

I think it's a fantastic idea to use one of these for music and I agree with you that (as with standard e-ink readers) its "simple single function" is actually a plus.

I have two questions:
  • Did you consider the (slightly smaller but more readily available) BOOX Note3 10.3"?
  • What's the connectivity (and peripheral support) like for the Quaderno? If I got one, I would like to be able to use it with a transcription pedal for page changes. Have you tried this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
- I looked at the BOOX but didn't like how it operates. I can't recall the details. I read reviews of BOOX, SuperNote, Remarkable and others. None of those appealed to me. What put me off were things like needing to sign up with their Cloud service to transfer files and other annoying features. I thought the Quaderno was really the most straight forward, simple. It also has the latest generation of finer resolution displays that came out this last July. Size-wise I wanted a full size A4. 99.9% of my music are lead sheets, most in 1 page, a few in 2 pages. I like to be able to rotate it landscape and still read 2 pages side by side. BTW, this model sells in a 10" size as well if you prefer that.

- Admittedly I do need to research a bit more about what connectivity options it offers. I only used WiFi to connect to a computer for sync so far. I'm afraid BT to a pedal may not work since when I go to BT settings it only offers to connect to a computer. I tried connecting to a wireless keyboard but it did not offer the option to search for a device. Since my lead sheets are all in 1 to 2 pages I don't feel the need for a pedal myself, but I'll dig some more when I get some time.
 

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I am so glad someone did this. I looked last year and didn't see anything on the market that even sounded worthwhile. I ended up buy a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (for $300 bucks!!) That has been doing the trick.

But I still think this is the best solution. I wish one would be designed specifically for dual page sheet music though. Maybe at 1.5x width for 2 page view ideally. I will definitely check this one out though, thanks for all the details!
 

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The Quaderno is a bit expensive but if it catches on, prices will come down. Or, if battery life becomes secondary, you can get a used one for your 2-pages sheets. Maybe not this year or next but it's only a matter of time until second hand units will become available. That, of course ties into the build quality but then it becomes a matter of trade offs
 

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This looks cool.
But A4 is not analogous to Legal size. It is closer to letter size.

A4: 8.27 x 11.69鈥
Letter: 8.5 x 11鈥
Legal: 8.5 x14鈥
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This looks cool.
But A4 is not analogous to Legal size. It is closer to letter size.

A4: 8.27 x 11.69鈥
Letter: 8.5 x 11鈥
Legal: 8.5 x14鈥
You鈥榬e right. I鈥檒l fix it above.
 

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Interesting. E-paper sound like the ideal technology for sheet music.
But I think the lack of a backlight would be a show-stopper for me - sometimes we play in dark locations.
Will a normal music stand light work OK?
 

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Does it have access to the Google Playstore? Can you put other apps on it, like MobileSheetsPro?
 

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I am so glad someone did this. I looked last year and didn't see anything on the market that even sounded worthwhile. I ended up buy a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (for $300 bucks!!) That has been doing the trick.

But I still think this is the best solution. I wish one would be designed specifically for dual page sheet music though. Maybe at 1.5x width for 2 page view ideally. I will definitely check this one out though, thanks for all the details!
Yeah, this is sort of what I've been thinking as well. I've been using an original iPad Air tablet for jazz combo gigs and Samsung Galaxy tablet for funk band gigs for almost 10 years now. I've been waiting for someone to make a tablet that will either handle 3rd party apps or have the functionality I want built-in. I use iReal Pro as a Real/Fake book indexer and ForScore and Mobilsheets for dealing with web/dropbox downloads and setting up set lists for funk band gigs.

For me neither the glare nor the battery power have been an issue. I've played hundreds of gigs with these tablets and only 2-3 that the sun was at such an angle it made reading them difficult. I, and I would suspect most players, play far more gigs in low-light or dark situations than you play in direct sunlight. Having to remember to bring a stand light would defeat the purpose of having a lightweight cheap e-reader. Thing has to have back lighting or it's not even an option for real gigging.

Likewise, the battery life even 8+ years in is no concern unless you insist on paying no attention to it at all. A 4 hour gig uses about 15-20% battery on my large Samsung tablet and 25-30% on the iPad Air. I make sure my pads are charged before going to the gig but several of the guys I play with leave their chargers in their gig bags and just find a place to plug their pads in for 30 minutes before downbeat. If you have a pad that only has like 10% battery power it will charge from there to maybe 50% in 30 minutes. I'd expect the newer tablets are even better when it comes to power management.

The only issue I've found with my setups is that I can't use a page-turner and the search function for the indexers at the same time because the page-turner basically acts like an external keyboard with minimal function as a result when it's plugged in you can't use the internal keyboard function. So you can get either searching or page turning but not both.
 

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Does it have access to the Google Playstore? Can you put other apps on it, like MobileSheetsPro?
Q: Are you enquiring about Gvido? It ain't nothing you can slip into your underwear in vibrator mode and call yourself all day! Gvido does music - if you want playstore go do that.
 

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What format are all of your fake books in? What app do you use to manage them on a gig?
 

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Q: Are you enquiring about Gvido? It ain't nothing you can slip into your underwear in vibrator mode and call yourself all day! Gvido does music - if you want playstore go do that.
I don't understand where you're coming from. I just want to know if you can use android apps to manage sheet music that are available at the Google play store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting. E-paper sound like the ideal technology for sheet music.
But I think the lack of a backlight would be a show-stopper for me - sometimes we play in dark locations.
Will a normal music stand light work OK?
Some makers offer ones with light. There is even color panels now. But it's actually a front light. e-ink is a reflective display. It makes the product thicker and pushes the surface of the content on the display into the case, making it less looking like a piece of paper where the ink is on the surface. But that option is available.

Normal music stand light works perfect. That's what I'm using. e-ink really behaves like paper. It's very reflective with high contrast when shone with light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Does it have access to the Google Playstore? Can you put other apps on it, like MobileSheetsPro?
No 3rd party apps. That online store GoodeReader does offer a hacked version of the operating system software though, that allows installing apps, but the software is quite expensive. You can research more on their website to understand what it supports or not. It's not something that interests me.

Other e-ink tablets mentioned in the initial postings do support installing apps. There aren't that many out there. You will find review videos on YT comparing them.
 

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Gvido - is In$ane!
You're not kidding!

$1600 for the device, $300 for the case/cover, $300 for a footswitch. You could get a good saxophone for that money.
 

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Q: Are you enquiring about Gvido? It ain't nothing you can slip into your underwear in vibrator mode and call yourself all day! Gvido does music - if you want playstore go do that.
I don't understand where you're coming from. I just want to know if you can use android apps to manage sheet music that are available at the Google play store.
Exactly. Very appropriate and important question. No Play Store access means no sheet music apps! The last response confirms this is indeed the case, which would be a major drawback. An actual music reading app has many more features than a simple pdf reader app. There's no way I could manage the several thousand tunes and dozens of fake books I have on my tablet with a simple pdf reader. I use mine in 5 bands on different instruments, each with a library of hundreds of charts.

I've been using the Lenovo version of a "Surface" tablet for years ($250), and an Android tablet ($100) for years before that, and an iPad (big bucks) before that. But unlike these new e-ink options, they're unreadable in full sun. I've had a couple of outdoor gigs where I couldn't read my tablet at all and had to go back to paper. An affordable, large e-ink tablet like the Fujitsu would be perfect if it could run the apps I normally use.
 
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