View Full Version : My first impressions with the eDGe (Day 1)


devseev
04-03-2010, 01:49 PM
4/2 Friday afternoon/evening:

-package arrived, no time for unboxing photos, can't wait to open it.

-packing is simple and efficient, unit looks sleek and compact. COOL

-this thing is definitely heavier than it looks. UNCOOL

-Plug it in to charge, power button blinks green to show it's charging

-instuctions say charge 8 hours for first time, don't tell me I can't use it till next morning! UNCOOL

-read up on battery charging online while unit charges, find out that 8-hour charging thing is a myth, once a Li-ion battery is fully charged there is no point in charging more. and 1st charge is no different than the 5th or 50th charge. COOL

-check my unit, green power light no longer blinking, assume it means battery is charged, so I peel of the plastic from the two screens and boot it up. Leave the little plastic cover on the webcam since it's not functional yet anyway.

-boot-up is faster than I expected, will have to time it. COOL

-connected to home wi-fi with no problems after adding eDGe's MAC address to my router's MAC filter (added security). COOL

-Registratering my unit - gives me Error 45 - uh-oh. UNCOOL

-Decide to do the software update first, as some folks on the google forums recommended to get around the error

-It's confusing how the updates show up in the top status bar, then you click on the bar and have to drag the pull-down menu all the way down the page for it to stay open - I must be missing some easier way to do this. UNCOOL

-After some muddling around, the update installed fine and unit rebooted. The whole update process took 10-15 minutes as advertised (though i am sure those on slower connections may take more time to download the patch) COOL

-Now the registration process works just fine. COOL

-Quick run-through all the settings options. Pretty much what you'd expect. Notice that many menu languages supported and try Russian just for fun. Most menus change to Russian, some stay English.

-Other than time zone, the time/date appear to be set correctly. To change time zone, had to take time setting off "automatic" option, then put it back to "automatic."

-One of the first things I check is whether I can set a boot-up password, since security is key for me. It appears there is no bootup password or screensaver password. There appears to be a password option for the storage on the device, but couldn't get it to work right in a first casual attempt. UNCOOL

-LCD is pretty responsive, but I find that sometiems things get clicked on unintentionally. Sometimes it's just my fat fingers, but occasionally (especially navigating the settings menus) I really have no idea why the eDGe thinks I clicked on something since my finger was nowhere near that part of the screen. Will need to keep an eye on this one. UNCOOL

-Virtual keyboard is pretty decent, but it's hard to find a way of holding the device that makes typing convenient. End up using stylus to type on the virtual keyboard for now.

-Just for kicks, I plug in the wireless transmitter for my Logitech keyboard/mouse combo into the USB port. Lo and behold, it just works. I can type on the Logitech keyboard and the text appears on the eDGe LCD. Sweet. I am still getting a smaller USB keyboard for travel, though. COOL

-I now have the eDGe LCD in landscape mode and the e-ink folded under and behind it as a stand on top of my desk. There really are a lot of ways to orient this thing. COOL

-Notice that the virtual keyboard seems to be disabled when the physical one is plugged in. Makes sense. Logitech mouse behavior is erratic - not too useful. This isn't surprising either, since Android UI is built for touch, and there's no pointer to move around on the screen. The fact that the mouse does appear to send signals to the screen makes me think that there could be android apps built that support mouse action in the future.

-Also for kicks, I plug in my iPhone into the USB port. It starts charging! As expected, tethering does not work. Maybe someday!

-Okay, on to play with the e-Ink side. The contrast on the e-ink is great. I put this next to my kindle DX and the kindle background looks grey while the eDGe is white. Have to remember to post some photos of the comparison - it is definitely noticeable. COOL

-Need to load some content, so I pop in my Sandisk 32gb flash drive. After a few seconds I get the message "Damaged USB storage." Offers me to re-format. No thanks! UNCOOL

-Okay, time to try the mini-USB cable. As others said, this self-installs fine on PC, despite not finding a driver for "Android". Mount the driver via the status bar pull-down menu (okay, this pulldown thing is still annoying me). I see the drive on PC as "eDGe". COOL

-I copy a few pdfs to the eDGe. Internal storage not visible in library till I unmount the drive (on both PC and then eDGe). Then I have the option of loading the PDFs from storage into the library.

-Library app has a good interface, lots of options, including to edit title, add tags etc. COOL

-Working with the stylus is nice, there is just a tiny bit of lag behind the pen, less than I expected. COOL

-However changing the annotation color to red or another color (shows up as grey on e-ink but if exported to PDF on PC or LCD appears in color) adds substantial lag. Even though I would prefer my annotations to be of a different color, the lag is enough to make me revert to the standard black as a default. It's nice to have the option of colors, though, even if it's not perfect.

-The table of contents feature on the LCD is truly outstanding. I expected the highlights and TOC entries to show up, but it also shows Notes and even puts in entries for the pen-drawn annotations. The pen-drawn annotations show up as "no title" on the TOC, but you can edit the title. COOL

-PDF Reflow mode works very well on text-based PDFs. Some formatting is lost, but that's not much to lose for the ability to change font size with a click and to have the text fill the whole screen. COOL

-Reflow mode shows a blank PDF for image-only PDFs. That makes sense, but need to test on text-under-image PDFs.

-Zoom functions on PDFs work very well. COOL

-Journal applications works similar to the PDF annotation functions. Writing with a stylus isn't as nice as with pen and paper, but it's doable, you just have to be a bit more deliberate when you write. I wish I had better penmanship!

-Time to go to sleep, gotta leave this thing alone for a bit. UNCOOL
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DAY 1 conclusions: Overall I am very pleased, especially with e-ink side. Even though I've probably read every review out there and knew what to expect - there were still a few surprises, both good and bad. The device should be great for what I intend to use it for - mainly PDF review/annotations and note-taking. The LCD side seems a bit buggy, nothing major, but a few hiccups here and there. In terms of the software, it's not quite ready for the typical corporate/professional user out of the box. For a nerd and early adopter like me - it's great!

pilotbob
04-03-2010, 01:55 PM
Great post... thank's for the observations. This device continues to put more in the Pro than the Con column for most reviews I've seen of "real people" using them... rather than reviewers that feel they are more esteemed if they trash everything they review.


:offtopic:

-connected to home wi-fi with no problems after adding eDGe's MAC address to my router's MAC filter (added security). COOL


FYI: Security by obscurity is no security at all. If you are concerned about securing your wireless you should use WPA. MAC addresses can easily be spoofed.

BOb

SCION
04-03-2010, 02:36 PM
Thanks for taking the time to share!

borisb
04-03-2010, 02:47 PM
Note that some of the peculiarities, like the notification bar, are common to Android devices. Security issues may be, too. Apparently Android devices can't use a proxy server, for example.

Android, however, is a quickly advancing OS in active development. the eDGe is using 1.6 and the latest release is 2.1 (possibly 2.2 by now). eDGe will get 2.x this summer I believe.

sarah11918
04-03-2010, 06:54 PM
Great list of observations! Thanks for posting. Posts like that will really help people deciding whether to purchase or not.