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Old 10-20-2007, 12:40 PM   #1
quek
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Posts: 29
Karma: 501
Join Date: Jan 2007
Device: Sony PRS500, Iliad
99/100 for Iliad 2 (review with photos)

30mins after I got my Iliad, I knew that it had beaten Sony PRS500 hands down. I did not really remember feeling so excited when I previously got my PRS500. On the contrary, after playing it around for a while, I already have this sinking feeling that it is not going to work well for my pdf files, especially the 2 column technical papers. I was right. It is sufficient for light pure text reading but not for reading pdf books. Even RasterFarian did not managed to solve the issue. It is good but the conversion takes time and to convert all my pdf books to lrf format would take an enormous amount of time. Cutting the 2 column format to multiple pages is not going to work, what we simply need is panning...

Iliad solved the problem beautifully, way beyond my expectation. Pdf loading is fast in my opinion. Here are some numbers:

=== Statistics for firmware ver2.11 ===
Startup time : 51 seconds
Loading time for 29Mb text+some pictures pdf file : 22 seconds
Loading time for 35Mb graphic intensive pdf file : 18 seconds

Both files were loaded from a 1Gb SD card.

What I like about the Iliad:
a. Good zooming (see the pictures)
b. Fast load time even for huge files
c. Since it is pdf, fonts can be embedded and so Asian languages are not a problem (see pictures)
d. Able to do panning using stylus
e. Nice design with the flipbar
f. The notetaking feature is awesome!
g. Big 8" screen
h. I do not even need to spend time resizing my A4 size pdf files. The pdf files in the pictures shown are all of A4 size.

The only thing the prevents the Iliad from becoming the perfect device is the lack of an official browser. Although Dillo can be installed in just 3 simple steps, it does not display the webpages well (as can be seen in the pictures). Also, yahoo mail and gmail does not work with Dillo. The installation steps in the wiki is slightly outdated. It can be easily installed as follows:

Step1: Get the developer's package

Step2:
Download the file dillo-0.8.6_iliad-0.7.zip (created Apr 2007) & connection-scripts-1.0.zip (created Mar 2007). Then unpack it on your harddisk. Directories "dillo" and "connection-scripts-1.0" will appear.

Step3:
Copy the 2 directories to your MMC/SD/CF card. Installation is now complete.

How to use:
Access your MMC/SD/CF card from the device manager. First click on the contentlister entry "connection-scripts-1.0" for starting LAN or WLAN. Then
click on the contentlister entry "Dillo Web Browser" for starting dillo.

Notice that I did not say the directories can be copied to the main Iliad memory. For some reason, it always gives write error. Have not figure that out yet. The Dillo display problem can of course be easily resolved by switching to the Minimo browser. (Hey Adam, where's our nice package? )

Some info for the still undecided:
1. When reading, wifi and touchpad functions are used together, the Iliad can still manage to last for at least 5 full hrs.

2. It has an onboard memory of about 128Mb. So an external card is not absolutely necessary.

3. It can be recognized as a usb device. Simply plug it into linux or windows.

Hope that the above info will be of help in giving that final push to buy it. The Iliad is definitely worth every cent of its price. When doing the purchase, there is a point to note though. It does not come with a protective jacket so it might be good to get a jacket together with the Iliad.

Best regards
Quek
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