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Old 02-20-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
poohbear_nc
Non-Edible Chicken
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Posts: 28,689
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Durham, NC
Device: Every Kindle Ever Made & To Be Made + Kobo Aura + Nexus7.2!
JetBook Color Review - by a Long-Time Kindle DXG User

Like many DXG users, Amazon's apparent lack of interest in developing/improving the Kindle DXG had sent me looking for large screen eInk screen alternatives, in case Amazon dumps the DXG from its line-up. The recent appearance of the DXG in Woot sales seemed to suggest Amazon was unloading its stock of DXG's, and spurred me to consider: PocketBook Pro 903/902/912, Onyx Boox M90/M92, and the ECTACO Jetbook Color. I didn't really need a color device, but I admit I got hooked by the "color eInk" hoopla and decided to take a look.

I've followed the other threads, and will try not to duplicate other posters. My approach is evaluating the Jetbook for reading books, as compared to the Kindle DXG. Rather than focus on the technical details, I am commenting on the "readability" of the color eInk screen. I am a complete noob to the jetbook universe, so if any of my criticisms are due to my ignorance of jetbook capabilities, please feel free to correct/educate me.

1. The color Jetbook is glacially slow in loading books. I've often frozen my unit by hitting buttons too fast, and have learned to keep a paper clip handy to hit the Reset button. I have found that when my unit freezes trying to open or close a book (spinning wheel that never stops), punching the Reset button simply ends the process and dumps me back to the Main Menu screen - no other settings are altered. Once the book actually loads, page turns are slower than for the DXG, but are acceptable.

2. The color jetbook should never have been shipped with a white bezel. The glossy white accentuates the darkness of the eInk screen, making it appear "muddy" when compared to a DXG screen. The original Kindle DX shipped with a white bezel - and most users discovered the value of applying a matte black skin - to trick the eye into seeing a "lighter" screen background. The DXG shipped with a graphite bezel, and the screen background appeared "brighter" and "clearer" when viewing plain text documents. The current Jetbook screen most closely resembles the original (non-Perl) DX screen in terms of the "muddiness" of the white spaces and the lack of crispness/clarity of the text - in any font choice.
If I keep this unit, I plan to apply a black skin to improve its readibility.

3. In any but the brightest lighting, ghosting is extremely visible and annoying. After powering off the unit, the ghost of the main menu page is clearly visible on the screen. This makes it unsuitable for reading with an attached LED book light, or with anything but direct bright light. Using a halogen lamp directed on the page has provided the best reading experience.

4. When a book contains images, photos, etc. there is apparently no capability (yet) for switching to landscape view, for for magnifying or zooming in & out of the image. I've experimented with books whose images are "zoomable" on the DXG, but I've not found a similar capability when viewing book pages on the Jetbook.
The only place I've found this capability is in the Educational section, where some reproductions of art works are included. There the Menu contains options for zoom, re-orienting the image, etc. The included color reproductions of artworks display fairly well -- much better than the images of art works in books that I have viewed.
[N.B. I used the art books available from Delphi Classics - which are in full color and formatted for the Kindle (without DRM)]

Obviously, for viewing images/pictures/non-text, no eInk screen will compare equally with LCD screen devices. But when I compare the appearance of images contained in book pages on the DXG (Amazon's designation that a book is formatted for "large screen devices") with the Jetbook, the DXG still is superior in clarity, crispness, and definition. [Yes, these are subjective terms - but the best I can come up with.]

N.B. This new rumor of Triton screens shipping to Amazon (6" only in the rumor) makes one speculate on the future of color eInk screens as the next generation of eInk readers. (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=169707).

My conclusion: the current color Jetbook screen does not provide a comparable reading experience now available on the Kindle DXG for reading books. Given Amazon's reluctance to update the DXG's PDF capabilities, the Pocketbook may shine as a large screen PDF viewer. But for reading books, I'll stick with the DXG for now.

With everyone else, I am anxiously awaiting the promised updates.
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