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Old 01-25-2012, 08:26 PM   #1
EldRick
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New Odyssey received - first impressions of 1485

Well, I ordered the Odyssey online, and it showed up two days later to the US west coast, so they've apparently got their distribution working. It arrived fully charged and with v1485 (and a bunch of old books) loaded on it.

I'm comparing it to the Nook STR through this, as a standard for comparison.

It's a very nice device - feels good in the hand bare and in the case. I previously had a Kindle 3, and hated the physical design. The plastic on the front bezel takes smears easily, but overall it feels like a slightly upscale version of the STR.

It's pretty, and the optional case is very slim. The case front is leather, and the back is molded plastic, which holds the Ody firmly with minimum bulk. Compared with the STR in its easel case, the Ody is thinner and narrower, so it fits the hand or pocket nicely. It can be used as an easel when reading in landscape mode. OTOH there is no clasp of any kind to hold the cover closed when you drop it.

So far so good.

The included fonts are not very well selected for an e-ink screen (too many fine serifs and stroke-width variations), but I downloaded an .otf version of Caecilia, which is much more readable. However, the readability advantage goes to the STR, as it's newest font-rendering update produces well-balanced somewhat darker rendering, perfect for e-ink.

Unfortunately the flaky USB bug is still there with my iMac, even though they claim to have fixed it in v1481. Nope.

I like it for PDFs - far more usable than the STR, and the K3 was buggy and unusable for PDFs. I'd like it a lot better with a 7" screen, however.

But, No Search? Not at all? Not in any type of file? What are they thinking???!!!

My impression so far is favorable. I download my books via USB (yes, the dictionary works on side-loaded books) so I can't comment on using it with the Bookeen bookstore (or with other bookstores as the manual seems to describe).

Speaking of the (beta version) English dictionary, it's pretty bad. It starts by presenting you a list of several choices for a word - these are the various definitions, with no information as to what is behind each. So you have to blindly tap on each item in the list, and then you get to see almost entirely unformatted text, describing one definition of the word. There is quite a bit of information contained in the formatting of a dictionary definition,l and this dictionary is missing all of it. It's pretty bad.

The one physical attribute that is incredibly bad is the microscopic power switch and the barely-there ridge on it that is supposed to allow you to slide it. I'm betting that the switch is worn smooth and unusable in a month. I can barely use it with a thumbnail now.

More later

Last edited by EldRick; 01-28-2012 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:36 PM   #2
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Thank you for taking the time to write this review/comparison.

An eInk screen is not necessary unsuited to display serif fonts. It comes down to personal preference if a serif or a sanserif font is more readable to you. I personally prefer Georgia that came with the Odyssey. Did not see the need to upload a custom font so far. But it is nice that you can.

The dictionary and usb need work still - I could not agree more.

And I am glad you like the design and the cover, so do I.

Last edited by DuckieTigger; 01-26-2012 at 01:21 AM. Reason: added info
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #3
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EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.
 
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Caecilia is a serif font designed for low-res electronic displays.

The issue with the fonts supplied on the Ody is that they have thin, tapering serifs, which tend to disappear on a 165dpi screen, and they require good rendering to avoid visible stroke-width errors.

The STR does a better job of rendering such fonts, but no current display has enough resolution to give good typography.

Have a look at Caecilia -it's the default font on Kindles and Nooks.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:03 PM   #4
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Caecilia is a serif font designed for low-res electronic displays.

no current display has enough resolution to give good typography.
Not even the story HD?
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:29 PM   #5
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What do you think the effective resolution of a paper back is? The ereaders doing a pretty damn good job compared to a paper back.

And if you have your font size so small, that the serifs disappear, then even non-serif fonts do not look as good as they could if you made them bigger. There is actually no need to go to a small font size on the Odyssey - not like you going to save that much more battery by having to turn the page less often.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:49 PM   #6
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EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.
 
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Effective resolution of a paperback would be around 450dpi in digital terms, and with much better contrast than e-ink.

The issue on font size is to disrupt the reading less often by getting more words on a page.

A good font for a low-res device can mitigate the resolution shortage by using thicker serifs that are not tapered, and using constant stroke widths, rather than shaded strokes. Have a look at any of the Lucida family for fonts designed for low-res displays.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.
 
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So where can we download the font you are suggesting? I am willing to give it a try.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:59 AM   #8
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EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.
 
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Google Caecilia font free and follow the link to fontzone...
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:28 PM   #9
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bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.bob123 is out to avenge the death of his or her father, Domingo Montoya.
 
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Google Caecilia font free and follow the link to fontzone...
Thank You.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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Effective resolution of a paperback would be around 450dpi in digital terms, and with much better contrast than e-ink.l
I don't think so. The printer might be capable to output that high res, but it won't show up on the paper. At least for mass market paperbacks the paper is of such a bad quality that the ink is going to bleed out at the edges washing them out. A current eink screen coupled with good anti-aliasing can most definately give a mass produced paperback a run for it. Not when you compare hard numbers (this many dpi compared to that many), but when you look at overall ledgeability and apperance and sharp defined edges. One dot is not the same as another dot - they can each have different quality. The eink dots are of very good quality even though they are rather large in size. In the case of eink there is also different shades of grey - complicated to do in a paperback.

Can ereaders replace (quality wise) a good hardcover or even a trade paperback (which is most often the same as the hardcover with cheaper binding and slightly lower quality paper)? Definately not yet, but epaper is still very new. The newest eink with 300 dpi and 16 shades of gray might come a good step closer to a quality printed hardcover book. For normal vivid readers that consume paperback after paperback after paperback an ereader might very well be the next best thing after sliced bread - especially when you never run out when you are on the go. Not sure if you going to finish the book? Need to carry the next book around too? Nope, already preloaded the next 10, 20, 100 books on your reading list on the reader ...

Quote:
The issue on font size is to disrupt the reading less often by getting more words on a page.
Putting more and more words on a page will backfire on you at some point when you reach lines that have too many words in it. Add a moving environment and you ask for disaster (e.g. read while walking, read while riding in a car or bus). Please do not read while behind the wheel though.

Also old age (or otherwise impaired vision) can be overcome to some extend on ereaders by increasing the font size - and that without needing to lug around a big bulky heavy large print book. Usually the choice of large print editions is very limited as well.

Quote:
A good font for a low-res device can mitigate the resolution shortage by using thicker serifs that are not tapered, and using constant stroke widths, rather than shaded strokes. Have a look at any of the Lucida family for fonts designed for low-res displays.
Ok, agreed. There has to be fonts that look especially good on low res screens. A fair warning though - if you read a lot and always use the smallest possible size of font, you will need reading glasses sooner. YMMW.

Now I just wish the Odyssey would get the font-rendering-engine from the Nook STR if the Nook looks so much better.

Last edited by DuckieTigger; 01-27-2012 at 09:23 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:20 PM   #11
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Google Caecilia font free and follow the link to fontzone...
I will definately check that out. Does the folder on the Odyssey need to be named Font or Fonts?
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:58 AM   #12
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EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.EldRick is the 'tall, dark, handsome stranger' all the fortune-tellers are referring to.
 
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"Does the folder on the Odyssey need to be named Font or Fonts?"

Plug in the Ody. Open it in windows explorer or Mac Finder. You'll see it.
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:21 PM   #13
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"Does the folder on the Odyssey need to be named Font or Fonts?"

Plug in the Ody. Open it in windows explorer or Mac Finder. You'll see it.
Oh, ok thank you. I was looking at the FAQ that mentions "Font" as the folder, and the Library does not show the "Fonts" folder unless plugged in to computer - so I thought that the folder had to be created first.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:15 AM   #14
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Don't know if it helps but there is a "Bold" mode in Layout which may help faint fonts.
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