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Old 05-24-2012, 01:39 PM   #1
jbcohen
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What is the astak EZ Reader the best at

There is no one best reader for all people, different ones do better at different things. A Kindle is best for people that like a choice of different models, a Nook is best for someone that likes a well developed user interface. A Pocket book Lite is best for someone that wants to be able to read absolutely anything he/she comes across, most file formats supported and Kobo has the market cornered on simplicity. What is the Astak EZ Reader the best at?
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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The best...
Depends on which Astak reader.
I have the EzReader Pro, 5".
Like all readers, they contain largely of the same hardware as similar E-ink devices released around that time.

I can tell you some good things, that many devices don't have:

- It is by far the lightest e-ink device I've ever held, yet in no way does it feel like a cheap toy!
- It's rigid just like most other readers, but at a fraction of the weight.
- it has the page flip buttons on the right place (where you hold the device),
- it has a flip switch, kind of like the Iliad's flip bar, but the size of a switch, which makes me want to use it even more!
- A very good OS, so far I haven't had it freeze even once on me (except that I can't shut down the OS or it will forget the date).
- nice and fine pixels, unlike the Sony PRS-505 which has the same resolution, but looks more grainy.
- it's currently BEST at BEING THE CHEAPEST e-ink device out there, you can find stores selling it for $50!
- It reads almost all book formats commonly used,
- it has TTS (text to speech),
- has excellent battery life; ranging from 1 month daily reading of 4 hours, to 2-3 months reading now and then.
You never have to turn it off, or shut it down,just leave it on all the time (and it has more than 3 month battery life), and continue reading where you left off.
- It's fast, pageflipping and OS booting time is much faster than most readers.
- It has a nice plastic coating, almost feels rubbery.

What the Astak Ez reader Pro is less good at, is:
- The screen contrast is not very high. The blacks are rather dark greyish than black.
- Also it lacks a hold-switch.
- And PDF reflow is not very enjoyable (neither is it on just about ANY device out there).
- my personal preference, on some file formats it only has a letter size of 12,16,24,... but is missing 14pt, which I would have wanted. 12 is rather small, 16 is rather big.
- It also has ridiculously large lettertypes, the ones that only give you like 5 words per screen!
- The white reader frames and buttons decolor quite quickly, after about 1-2 months you'll see the buttons you frequently use get decolored. Not a layer outside which you can wash off, but it seems to decolor inside the plastic, which you can't wash off.
- Lastly, and sadly,I read some tragic news that the guy developing the EZ-Reader Pro came to a tragic end. His support dropped, and the device now is no longer supported.
Astak has some engineers, but IMHO, none as good as the other guy.
To me the unknown technician was the Steve Apple for the EzReader line!
He now is followed by other technicians and engineers that don't have such a keen sense of engineering. Kind of like Microsoft, and intel. More is not always better; and seemingly they don't understand. Yes more pixels per screen is better, but not at the cost of battery life, or device performance, or compatibility.
If the other guy would still have been alive, he would probably have brought the ez-reader series amongst the top 3 ebook reader devices out there!

Right now the EZ reader pro is gathering dust, because I currently have a 9" reader that I use more frequently.
I used the EZ Reader pro, because of it's small form factor. I could stow it away on my desk without anyone seeing it, while reading on the job (when there was no work).
Now I don't work there anymore, and mainly use my large reader at home, because it's more comfortable to read.

Last edited by ProDigit; 05-24-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:48 AM   #3
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An excellent summary; I agree on nearly all points. I would like to point out, though, that the Sony PRS-T1 is within 3 grams (about 1%) of the weight of the PEZ - with or without their respective covers. I was totally amazed, considering the Sony is a 6" reader. Now I mostly use the Sony because of its larger screen and note-taking ability.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:34 AM   #4
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Well you pretty much nailed it all down with the exception of the file system. One of the things I like the most about my Pocket Pro is that I can just drop books on to an SD card and they show up by file name and in the folders I created them in. I don't have to use any other software to create a library.
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Old 06-16-2012, 11:36 AM   #5
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There must be 2 HW versions of the Pocket Pro (V5) because my Black one not only allows power off/reboot,..

BUT it also keeps decent time (comparable to a old-time wind-up watch)
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:33 PM   #6
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@theducks: It has to do with the firmware. Newer firmware fixes the boot/time issue, but loses TTS speech.
Since I generally never turn off the device anyway, I left the older (v4 I believe) firmware on, so I can keep the TTS.

There are other operating systems that can be downloaded and installed, which address both issues (fix boot/time issue, and have TTS), but they have other issues.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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In praise of the EZ Reader Pro

The EZ reader Pro is my reader of choice. I agree to all the limitations give by prodigit, but there's one overridng advantage...

Durability.

The reader is built like a rock, has a relatively common user-replacable battery, and can read (with openinkpot) just about any format I care to throw in it.

No wifi, which is good by my tastes, (no marketers using my reading habits for free) and Buttons. I had a touchscreen e-reader, I prefer buttons.

When mine finally dies, (if it does - I have a 28 year old calculator, and my Atari 800 still boots - I'll unpack my backup EZ Reader pro, get a new battery, and off I'll go. No re-learning interfaces, just pop out the chip and pop it in the new machine...
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