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Old 10-05-2012, 12:12 PM   #1
naravive
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Thumbs up M92: First Review

Well, it's been about 3 weeks since the M92 arrived. I haven't had a chance to use/test it as intensively as I would like, but in the interests of the forum, I thought I would present my thoughts so far. If I change my mind or find more problems, I will add that to the thread here.

BUYING: Not to sound repetitive, but Booxtor is the way to go. There's a sense of security there; he responds to PMs within about 2 days, he seems genuinely involved in the future of the machines, he offers specials and it's probably worth asking him about that before you buy. His competitors would be wise to be more active and responsive on this forum-- and I don't mean just hit-and-run advertisements, abject apologies or snarky comments. I mean, actually getting in on the technical stuff and showing your willingness to help and be involved.

I'm in the US, and the M92 arrived fairly quickly from Germany: 5 business days, I think it was. The shipping cost was not prohibitive, as you'll see if you add to your tray. Only one thing, choose paypal over the "Skrill moneybookers" portal. There was a simple issue that we ordered it while traveling outside of the US (going home to India) and for this, they made all sorts of problems, asking for id scans, and then asking again for hi-colour res scans, not reading our emails properly-- when all they really had to to was just call Mastercard directly and confirm with them!-- it was worse than dealing with bureaucracy in India or in the Austro-Hungarian empire! Then I wrote them a nasty note and all their strict bureaucratic requirements disappeared into thin air--but by that time it was too late for them, we'd already gone with paypal. So just go ahead use paypal with your credit card or whatever, especially when ordering from outside the EU.

GENERAL ISSUES SO FAR:
1) The pen was erratic and sometimes unresponsive out of the box; but after I upgraded to the latest firmware available here (you'll need an SD card) this problem seems to have disappeared.
2) I may possibly have that other issue reported here, where the "sleep" mode doesn't work properly and the pen becomes unresponsive after that. Am not sure, because it has only happened to me once so far; yesterday; I did a hard reset of the system (long-press power button until blank screen, then start again) and everything seems to be fine again.

PDFs:
Well everyone knows that this is sort of the raison d'etre of the M92, and indeed it is pretty glorious. This is my first 9.7 reader (my other the kindle keyboard) so maybe I don't have the right thing to compare it to, but I was stunned by how good the pdf looks, how well the zoom tools-- esp the "zoom by 2 points"-- work. The "glyph embolden" feature is also very good, and can make a huge difference. I haven't rigorously tested the hand annotation/scribbles, but I've tried it out and it seems to work fine--lovely! The work flow seems efficient enough to me; menu navigation is pretty quick. I found myself diving straight into pdfs that I had avoided reading for years because of lack of an appropriate platform. Generally on PDFs, the Boox M92 seems to be very strong and is quite likely the best e-ink device out there by far. There may be problems on more heavily annotated pdfs, at least as people are reporting here. I'll report on that if and when I get there. One thing I am concerned is that if the next upgrade ports us to Android, we'll lose this excellent pdf reader. I really hope that doesn't happen!

EPUBs:

Now here, there's certainly room for improvement. There are three choices of program for EPUB but not one of them quite does all the things it needs to. The FB reader seems to be at a loss for EPUBs with any kind of formatting; one of my Epubs was showing up blank on it! The CoolReader ought to be a better program, but it still seems pretty lousy to me. I can't for the life of me figure out how to add notes (does anyone know?) to highlights, and strangely, when you do make a highlight, you cannot erase it! Or merge it. The M92's own PDF reader itself reads EPUBs, and does so fairly well, with annotations, but you cannot change the margins on it (often they are too narrow) and you can't change fonts!

So effectively, the M92's PDF reader is probably your best bet for Epubs as well; however what the last problem listed above effectively also means, by the way, is that there is no point in adding new fonts, because you can't change them anyway! Not in the texts you're reading. Not in pdfs, obviously, not in Epubs, Doc files or anything else. Am I wrong?

Seems like a missed opportunity here. Why advertise Epub reading capabilities when they are flawed; why allow font flexibility when there is no good program to use it in?

For my money, the best bet for Boox would be to sharpen the Epub features on its own pdf reader. Add capability for margins and fonts; improve annotation if you can. And add capability for the pdf reader to also deal with mobi, doc, rtf and txt files (see below). Surely this would not be hard to do.

**UPDATE** Bizarrely, I just found some instapaper pages that the built-in PDF reader could not read... So I had to switch to cool reader for this...

DOC files:

Since the box and the wiki do say the boox can handle doc and rtf files, I wish there was a good reader to do it. The doc viewer is not cutting it; you can't make annotations. FB reader is not cutting it. CoolReader can handle doc files, as per its documentation, but for some reason it is not offered as an option for doc files under the M92's "preferred programs" dialog.

Again, a missed opportunity to make the M92 the best reader on the market for all kinds of files. What can be done. Could CoolReader be added as a "'preferred program" for doc files? But my own choice would, once again, to simply introduce doc read and annotate capabilities into the M92's own reader.

MOBI files:

Hmm, there is supposed to be Mobi capability, but I don't see any "preferred program" that I can choose to read it. Has anyone tried mobi/prc files on the M92?

Again, missed opportunity.

INTERNET:

Yes, a little slow, but no slower than the kindle, I think. Maybe even a little faster. The larger format is nice. Seems to work fine for all the basic uses I put it to. The main thing I use it for is instapaper, so I can download all my saved web articles periodically as ebooks. The instapaper download works very well (puts it in a folder marked ' download'); though as noted above, some of its epub pages cannot, for whatever reason, be read by the pdf reader.

SOUND: Couldn't care less about this feature. Why make this do that when we have phones and mp3 players that serve the purpose very well?

ANDROID: Booxtor says Android is coming to the M92, but I surfed the store yesterday and couldn't find a single e-reader relevant application that I was in any way excited about getting. What apps would people add if they had Android?

OVERALL:

Well overall, I must say I'm really happy with the M92! Four stars. The main advantage is with the pdfs, but this is already working so well and so smoothly (and apparently, being improved further) that it absolutely makes the device for me. If they could only tweak / add its epub, mobi, doc and rtf capabilities (doesn't seem to much to ask) --all firmware and not hardware issues-- then this would surely make this a contender for the best and most versatile e reader on the market. I'm hoping that day is not too far off.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:42 PM   #2
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Well, sound capability might be handy for TTS or dictionary. Or for making notes from recorded lecture.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naravive View Post

ANDROID: Booxtor says Android is coming to the M92, but I surfed the store yesterday and couldn't find a single e-reader relevant application that I was in any way excited about getting. What apps would people add if they had Android?
First and foremost: multitasking/taskswitching.
Then a decent PDF-Reader/Epub-Reader. Notetaking, exporting of notes, dictionaries - just to name a few.
If you are just interested in reading you don't need more.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui Neng View Post
First and foremost: multitasking/taskswitching.
Then a decent PDF-Reader/Epub-Reader. Notetaking, exporting of notes, dictionaries - just to name a few.
If you are just interested in reading you don't need more.
I could not agree more. This is the main reason a colleague of mine and I, finally refrained from buying the Onyx M92. Overall, apart from PDF search speed and quality of display, Pocketbook 912 seems to be a better product. If it had the same screen technology I would have gone for it.
360 Euros for M92 at this stage is a bit too much for us without the above capabilities.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui Neng View Post
First and foremost: multitasking/taskswitching.
Then a decent PDF-Reader/Epub-Reader. Notetaking, exporting of notes, dictionaries - just to name a few.
If you are just interested in reading you don't need more.
Multitasking is a clear goal, but this is something that can be achieved by extending current firmware. AFAIK Boox is already able to do multitasking, it is just window manager that is not fit for that.

But could you be more specific with rest of your expectations? Which apps would you use and what features do they have that are missing in m92's firmware? Certainly Onyx's software is far from perfect (and I'll be first to complain), but isn't it that with current bugs getting finally fixed, all that you named will actually be there?
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:02 AM   #6
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I agree with Janek, all of the features named are already in m92 (except for multitasking). There are bugs in firmware, but Onyx works on it.....

And, multitasking should come one day, according the info from Booxstor. I am looking forward to it. It is to my opinion one od few things where Pocketbook is better than m92.

Concerning android. It will be optional, current firmware will be also further developed.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui Neng View Post
First and foremost: multitasking/taskswitching.
Then a decent PDF-Reader/Epub-Reader. Notetaking, exporting of notes, dictionaries - just to name a few.
If you are just interested in reading you don't need more.
Could you give me an example of multitasking for the M92? I can see reading a book while waiting for a web page to load, but not much else. When you stop reading a book and switch to another, it remembers where you were before. That's enough for me, I think.

As for PDFs, I didn't see a PDF reader on the android market with better capabilities than the one native to the M92. Certainly not any with the scribble function. Can you point to one?

Ditto with EPUB readers actually, I searched android store and couldn't find any good, especially any free apps, with strong and effective annotation capabilities. (OK, maybe Nook reader was an exception) Moreover, most of the free apps seem to come with irritating advertisements! I don't think I could handle that.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:35 AM   #8
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I can give you some examples.

Working with several documents at once. At least fast switching from one to another, or the better possibility to see at least two.
Possibility to open document and web and scibling app and dictionary. You read a paper, take notes, se arch web and look in dictionary.

And sou on... If one just reads a book then there is not much need for multitasking, but if one works with one or more texts, multitasking is invaluable.

Android & pdf? What about Adobe reader?
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:46 AM   #9
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As for PDFs, I didn't see a PDF reader on the android market with better capabilities than the one native to the M92. Certainly not any with the scribble function. Can you point to one?
A good application under Android, viewver for PDF and EPUB with annotation : http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...hlight=mantano,
http://www.mantano.com/mantano-reader-for-android/ , free reader : https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...oid.lite&hl=en, not free (premium version) :
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....android&hl=en
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by naravive View Post
Could you give me an example of multitasking for the M92? I can see reading a book while waiting for a web page to load, but not much else. When you stop reading a book and switch to another, it remembers where you were before. That's enough for me, I think.

As for PDFs, I didn't see a PDF reader on the android market with better capabilities than the one native to the M92. Certainly not any with the scribble function. Can you point to one?

Ditto with EPUB readers actually, I searched android store and couldn't find any good, especially any free apps, with strong and effective annotation capabilities. (OK, maybe Nook reader was an exception) Moreover, most of the free apps seem to come with irritating advertisements! I don't think I could handle that.
EzPDF can scribble - and much more.

MoonReader is superb for Epub.

But there are many more options and the software is improving all the time becuase oft the heavy competition.

As I said, just for reading you are fine.

If you don't miss dictionaries and all the other goodies - why not?
Is it really necessary to explain the benefits of multitasking?
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:18 AM   #11
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EzPDF can scribble - and much more.
But there are many more options and the software is improving all the time becuase oft the heavy competition.
Well, let's see... I compare the functions, awarding 1 point for full set of functions the other software has, 0 for no comparable functions and 0,5 for some.

Here what's maker says :
1. Customized Viewing: Scanned and text based PDFs are all supported, including JPEG2000 and JBIG2 compression. Select Text Reflow, Fit to Text Column, Copy and paste text in PDF view and bookmark as you go or Change Reading Direction to ease reading

- All of this is available on m92 (your mileage may vary). I award one point to both ezPdf and m92
ezPdf vs m92 - 1:1

2. PDF Form Filler
Good for application forms, school tests, and contracts. Fill out your PDF form with ezPDF Reader. Sign with Freehand, and send via email.

- Well, on m92 you can fill out the form with scribble function. You can't email it directly, though (let's assume thats a minus). I give ezPdf 1 point and 0,5 to m92
ezPdf vs m92 - 2:1.5

2. Multimedia PDF Viewer - Audio, Video, and TTS (using device's built-in Text-to-Speech feature). It also plays multimedia files embedded into PDF.

-TTS is available. The rest is useless on eInk. One point both.
EzPdf vs m92 - 3:2.5

3. Annotation Features on PDF - No need to print for marking
Useful tool to add text in text box and sticky notes; highlight, underline, or cross out texts; draw rectangles, ovals and freehand drawings. Add memo & append images from camera shots or galleries, change color / thickness, resize and move them around as you like. All these comments are compatible with Adobe® Acrobat®. (PC or Mac version)

-Annotation is available on m92, but is limited compared to ezPdf.
EzPdf vs m92 - 4:3

4. Please download "ezPDF Reader Cloud Plugin" App for uploading and downloading files between Google Docs & ezPDF Readeer.

- Some firmware versions of m92 allow for syncing with some cloud storage services. But in the end this is irrelevant if Android is run on m92 - there are better apps for that. I ignore this.
EzPdf vs m92 - 4:3

5.
Text View with reflow function. Night / Day Mode, Able to change font size and color (text and background)
Thumbnail image view
Landscape view OK
Search (Options for case sensitive, whole word or part, exact word, and/or operator) and highlighted result
Auto Fit Zoom for multi-column article or removing white margin
Crop or Rotate page
Scroll lock / unlock

- All this is available on m92, except for the night/day option (which is useless on eInk) and advanced search options. On the other hand, m92 offers glyph embolden option. I give 1 point to both ezPdf and m92
EzPdf vs m92 - 5:4

6.
Able to select text in PDF, save to clipboard, web search, share with other apps, check with dictionary (Support ColorDict)

- All this is possible in m92, save for sluggish web browser.
EzPdf vs m92 - 6:5

7.
Support hyperlinks (Go to page within the PDF, Call PDF to PDF, URL links to webpage)

- This is possible in m92, except for url links. 1 point for ezPdf, 0.5 for m92
EzPdf vs m92 - 7:5.5

8.
Open Standard Password-protected PDF (Important! If the file is protected with the DRM applied to PDF file, this would not open the file.)

- Wrt password protection the software is the same, but m92 offers DRM support.
EzPdf vs m92 - 7:6.5

9.
Able to change reading direction - Arabic, Chinese, Japanese & Hebrew
-Same on m92
EzPdf vs m92 - 8:7.5

10.
Intuitive bookmarking & viewing bookmarks with its description and ribbon & thumbnail image
-Same on m92
EzPdf vs m92 - 9:8.5

11.
Auto Page Turn (in secs) or Auto Scroll (up a screen full)
- not available on m92
EzPdf vs m92 - 10:8.5

12.
Table of Contents
- I'm unsure what this means...

13.
Page navigation with thumbnail scroll images
Jump to a specific page by its Page Number
-Same on m92
EzPdf vs m92 - 11:9.5

14
Undo & Redo button
- not available on m92
EzPdf vs m92 - 12:9.5

15.
Panning option
- not mentioned in feature list of ezPdf
EzPdf vs m92 - 12:10.5

The rest of features seems to be UI/hardware-dependent
- Zoom in & out (Pinch or double tap)
- Support Trackball
- Page Turning Effect (Flip); Can be turned off
- FREE PDF Conversion Program for PC (link to download)
- 5-point-tap : Annotation Tool On or Off
- 4-point-tap : Notification Bar On or Off
- 3-point-tap : PDF view or Text Reflow view
- 2-point-tap : Reduces the page to fit the width when enlarged
- 1-point-tap : Toggles Menu On or Off

16. Price
ezPdf - cheapo
m92 - free, if you buy the device

The winner is indeed ezPdf, but it appears the difference isn't oh so big. Most functionalities are there on m92. With proper development m92 can hopefully achieve the standard of ezPdf but as things are right now, it is somewhat below par. Still it can do most of additional thing ezPdf can, beside plain "reading".

Last edited by janek; 10-08-2012 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:20 AM   #12
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Thank you Janek, Hui Neng, Randy and Mono--

I do appreciate your giving time to my answer. I'm most with Janek on this one though. Here are some user reviews of EZ Pdf, Moon and Mantano that gave me pause. It would appear they all have shortcomings and/or bugs too. And the bottom line is you have to pay extra for a good app. Why do that when you've already paid so much for the M92? As for Adobe PDF, ideally I try to have as little to do with that bloatware / extortionist company as I can...

Yes, obviously, choice is a good reason for android, but I am wary of what that will mean for the software already on the device.

EZ PDF:

Quote:
Luca - August 30, 2012 - Samsung Galaxy S3 with version 1.9.0.1
More or less OK sometimes
The interface is pretty horrible, and many things don't really make much sense but is the only one that combines some features I care about 1) horizontal scroll lock, essential for any serious reading 2) selecting and copying even if it's the worst selection tool ever 3) following links both internal and external. If what you're after is something for pure reading instead, than hesitate not and go for APV PDF Reader Pro.

xiaobo - August 1, 2012 - Version 1.9.0.1
Slow, no white margin remove
Cloud plugin not showing up in the config. Don't know where i can get it working

E-Dog - August 11, 2012 - Asus Nexus 7 with version 1.9.0.1
Good start but controls need work
I wanted a PDF viewer that supported zooming to text margins and locked the zoomed region when page turned. Zooming works OK sometimes but its very finicky and often the region gets messed up when the page turns. Suggestion to make this function easier and more reliable, for 7" t tablet this makes ALL the difference in readability. Better than Adobe, though.

Stan - July 26, 2012 - Asus Nexus 7 with version 1.9.0.1
Excellent, but for night mode
Perfect assortment of features - bookmarks, granular zoom controls, built in file manager. Fairly customiseable as well. But night mode is only available in text reflow! Hence I cannot read ebooks with lights off before bed :-(

Stacey - September 18, 2012 - HTC Sensation 4G with version 1.9.0.1
Misleading
Any bookmarks you create don't save with the document. Wasted a lot of time with this.
Mantano:

Quote:
gille86 - October 2, 2012 - Motorola Photon 4G with version 1.1.6
Removed editing on new version
I purchased the premium version for my kindle fire but it was nice to have lite version for phone. However i notice now that i can no longer highlight or annotate in the free version. Bummer. Now its just like every other reader.
Spam
Mr.Hatim - October 3, 2012 - Version 1.1.6
The best
It is verry good I like it. But epub reder not supporting Arabic

gille86 - October 2, 2012 - Motorola Photon 4G with version 1.1.6
Removed editing on new version
I purchased the premium version for my kindle fire but it was nice to have lite version for phone. However i notice now that i can no longer highlight or annotate in the free version. Bummer. Now its just like every other reader.

Garrett - September 25, 2012 - Asus Nexus 7 with version 1.1.5
Best PDF performance
Switched from 'ez PDF reader' to this and the difference in rendering large PDFs is incredible. Ez would display loading screens at every page turn whereas this app performs flawlessly. The best android app for PDF viewing.

Jack Stockholm - October 2, 2012 - Samsung Galaxy Nexus with version 1.1.4
Deleted all books and bookmarks TWICE
If I can't trust an app to store data and work that I do, the app doesn't belong on my device. The UI is great, love the different skins for different lighting. But this app lost all my books and bookmarks so it fails a core user expectation.
Moon+:

Quote:
Dana - October 8, 2012 - Samsung Galaxy S2 with version 1.8.3
Battery dariner
It's a great program, loads all my ebooks perfectly. Only problem is the battery drain.

Sadaf - October 8, 2012 - Galaxy Y Duos with version 1.8.3
Not enough
Does not support pdf files

Carlos J. Muentes - October 5, 2012 - Samsung Galaxy Note with version 1.8.2
Galaxy Note - Excellent
Great reader. Works great with ePub files but little slow turning pages and following links in documents.

Slavi - September 23, 2012 - Motorola Droid RAZR with version 1.8.2
Very nice.
I like this application very much. The only thing I'd wish is a better work with margins. For some reason the text does not fill the whole page. Look how it's done in fbreader.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:40 AM   #13
Hui Neng
Ebookreader
Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.
 
Posts: 47
Karma: 35064
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Nook Simple Touch - Nook HD+
Quote:
Originally Posted by naravive View Post
Thank you Janek, Hui Neng, Randy and Mono--

I do appreciate your giving time to my answer. I'm most with Janek on this one though. Here are some user reviews of EZ Pdf, Moon and Mantano that gave me pause. It would appear they all have shortcomings and/or bugs too. And the bottom line is you have to pay extra for a good app. Why do that when you've already paid so much for the M92? As for Adobe PDF, ideally I try to have as little to do with that bloatware / extortionist company as I can...

Yes, obviously, choice is a good reason for android, but I am wary of what that will mean for the software already on the device.

EZ PDF:



Mantano:



Moon+:
I have no idea what you want to tell us. It is easily possible to quote negative experiences for any given product - even for the top of the line.

That is what counts:

Moon Reader 4.5/5
EzPDF 4.1/5
Mantano 4.4/5

That means a very high appreciation by the people who use these products.

So you can compare this with what people say about the M92 ...
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:03 PM   #14
Mono
Mono
Mono can differentiate black from dark navy blueMono can differentiate black from dark navy blueMono can differentiate black from dark navy blueMono can differentiate black from dark navy blueMono can differentiate black from dark navy blueMono can differentiate black from dark navy blueMono can differentiate black from dark navy blueMono can differentiate black from dark navy blueMono can differentiate black from dark navy blueMono can differentiate black from dark navy blueMono can differentiate black from dark navy blue
 
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Karma: 13333
Join Date: Jan 2012
Device: Boox M92
Guys, let's wait for a new M92 firmware. I hope it will be released soon.

According to Booxtor's new feature list & bugfixes, it could be a considerable step forward.

Android might be fine. One can install applications that desires. There is one big but. M92 hw specs are good for e-ink reader, but rather poor for tablet. Today's applications might work fine, but in a year or two the applications will be designed to run satisfactory on hw that will probably be several times more powerful in CPU speed, number of CPU cores and available RAM memory...

We will see... I do not think, Onyx wants to stop development of its own firmware and replace it by android. In that case they would not invest in creating a new pdf reader...
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:16 AM   #15
Hui Neng
Ebookreader
Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.Hui Neng turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.
 
Posts: 47
Karma: 35064
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Nook Simple Touch - Nook HD+
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mono View Post
Guys, let's wait for a new M92 firmware. I hope it will be released soon.

According to Booxtor's new feature list & bugfixes, it could be a considerable step forward.

Android might be fine. One can install applications that desires. There is one big but. M92 hw specs are good for e-ink reader, but rather poor for tablet. Today's applications might work fine, but in a year or two the applications will be designed to run satisfactory on hw that will probably be several times more powerful in CPU speed, number of CPU cores and available RAM memory...

We will see... I do not think, Onyx wants to stop development of its own firmware and replace it by android. In that case they would not invest in creating a new pdf reader...
Ever the optimist - you seem still to believe they know what they are doing.
As far as hardware goes: it could be upgraded. Happens all the time.
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