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Old 01-23-2009, 03:14 PM   #1
andiskater
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Don't buy this device

Hi!

The iRex digital reader is not a very good deal, and it just got 100€/100$ more expensive:

- battery life is poor and iRex does not seem to have the experience to fix this (Dis they for the iLiad? no...)

- the user interface is not thought out very well and the reader software isn't very mature

- the Digital Reader 1000S is now as expensive as the 1000SW should have been (which will have WLAN and Bluetooth)

iRey does not have the engineering power to develop a device which has reasonable battery life, well thought out operating controls and intuitive software.

You may be tempted to buy the Digital Reader because of the big and high resolution screen, but it's not wot it. Save your money for one of the next generation readers. Yes, you may have waited a long time for a high resolution eInk reader, but you won't be happy with the iRex Digital Reader. You will always hope. that iRex will fix the flaws in one of the next firmware updates, but they won't. They didn't for the ILiad and you can expect nothing better for the DR 1000S.

It's sad to see that iRex did not hire and embedded specialist, an industrial designer and an user interface specialist to create a great epaper device appealing to a broad audience from students, over casual readers to office users.
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
fxn
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I have no relationship whatsoever with iRex, but as a customer I'd like to give a counterpost.

Since I purchased the reader I read nothing in paper, it's been two months by now. The reader goes with me wherever I go.

I think it is a device for early adopters, but I am using it every single day without a problem. And there's nothing in the market at this moment that allows reading PDFs the way you can read in the 1000S. None, period.

It has room for improvement and I have reported a few tickets. People in support are really good, they have addressed all my tickets in a diligent way.

The 1.5 firmware has been announced to fix some of my tickets, provides better battery life, fixes support for some dictionaries that do not work now, customized tool bar so that you can organize your menus in a way that suits your usage, etc.

I am a heavy reader of tech books and this is the one and only device that allows me to read PDFs with comfort. The design is not precisely gorgeous for my taste, in two years we may have some Apple-ish uberslick thing. It is OK to wait if you prefer, but nowadays the 1000S is the edge in its class, so I am leveraging its capabilities *now*. Man what a difference. And that of course does not mean you won't eventually purchase the Apple-ish one in the future.
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:46 AM   #3
windspeedo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxn View Post
Since I purchased the reader I read nothing in paper, it's been two months by now. The reader goes with me wherever I go.

I think it is a device for early adopters, but I am using it every single day without a problem. And there's nothing in the market at this moment that allows reading PDFs the way you can read in the 1000S. None, period.

I am a heavy reader of tech books and this is the one and only device that allows me to read PDFs with comfort. The design is not precisely gorgeous for my taste, in two years we may have some Apple-ish uberslick thing. It is OK to wait if you prefer, but nowadays the 1000S is the edge in its class, so I am leveraging its capabilities *now*. Man what a difference. And that of course does not mean you won't eventually purchase the Apple-ish one in the future.
Good comments.
Thanks fxn.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:59 AM   #4
HarryT
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andiskater - a question for you. How much time have you spent using the DR1000?
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:57 PM   #5
harryE123
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I am a customer too, and I recent one, a quick search of my posts here can verify this, otherwise I have to be a pretty damn dedicated shill for irex and that would of course be absurd.

1. Battery life is adequate as is, I charge my phones at the end of the day, my lappies and netbooks, I see no reason why charging my reader there too makes it any worse than the rest of the bunch, of course I expect better with firmware 1.5 and I think I am going to have it. But that said, like I said, the reader is not far off my current use devices batterywise, one more device to charge, so what...

2.The reader is not mature at all for sure. But the software is surprisingly well thought out, there's a task manager a la any modern os, there are context sensitive buttons, and there's lots of flexibility with the wacom pen and the three (times three) different buttons which you can setup on your own. Sure there are things I d like to see coming, HEY IREX GUYS HOW ABOUT TO JUST ADD AN EASY TOGGLE BETWEEN WRITE AND PAN FUNCTION OF THE WACOM PEN RIGHT NEXT TO THE BATTERY AND LOCK ICON IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT, but as is it's a very very useable device. I HAVE SEEN MUCH MUCH MUCH WORSE IN TERMS OF USER INTERFACE, ACTUALLY I AND ABOUT 90% OF US ARE USING IT RIGHT NOW AND ITS CALLED M$ WINDOWS, so irex software is king in terms of that.

3. Price is a very relative thing you know, some people have got the money to afford it, I would say that the price is very reasonable considering this is the ONLY device available at this kind of screen size, they could have leveraged this advantage and raised the price to strictly bussiness users, trust me. Plus, how expensive will it seem when you take your bag with the 580 g. reader in it instead of carrying the kgs of say four or five bussiness manuals with you?

This is a great device, my main issue is that I expected the paper to be a bit more like real paper, more reflective that is, because as is you need a lot of light to use it, sunlight being the best where it really blows you away how good it looks. It will save you a lot when you get your pdfs in there, and most will love it, despite its flaws. Plus it feels great to have product that's so well advanced and gives you a taste of the future.

To the op: Why don't you go post at the aztac mentor vapourware thread instead, unlike a lot of people in the e-ink scene at least irex deliver a workable product.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:30 PM   #6
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I think the prices of the iRex DR1000S (currently $859) will likely come down whenever there are competitive devices. It's in any case not the most expensive e-ink type device, that appears to be going to the Fujtsu FLEPias:

http://www.frontech.fujitsu.com/en/r.../20090318.html

which currently run just over $1000, US, and is just now starting to ship. Of course, those are color and have wireless support, but the screen is more in the iLiad size range (8"), and will take a while to get over to the US. Battery life appears to be better. So we'll see, but it's probably devices like the Fujitsu that will start to eventually put pressure on iRex, whenever the early-adopter premium drops or there's enough supply for discounting.

Probably the 800 pound gorilla in all this, is the Amazon Kindle - Text book edition, rumored to be coming out potentially in time for fall classes. Presumably that would have the bigger screen and .PDF support that the DR1000 series do probably best for now. When you look at the Kindle 2, it really just feels like a kicker on the original device, not something new and all that big a deal, maybe even stop-gap. I wonder if they had an 8 or 9.7" device planned, with a touch screen, but then held it off due to supply or design/software/quality issues. Really has that sort of feel to it. The Sony PRS 700 touch-screen really cut down on readability, that's for sure. If an Amazon product needed the hand-holding of the DR1000s, they would have been lynched. Different user set.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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The larger screen Kindle when it sees the light of day maybe a compelling device to consider. However there is one feature that stops me from considering any other reader. If I can't create folders then for me nothing else matters.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:30 PM   #8
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If a new Kindle were large enough and cheaper, it might make the cut. But I'm highly skeptical as I don't see Amazon changing its tactics and permitting folder structure, full non-DRM support, open firmware etc. Its possible than Amazon may never get (or acknowledge) the fact that many people wanting to use a large e-ink reader already have (*ahem*) content for it. They will probably sell DRM'ed textbooks online.

The Plastic Logic is a possible replacement (WinCE, while no less than an abomination, probably allows folder structure and third party apps), but then again, who knows? For now, I completely agree that the DR wins. Some of the "annoyances" described in the previous posts have actually been addressed (at least indirectly) in firmware 1.5.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:56 PM   #9
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The iRex DR1000S is a really frustrating device. Even though it seemed to be the device I had been longing for for years (I read a lot of technical documentation) it has proven a real nightmare.
I could have delt with the FW problems, even though with 1.5 it still crashes on me at least a few times per day. FW problems tend to get fixed.
But what I can not appreciate is the fragility of the system. My first DR1000S arrived with a broken SD card reader, it could read SD cards (at first) but not format anything, and after a few weeks it could not even read anymore and I had no option but send it in for repair. It took iRex more than a month to get a 'replacement' device, which was said to be 'new' but when I opened the box it turned out that 1) no pen was to be found in the box and 2) the device frame was not completely closed, there was a gap in the bottom left, which makes me think this was really a refurbished device and not new at all. And then yesterday I was reading the device, on my back in the sofa , with a right-angled USB cable inserted (battery was near empty again ... ) but what happened : the USB port broke off from the motherboard by the simple weight of the device itself, my hands were only supporting it lightly ... and the device is broken again. So here a little warning for you all because you might not be aware : the USB port is in no way connected to or supported by the plastic frame : simply connecting the USB cable could probably break it off the motherboard easily if you're not extremly carefull.
So I've opened a new ticket but I'd be very suprised if iRex took it back for a warranty repair and frankly : I have lost too much sleep and waking time over this device that I simply don't know if I still want it. If iRex doesn't offer to repair it on warranty basis I WILL however do the community a favour and take the device apart and let you all know what the beast looks like on the inside.

Last edited by kleykenb; 03-29-2009 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:04 PM   #10
bazmi
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hi kleykenb,

i agree with you that the build quality of all iRex devices is well below par. the iLiad (build quality only) is a bit better than DR but that is only relative. compare this with the sony devices (i have both 505 and 700) and the differences are amazing.

i cannot understand why any company that charges the kind of premium that iRex does cannot use decent material. even the plastic used looks like it has been recycled one too many times.

i have used many devices - from HP LX, jornadas, palm devices, sharp zaurus (almost all models), nokia 8xx, sony book readers and now these iRex devices and never felt cheated the way i have with iRex. most of the devices i have bought were newly released so this whole business of 'new-technology-so-expect-glitches' is pure nonsense. if the problems in irex were screen related, i could for once buy that but all their problems are ones that have nothing to do with new technology eg APM was known and available more than 10 years ago!

i read a lot in these forums where anyone who says anything which is not complimentary to iRex is almost hounded off so be careful of what you say.

i use the DR to use newspapers (great press reader app). for everything else, irex is less than second rate - pdf rendering (cannot see how 20-30 second call up for a page can be called acceptable) or note taking app (xournal, when ported would be so nice).

as far as the iliad is concerned - just an expensive and ugly paperweight. software sucks, have to hang the ugly ethernet connector to even charge, its buttons are unreliable (turns 5 pages when you try to turn one etc).

so, i would wholeheartedly support a campaign to help people not waste their money on irex products. i have been a fool and bought two of their devices but will be a cheat if i recommended their devices to anyone
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:25 PM   #11
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i read a lot in these forums where anyone who says anything which is not complimentary to iRex is almost hounded off so be careful of what you say.
Don't be ridiculous By all means express your opinion about the device -just don't expect everyone to agree with you
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:37 PM   #12
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absolutely agree. would be a boring world if there werent different opinions
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:14 PM   #13
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Don't be ridiculous By all means express your opinion about the device -just don't expect everyone to agree with you
Absolutely right! Let's get them banned for even suggesting such a thing!
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Old 03-31-2009, 04:28 AM   #14
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Absolutely right! Let's get them banned for even suggesting such a thing!
"them" ?! I don't recall suggesting anything of the sort !
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:14 PM   #15
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...
So I've opened a new ticket but I'd be very suprised if iRex took it back for a warranty repair and frankly : I have lost too much sleep and waking time over this device that I simply don't know if I still want it. If iRex doesn't offer to repair it on warranty basis I WILL however do the community a favour and take the device apart and let you all know what the beast looks like on the inside.
I feel for you, kleykenb. It's moments like these when I think, you know paper is really not that bad after all. It's not as fragile and it can stand to quite a bit of abuse. Plus, it isn't dependent on a reading device and so paper wouldn't be disabled if a reading device breaks down. I mean, once your reading device is gone, so is your ability to read the files.

Moments like this it makes me wonder how people can seriously imagine that paper will soon be going away. Not soon. Not soon.
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