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Old 08-24-2009, 11:43 AM   #1
Les Hall
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Jetbook ergos & observations

Had my Jetbook for over a week now. Use it mostly to read in bed.

1. Am finding it uncomfortable to hold as there isn't really enough surface area without buttons to hold it comfortably. I think some kind of strap on the back that you could slide your hand into would be comfy - like you slide your hand under the strap of a horse brush.For me there is only one decent place to hold it and that is between the page turn buttons and the 4-way pad under the logo. Gets uncomfortable after a while.

2. Using a Mac I find that OS-X copies three invisible files to the memory that appear in the file list - always have to erase them if I want a 'tidy' book list. Maybe I can turn that off on the Mac.

3. The pop-up menu is inconsistent - some menus allow you to cycle thru the menu items going from #6 to #1, #2 etc. Some only let you get to #6 and then go back again #5, #4 etc. Small niggle.

4. The row of buttons on the right side can be quite handy if you can remember menu item numbers. e.g. you are looking at a book page - if you press #6 and then #3 and you are in the font size dialog. Just press #3 and you have bookmarked the page. Press #6 followed by #7 and then #1 starts the background music playing. Usually faster than using the scroll/OK keys.

5. Wish you could turn off the menu bar at the top of the screen.

6.The graphics in the interface are really ugly. What is that illustration when it first boots up - a pile of books & a candle or something - cheesy. Also the main menu page where you can choose Books, Audio Books etc - yech.

7. Same lack of aesthetics goes for the overall physical design. The sliding page turn button is a joke as far as I am concerned. Ugly too. The row of buttons on the right make it pretty well impossible to hold on that side. and I find visually distracting - Latin & Cyrillic numbers?! The 4-way pad is a different color white from the white case. The page turn buttons and the sliding page turn thing are both an odd shiny gunmetal color - why not white? I know - cheaper.

8. The should get rid of the sliding page turn device and move the page turn buttons to that side and shift the 4-way buttons over to the right leaving a large area to hold on the right. Not so good for leftys though....

9. Overall the actual reading experience is good. The screen is clear and causes me no eye strain at 18pt. Initial opening of a book with graphic covers is slower than I would like, but page turns are pretty well instant. I find the LCD screen to be as legible as eInk - it does not compare to any previous reflective LCD's I have used in the past - Palms, Psions etc it's much better and the background, whilst not being as neutral in tone as eInk, is quite light and provides good contrast with the type.

10. It doesn't have the constructional attention to detail that a Kindle or a Sony has. If you are into design aesthetics (I am) it is pretty naff. Like the difference between using a Mac and a Windows box. Lots of people could care less, but for me the quality of design and manufacturing are very important. However I AM a Scotsman so price is a factor here, hence Jetbook and not Sony or Kindle.

Scoring it purely on the experience of reading an ebook I would give it a 7.5 out of 10.

Would love to see if any other Jetbook owners agree or disagree. Holding tips greatly appreciated

Les, Dallas.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:19 PM   #2
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I'm not having any problem holding mine - normally it's sort of cradled in my left hand, supported by my fingers under the device and to a lesser extent by my palm, with my left thumb falling naturally on the page turn slider. It's easy to hold and the page turning works well. If I swap hands I do more or less the same thing but shifted down slightly so my right thumb reaches over to the next page button at the bottom. To me, it feels better to hold and use than the Kindle.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:08 PM   #3
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Nor am I, and I kind of like the library graphic during bootup. It's better than a blank screen as it lets me know that something is happening.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:42 PM   #4
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I'll have to try y'all's suggestions. I normally read lying in bed so my arm is stuck up in the air. I should have made that clear. Using just your left hand to hold it it's hard to also slide the page turner. Just sitting around it's fine as it just rests in my palms and I can use two hands.

So to clarify "I find it hard to hold & turn pages using one hand when lying flat on my back in bed!"

For the money it's a pretty good little device.

Les
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Hall View Post
1. Am finding it uncomfortable to hold as there isn't really enough surface area without buttons to hold it comfortably. I think some kind of strap on the back that you could slide your hand into would be comfy - like you slide your hand under the strap of a horse brush.For me there is only one decent place to hold it and that is between the page turn buttons and the 4-way pad under the logo. Gets uncomfortable after a while.

5. Wish you could turn off the menu bar at the top of the screen.

6.The graphics in the interface are really ugly. What is that illustration when it first boots up - a pile of books & a candle or something - cheesy. Also the main menu page where you can choose Books, Audio Books etc - yech.

7. Same lack of aesthetics goes for the overall physical design. The sliding page turn button is a joke as far as I am concerned. Ugly too. The row of buttons on the right make it pretty well impossible to hold on that side. and I find visually distracting - Latin & Cyrillic numbers?! The 4-way pad is a different color white from the white case. The page turn buttons and the sliding page turn thing are both an odd shiny gunmetal color - why not white? I know - cheaper.
Thanks for the review! Here are some of my thoughts:

1. I like to hold it in my left hand with the thumb on the slider. I find this works well for one-handed use, but then again, I have large hands. It seems most people don't like the slider much but it comes in handy () for me. However, I tried it upside-down and it doesn't work well, so I can see your point there.

5. You can in PDF. Not sure why not in other formats.

6. I actually think they are fun! Sorta retro style. A matter of taste I guess.

7. Cyrillic I think because Russia is a home market? (Notice the dictionary selection...)
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Hall View Post
Had my Jetbook for over a week now. Use it mostly to read in bed.

1. Am finding it uncomfortable to hold as there isn't really enough surface area without buttons to hold it comfortably. I think some kind of strap on the back that you could slide your hand into would be comfy - like you slide your hand under the strap of a horse brush.For me there is only one decent place to hold it and that is between the page turn buttons and the 4-way pad under the logo. Gets uncomfortable after a while.

2. Using a Mac I find that OS-X copies three invisible files to the memory that appear in the file list - always have to erase them if I want a 'tidy' book list. Maybe I can turn that off on the Mac.

3. The pop-up menu is inconsistent - some menus allow you to cycle thru the menu items going from #6 to #1, #2 etc. Some only let you get to #6 and then go back again #5, #4 etc. Small niggle.

4. The row of buttons on the right side can be quite handy if you can remember menu item numbers. e.g. you are looking at a book page - if you press #6 and then #3 and you are in the font size dialog. Just press #3 and you have bookmarked the page. Press #6 followed by #7 and then #1 starts the background music playing. Usually faster than using the scroll/OK keys.

5. Wish you could turn off the menu bar at the top of the screen.

6.The graphics in the interface are really ugly. What is that illustration when it first boots up - a pile of books & a candle or something - cheesy. Also the main menu page where you can choose Books, Audio Books etc - yech.

7. Same lack of aesthetics goes for the overall physical design. The sliding page turn button is a joke as far as I am concerned. Ugly too. The row of buttons on the right make it pretty well impossible to hold on that side. and I find visually distracting - Latin & Cyrillic numbers?! The 4-way pad is a different color white from the white case. The page turn buttons and the sliding page turn thing are both an odd shiny gunmetal color - why not white? I know - cheaper.

8. The should get rid of the sliding page turn device and move the page turn buttons to that side and shift the 4-way buttons over to the right leaving a large area to hold on the right. Not so good for leftys though....

9. Overall the actual reading experience is good. The screen is clear and causes me no eye strain at 18pt. Initial opening of a book with graphic covers is slower than I would like, but page turns are pretty well instant. I find the LCD screen to be as legible as eInk - it does not compare to any previous reflective LCD's I have used in the past - Palms, Psions etc it's much better and the background, whilst not being as neutral in tone as eInk, is quite light and provides good contrast with the type.

10. It doesn't have the constructional attention to detail that a Kindle or a Sony has. If you are into design aesthetics (I am) it is pretty naff. Like the difference between using a Mac and a Windows box. Lots of people could care less, but for me the quality of design and manufacturing are very important. However I AM a Scotsman so price is a factor here, hence Jetbook and not Sony or Kindle.

Scoring it purely on the experience of reading an ebook I would give it a 7.5 out of 10.

Would love to see if any other Jetbook owners agree or disagree. Holding tips greatly appreciated

Les, Dallas.
Points addressed:
1. I don't have any problem holding this thing. I hold it with my left hand with my thumb near the page forward button. If you want more surface area they would have to either decrease the screen and/or increase the surface area around it so that it might not fit in your pocket anymore.

2. Try a program called Hidden Cleaner. Drag your mounted disk to it to remove the files and eject.

5. Valid point but it can be turned off in PDFs.

6. I like the boot page with the books. But I agree about the menus.

7. White buttons on my black Jetbook? Yuck! I bet you never went to a design school. I like the copper tone.

10. I can't comment about the build of the others except that the Sony 700 is well know for a shoddy build, sometimes leading to dust between the screens.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by akira28 View Post
Points addressed:
1. I don't have any problem holding this thing. I hold it with my left hand with my thumb near the page forward button. If you want more surface area they would have to either decrease the screen and/or increase the surface area around it so that it might not fit in your pocket anymore.
Landscape mode then?
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kralik View Post
Landscape mode then?
I don't usually use landscape so for me it is not a usually a problem. The only time I run into difficulty is on PDFs in landscape mode when they don't fit the screen. The user must constantly alternate between the page forward button and the scroll button. (Thanks for reminding me to post this issue on the Ectaco message boards.) I could see it working better if one hand controlled the page forward button, preferable on the bottom, while the other hand controlled the scroll button, perhaps utilizing one of the number/letter keys.

Last edited by akira28; 08-25-2009 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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i've never really had a problem holding the jetbook. i think it's fairly light and easy to hold - which i definitely like. i usually read in bed while on my stomach so i usually have the jetbook either up against my bedboard or flat against the bed.

the best way to read is definitely while laying down on your back with the jetbook in the air. its so light that it really can be achieved with no problem or strain after a long period of time.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:24 PM   #10
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I have a leather cover for my jetBook. The jetBook fits into the left half and the cover opens to the right. This gives me more support while holding the reader.

The other nice thing about the cover is that it provides protection to the reader. One negative about the cover is that the fit isn't quite what it should be. It's a somewhat loose fit and was sewn together a little off kilter.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:49 PM   #11
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I will add my personal thoughts here as well...

Regarding holding the device... I have never found this to be an issue... I generally hold the reader with my fingers underneath the reader and my thumb generally resting lightly on the page turn buttons. Turning a page requires enough force that the weight of the unit doesn't turn the page on its own.

I agree that the page turn bar on the left of the device is not that useful. I wouldn't mind seeing it replaced with some sort of handle and page turn buttons on the next iteration of the product, but in general, I never think about it.

Right now, I consider the ergonomics of the device to be superior to the first generation Kindle, perhaps equal to the second generation Kindle (Though I have little experience with it)... and behind the Sony 505 (Not sure about the 300 yet). I actually think from an ergonomic perspective (other than the screen) that the ebookwise 1150 might still be the best over all unit since actual thought was put into the device about how it would be held.

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Old 08-26-2009, 04:51 PM   #12
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I will add my personal thoughts here as well...

Regarding holding the device... I have never found this to be an issue... I generally hold the reader with my fingers underneath the reader and my thumb generally resting lightly on the page turn buttons. --
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I do the same.
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:57 PM   #13
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I agree that the page turn bar on the left of the device is not that useful.
I think I'm the only one that uses that bar all the time. My main reading position is to hold it in my right hand with my thumb on the right, first two fingers wrapped around the top, the ring finger at the corner, and pinkie on the left-hand bar. I use the pinkie to push down or pull up (the ridges help a lot on the pull up) and turn pages. IIRC none of the other readers would let me have the ability to turn pages while holding it from the top.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:45 PM   #14
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I think I'm the only one that uses that bar all the time. My main reading position is to hold it in my right hand with my thumb on the right, first two fingers wrapped around the top, the ring finger at the corner, and pinkie on the left-hand bar. I use the pinkie to push down or pull up (the ridges help a lot on the pull up) and turn pages. IIRC none of the other readers would let me have the ability to turn pages while holding it from the top.
I use the page turn bar when holding it one-handed in my left. Bottom left corner in my palm, all fingers underneath, thumb on the bar. Works well for me!

I tried it your way and came to the conclusion that 1) You have large hands and 2) a very strong pinky!
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:57 AM   #15
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I cannot find any website telling about its physical size. Can you tell what is its h x w x d?

Thanks
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