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Old 11-22-2009, 03:30 AM   #1
diokdin
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My Review of Astak 5" Pocket Pro

I was torn with the B&N Nook, Sony PRS300 and Astak Pocket Pro. But I choose Astak because it has expandable memory, replaceble battery, supports lots of formats, and for it's price. Sony got the price but without the expandable memory, replaceable battery and lots of formats. And Although Nook has expandable memory and replaceable battery, it doesn't have the supported formats I want and the price is $60 more. The price might not matter (if you keep on thinking about it not to matter Hehe) but this is just my first dedicated ereader. So, Astak it is. My Astak Pocket Pro was ordered on Nov 7 and I received it Nov 13, Friday 2PM. So I have this device for just 10 days since it's Nov 22nd now. My take is this:

When I opened it I charged it first eventhough I want to play with it right away I have to resist. It says to charged it for 12 hours but it finished charging after 4-5 hours. There's a light indicator on top left hand corner. Then I hook it up on my PC so I can delete the chinese manual on it after that I upgraded the firmware. I deleted the chinese manual so that I wont have an error in Calibre as what other users said here in the other thread. But I still had an error message but it's a different error, more on that below. Since I've had it on Nov 13, I still have'nt recharged it. It still has 3 bars of battery on it. I already finished reading 4 books on it.

Inside the box:
-Classic Maroon 5" EZ Reader Pocket Pro
-Battery which is already put in my EZ Reader Pocket Pro
-Leather Book Cover
-User Manual
-1 small screw driver to open the back to get to the battery
-USB Cable
-Wall outlet charger/AC Adaptor
-Wrist strap
-Headset
-2GB Kingston SD Card with 400 free ebooks

Physical Appearance:
Screen
It's very good. Text is crisp and sharp. No glare. If you're out in the sunlight to read, it's very, very comfortable. If the font is small you can just increase the size, for a comfortable read. If you're indoors the background looks a little darker, but I guess it's because of the lighting. But with my LED Book Light, it's very clear and white. There is hardly no strain in your eyes.

Buttons/Controls:
It's good. But you have to really push it sometimes. Or wait for the light indicator to stop before you could push another button. It has numbers 1-0 buttons, thumbwheel, power switch, the round back and menu buttons. 6 is for bookmarks, 7 for catalog if your ebook supports it, 8 for zoom, 9 for previous page and 0 for next page. There's also a control from the left side for turning pages and on the right side the thumbwheel controller for turning pages though you can't use it to scroll through in the menu. The power key on top can be use to lock the keypads. At the back, there's a reset button. I only reset it once since I have it.

I love where they put the page turner because its easy for you to read and turn pages whether you use your left hand thus using the left side functions for turning pages, thumbwheel controller if you're holding it on your right hand or the number 9 and 0. Page turning is pretty fast, and I got used to the flash everytime it changes page.

Look and Feel:
The maroon color is not too bright a color that it will distract you when reading. I thought the color will be glaring but it's not. It has a nice rubberize feel to it. It's square looking but very light. It's a little smaller than a paperback book. The paperback is just 1" longer than the EZ Reader Pocket Pro. It has a sturdy feel to it eventhough it looks quite generic for an ebook reader device.

Specifications
-Dimensions: 6"(L) x 4.1" (W) x 0.4" (H)
-eInk Vizplex Display with 600 x 800 pixel
-8 level grayscale
-internal memory of 512MB
-SD Card Slot supports upto 16GB storage
-Samsung Arm9 400MHz processor
-6 oz weight
-3.5 headphone jack
-Removable 3.7V Li-Polymer 1000mAh

Syncing to the Computer:
Computer PC Vista
It will easily see your EZ Reader as a Removable Storage Device and you can just drag and drop your ebooks to your device. The best thing I love with this is that you can organize your books by folders. All my books are organize by authors.

I love this folders very much because I don't want to dump and mix all my ebooks, for me it's too disorganized and I'm very OC when it comes to filing things neatly. The probs I have is that I have these ghost folders appear in my EZ Reader. I don't know why this is here I still need to find out why and how to erase it 'coz it won't appear if I hook it up in my PC so I could get rid of it(ghost folders). The ghost folders named FOUND.000, FOUND.001, and so on. And on the right side it says 0 directories 0 files. I can't erase it. If someone knows please help.

Using Calibre:
I find that if I use the desktop of Calibre, they will see my EZ Reader as a BeBook Mini and the problem I have is that they have problems communicating. I'll get an error message, so what I did so I can use this program is open it with windows explorer and transferred organized ebooks done by calibre in my Calibre Library. And it works just fine.

Using Adobe Digital Editions:
When I first hook it up, it ask me if I want to authorized my device and computer. And I did that first. You need Adobe ID to do this. Just sign up/registered for one in adobe website. After that(authorizing your device) you will see below in your bookshelves your EZ Reader Pocket Pro. If you have your books already loaded in ADE, all you have to do is drag and drop it. I only used this with my DRM ebooks and borrowed ebooks from the library. To my non-DRM ebooks I just use my drag and drop in windows explorer. I was able to borrow books from the public library and transfer them to my device. It wasn't a breeze/easy to use though. It took me some time before I was able to transfer my ebooks using ADE. Also when I hook it up with ADE, ADE was really slow. It keeps on crashing, which I understand is not the devices problem.

Supported Formats:
It supports PDF, ePUB, PDB, FB2, DOC, T XT, HTML, LIT, PRC, MP3, WOL, CHM, PPT, TIF, PNG, GIF, RAR, ZIP, DJVU, JPG and BMP. Also support Text to Speech.

What I've tried of the format versions are these:
PDF
It reflows your .pdf files really good. There are just some .pdf files that is hard to read. From what I understand it depends on how the pdf files were saved. I have one pdf file that no matter how much I push the zoom, it wont zoom in because of how it was saved. But most of my pdf files does reflow it pretty nicely. You can read it in a 5" display really comfortably. Some .pdf files have none or 3 zoom levels, others have 5 levels of zoom.

ePub
This is by far the best reading format I tried next to mobi. It zoom in really nice, it have 3 or 5 levels to zoom.

mobi/PRC
I have 2 .mobi file and it read as great as ePub. I did'nt find anything wrong with it like some user experienced I read here in the forum. But since I only have 2 file of mobi I guess you need to see it for yourself.

HTML
It flows on your screen really good too. You can zoom it in like the above file extensions.

TXT and Rich Text Format (RTF)
Very Good, it has 5 levels of zoom in levels and the font style can be change too if you choose a different font style in settings.

LIT
It reads but it's too slow and sometimes it stops/freezes. Have to push back button for 10 seconds or turn it off then back on again. If you zoom in 3 times it automatically reads in landscape mode and I find it hard to turn the page if I read it landscape. If I push to turn the page in landscape mode the stop sign at the bottom right side near the battery icon appears.

DOC
I was surprised that this don't read well in EZ Reader PP. If you saved your file in a 10 font size, it's hard to read. Too small. You can zoom in 3 times but on 3rd level it will automatically read in a landscape mode like LIT format. And it's kinda hard to turn the page in a landscape mode, like LIT it gives the stop sign when I turn the page. I think it's a software glitch in EZ Reader PP and I'm hoping it(page turning in landscape) will be corrected. So if you want to read your ebooks in a .doc format you have to change the font size first to 18 or 20. A minor irritant but it'll do.


.ASCM
This extension files can only be read if you use ADE to transfer the ebooks to your device. It reads very nice and comfortable in your EZ Reader.

JPG
It display the picture or cover picture of the book really good. In black and white.

Text-to-Speech
It's okay. I rather read it myself than listen to a robotic voice. It just can't differentiate the present from past tense and some words were read wrong.

Haven't tried the MP3 yet and all other supported formats.

Languages:
There's a bunch of languages it supports but I only use English though. It has 25 languages here. These are English, Simple and Traditional Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Norwegian, Polski, Romana, Slovensko, Svenska, Deutsch, Bulgarian, Catala, Czech, Greek, Estonian, Magyar, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Espanol, Turkish, French.

Overall Impression: Very Good. For a first time dedicated ereader device I owned it's very good. It has some minor glitch and irritations but it's doable. (I only have to reset it once.) If you're looking to buy an ereader device this is worth checking out to compare with other branded ereaders that is out in the market. Especially if you don't want to spend a whole lot of money on it. It can read all kinds of formats, have replaceble battery, expandable memory card, MP3 player, Text to Speech capability, Can organized ebooks by Multiple Folders and very portable. You can put it on your purse or jacket pocket very easily. Since I had it, I brought it with me wherever I go. All I can says is that I love it. I can have my DRM and non-DRM books together in an organized folder. And that's the key word: Organized Folders

NOTE: I only have this for 10 days so I still don't know what problems I might encounter with this device. This post is what I have experienced so far. Let's see what will happened after a few weeks or months. I don't know yet how durable it will be after months or even a few months of usage.

Last edited by diokdin; 11-22-2009 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:31 AM   #2
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A great and candid review Diokdin. I enjoyed reading it. It is good that you are enjoying your new Pocket Pro. Epub is the format I most like also. Welcome to paperless reading with Astak!
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:17 AM   #3
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Thanks for your review! I'm disappointed to hear it doesn't read a simple format like .doc all that well as I have a lot of stories in that format but I guess I still always have my ebookwise for those which reads them perfectly.
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diokdin;664961
[b
Syncing to the Computer[/b]:
Computer PC Vista
It will easily see your EZ Reader as a Removable Storage Device and you can just drag and drop your ebooks to your device. The best thing I love with this is that you can organize your books by folders. All my books are organize by authors.

I love this folders very much because I don't want to dump and mix all my ebooks, for me it's too disorganized and I'm very OC when it comes to filing things neatly. The probs I have is that I have these ghost folders appear in my EZ Reader. I don't know why this is here I still need to find out why and how to erase it 'coz it won't appear if I hook it up in my PC so I could get rid of it(ghost folders). The ghost folders named FOUND.000, FOUND.001, and so on. And on the right side it says 0 directories 0 files. I can't erase it. If someone knows please help.
Those folders are hidden by default in Windows XP ( I don't do Vista , But it should be similar. with the UAC stuff asking for permission)

In Windows Explorer:
Tools | Folder options
On the View Tab "Hidden files and Folders: [Mark] Show...
Apply

BTW those folders and files are what results from a damaged "File Structure" that has been fixed. They are the pieces that were found when some file operation went bad.

BTW Calibre was Blue screening when I tried to send a bunch of books to my PEz. Checking the disk for errors created a bunch of those files and fixed the BSOD problem.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura81 View Post
Thanks for your review! I'm disappointed to hear it doesn't read a simple format like .doc all that well as I have a lot of stories in that format but I guess I still always have my ebookwise for those which reads them perfectly.
If you have Microsoft Word or a similar program, then all you have to do is open them in that program and then save them as an rtf file. Then transfer them to the reader. The Pez recognizes rtf.
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for your review! I'm disappointed to hear it doesn't read a simple format like .doc all that well
.doc is NOT a simple format. It is a highly proprietary nasty format created by Microsoft.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
Those folders are hidden by default in Windows XP ( I don't do Vista , But it should be similar. with the UAC stuff asking for permission)

In Windows Explorer:
Tools | Folder options
On the View Tab "Hidden files and Folders: [Mark] Show...
Apply

BTW those folders and files are what results from a damaged "File Structure" that has been fixed. They are the pieces that were found when some file operation went bad.

BTW Calibre was Blue screening when I tried to send a bunch of books to my PEz. Checking the disk for errors created a bunch of those files and fixed the BSOD problem.
Is it okay to erased those ghost files then?

Some of my ebooks files were damage when I have it transfer on my PPro, it wont open. It's says file damage. Is that the file structure that went bad and been fixed? And when I hook up my EZ reader PP it ask me if I want to scan it and it found something error and fixed it. Those damage files that wont opened on my PPro, I already erased. So if I erase those ghost files will the bad stuff came back again? Or not since I got rin with the damaged file that wont open. I'll try what you suggest here tools, folder option etc. See what will happened.

I'm not a tech person, so I don't understand what you're saying about BSOD. How do I check the disk error? Or did I already did it? Sorry... :-\

I know what they said about Vista but as for now, I'm stuck with this OS. :-\
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura81 View Post
Thanks for your review! I'm disappointed to hear it doesn't read a simple format like .doc all that well as I have a lot of stories in that format but I guess I still always have my ebookwise for those which reads them perfectly.
Yeah, you need to saved it in RTF like what Javed said or change the font to bigger sizes like what I did. It just don't read right if you left it like it is. Hard to read. It's a minor thing.....But if you have a whole lot of .doc files that you have to convert though you wont like it. Depends on your patient....
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diokdin View Post
Is it okay to erased those ghost files then?

Some of my ebooks files were damage when I have it transfer on my PPro, it wont open. It's says file damage. Is that the file structure that went bad and been fixed? And when I hook up my EZ reader PP it ask me if I want to scan it and it found something error and fixed it. Those damage files that wont opened on my PPro, I already erased. So if I erase those ghost files will the bad stuff came back again? Or not since I got rin with the damaged file that wont open. I'll try what you suggest here tools, folder option etc. See what will happened.

I'm not a tech person, so I don't understand what you're saying about BSOD. How do I check the disk error? Or did I already did it? Sorry... :-\

I know what they said about Vista but as for now, I'm stuck with this OS. :-\
BSOD = Blue Screen of Death. That is what happens when there is no recovery from a serious error in all versions of Windows.

To check your PEz drive, it must not be "in use". You must QUIT Calibe. Right click the Calibre Icon in the tooltray and choos Quit.... No more Icon.
Explore "My Computer".
You should see your drives (Floppy, C drive, DVD-RW. Whatever)
One of the Removable drives will be your SD Card (if inserted),
The next letter is the PEz Built-in storage.
You can explore them to figue whick is the Card and Internal.

Anyway at the Drive Level of My Computer, Right-click the one you want and select properties.
Select the tools tab (on properties)
Click "Error checking: Check Now" button
You will be given some choices. Tick only the Automatic fix option
Click that "Start" (not the one with the logo )
If you get an "Disk check could...." Message, Calibre or there is another "Explorer" window using it. Answer: "NO" . Fix the unwanted usage and try again.


Delete Only those "Ghost" files, if they end in ".chk" and the "found###" folder. Do Not Mess with other hidden files
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura81 View Post
Thanks for your review! I'm disappointed to hear it doesn't read a simple format like .doc all that well as I have a lot of stories in that format but I guess I still always have my ebookwise for those which reads them perfectly.
Word file format (.doc) is not simple but it actually reads .doc very well. The only problem is that it interprets font sizes as pixels so a 10 point font ends up 10 pixels which is really small. Changing the font size fixes the problem.

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Old 11-22-2009, 09:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theducks View Post
BSOD = Blue Screen of Death. That is what happens when there is no recovery from a serious error in all versions of Windows.

To check your PEz drive, it must not be "in use". You must QUIT Calibe. Right click the Calibre Icon in the tooltray and choos Quit.... No more Icon.
Explore "My Computer".
You should see your drives (Floppy, C drive, DVD-RW. Whatever)
One of the Removable drives will be your SD Card (if inserted),
The next letter is the PEz Built-in storage.
You can explore them to figue whick is the Card and Internal.

Anyway at the Drive Level of My Computer, Right-click the one you want and select properties.
Select the tools tab (on properties)
Click "Error checking: Check Now" button
You will be given some choices. Tick only the Automatic fix option
Click that "Start" (not the one with the logo )
If you get an "Disk check could...." Message, Calibre or there is another "Explorer" window using it. Answer: "NO" . Fix the unwanted usage and try again.


Delete Only those "Ghost" files, if they end in ".chk" and the "found###" folder. Do Not Mess with other hidden files
Hi theducks,

Thanks for being patient. I really appreciate the help. I did what you said and the olny hidden files it sees is the adobe digital edition(.adobe-digital-editions). It didn't see those Found ### files. But if I look it on my EZ PPro I could see those files and click on it. It doesnt have anything on there. It just added clutter.

Is there other way to do this? TIA
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javed View Post
If you have Microsoft Word or a similar program, then all you have to do is open them in that program and then save them as an rtf file. Then transfer them to the reader. The Pez recognizes rtf.
Thanks for the tip

As for .doc being simple, oops! Ok, not a simple format. I figure I'll try some of them on my PP and if it's too difficult I'll just continue to read those on my ebookwise since it reads them with no problems. But will be using the PP for everything else.

Last edited by Laura81; 11-22-2009 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by diokdin View Post
Hi theducks,

Thanks for being patient. I really appreciate the help. I did what you said and the olny hidden files it sees is the adobe digital edition(.adobe-digital-editions). It didn't see those Found ### files. But if I look it on my EZ PPro I could see those files and click on it. It doesnt have anything on there. It just added clutter.

Is there other way to do this? TIA
Those steps were to check for problems, the results will be those type of files

Something is odd . If you can see the .adobe-digital-additions
You should see a folder called Found.000 (or with other 3 digits).
Inside that is the .chk files

Sort (view by) by name to make it easier to find Found,### folders
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:27 PM   #14
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Those steps were to check for problems, the results will be those type of files

Something is odd . If you can see the .adobe-digital-additions
You should see a folder called Found.000 (or with other 3 digits).
Inside that is the .chk files

Sort (view by) by name to make it easier to find Found,### folders
hi theducks,

Well, what I did is this: (Actually my husband help me with this) I went to the command prompt and change the directory to where the SD card and built in memory of EZ Reader and put this command: dir f*.00? /s /a and it found all those FOUND.### files and I deleted it like that. But still no success. It's still there.

So we did another thing. We click on TOOLS then FOLDER OPTION, click on VIEW then uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) so we need to uncheck that aside checking shows hidden files and folders. And all those hidden files appeared together with the .adobe-digital-editions. This works. I got rid of those ghost files. Yipeee!!!

Again Thanks so much for the Help and your Patient. Appreciate it!
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:10 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by diokdin View Post
hi theducks,

Well, what I did is this: (Actually my husband help me with this) I went to the command prompt and change the directory to where the SD card and built in memory of EZ Reader and put this command: dir f*.00? /s /a and it found all those FOUND.### files and I deleted it like that. But still no success. It's still there.

So we did another thing. We click on TOOLS then FOLDER OPTION, click on VIEW then uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) so we need to uncheck that aside checking shows hidden files and folders. And all those hidden files appeared together with the .adobe-digital-editions. This works. I got rid of those ghost files. Yipeee!!!

Again Thanks so much for the Help and your Patient. Appreciate it!
I forgot the system part
There is Hidden and there is Hidden system.

You got all the space those files represented back for use.
Depending on what folder had originally failed, that could be a sizable amount.
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