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Old 04-01-2010, 11:50 AM   #1
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First impressions

OK, got my eDGe yesterday when I got home from work!

I was a little frustrated shipping day with not hearing mine had shipped when others had that had ordered a month after me. Turns out, this was 100% a communication thing. It was shipped with the first batch, I was just down the e-mail list. Oh well, I ranted a little, but it wasn't going to turn me off the device. Overall, this is a minor glitch (and I can actually understand it with the load entourage was under) from a company that seems to have pulled off a great launch of a device.

A little about my expectations. I design ASICs for a living, so I was looking for a device that I could read for leisure, but also use for heavy tech documents. I have been looking for a decent device for 10+ years (decent for my criteria). I have been tempted by the iRex product line, but didn't bite, mainly because the lack of some features and the price. When the edge hit, it really looked to be the device I would have designed, or at least close enough (you will never get 2 engineers to agree completely).

So, I got the eDGe, plugged it in, and started to play with it. I am very impressed. I had a little issue with getting the Code 45 error trying to register it, but Boris had a post on the google group that solved that problem (thanks Boris). Overall, it was easy to work with, and very nice to get up and going and started using, and the update went without issue.

I decided to give it a pretty good test right away, I went to ARM's website, and grabbed the TRM (technical reference manual) for the Cortex-A8 (I am playing with the beagleboard here at home right now). This is one of the main uses I planned with this device, technical datasheets so I don't need them in three ring binders. I then went to TI's website, and grabbed the datasheet and userguide for one of their MSP430 line (another micro-controller I am using to do science with my boys). All from the built in web browser using wireless.

ARM's document is 764 pages, drawings, pin diagrams, tables, etc. Fairly complex, and I didn't see any issues during a quick peruse of the document. It was easy to read, and I had no problems with it.

TI's document is 945 pages, also drawings, pinouts, etc. I had no problem in seeing and reading the pinouts on the parts, small block diagrams, etc.

I have also subscribed to a magazine (Circuit Cellar Inc) for a number of years, and for the last few have been getting the PDF version along with the paper (for storage), so I pulled it up. It is image intensive, and comes in at 10-20MB/issue. The one I pulled up is 16.28MB (86 pages). These magazines are a little slower to flip pages, but still not bad (they are slow on a pc too). However, the articles are very readable, and the picture feature of the eDGe will enhance the magazine experience. Typically, a table, chart, etc will be on one page, while the article talks about it on the next. This feature is something I will use extensively.

I will be using it more in depth next week (took today and tomorrow off work), but it appears this may be the device for tech type e-reading and work. So first impressions, entourage has a home run.

Oh yeah, I don't find this uncomfortable at all to hold. I have that 945pg doc printed 2up, double sided, and this is much more comfortable to use!

--Carl
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:27 PM   #2
ckole
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Nice review here's my 2 cents:

If you are looking for an eReader to read manuals this is the device for you as other have said. Screen refresh is fast, faster than my Nook, and the zoom feature works great. You can show the table of contents on the LCD screen and view the document on the e-ink side. That is a great feature.

I love the 9.7" screen and understand the compromise (bulk) and benefits of having 2 screens. Much nicer than the Kindle DX with all of the surrounding keys and buttons.

Pros:
Great for reading documents

Great integration between the 2 screens. For those that don't get the eink thing load a PDF on both sides and see how much easier it is to read in eInk (Hint iPad issue)

In landscape mode light browsing works well.

Cons:

Is there a way to turn off the blue light on the scroll wheel? It drives me nuts.

Would like more durable casing that is less slick

Have concerns about scratching either screen when flipped in tablet mode
Wish all features like camera and flash worked out of box but I know Entourage will keep the device up to date

No "Marketplace" app - lots of trial and error with other apps via manual download and installation. Entourage is working on this

No true sleep mode with quick re-boot

Wishlist:

Easier way to organize files into folders on the device. This can be done with USB connection to PC.

RSS Reader that will display the content on the e-ink screen

Have way to push web pages to e-ink. I don't want a browser on the e-ink side just a way to read large amounts of text from web pages.

Make it slightly less bulky with smaller bezels and possibly shave .5 - 1 lbs from the device.

How am I using the device?

I use and love Calibre software to downloads tons of content. Waiting for the Calibre to add support for the Edge. The Adobe Digital Systems software for ePub books works.

I am a pilot and have lots of manuals from my company. Nice to have them with me when I am at home and not have to lug 50 lbs around.

PDFPlates.com has some promise using free FAA approach plates as a backup to what I already have.

Light browsing, Facebook, RSS reading, etc

Want to Try:

Press Display Papers Direct

Last edited by ckole; 04-01-2010 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:39 PM   #3
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Excellent reviews!

ckole - It seems enTourage intends "tags" to be used instead of folders for organizing files.

While you can allocate files into subdirectories via the PC USB interface, the eDGe will ignore these once you add them to the "Library" (which you need to do to annotate them, for example).

"Tags" are in some way superior because you can multiply classify documents, sort of like putting them into different folders at once, e.g. (citing examples from my own Library) both "To Read" and "Sci-Fi" for one book, and "To Read" and "Manual" for another book. You can then remove the tag, "To Read", once you've read the book, for example, without having to delete or move the file around in the file system itself.

- Boris
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:35 PM   #4
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I had to run this morning, and didn't see this mentioned before. If you are on the home screen, you actually have 3 virtual screens of real estate. I mentioned in another thread I put the power widget on my desktop, what I didn't mention is it is on the right desktop.

For those that haven't found this. In the home screen, just slide your finger right or left and you will see the background moving. I can see using this also as time goes by.

I read for pleasure a lot, but by volume of pages I read for work a lot more. This is going to be a very nice device for my use.

Oh, I also forgot, I tried docs to go on some training materials I had on my USB stick. I recently took a WinCE Device Drivers Class, and some of the lab material was in Word format. Kind of heavy on pictures with the text, looked perfect on the LCD.

--Carl
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckole View Post
Wishlist:
Have way to push web pages to e-ink. I don't want a browser on the e-ink side just a way to read large amounts of text from web pages.
@ckole

I have yet to get an eDGe, but read somewhere the camera would allow capturing a webpage and allow converting with Docs2Go.

Gunner...
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pricecw View Post
OK, got my eDGe yesterday when I got home from work!
@pricecw

Did you have to apply the software update or did it come already applied?

Gunner...
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:39 PM   #7
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I applied it. I think they said it came too late to get in this shipment. It was easy to apply though.

--Carl
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerp245 View Post
@ckole

I have yet to get an eDGe, but read somewhere the camera would allow capturing a webpage and allow converting with Docs2Go.

Gunner...
I may be wrong but I think ckole means something like what Alex does: displaying contents of LCD side to e-ink screen.




Quote:
Originally Posted by pricecw View Post
I was a little frustrated shipping day with not hearing mine had shipped when others had that had ordered a month after me. Turns out, this was 100% a communication thing.
As 'others' mentioned here , I am glad you got yours fast. I got mine yesterday since I am in CA but I had to pay tax (arg..). I did not have much time to play with this yet but hopefully I will during the weekends. But at least so far, it seems to do do exactly what I expected. With some minor fixes, it will be definitely an excellent tool for students/scholars.
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by soilwork View Post
I may be wrong but I think ckole means something like what Alex does: displaying contents of LCD side to e-ink screen.
Correct. You can also do this with a hacked Nook. You browse on the LCD and push content, when you want to, to the eink display. Really nice for large amounts of text.
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