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Old 09-30-2010, 11:47 PM   #1
montealan
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Sharper Image Literati

Since I just bought and returned the Literati I thought I should write a very brief review of it.

As some background info, I own an Ectaco Jetbook and Jetbook Lite, a Sony PRS 500(the first one sold by Sony) and a Sony PRS 300. I am very familiar with all the different types of ebook files (.lrf, .eub, .mobi, .pdf, .lit, .rtf, .fb2 etc, etc.) I have purchased ebooks from Sony, Border's, Amazon, and most recently, Kobo. So I consider myself pretty ebook-literate.

With that said I decided to buy the new Literati. Out of the box it looked very nice. It came with a nice case, power charger, and USB cable. It has wireless access to Kobo's online ebook store. But you cannot use it to browse the internet as there is no built in browser.

After setting it up with the time, date, and some other info. it goes to the main page which is tabbed for Books, Bookstore, and I think another tab was for open books (currently reading).

All worked fine. I logged on to Kobo's site and it automatically downloaded the books which I had previously purchased (after pressing "sync" icon). By the way, although it is a color screen, it is not a touch screen.

The first problem I noted was when I inserted my 1 gb sd card into the reader. Although it recognized that a card was inserted, it would not read the card. I tried it three times ensuring that the books on it were not inside any folders. No luck.

When I connected the reader to my computer running Win 7 the computer said that an unknown device was connected but it did not have the proper driver. The Web site did not have any info or downloads to help rectify this situation.

Also the box said the reader can go into night reading mode, where the screen goes black and the print white. There was no way I found to do this, and the instructions did not mention anyway to do this.

Finally you cannot read a book in landscape, only portrait, which seems a waste as the the screen is very long and narrow. Since I could not get a pdf on it I have no idea whether it has reflow.

So I packed it back into its nice box and returned it to the store.

Too bad, because I wanted to like it. Unfortunately it just does not hack it as an ereader.

Back to my Jetbooks which can read anything I throw on them. They are probably the best readers available for the price and for their versatility.
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:51 AM   #2
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The reviewer's guide I got with my review unit said that night-reading mode, custom bookshelves, bookmarks, and "dog ears" are expected to be added in an update in the November/December timeframe.

I'm having the same issues you did with the device not being recognized by my computer, and it not finding any e-books on my SD card. They're sending me a new USB cable (they said they had a bad batch) and I'll see if that improves the connection issue.

I'll admit I'm not very impressed so far, but I've contacted their support department and will see what they have to say about it.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:36 PM   #3
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It sure looks like an "Augen" in Liberatti's clothes.....However, whoever wrote the firmware, omitted, the broswer, gensor, and many of the other features of Augen's "the Book". If you read the Augen threads, you can see they are probably the same and have the same problems. For the SD card to be read, the unit must be on when it is inserted, then turned off, then back on again. go figure, but that works..
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:40 AM   #4
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"GO TO" Function for Literati

Is there a "GO TO" function for the Literati that would help me avoid having to page through a book in order to get to a certain page? Imagine having to page through a dictionary in order to find a word beginning with, say, the letter "S." Hopefully there's a function which works both on .ePub and .PDF formats.

...sure is easier to use a notebook PC. So far I'm underwhelmed.
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Old 12-25-2010, 04:58 AM   #5
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Holy hell. This thing is, IMO, borderline actionable in a legal sense. Functions promised on the package which not only don't work, but evidently *don't exist*. I got one for Christmas, and am going to be returning it. If I can't return it, I'll probably just throw it away. It's left that much of a bad taste in my mouth to the point where I'm seriously considering just sticking with dead tree and ignoring the ebook end of things unless I can read them on my desktop computer.

It's that bad.

So some questions.

1. has anyone-- *anyone* successfully loaded a pdf on it? I've done everyting the cheery manual says and no go. If someone can tell me how to do that, hopefully before monday, I might be tempted to keep it. Might.



Also, avoid the "Reset to factory defaults." Yes, it gets rid of your books. It also destroys the file structure and leaves the storage space unformatted, requiring you to reformat it using your desktop computer-- and I have no idea if that format works with the literati books, since, oh right, I haven't been able to LOAD any. (well, they're loaded, as far as the browser on my computer is concered, but not as far as the literati is concerned).

It crashes, freezes, on a fairly random basis.

I can safely say, having updated to the newest firmware, that this product is an utter dog. It is useless for anything other than the most basic ereading of what comes from the Kobo store. A nice color screen is no good, if it doesn't work-- sort of like the raciest looking car in the world is a lawn sculpture if you don't bother, I dunno, to install a working engine.
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgray View Post
Holy hell. This thing is, IMO, borderline actionable in a legal sense. Functions promised on the package which not only don't work, but evidently *don't exist*. I got one for Christmas, and am going to be returning it. If I can't return it, I'll probably just throw it away. It's left that much of a bad taste in my mouth to the point where I'm seriously considering just sticking with dead tree and ignoring the ebook end of things unless I can read them on my desktop computer.

It's that bad.

So some questions.

1. has anyone-- *anyone* successfully loaded a pdf on it? I've done everyting the cheery manual says and no go. If someone can tell me how to do that, hopefully before monday, I might be tempted to keep it. Might.



Also, avoid the "Reset to factory defaults." Yes, it gets rid of your books. It also destroys the file structure and leaves the storage space unformatted, requiring you to reformat it using your desktop computer-- and I have no idea if that format works with the literati books, since, oh right, I haven't been able to LOAD any. (well, they're loaded, as far as the browser on my computer is concered, but not as far as the literati is concerned).

It crashes, freezes, on a fairly random basis.

I can safely say, having updated to the newest firmware, that this product is an utter dog. It is useless for anything other than the most basic ereading of what comes from the Kobo store. A nice color screen is no good, if it doesn't work-- sort of like the raciest looking car in the world is a lawn sculpture if you don't bother, I dunno, to install a working engine.
Hi,

I was able to load pdfs in it. Actually I recommend a factory reset. Can't you backup your ebooks? Ok this is what I went through. When I first turned it on, I entered in the date and then entered the wi-fi info. It then told me that I the software needs to be upgraded and I let it go ahead. Then the ebook reader powered off (I thought it would restart but it never did). I manually turned it on. When I checked the software version it has version 1.9 dated December 3rd 2010. Then I connected the device via the USB to my PC and opened up the drive in explorer. I dragged a few pdf files and unplugged it after which it processed data but no pdfs showed up in the ereader DOCS menu even though they were present in the ereader. When I tried to manually delete the files from explorer it threw an error saying "cannot read data from source or disk". After trying for long I decided to do a factory reset. It powered off and when I turned it back on I got a screen saying your software is being updated. After this everything worked fine. The ebook reader is faster and I was just able to drag pdfs into the drive and they did show up in the DOCS menu and now I'm relatively satisfied.

Note: even after the 2nd update the version of the software is the same.

You can try this and see if it works. It is a decent device and better for pdfs than the Aluratek Libre which I own too but plan on returning.

Good Luck
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:58 PM   #7
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As a newbie to ereaders, the Literati seems to be doing what I want it to. It downloads books so I can read them. Obviously, for $60.00, it is not perfect, but I can live with it.

I was wondering if anyone knew the storage capacity of the Literati (without SD card)? Also, I unable to ascertain information from sharper image regarding chargers. It appears to be the same size as the kindle 1st generation and I would like to purchase an extra home charger and a car charger. Anyone know the answer to this question?

Thanks
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:22 PM   #8
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I am wondering about recharging the unit as well. It says don't overcharge. But it doesn't say what a 'normal charge' would be.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larpam10 View Post
As a newbie to ereaders, the Literati seems to be doing what I want it to. It downloads books so I can read them. Obviously, for $60.00, it is not perfect, but I can live with it.

I was wondering if anyone knew the storage capacity of the Literati (without SD card)? Also, I unable to ascertain information from sharper image regarding chargers. It appears to be the same size as the kindle 1st generation and I would like to purchase an extra home charger and a car charger. Anyone know the answer to this question?

Thanks
The storage is 256MB, I think.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:34 PM   #10
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Ok, so the roommate has a Shift3 LookBook, which is supposed to be quite similar to the Literati. Similar enough that I'm beginning to think it may be the same hardware. Comparison here. Anyway, if that's the case, those of you who can't get it to be recognized by the computer may be making the same mistake he was when he tried it. It turns out that the computer won't have any idea what to do with it (though it recognizes that something is plugged in) until you turn the reader on. It may be worth a try. No, I don't think Shift3 mentions this requirement in the manual either.

Chris
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:02 PM   #11
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I just picked one up at BestBuy ($50 + tax).

Windows 7 does see the literati as a drive; but when I drop books (epub format) on the drive they don't show up on the literati.

I also downloaded a book from Kobo. It said it downloaded but is nowhere to be found.

The same book from Kobo shows up on my Kobo Desktop app.

But the Desktop app won't sync with the literati.

I guess it's time to return it.

Oh well. A $50 reader was hard to turn down.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clittle View Post
I just picked one up at BestBuy ($50 + tax).

Windows 7 does see the literati as a drive; but when I drop books (epub format) on the drive they don't show up on the literati.

I also downloaded a book from Kobo. It said it downloaded but is nowhere to be found.

The same book from Kobo shows up on my Kobo Desktop app.

But the Desktop app won't sync with the literati.

I guess it's time to return it.

Oh well. A $50 reader was hard to turn down.
You might try a little harder first. It is likely that books need to go in a special folder. The literati is in our wiki with a web site reference. They have a support page and support people. You might just get it to work.

Dale
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:20 PM   #13
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Hi Dale,

I'd very much like to get this thing to work.

I've tried putting my books in every available directory. Perhaps I have to add a directory but then I wouldn't know what to call it. Even though several books came with the device, the don't appear in the directory structure when viewed on my PC.

But not only the fact that I can't add a book via my PC, I can't even add a book from Kobo.

I tried using the literati's wireless connection. I went through all the motions, downloaded a book, sync(ed), etc. But the book is nowhere to be found on the device.

Then I went to the kobo desktop app and there it was! That is, it was on the Kobo Desktop app on my PC; not on the literati.

I then tried to sync from the kobo desktop app to the literati and it said it could not!

I'm afraid this device is no longer supported. I tried to call the support number and was left on hold till I gave up. Also the support email: literati@kobobooks.com seems dead. My message came back a undeliverable.

support@kobobooks.com works but I don't know if I'll get an answer.

I'm disappointed.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clittle View Post
I just picked one up at BestBuy ($50 + tax).

Windows 7 does see the literati as a drive; but when I drop books (epub format) on the drive they don't show up on the literati.

I also downloaded a book from Kobo. It said it downloaded but is nowhere to be found.

The same book from Kobo shows up on my Kobo Desktop app.

But the Desktop app won't sync with the literati.

I guess it's time to return it.

Oh well. A $50 reader was hard to turn down.
You can probably try turn on the literati before you plug it into your PC. Also, be sure to get the updates. It took me a good 2 days to figure out how to get it right. Reset several times as well. But after I've got my way around, it is great and so worth 50$
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zz2003 View Post
You can probably try turn on the literati before you plug it into your PC. Also, be sure to get the updates. It took me a good 2 days to figure out how to get it right. Reset several times as well. But after I've got my way around, it is great and so worth 50$
Believe me, I'm trying. I've done all you've suggested (turn on first, reboot, get updates) and nothing seems to work.

Have you tried dropping a book onto the literati drive that opens on your PC? If so, which directory do you put it in?

Thanks
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