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Old 12-02-2010, 04:29 AM   #1
borbuk
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Pocketbook 902: first impressions and questions

I have received PB 902 two days ago from Pocketbook.de, and had a little time to play with it. My first impressions are mixed.

On one hand, it has a big screen and it has been able to display any file that I have throw at it quite satisfactorily. I have tried text files in various languages, pdf's with lots of maths (reflow messes them up, but they can be comfortably read without reflow), epub's, djvu files. All of them looked good. The device can be rotated in any of 4 directions with text being rotated automagically. It is wonderful. The only real snag is that I would like to be able to add a little bit of margin to text files, and there appears to be no setting to do so. Yet my overall impression of rendering capabilities is positive.

However, there are numerous shortcomings which spoil that first impression:
1) Ubuntu cannot mount the book reader. Mounting does work on friend's computer with Windows. However, for a book reader that runs linux not supporting linux is quite an oversight.

2) Whoever put together the library that came with PB 902 was extremely sloppy, for the classification into languages is horrible! There is "English" and "Deutsch" all right, but what language is "Norway" or "Sweden"? I do not think many Welsh readers will recognize (and if they do, will be pleased with) that their language is called "Welles" rather than "Cymraeg". Same for all other languages.

3) Instead of 26 text-to-speech languages promised in the advertising, there are only four, "German female", "France Female", "English Female" and "Italian Female" (again "France Female" is not a typo, sigh). Where are the other 22 languages? To select the voice one needs to go to a far away menu. Why it is not selected automatically based on text, I have no clue. On the plus side, the English text-to-voice is one of the best I heard.

4) I bought the leather cover with the device. It is really bulky, rigid, and heavy. To insert the device into the cover, one needs to apply force to the device (though not to the screen, of course!!) far exceeding 1 Newton specified in the manual. The neoprene cover that came with the reader appears to be much more practical.

5) It is not important for me, but I wonder how non-English speakers will navigate past the first screens to change the language in newly-purchased device. The language choice screen must be the first screen users see.

6) Another minor annoyance when reading pdf's is that when the file is zoomed, and one is the top of a page in a pdf file, and presses "up" buttom to go to the previous page, one is taken to the top of the previous page, not to the bottom of the previous page.

Some questions:
1) What is going on with Ubuntu support? If I have to go to friend's computer each time I want to transfer the files, I will return the reader back.

2) Is it possible to transfer the files to the readers over Wifi? Does it support/can be made to support telnet or ssh for example?

Last edited by borbuk; 12-02-2010 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:36 AM   #2
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Hi borbuk,

I ordered the 902 from pocketgoods.de yesterday, so Im waiting for my device

Thank you for your short review. Im interested in questions 1 and 2 aswell, but none of your issues is a dealbreaker for me.

I guess that the Ubuntu thing will be fixed, as well as Calibre being able to see the 902 (much more important to me), in the next release of Ubuntu/Calibre.

Sincerely
MBK
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:26 AM   #3
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borbuk,

thanks for your short review. I do agree on some points others are a minor issue to me.

I'm eagerly awaiting my 903...hopefully end next week.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borbuk View Post
On one hand, it has a big screen and it has been
able to display any file that I have throw at it quite satisfactorily.
Hi,
Thanks for your impressions.

Can you please try out some CHM files and provide your inputs:
Rendering, reflow, text size changes etc.,

In case you dont have one, you can try the PHP manual in chm format:
http://www.php.net/get/php_manual_en.chm/from/a/mirror
But please do note this is very big file and may hang your device.

Would really appreciate if you can at least try a smaller chm file.

Also, How is the batter life, especially standby time?
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rhari79 View Post
But please do note this is very big file and may hang your device.
10 MB is big ?
If this will cause 902 to hang i'll better cancel my order for the 903.
Many of my pdfs intended to be read on the 903 vary from 30 - 100 MB.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDream View Post
10 MB is big ?
If this will cause 902 to hang i'll better cancel my order for the 903.
Many of my pdfs intended to be read on the 903 vary from 30 - 100 MB.
Got the same warning with a 50 MB file, opened just fine. NP so far.. For a ebook 50 MB is HUGE.. not so for a pdf with pictures.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbk2 View Post
Hi borbuk,

I ordered the 902 from pocketgoods.de yesterday, so Im waiting for my device

Thank you for your short review. Im interested in questions 1 and 2 aswell, but none of your issues is a dealbreaker for me.

I guess that the Ubuntu thing will be fixed, as well as Calibre being able to see the 902 (much more important to me), in the next release of Ubuntu/Calibre.

Sincerely
MBK
My Ubuntu sees the pocketbook fine, just not always.. i plug in, choose PC-Link on the reader (it then goes to a screen with a circle with arrows) and most of the times he sees it fine, sometimes he does not, then i un-plug, wait till reader drops back to menu, then re-plug it, and repeat the pc-link step.. never failed yet.
setting the configuration>USB to PC-Link maybe fixes things.. Strange thing is, even then he asks if you want pc-link or charge even on pc-link it charges btw, at least the blinking orange led makes me believe so.

Lets hope the new firmware fixes that

Also it does not always shows the loading and off Logo, no idea why it sometimes does not..

But as a reader i like it.. a lot even
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
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For a ebook 50 MB is HUGE.. not so for a pdf with pictures.
You are right.

But what is an ebook ?
Today everything is called ebook as long as it's available electronically.

PDF tend to become big especially with when pictures are included.
ePub tend to be very small 500kb- 1MB.

eBook format should be taken into consideration especially when marketing says "2 gb will be enough for 3500 ebooks".
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDream View Post
10 MB is big ?
If this will cause 902 to hang i'll better cancel my order for the 903.
Many of my pdfs intended to be read on the 903 vary from 30 - 100 MB.
Pdf is handled differently from a CHM.
I heard of this when i asked the same thing a while ago and it hung the device(was a Hanlin or a Bebook).
The same may go for a html page.

It seems the reader tries to read the entire chm file into memory rather than just pages and then gets choked up and then hangs.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...04&postcount=7

I was just wondering if the pocketbook changed this and used some better way to read chm files.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I was just wondering if the pocketbook changed this and used some better way to read chm files.
My most commonly required formats are pdf and chm. I know that most readers can handle huge pdfs properly. Its the chm that is suspect.
Hence wanted to check.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:06 AM   #11
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I got my 902 today. I was scared that the screen abysmal after reading some user comments, but now I can say that the reviews were bullshit.
Even in dim lighting screen remains readable and I see no considerable difference to my kindle (6") and 902. Of course text in kindle is a bit darker, but only a bit.
902 seems handle pdfs well even a 90M file was opened just fine and quite swiftly.

Last edited by Johan_V; 12-02-2010 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:15 AM   #12
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Hello,
I got my 902-black yesterday. It is my first ebook reader so I cannot compare it to anything else.

I put short video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmZ5xHdeDiI, showing chm, djvu, pdf opening & reading.

Please excuse poor quality without stabilizer

php_manual_en.chm was unable to open. File should be ok (success to open in win 7), so no luck there.

perl-5.10.0.chm (6.57MB) was opened in 51 seconds. During the reading there were no big delays. I tried to show all font sizes.

libc-2.7.chm (1.8MB) was opened in 21sec. This file is not in video.

RPA V15 No3-4 1998.djvu (1.7MB) opened in 7sec.

PDFs were from computer magazine. Sorry for not English resource The first one is black&white pdf, which should be (according to authors) optimized for readers. It was 18MB file, opened in 7sec.

Second pdf was 30MB, coloured, opened in 26sec. Both pdfs have about 4 sec delay before reacting to next page button. (which is OK when reading)
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:30 AM   #13
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perl-5.10.0.chm (6.57MB) was opened in 51 seconds. During the reading there were no big delays. I tried to show all font sizes.
Sounds like a nightmare to me....51 seconds....that's ages.

Opening a 43MB PDF on my Sony 650 takes about 4sec.

(I know CHM is not PDF ....)
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:31 AM   #14
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I received an email advising me that my PB902 shipped yesterday, but I have a question for anyone who already has a PB902. In your library listing, do you see what series a book might belong to? I have a ton of books that belong to different series, and I want to be able to order them so that when I finish one book, I can just click on the next title to start the next book in the series.

Thanks in advance,
Dan
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:30 PM   #15
lukas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDream View Post
Sounds like a nightmare to me....51 seconds....that's ages.

Opening a 43MB PDF on my Sony 650 takes about 4sec.

(I know CHM is not PDF ....)
May I ask which pdf file it was? I'd like to try it on PB.

Ad CHM speed, yes, it is quite long, but to compare different file formats is a bit unfair. (size/speed/indexing/content optimization)
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