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Old 12-17-2010, 06:15 PM   #46
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Bleh.

Maybe I just got a broken one (it was the last out of 40 the manager said they had in stock.)

1) The screen has multi-colored "ghost lines" everywhere across it horizontally, and they change as the reading angle changes. I have never seen such a fault in an LCD display.

2) I tried everything to get my free downloaded epub books to show up properly, but I cannot. The Borders application refuses to sync any of the free ones. I've copied the files over and tried to read them from the explorer, but graphics stop rendering about 5% into each graphic. I eventually get to the text and it seems OK.

3) PDFs (the format the majority of my library is in) are nearly impossible to work with.

4) I have had to hit the "reset" 3 times, now. I think I may have found the issue, but am not certain. I was plugging/unplugging the USB cable in the middle of page loads. This locks the reader in a state where all buttons are not functional (even power).

5) I found a cheap book on Borders and purchased it just to see if it made any difference. It is a book I am currently reading and am on page 107, already. It sync'ed fine (so, I am convinced they have crippled sync'ing of free ebooks) but whenever I try to jump even just 5% into the book, it will begin to load, then give an "UNKNOWN ERROR" pop-up and it drops me back into the library. It's a 500+ page book. Think that has anything to do with it?

This thing blows chunks! Was I just expecting too much? The USB plugging/unplugging was a bit clumsy, I admit, but... c'mon... refusing to jump ahead on a purchased ebook? There is no way I am hitting the next page button 100+ times to get to my spot.

Raymond.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:22 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by level6 View Post
Bleh.

Maybe I just got a broken one (it was the last out of 40 the manager said they had in stock.)

1) The screen has multi-colored "ghost lines" everywhere across it horizontally, and they change as the reading angle changes. I have never seen such a fault in an LCD display.

2) I tried everything to get my free downloaded epub books to show up properly, but I cannot. The Borders application refuses to sync any of the free ones. I've copied the files over and tried to read them from the explorer, but graphics stop rendering about 5% into each graphic. I eventually get to the text and it seems OK.

3) PDFs (the format the majority of my library is in) are nearly impossible to work with.

4) I have had to hit the "reset" 3 times, now. I think I may have found the issue, but am not certain. I was plugging/unplugging the USB cable in the middle of page loads. This locks the reader in a state where all buttons are not functional (even power).

5) I found a cheap book on Borders and purchased it just to see if it made any difference. It is a book I am currently reading and am on page 107, already. It sync'ed fine (so, I am convinced they have crippled sync'ing of free ebooks) but whenever I try to jump even just 5% into the book, it will begin to load, then give an "UNKNOWN ERROR" pop-up and it drops me back into the library. It's a 500+ page book. Think that has anything to do with it?

This thing blows chunks! Was I just expecting too much? The USB plugging/unplugging was a bit clumsy, I admit, but... c'mon... refusing to jump ahead on a purchased ebook? There is no way I am hitting the next page button 100+ times to get to my spot.

Raymond.
havent had any of those sorts of issues, issue 1 does sound like defective hardware. using calibre to convert pdf to epub seems to work about 98% of the time with the files i've been using, and it syncs to the device. good qualities in a free program. once it finishes syncing, i'll let you know if they resolve the problems with PDF being basically unreadable/unusable, since epubs are designed to allow text reflow.

EDIT: worked perfectly, and the books are easily readable without having to resort to zoom and the dpad to move around. http://calibre-ebook.com/ runs circles around the included borders software, allows you to convert and manage your current pdf library to epub, and then sync it to the device with nearly no issues. now to try the claims of 720p that the manual made.

Last edited by nathonix; 12-17-2010 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:49 PM   #48
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nathonix,

Please let us know how it works for you when playing videos. I haven't been able to get any of my videos to play. These same videos play on my Augen "The Book", so I expected them to work on the Slick.

I sent an email to Southern Telecom's Customer Service department yesterday morning describing the problems I found with the image viewer and video player - no response yet...

Quote:
The image/photo viewer doesn't do a very good job of resizing images that are larger than the screen resolution. There are lots of jagged lines and blurry areas, even when the image is displayed in the largest size. By comparison, the Augen reader provides options to fit the image to the screen height or width, and does a very good job of resizing the image, displaying a much clearer view of the same images.

My biggest problem is currently the video player - I can't get it to show any of my video files (.AVI and .WMV formats). The videos are encoded with DivX, H.264, and WMP v9 and v11 codecs, usually at 25 FPS and 800 x 400 resolution. The Slick displays a "File Format Error" on all the video files I have tried, all of which play correctly on other devices (Augen The Book, Sony PSP, Windows PC, etc.).
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:57 PM   #49
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nathonix,

Please let us know how it works for you when playing videos. I haven't been able to get any of my videos to play. These same videos play on my Augen "The Book", so I expected them to work on the Slick.

I sent an email to Southern Telecom's Customer Service department yesterday morning describing the problems I found with the image viewer and video player - no response yet...
h264 = file format error

odd. according to the manual it should play. will tinker more later
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:36 PM   #50
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@level6 The display problem could be the "screen protector" film. I took mine off and the display was much better.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:13 PM   #51
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Slick update

I have now been using the Slick for 4 days and wanted to ad a few updates to my earlier post.

1. The Slick I have is my second one. The first did not work out of the box having problems with the screen and showing signs of being banged up in shipping. I returned that one and tried a second one with success. The Slick does come with a plastic protective screen cover that easily scratches(much the same as a new cell phone). Removing this clears the screen right up.

2. Today I installed the Borders Kobo app and following instructions set up a Borders account, and then and Adobe Identity for Adobe Digital Editions. I followed that by first purchasing a recent Jack Reacher novel, and then downloaded two of the free books. All were in epub format. All three of them uploaded successfully to the Slick when I hit the sync button in the Kobo app. Not sure what the problem others were having with the free books was, unless they insist on purchasing a book first before allowing access. Computer system I use has Windows 7 on it if that has anything to do with it. I am going to download a few more free ones tomorrow without a purchase and see if they sync properly.

3. I finished reading a 390 page novel over two days without charging the battery. Had one bar left at the end with actual time spent reading about 6 hours, so battery time seems to be about 8 hours or so. OK for this type of reader.

4. I am assuming with an adobe identity I could also download from B & N, or Adobe and drop them in the Digital Editions file and they would work. If anyone has tried this I would like to know. Epubs from Gutenberg, Munsey's, Feedbooks and Smashword all work just fine.

5. Only real complaints I have are minor one such as not being able to adjust the page margins and bookmarks function not really up to par.

6. Overall I am very happy with the Slick as a basic ereader.

7. As a side note I usually use Calibre to manage my ereaders and it recognizes them all, but does not read ADE books itself. It will, however, load them on the readers just fine. If there is a fix for Calibre that allows it to view ADE books I would appreciate the info.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:58 AM   #52
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Found one! Bought it today for my daughter (12). Not being very good at hiding gifts, especially ones that she can get such good use from, I gave it to her right away... well, actually, she was with me at the store (I'd made a special trip and told her that they had what I wanted to get for her, but I wasn't sure it was in stock. When I pointed to it and said "that's it, do you want one?" her eyes got really wide and she was extremely excited.

She couldn't wait to get it home... she had it open in the car and was taking advantage of the pre-charged state of the battery. I didn't get to use it much, she had it in front of her face almost the entire day, but, here are my impressions from having loaded it and helped set the clock, etc...

In the package it looked very nice. It was well packaged and easy to open. At first I thought that it had a fake facade in the front of the box with raised bumps to represent the buttons like the Kindle box, but then I realized that was the actual device. The metallic finish is very nice and looks far from cheap. The buttons feel nice, though a little bit more play than I'd like. The next/prev page buttons work more like the Kindle DX than the Kindle 3 in that you press them on the inner edge rather than the outer edge. They are well placed, though I'd like the a little bit lower and/or longer like my Kindle 3. The screen is undeniably LCD, so I won't get into that debate. I do see the horizontal lines that others have mentioned, but I think that's some of the leftover adhesive from peeling away the full color sample screen overlay that was glued on (overly sticky). If it doesn't lean up with some screen wipes I'll call the company. I then put on the case, which was surprisingly nice -- I really expected a worse case. It has a faux leather exterior and soft interior and is slightly reminiscent of my Amazon lighted Kindle case, though thinner, doesn't have a closure strap, and clips on with two clips on the bottom and one on each side (looks very secure, and clean).

Navigation through the menus was quite simple. First thing I set the time and found my first bug... 12 noon to 1:00 pm is shown as AM, oops. My daughter then read some ebooks until we got it home. She plugged it in using the included wall charger (which uses a small barrel connector) while I sorted out some of my unprotected epub files and music. She then brought it in and we connected it to the computer. We run Linux, and it was immediately detected and showed up as EREADER on the desktop. I created a few folders, Music, Videos, Pictures, and copied a bit of each over.

Back to the device... reading was fine. We couldn't change the font size (like some reviews that we saw), perhaps the CSS overrides all other settings? Didn't play with that much because the default font size is just fine. We quickly turned off auto rotate as it seemed a bit touchy. All of the epub files that we tried worked well (the covers don't show up until you've opened the books). It looks like it might only remember the reading position in the latest book, though that might have been user error on her part (I didn't play with it yet), so she said that she'll use bookmarks to be safe. Didn't try PDF files.

The music player was quite simple... no genre, artist, etc controls, just a list lumped together, not even sorted by folder, even thought the music that I dumped in was in folders. Cover art (folder.jpg) wasn't shown, not sure if it was supposed to. Music is obviously secondary, and the play/pause button is much like pressing ALT/Space on the Kindle to get it playing in the background -- background music, that's what it's good for. We didn't try the headphones, just the built in speaker, which was better than expected considering how small it was. One big problem is that it uses the D-pad to change the volume, which has a different meaning in the reader, so you can't change the volume while you're reading!! (you'd need to use headphones with a built in volume control).

Pictures displayed fine. We had auto rotate off, so I only viewed them in portrait mode, but they worked as expected. We had no luck with videos, all videos that we tried (in FLV, WMV, and MP4) gave a format error, but we didn't pursue that any more since that wasn't the purpose of the reader.

Can't judge battery life yet, but she read for about 6 hours on it today with only a small charge and it still showed full minus one bar (it'd never gotten to full).

My take on it? If you're looking for a nice cheap reader for a kid who's a bit hard on electronics it looks like a really nice buy for a lot less than many others. IMO many of the low end LCD readers come too close to the price of an entry level eInk reader, and are inferior, thus they're not worth buying, but this one is $60 less than the Kindle 3 WiFi (even bigger savings if you consider the case), making it a decent entry level device. We'll see if I still feel that way after a few weeks of use... and more importantly we'll see how she feels about it.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:26 AM   #53
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To twowheels: There is a protective plastic coating under the full color sample screen just like you get on new cell phones. That is the cause of the horizontal lines people are seeing. It peels off leaving a nice clear screen and no lines. If you want the screen protected leave it on, but if that is not a concern start at the bottom right corner and peel it off for a much improved screen image.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:00 PM   #54
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To twowheels: There is a protective plastic coating under the full color sample screen just like you get on new cell phones. That is the cause of the horizontal lines people are seeing. It peels off leaving a nice clear screen and no lines. If you want the screen protected leave it on, but if that is not a concern start at the bottom right corner and peel it off for a much improved screen image.
Thanks, I'll give that a try. It seems strange that they'd be two layers.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:14 PM   #55
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I decided to check one out to see how it would do with picture books like the Berenstain Bears series for my 5 year old. Formatting is mostly ok (a few pictures cropped), but page turns are slower than on my eink reader.... seems like should be instantaneous on an LCD. Its also hard to select a book beause only part of the title shows up and no thumbnails of cover until the book is open.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:19 PM   #56
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Its also hard to select a book beause only part of the title shows up and no thumbnails of cover until the book is open.
Have you tried using the explorer rather than the library view? If I remember correctly (don't have access to it today) you can open the files from there and the files are displayed in a list rather than a cover view.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:29 PM   #57
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Have you tried using the explorer rather than the library view? If I remember correctly (don't have access to it today) you can open the files from there and the files are displayed in a list rather than a cover view.
The explorer view shows a little more of the title... but since the font is not selectable I still cannot alot of the title. These books are named "The Berenstain Bears Lose The Manners", "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV", etc. So I get to see "The Berenstain Bears".
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:31 PM   #58
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The explorer view shows a little more of the title... but since the font is not selectable I still cannot alot of the title. These books are named "The Berenstain Bears Lose The Manners", "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV", etc. So I get to see "The Berenstain Bears".
Oh, didn't you read page 6 of the manual? That's a feature called "serendipitous selection". :-)
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:20 AM   #59
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Windows 7, XP and Server 2008 see the reader as an external hard drive when attached with a USB cable. You can create folders on the reader, copy and paste or drag and drop files into the folders using Windows Explorer.

All epub files are presented in alphabetical order in Library mode. Explorer mode under the Tools menu shows the files in each folder.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:33 AM   #60
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try cailbre it is the best converter i have found and it will connect with the slick
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