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Old 06-04-2008, 10:31 PM   #1
Nate the great
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HP 360LX: Possible Ebook Reader

Author's note: I've gotten the feeling lately that most people here think Eink screens are the wave of the future, and LCDs have little to offer. Okay, not all y'all think this, but it's the dominant meme of this forum, and it's certainly the impression we give to newcomers.

The 360LX was one of Hewlett-Packard's first Handheld PCs (HPC). (There are earlier models, but I don't recommend them for reasons of software incompatibility.) It was released in 1997. It has a 60Mhz CPU, 8MB RAM, CF card slot, PC card slot, keyboard, touchscreen, and runs WinCE 2.0.

The screen is the main reason I decided to buy one. When HP started developing HPCs, they decided to ignore the standard set by Microsoft and use a 6" HVGA widescreen with a resolution of 640 by 240. This was a brilliant decision; it's hard for me to describe exactly how much more useful this screen is when compared to a regular PDA.

The first nice feature is the backlight because it can be turned off. I've tried the 360LX under may lighting conditions (from bright sunlight to a darkened room), and it has worked in all lighting conditions. Plus, there are keyboard buttons for the back light and contrast. I don't have to be able to read the screen in order to adjust it.

The next great feature is the battery. The 360LX runs on 2 AA batteries. It also has a backup battery, and supports hot swapping the AAs. I think I've gotten about 7 hours use from a pair of rechargeables. The battery situation is also something of a weakpoint; you have to make sure they don't die on you.

I'm not going to discuss the many other things you could do with the 360LX; I'm going to leave that to a masochist. The program load time is too long and the RAM is too small to start and run multiple programs. Also, the screen is grayscale, and some programs won't be able to cope. But it's fine if all you run is Mobipocket, and simply leave it open.

Reading Experience
I only tested Mobipocket because It's what I use regularly. I used this one; the later versions don't work. I found it to be quite usable.The screen refresh speed is adequate. Unfortunately, this won't become my main reader because there is a bug in this version of the Mobipocket Reader. Screen rotation does not work, so I can't hold it vertically and read. Plus, dictionary lookup is very slow.

Pro:
runs on 2 AA batteries
supports Mobipocket
keyboard
big screen (compared to a PDA)
pocketable
back light can be turned on & off

Con:
slow program loading
slow dictionary lookup
Mobipocket Reader doesn't support screen rotation
weighs just over a pound
menu is in Portuguese

Cost: $65*
$55 HP 360LX
$10 1GB CF card
*(I don't include the cost of the batteries or card reader because I already had them.)

My recommendation:
It's a pretty decent reader for the price. I found it on Ebay from a seller I highly recommend (usedhandhelds). He has quite a few left.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:33 PM   #2
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I'm going to post a couple pictures in just a moment.

EDIT: I don't have good lighting here. I'm going to have to retake the pictures tomorrow.
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:27 AM   #3
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I remember seeing these things in the late 90's and the early ... (what do we call this decade?) .. oughts, and they were too expensive, and I was too poor.

But I wanted one.

Excuse me, I need to go to eBay.

Last edited by Donnageddon; 06-05-2008 at 12:43 AM. Reason: I am an idiot
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:39 AM   #4
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Wait a second... "Softwares and Menus are in Portuguese language but the keyboard is in standard english QWERTY format. "

"I will be happy to reply you."

And he ships from Iowa?

Uhm... should this worry me? Will I get a visit from HLS?

Naw. I want one.
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:49 AM   #5
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One is on the way.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:30 AM   #6
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I have used very similar machine for years to read my books.
Mine was Cassiopeia A11, and later Cassiopeia A-20.
If you look at some of my older posts you can find a description.

It is great machine for reading.
Yet, after I purchased Sony reader PRS 500 with its e-ink display, I haven't used my old trusty Cassiopeia.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:26 AM   #7
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Sharp Wizard OZ 9600

Does anyone know how to install a reader, mobi or anyother, into a Sharp Wizard OZ 9600. Like the previous posts, I've had it since the 90's but I could never figure out how to tranfer my PDA data to my desktop, much less how to put a reader on it.

I love the device, and still use it for some things, would love to have a reader on it.

I does have a PCMCIA type card, which I have a Dict/Thes (copyr in the 80's)

Barring converting it, I'll just still have to read on my PC with mobi or my old Palm M100 with ereader until I can upgrade to one of the new devices. (I'm anxiously waiting for Astak's specs)

Alyson
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:34 AM   #8
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Text might be possible, but not much else. That thing is old. Here is a review from 1993.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...11/ai_13674059
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Text might be possible, but not much else. That thing is old.
Some people are so hardcore, they can play videos on PC XT.
http://www.oldskool.org/pc/8088_Corruption
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:37 PM   #10
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Handheld PCs

I've got an HP Jornada 720 (eBay, about $75) which I love. I use it to write when I'm taking the train (something I do at least a couple of times a week) and it gives me a couple of extra hours of work each trip. With it, I can read eBooks in PDF and HTML (and RTF) formats. I'll have to check to see if I can install the Mobipocket version you recommend. Unfortunately, I don't have the synch cables (I use a memory card to move files from the PC to the handheld) so I'm not sure how to manage installation of new software.

Anyway, I can definitely recommend HP's handheld computers--at eBay prices. The 720 does NOT use AAA batteries. However, the rechargable seems to last at least five or six hours--long enough for me to get my work done.

I'm always trying out new devices--I've got an NEC Mobilepro, also, which is quite a bit bigger but still much smaller than a laptop. Its big advantage is with PDF files since the screen width is as big as some laptops.

Thanks for the heads-up on this other HP handheld. I missed it when it was new (I miss lots of things when they're new because I can't afford them until they're old).

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Old 06-06-2008, 06:19 PM   #11
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@BooksForaBuck

I have a Jornada 720 as well. It's my primary ebook reader. I discussed why I liked it over here. Scroll down to find the links to the proper reader.

P.S. You can find an after market battery on Ebay. I'm getting around 10 hours.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:43 AM   #12
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I'm quite astounded to hear you say that the Jornada is your primary bookreader, rather than the Kindle, Nate. You were such a big fan of the Kindle when it first appeared - what's changed your mind about it?

I used all these HP devices in their time (my first Windows CE machine was a CE1 HP 320LX, which I still have), going right through to the HP iPaq 4700 Pocket PC. To my mind, however, none of them can compete (as a bookreader) with eInk devices for clarity of the screen or battery life.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:17 AM   #13
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I'm quite astounded to hear you say that the Jornada is your primary bookreader, rather than the Kindle, Nate. You were such a big fan of the Kindle when it first appeared - what's changed your mind about it?

I used all these HP devices in their time (my first Windows CE machine was a CE1 HP 320LX, which I still have), going right through to the HP iPaq 4700 Pocket PC. To my mind, however, none of them can compete (as a bookreader) with eInk devices for clarity of the screen or battery life.
I mentioned this over in the other thread. Here is a summary of where the Jornada is better:

pocketable form factor
nearly equal battery life
faster screen refresh
keyboard
touchscreen
backlight
Mobi Reader
screen rotation
fonts
PDA functions
PC functions
games

My experience with the 720 is beginning to make me think that Eink screens are not the be-all and end-all of ebook readers. Scroll up and read the first paragraph of this thread. Now you might understand why I wrote it.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:46 AM   #14
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I agree with you about many of these features - that's why I use a Pocket PC "SmartPhone". Unbeatable as as a PDA (IMHO).

However, I find that the simple fact of the larger screen on the eInk device, and the fact that it doesn't emit light makes it much more comfortable to read on, and I say that after reading on LCD devices for more years than I care to remember.

Oh well, each to their own. Just goes to shows that it's not a "one size fits all" marketplace.
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:12 PM   #15
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My experience with the 720 is beginning to make me think that Eink screens are not the be-all and end-all of ebook readers. Scroll up and read the first paragraph of this thread. Now you might understand why I wrote it.
Want to sell your Kindle?

BOb
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