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Old 10-20-2007, 11:40 AM   #1
quek
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99/100 for Iliad 2 (review with photos)

30mins after I got my Iliad, I knew that it had beaten Sony PRS500 hands down. I did not really remember feeling so excited when I previously got my PRS500. On the contrary, after playing it around for a while, I already have this sinking feeling that it is not going to work well for my pdf files, especially the 2 column technical papers. I was right. It is sufficient for light pure text reading but not for reading pdf books. Even RasterFarian did not managed to solve the issue. It is good but the conversion takes time and to convert all my pdf books to lrf format would take an enormous amount of time. Cutting the 2 column format to multiple pages is not going to work, what we simply need is panning...

Iliad solved the problem beautifully, way beyond my expectation. Pdf loading is fast in my opinion. Here are some numbers:

=== Statistics for firmware ver2.11 ===
Startup time : 51 seconds
Loading time for 29Mb text+some pictures pdf file : 22 seconds
Loading time for 35Mb graphic intensive pdf file : 18 seconds

Both files were loaded from a 1Gb SD card.

What I like about the Iliad:
a. Good zooming (see the pictures)
b. Fast load time even for huge files
c. Since it is pdf, fonts can be embedded and so Asian languages are not a problem (see pictures)
d. Able to do panning using stylus
e. Nice design with the flipbar
f. The notetaking feature is awesome!
g. Big 8" screen
h. I do not even need to spend time resizing my A4 size pdf files. The pdf files in the pictures shown are all of A4 size.

The only thing the prevents the Iliad from becoming the perfect device is the lack of an official browser. Although Dillo can be installed in just 3 simple steps, it does not display the webpages well (as can be seen in the pictures). Also, yahoo mail and gmail does not work with Dillo. The installation steps in the wiki is slightly outdated. It can be easily installed as follows:

Step1: Get the developer's package

Step2:
Download the file dillo-0.8.6_iliad-0.7.zip (created Apr 2007) & connection-scripts-1.0.zip (created Mar 2007). Then unpack it on your harddisk. Directories "dillo" and "connection-scripts-1.0" will appear.

Step3:
Copy the 2 directories to your MMC/SD/CF card. Installation is now complete.

How to use:
Access your MMC/SD/CF card from the device manager. First click on the contentlister entry "connection-scripts-1.0" for starting LAN or WLAN. Then
click on the contentlister entry "Dillo Web Browser" for starting dillo.

Notice that I did not say the directories can be copied to the main Iliad memory. For some reason, it always gives write error. Have not figure that out yet. The Dillo display problem can of course be easily resolved by switching to the Minimo browser. (Hey Adam, where's our nice package? )

Some info for the still undecided:
1. When reading, wifi and touchpad functions are used together, the Iliad can still manage to last for at least 5 full hrs.

2. It has an onboard memory of about 128Mb. So an external card is not absolutely necessary.

3. It can be recognized as a usb device. Simply plug it into linux or windows.

Hope that the above info will be of help in giving that final push to buy it. The Iliad is definitely worth every cent of its price. When doing the purchase, there is a point to note though. It does not come with a protective jacket so it might be good to get a jacket together with the Iliad.

Best regards
Quek
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:37 PM   #2
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Great review! I agree, my iLiad really acts as a mini tablet computer -- great for reading books, but useful for so many other things, as well. The enhancements I'd like to see are mostly software, e.g. a better file browser/manager and (hopefully someday) on-board handwriting recognition. Given the price and the battery life, the 40-50 second boot time is quite acceptable in my opinion.
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Old 10-21-2007, 04:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quek View Post
The Iliad is definitely worth every cent of its price. When doing the purchase, there is a point to note though. It does not come with a protective jacket so it might be good to get a jacket together with the Iliad.

Best regards
Quek
The iLiad is now supplied with the "Shoulder Bag" accessory as standard (or at least mine was). This is a very sturdy protective bag (with a velcro fastening) with a rigid insert which gives good protection to the screen. I bought the "cover" accessory with my iLiad, but never use it - I far prefer the bag.
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:28 AM   #4
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My iLiad also came with a very decent shoulder bag that I use all the time. Same as Harry I bought a cover not realizing that it came with a bag and I never use the cover at all.
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:54 AM   #5
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I got the shoulder bag too. It is extremely good for carrying the Iliad around. But the need for a jacket comes when the Iliad is being left on a table. I would prefer to cover its screen with something hard to prevent any accidental scatching, etc.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:17 AM   #6
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You asked me to send you a pdf in question and you can take a few pics. Unfortunatelly they are all MS pdfs, so....I cannot
Maybe you have any MS pdf files? Like Windows 2003 server Windows XP, 70-270, 70-290 etc?
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:30 AM   #7
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Perhaps you can use PrimoPDF to extract a few pages and send them to me. There is really nothing to worry. As you can see from my pictures, the zoom capability is really fantastic.

http://www.primopdf.com/
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:58 AM   #8
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@astra_lestat

There is another thread ("N00b questions") where issues about readability and size were/are being discussed. There is some good advice there from various people. Here's an edited version of what I said:

i) Portrait view. This is about 56% of the paper copy. I can read this, but I wouldn't want to read for more than an hour or so at this scale. If you print this page to A5 (e.g. two pages per view) you get about the same size.

ii) Landscape view. This is about 80% of the size of the original paper copy version (but of course you only see half the page at a time). If you use the version of ipdf with the fullscreen patch then that gets you up to about 90% of the original size.

So, you could try printing out a page or two, first with two pages of your pdf file to one page of A4. That will show you what it would look like in portrait view. Make sure your printer is good though. The iliad renders output at that size better than our office laser printer does on paper.

Then try printing at 80% or 90% of the original size and fold the page in half. That will show you roughly what you will get if you view the doc in landscape mode.

Before I bought my iliad I got a piece of cardboard and cut out a window the same size as the screen and then read printed journal articles through it to see if it worked for me. It did, I bought one, and I'm very happy.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:42 PM   #9
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Before I bought my iliad I got a piece of cardboard and cut out a window the same size as the screen and then read printed journal articles through it to see if it worked for me. It did, I bought one, and I'm very happy.
That's a very good idea.

The only other thing to keep in mind is that the screen more resembles newsprint than high-contrast white paper, which probably has an effect on how easily small type is read. I still read "US Letter" size documents (a bit smaller than A4) on mine in portrait mode with no zoom sometimes, but even I find it a bit of a strain, and some other people I show it to can't read it at all. Zoom is definitely your friend.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:15 PM   #10
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I was a bit reluctant on getting an iRex seeing previous hand writing samples, but that one with the electronic diagram and physics formula really nailed it in the bud, those are so good it pretty much answers a long standing question I had about how decent it could be used for math work.
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:02 AM   #11
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Its a good review, more openness on iRex's part will get more software as will hopefully the 6M Euros they got 2 months ago. (Given that they have openings for 7 engineers now I expect things will get more interesting).

I got the shoulder bag too, its important to remember to put the screen facing the hard side .

--Chuck
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:56 AM   #12
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To get PDF to display properly on your screens, any mobile screen, you have to have TAGS turned on when you create the PDF. They are turned off by default, which is nutz.

If you create PDF from WORD, you have to go to the menu bar initially, pull it down and choose configure settings. Click through all the tabs and find the tag boxes to select.

If you create PDF from the web, do it from within Acrobat and choose settings in the 'create PDF from a web page' dialogue window. I am not giving you the exact names of these items because I dont have Acrobat open. Mac and Win are slightly different below ver 8.

But searching the help doc for turning on tags should help you.

What tags do is follow the text thread so that if there are two or three columns, mobile units can break it down and display as one column accurately.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:58 AM   #13
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I forgot to add, if you are getting PDF from someone who may have scanned in a book for you, tell the person to do the same thing. Tags were originally designed to translate PDF for assisted-viewing units, I think. Could be wrong about that.
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