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Old 02-20-2012, 02:32 PM   #1
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JetBook Color Review - by a Long-Time Kindle DXG User

Like many DXG users, Amazon's apparent lack of interest in developing/improving the Kindle DXG had sent me looking for large screen eInk screen alternatives, in case Amazon dumps the DXG from its line-up. The recent appearance of the DXG in Woot sales seemed to suggest Amazon was unloading its stock of DXG's, and spurred me to consider: PocketBook Pro 903/902/912, Onyx Boox M90/M92, and the ECTACO Jetbook Color. I didn't really need a color device, but I admit I got hooked by the "color eInk" hoopla and decided to take a look.

I've followed the other threads, and will try not to duplicate other posters. My approach is evaluating the Jetbook for reading books, as compared to the Kindle DXG. Rather than focus on the technical details, I am commenting on the "readability" of the color eInk screen. I am a complete noob to the jetbook universe, so if any of my criticisms are due to my ignorance of jetbook capabilities, please feel free to correct/educate me.

1. The color Jetbook is glacially slow in loading books. I've often frozen my unit by hitting buttons too fast, and have learned to keep a paper clip handy to hit the Reset button. I have found that when my unit freezes trying to open or close a book (spinning wheel that never stops), punching the Reset button simply ends the process and dumps me back to the Main Menu screen - no other settings are altered. Once the book actually loads, page turns are slower than for the DXG, but are acceptable.

2. The color jetbook should never have been shipped with a white bezel. The glossy white accentuates the darkness of the eInk screen, making it appear "muddy" when compared to a DXG screen. The original Kindle DX shipped with a white bezel - and most users discovered the value of applying a matte black skin - to trick the eye into seeing a "lighter" screen background. The DXG shipped with a graphite bezel, and the screen background appeared "brighter" and "clearer" when viewing plain text documents. The current Jetbook screen most closely resembles the original (non-Perl) DX screen in terms of the "muddiness" of the white spaces and the lack of crispness/clarity of the text - in any font choice.
If I keep this unit, I plan to apply a black skin to improve its readibility.

3. In any but the brightest lighting, ghosting is extremely visible and annoying. After powering off the unit, the ghost of the main menu page is clearly visible on the screen. This makes it unsuitable for reading with an attached LED book light, or with anything but direct bright light. Using a halogen lamp directed on the page has provided the best reading experience.

4. When a book contains images, photos, etc. there is apparently no capability (yet) for switching to landscape view, for for magnifying or zooming in & out of the image. I've experimented with books whose images are "zoomable" on the DXG, but I've not found a similar capability when viewing book pages on the Jetbook.
The only place I've found this capability is in the Educational section, where some reproductions of art works are included. There the Menu contains options for zoom, re-orienting the image, etc. The included color reproductions of artworks display fairly well -- much better than the images of art works in books that I have viewed.
[N.B. I used the art books available from Delphi Classics - which are in full color and formatted for the Kindle (without DRM)]

Obviously, for viewing images/pictures/non-text, no eInk screen will compare equally with LCD screen devices. But when I compare the appearance of images contained in book pages on the DXG (Amazon's designation that a book is formatted for "large screen devices") with the Jetbook, the DXG still is superior in clarity, crispness, and definition. [Yes, these are subjective terms - but the best I can come up with.]

N.B. This new rumor of Triton screens shipping to Amazon (6" only in the rumor) makes one speculate on the future of color eInk screens as the next generation of eInk readers. (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=169707).

My conclusion: the current color Jetbook screen does not provide a comparable reading experience now available on the Kindle DXG for reading books. Given Amazon's reluctance to update the DXG's PDF capabilities, the Pocketbook may shine as a large screen PDF viewer. But for reading books, I'll stick with the DXG for now.

With everyone else, I am anxiously awaiting the promised updates.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
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1) fixable by software updates if the CPU isn't the load factor
2) I would agree with this
3) this is the eINK screen itself, so I hope the next generation will be better
4) software

anyways, I'm waiting for my jetbook color to ship...
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:03 PM   #3
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it is not the eink screen itself. there is no reason for ghosting other than firmware. it either fully refreshes or partial refreshes. there should be an option in the settings. if there isnt it it should be demanded in an update.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulin's Books View Post
it is not the eink screen itself. there is no reason for ghosting other than firmware. it either fully refreshes or partial refreshes. there should be an option in the settings. if there isnt it it should be demanded in an update.
In the current software you can turn on a full refresh when viewing images but not when viewing documents.

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Old 02-20-2012, 10:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulin's Books View Post
it is not the eink screen itself. there is no reason for ghosting other than firmware. it either fully refreshes or partial refreshes. there should be an option in the settings. if there isnt it it should be demanded in an update.
my jetbook color shipped, should be here tmr....

I guess with a full refresh, there shouldn't be any ghosting at all.... but full refreshes takes longer than partial refresh right? (or is it just more annoying to have a full screen refresh vs part of the screen refresh?)
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyh2000 View Post
In the current software you can turn on a full refresh when viewing images but not when viewing documents.
Andrew
ill have one here to check in a day or two but how often does it full refresh when reading? the normal choices seem to be 3,5 or 10 pages

Quote:
Originally Posted by paperwastage View Post
my jetbook color shipped, should be here tmr....

I guess with a full refresh, there shouldn't be any ghosting at all.... but full refreshes takes longer than partial refresh right? (or is it just more annoying to have a full screen refresh vs part of the screen refresh?)
correct full means no ghost and partial is quicker and uses a skoshe less power. i dont find the flash annoying at all. its no more distracting then a paper page turn.

i do tend to read with only partial refresh when reading epubs on my PB360 because Ive found that over time i actually end up with a whiter background around the text, than a regular page has, as the ghosts "merge". but thats vizplex film, older display controllers and older firmware
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dulin's Books View Post
correct full means no ghost and partial is quicker and uses a skoshe less power. i dont find the flash annoying at all. its no more distracting then a paper page turn.

i do tend to read with only partial refresh when reading epubs on my PB360 because Ive found that over time i actually end up with a whiter background around the text, than a regular page has, as the ghosts "merge". but thats vizplex film, older display controllers and older firmware
actually, my kindle dx-g somewhat ghosts a little (it does full refreshes in every action except stuff like menu pulldown or scrolling the cursor through the text).... hmmm
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:32 PM   #8
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got my jetbook color...

can definitely say I am disappointed

software/firmware is definitely something that can be improved on... screen in definitely "faded-colors" under low-medium light... bright light = better

wish it wasn't WinCE.... in Amazon Kindle, you can go to "sleep" / standby mode, and wake up almost immediately to where you are

with the jetBook color, all the stuff actually unloads when you switch it off. when you "turn" it back on, you have to wait for the stuff to reload (like 10-20s)... you coul dkeep the device always-on...(since eink doesnt take electricity to keep th escreen static)


for my mobi, it didn't render the pics
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:41 AM   #9
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"The glossy white accentuates the darkness of the eInk screen, making it appear "muddy" when compared to a DXG screen."
Very nice way of noting and formulating it!

"In any but the brightest lighting, ghosting is extremely visible and annoying."
I presume there is a setting in the jetbook to change page refresh rates to reduce ghosting?

"When a book contains images, photos, etc. there is apparently no capability (yet) for switching to landscape view, for for magnifying or zooming in & out of the image. "
One of the updates I'm expecting in the newer firmwares!

The kindle DX for me would have been the best if it only had an SD card reader; more format support (natively, not after converting the files), and if it got rid of it's ugly ass keyboard!

Someone got to bring a B&W e-ink reader on the market with a driver that will allow for color.
It should be very simple to paste a layer of RGB pattern foil over the e-ink screen.
With the right driver and calibration software you could convert any B&W ebook reader into a color one,using an RGBW color filter!

But that aside, I would prefer B&W only because it's cheaper;MUCH cheaper priced, while color only adds a few dollars on manufacturing and software programming.

If they only had a slick looking device like the Jetbook color in B&W for $250-300!
That'd be the Pocketbook pro or Onyx, but without the FW issues!

Last edited by ProDigit; 02-22-2012 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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If they only had a slick looking device like the Jetbook color in B&W for $250-300!
That'd be the Pocketbook pro or Onyx, but without the FW issues!
We seem to be dreaming the same dream ...
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
...
If they only had a slick looking device like the Jetbook color in B&W for $250-300!
That'd be the Pocketbook pro or Onyx, but without the FW issues!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beryll Snyder View Post
We seem to be dreaming the same dream ...
I get the impression the jetBook Color has more firmware issues at the moment than the other two put together. Hopefully they'll be fixed in the forthcoming updates, but I'll believe it when I see it.

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Old 02-22-2012, 09:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
"In any but the brightest lighting, ghosting is extremely visible and annoying."
I presume there is a setting in the jetbook to change page refresh rates to reduce ghosting?
If so, I haven't found it.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
...
"In any but the brightest lighting, ghosting is extremely visible and annoying."
I presume there is a setting in the jetbook to change page refresh rates to reduce ghosting?
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by poohbear_nc View Post
If so, I haven't found it.
There is for images (on the popup menu you can select "Full screen update" or something like that) but not for documents.

Andrew
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:46 PM   #14
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Ghosting was what was worrying me when I first saw LuBiB's photos.

That and the "dead pixel" issue which I still believe he has on his device.

Fingers crossed a firmware update can atleast help with the ghosting problem.

Cheers

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Old 02-23-2012, 04:44 AM   #15
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how the JBC handles the sleep function

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Originally Posted by paperwastage View Post
got my jetbook color...
wish it wasn't WinCE.... in Amazon Kindle, you can go to "sleep" / standby mode, and wake up almost immediately to where you are with the jetBook color, all the stuff actually unloads when you switch it off...

for my mobi, it didn't render the pics
Please, see my post because this seems a false problem:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...&postcount=295

Last edited by mod186k1; 02-23-2012 at 04:45 AM. Reason: syntax error
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