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Old 02-22-2012, 07:11 PM   #1
ProDigit
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Posts: 2,157
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Miami FL
Device: PRS-505, Jetbook, Jetbook Mini, Jetbook Color, Astak Ez Reader Pro
review: Jetbook VS Jetbook Mini

Hi,

I have bought and own both devices for quite a while now, and really love them both!
What I love about the mini over the regular jetbook, is it's smaller size (appears to be smaller), better being able to handle it, lighter weight, cleaner looks. I also like it's increased battery life over the jetbook, and in some angles, the contrast ratio is bigger than on the jetbook.
I also absolutely love the mini's fast booting system (OS literally boots within 1 second).
The mini's design is also pretty unique. Black gloss front is very nice, matte back reduces fingerprints, and glossy letters do some nice artwork to increase attractiveness from a plain black matte back, all the while the device retains a good grip, fingerprint free!

What I like about the jetbook is it's ability to read more file formats, it's smaller lettertype (smaller pt means that it appears to have a higher resolution than the mini, because more text fit on the screen).

To me both devices are about on par with each other; however because I bought the JB for $50, and the mini for $90, I'd think of the regular jetbook as the best deal!

If you ask me what would be a right pricing for the mini (street price) would be $50. For the Jetbook, $75.

What I don't like about the mini is:
1- Every time I exchange the batteries, the clock resets.
2- There's something wrong in Calibre, that makes FB2 books have each last word of a line written on a next line, like in example below:
Code:
This is an average screen of how the 
mini 
displays it's text. It cuts off the last 
word 
of a line and places it in the next line 
all
by itself
That's a real pain to read, anything other than in landscape mode! It severely limits my ability to read FB2 books!

3- Loading an FB2 book for the first time could literally take forever! On average, most books are shown within 1 to 2 minutes, but I have had books with multiple images take upto 15 minutes of time for first load, and if you set the battery saving mode to screen shut down every 5 minutes, you'd have to re-awaken the device every time it loads a book longer than 5 minutes! A real pain!

4- The device also has minimum pt set to 16pt. A nice and readable pt, however, with a 5 inch screen, there's very little information on the screen.
It almost feels like reading a book from a single line 8 letter matrix display! I mean, when reading books, the screen needs to be flipped to a next page every 5 to 10 seconds, and I think it's a little much.

5- Batteries can not be recharged from the device.


Another few things I've noticed about the mini is the center button (menu or next page) is not responding as well as in the beginning. I presume it has only a limited amount of clicks before it fails to operate well. They should have used a similar system as a computer mouse button, as current button sometimes don't work,and needs some harder clicking to work!

For me, having pretty large hands, flipping pages is not really an issue, as my thumb actually touches the next page (2nd button) on the device;while my thumb knuckle reaches the center 'ok' button.For people with small hands, they probably will use the enter ('ok') button for flipping pages.
So it's made pretty comfortable for me. however flipping back one page single-handed requires quite some thumb aerobatics, as the button is too far down (not even mentioning the cancel button).

Also in landscape mode reading (which I like less, because for some reason the contrast ratio of the screen decreases somewhat reading this way), flipping pages to next page is pretty ok, but going back a page single-handed is very difficult, as my thumb is not long enough to reach the 'page back' button.

So the Jetbook mini proves to be an excellent .txt reader, but for any books with pictures it is too slow (not only in first loading, but also in page flipping. Page flipping could take upto 3 seconds with a picture, while less than 0.5 seconds without picture.This makes you believe that the device did not register your page flip, and you press it again, only to see you flip 2 pages in the book instead of one).
Also,the pictures don't auto zoom. If the book contains some hi-res pictures, they are only shown in part in the book. (top left part, whatever fits on the screen in 1:1 zoom).

If Ectaco would make use of the FB2 format, only to reconvert it in the mini, they might as well created a software for the pc, to convert any book format into the format the mini recognizes (HTML0?); as seemingly the jetbook mini does need to reconvert the FB2 format internally, and it's taking too long.

I really love the mini, but these flaws really need some working!

Apart from that,reading the mini under certain light angles increases the contrast considerably, and makes blacks even more black (almost looks like certain fonts get written bold).
The contrast ratios of both JB and mini compare much to the Sony PRS-505 with older E-ink technology.
Their background screens are a bit more grayish but their blacks are much more black too.

Both Jetbook and mini make use of a USB1 interface, which means they are extremely slow transferring large volumes of data.


Having all these cons, makes me believe the Jetbook is much better than the mini, and the mini should be priced much lower than it currently is!

Sure, the jetbook also has it's kinks, but loading a book never takes that long,thanks to it's faster processor!

Some negative points about the Jetbook:
1- It does not have an exchangeable battery,which makes it useless as soon as the battery dies.
2- It is known that Li-ion batteries retain about 50% of their capacity after the first 2 years,and usually retain less than 25% after 4 years. With that in mind, the Jetbook is made to last only 4 years, as after 4 years battery life would be near to 4-6 hours max. JB battery life is currently closer to 12 hours than 24 hours.
3- the flip bar was too stiff in the beginning, but nearly 3 months later, becomes too loose. accidentally touching it, could flip pages.
4- It does not have the 180, 270 degrees rotation for lefties. Just portrait or landscape.

If they could create the jetbook's file format support and CPU speed; and the mini's size, shape, weight and OS booting time; it'd make an excellent device!

Last edited by ProDigit; 02-22-2012 at 07:20 PM.
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