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Old 02-08-2008, 01:30 PM   #1
dso371
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My take on the Cybook so far...

Well, I have had my Cybook for a couple of days and am generally very happy with it. It is well designed and is very easy on the eyes. It's clearly the cutting edge of e-reader technology, but it certainly isn't the last word. More and better will come over the next few years.

There are a number of issues I have found so far. I would imagine most can be solved by future firmware updates.

1. Bookeen say the Cybook can read .rtf files. I transferred one and it was not recognized in the library and could not be opened.
2. I used Mobipocket Creator to import some .doc files, and in all cases I lost the link between footnote numbers and footnote text. In Mobipocket books, footnotes are preserved and you can select a number, which takes you to the footnote, and then you can return to the main text. I could not do this with imported .doc files.
3. The folder structure means I cannot put all my news files in a news folder, my non-fiction books in a non-fiction folder, my fiction in a fiction folder, etc. Instead they all appear on the same level, which is annoying. Sub-folders are desirable.
4. The .pdf viewing is not very good. I transferred a number of .pdf files and only one was good to read on the Cybook. There is limited zoom and no bookmarking, which makes it all but useless to try to read .pdfs. This was one of the main reasons I bought the Cybook.
5. In general, while I intend to buy ebooks, my main reason for getting the device was to read my own documents - .pdf, .doc, .rtf, etc. which I have created or downloaded for my own use. It is important that future firmware should add as much functionality as possible for reading, navigating, and bookmarking a wide variety of formats, not just the ebooks I have to pay for.
6. I hope a firmware update will allow me to use the Trash button. It is very annoying to have to connect the device every time I want to delete a book.
7. It’s a pity I have to use Mobipocket for my .rss feeds. I have all my feeds in Google Reader. It would be great if I could just download from there into my Cybook.
8. I thought the background screen would be white, like real paper. Instead it is gray, which is not as natural as a real book.
9. The navigation buttons are not very good at all. The side buttons are stiff and unresponsive, and since I have the leather cover there is hardly any room to push them. I have to use my fingernail on the silver edge to navigate, which is difficult and annoying.
10. Also, if I want to scroll down a page, going from link to link, or scroll down entries in the library, I have to push the button each time. I can’t just hold down the button and keep scrolling until I take my finger off the button. So I have to keep pushing the button again and again, which is hard on the fingers and very annoying.

I guess I will find more problems, but I would still rate the Cybook a 4 out of 5. Like much leading-edge technology (e.g. the Archos 605), the hardware always seems to be several steps ahead of the software. This is a pity. I hope Cybook pays attention and brings out a serious firmware update adding new and significantly better functionality.

David the Gadget Geek.
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:24 PM   #2
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Hi dso371

Welcome. I myself have the Cybook just for 3 days now.

I have experienced most of the points you have put here, some are more annoying then others for me - at least in so little time of using the unit.

I wanted just to point you that the Cybook is not compatible with rtf files.
The formats besides music and images are:
Mobipocket
Html (html and htm)
PalmDoc
PDF

That is clear stated in the one page quick start guide we received with the machine as is in Bookeen’s website:
http://www.bookeen.com/specs/ebook-software.aspx

Wish you keep on enjoying your machine more and more and of course Bookeen does update the software in it and resolve the less good things we are discovering.

Best regards,
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dso371 View Post
Well, I have had my Cybook for a couple of days and am generally very happy with it. It is well designed and is very easy on the eyes. It's clearly the cutting edge of e-reader technology, but it certainly isn't the last word. More and better will come over the next few years.

There are a number of issues I have found so far. I would imagine most can be solved by future firmware updates.

1. Bookeen say the Cybook can read .rtf files. I transferred one and it was not recognized in the library and could not be opened.
2. I used Mobipocket Creator to import some .doc files, and in all cases I lost the link between footnote numbers and footnote text. In Mobipocket books, footnotes are preserved and you can select a number, which takes you to the footnote, and then you can return to the main text. I could not do this with imported .doc files.
3. The folder structure means I cannot put all my news files in a news folder, my non-fiction books in a non-fiction folder, my fiction in a fiction folder, etc. Instead they all appear on the same level, which is annoying. Sub-folders are desirable.
4. The .pdf viewing is not very good. I transferred a number of .pdf files and only one was good to read on the Cybook. There is limited zoom and no bookmarking, which makes it all but useless to try to read .pdfs. This was one of the main reasons I bought the Cybook.
5. In general, while I intend to buy ebooks, my main reason for getting the device was to read my own documents - .pdf, .doc, .rtf, etc. which I have created or downloaded for my own use. It is important that future firmware should add as much functionality as possible for reading, navigating, and bookmarking a wide variety of formats, not just the ebooks I have to pay for.
6. I hope a firmware update will allow me to use the Trash button. It is very annoying to have to connect the device every time I want to delete a book.
7. It’s a pity I have to use Mobipocket for my .rss feeds. I have all my feeds in Google Reader. It would be great if I could just download from there into my Cybook.
8. I thought the background screen would be white, like real paper. Instead it is gray, which is not as natural as a real book.
9. The navigation buttons are not very good at all. The side buttons are stiff and unresponsive, and since I have the leather cover there is hardly any room to push them. I have to use my fingernail on the silver edge to navigate, which is difficult and annoying.
10. Also, if I want to scroll down a page, going from link to link, or scroll down entries in the library, I have to push the button each time. I can’t just hold down the button and keep scrolling until I take my finger off the button. So I have to keep pushing the button again and again, which is hard on the fingers and very annoying.

I guess I will find more problems, but I would still rate the Cybook a 4 out of 5. Like much leading-edge technology (e.g. the Archos 605), the hardware always seems to be several steps ahead of the software. This is a pity. I hope Cybook pays attention and brings out a serious firmware update adding new and significantly better functionality.

David the Gadget Geek.
David,

While I agree with you on the .rtf, .pdf and lack of subfolders in the Library display, I have to disagree about the screen's 'white'. It is, in outdoor situations, far better than pure white. And even indoors, the background is 'white' enough to be comfortable on the eyes. Plus, because it doesn't refresh every 1/60 of a second, it doesn't present the 'flicker' that causes eyestrain for many people.

However, your complaint about Mobipocket Creator is a problem with the Mobipocket software and cannot be laid at Bookeen's feet. Further, for ebooks not including tons of images and diagrams, I find that BookDesigner works far better at just importing and converting to Mobi format. Of course, I've not used it for creating a major ebook from numerous html files so I can't speak to its ease of use under those circumstances.

Derek
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:39 PM   #4
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I teach college courses and create quite a few PDF files that I would also like to have on my Cybook. I create most of these files in Word and then print them to PDF files.

I've played around with the page layout sizes in Word and found that if I choose the A5 page size (5.83 x 8.27) for these documents, generate the documents to a PDF file and then crop out the white margins, the document works very well on the Cybook. True, it takes longer to generate these documents for my Cybook, but most of the documents I only need to create one time and so once they are created for the Cybook, I will not have to create them again.

Ultimately, I plan to create a custom page layout that will be optimized for the Cybook.

Last edited by ProfJulie; 02-08-2008 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:57 PM   #5
dso371
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Thanks for all your comments, guys.

1) I apologise for my mistake about .rtf compatibility. The manual says they are considered OK because they can be converted to Mobipocket format. Sorry I misread that.
2) I agree the screen is absolutely fine on the eyes (as long as the font is big enough), but I have found the background to be less than white, at least indoors. A decent dead tree book will be very close to white. Not a major problem, I concede.
3) I will have a go with BookDesigner. I was annoyed last night b/c I dowloaded a scanned pdf ebook from archive.org, and when I copied it over to the Cybook and opened it, every page was inexplicably blank! I tried this several times.

Anyway, I appreciate the feedback and will keep getting to know my Cybook. Don't get me wrong, I do like it. It's the best on offer, but I know this technology will get much, much better.

BTW, for what it's worth, I'm starting to think the standard 6 inch screen for e-readers is just not big enough. 7 or 8 would be much better, and still be portable.

Cheers,
David
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:40 PM   #6
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dso371

The reader you are talking about is the Iliad.
It’s the size you mention, and people say A4 Pdf’s are quite readable in it.

ProfJulie

The perfect size for you to create your PDF’s is 88.2 mm x 115.4 mm - or if you want 3.47” x 4.54” (sorry but I’m in the metric system land).

Sony as an outstanding manual for creating PDF’s for their reader who as a screen the exact size of the Cybook one, so besides some little specifics for the sony reader, it’s perfectt, you can download it here:
http://www.sonystyle.com/wcsstore/So..._createPDF.pdf.

Best regards,
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDHarriman View Post
ProfJulie

The perfect size for you to create your PDF’s is 88.2 mm x 115.4 mm - or if you want 3.47” x 4.54” (sorry but I’m in the metric system land).

Sony as an outstanding manual for creating PDF’s for their reader who as a screen the exact size of the Cybook one, so besides some little specifics for the sony reader, it’s perfectt, you can download it here:
http://www.sonystyle.com/wcsstore/So..._createPDF.pdf.

Best regards,
Thanks! It looks exactly like what I had in mind.

Last edited by ProfJulie; 02-09-2008 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:42 AM   #8
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ProfJulie

You are welcome.

One more tip, I have made tests yesterday creating some PDF’s using the page sizes from that manual and have found that the font size who gives the best results for me is something between 8 and 10 points for a arial type of font.

Best regards,
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:22 PM   #9
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My Take on my new Cybook Gen 3

I have had my Cybook Gen 3 now for a couple of weeks. I find it easy on the eyes, especially in the sunlight. I absolutely love the variety of font sizes and the fact that you can add fonts.
I have to agree with others that the page turning button needs some work. It works about 80% of the time on the first try. Fingernails are a must with most of the function buttons.
The battery life has been great so far. Much better than my Sony PRS 505. And I love the case so much better than Sony's.
But the best thing about the Cybook (compared to Sony) is the access to so many more books. The Mobipocket format makes so much difference especially since I am a very good customer of Fictionwise! The other ebook retailers featuring the Mobipocket format have, on average, much better prices than the Sony Connect store. And whereas you can purchase multiformat books (@ Fictionwise) and read them on your 505, the big authors and new releases are generally in a DRM format.

I would give the Cybook on a scale of 1-10 an 8!

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