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Old 03-03-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
raynerape
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Arrow HanLin V3 or iRex iLiad? Help a newbie out...

Hello all,
I am a new member who found this wonderful forum while searching for an answer to the hardest questions of all - which one should I buy?

My needs:
1. Read internet-downloaded books with no DRM, usually in TXT, RTF, PDF, LIT, maybe if I feel like paying for books, even MOBI format. When reading newspapers or A4 magazines (especially color ones) proper illustration support with dithering and easy/fast zoom when possible is very big plus. Extremely rarely I'll have to open a full-page scan (RPG books prior DriveThruRPG rage). I might convert between formats but I prefer direct use of files. Support for illustrations and cover is a big plus, in general.
2. Read internet-downloaded text files, in HTML, DOC/RTF, TXT format such as fan fiction, etc. This is probably what every device there does pretty swell.
3. Read internet-downloaded manga in full page. Support for RAR/ZIP is a plus, though I can uncompress. JPG/PNG support. Double page support or rotating. Generally, easy interface for moving to next/previous image. Colorful Marvel comics already feel at home on my PSP.
4. Read RSS. Internal RSS reader of some sort. Easy and fast way to have RSS synchronized from PC to device is important. WiFi/online capability is not interesting for me, I prefer desktop synchronization.
5. I'm a fucker for homebrew applications, especially if it plays Doom. The device should be utterly hackable and there must be a sizable support for it.
6. The device should be compact.

For now, no device seems to cover all grounds equally well. I'm torn between investing wise on HanLin eBook V3 or spending double on iRex iLiad. Specs such as battery life, battery availability, compact size etc. speak in favor of V3. Everything else and the huge homebrew suppoer speak in favor of the iLiad. I hope you could help me out with the decision by sharing your experience on reading PDFs, digital magazines (PDF, no full image pages, but text and images proper magazine), manga (RAR, PNG, ease of interface for image viewing etc.), RSS (internal applications, synchronization, etc.) and anything else you think I should know before I open my wallet.

Thanks in advance. I'm all ears now...
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:55 PM   #2
mrdini
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Device: Hanlin V2 & V6
Quote:
Originally Posted by raynerape View Post
Hello all,
I am a new member who found this wonderful forum while searching for an answer to the hardest questions of all - which one should I buy?
Since I notice no-one else has weighed in yet, I thought I might as well put in my one penny

Quote:
My needs:
1. Read internet-downloaded books with no DRM, usually in TXT, RTF, PDF, LIT, maybe if I feel like paying for books, even MOBI format. When reading newspapers or A4 magazines (especially color ones) proper illustration support with dithering and easy/fast zoom when possible is very big plus. Extremely rarely I'll have to open a full-page scan (RPG books prior DriveThruRPG rage). I might convert between formats but I prefer direct use of files. Support for illustrations and cover is a big plus, in general.
2. Read internet-downloaded text files, in HTML, DOC/RTF, TXT format such as fan fiction, etc. This is probably what every device there does pretty swell.
My V2 seems able to handle these formats fine (apart from .LIT & MOBI), but there are a few quirks, which you can find out in the Hanlin forum. PDFs do look pretty damn shiny on it (was reading Brust's "My own kind of freedom" in landscape mode, & it works fairly well).
Quote:
3. Read internet-downloaded manga in full page. Support for RAR/ZIP is a plus, though I can uncompress. JPG/PNG support. Double page support or rotating. Generally, easy interface for moving to next/previous image. Colorful Marvel comics already feel at home on my PSP.
Sinve I'm on a Mac, it's easy enough for me to prepare and batch-convert images using GraphicConverter, so they end up looking good on my V2. But "raw" stuff looks alright. It's fairly easy just to use a batch-converter, so I would strongly recommend prepping these images prior to putting them on your eink device. It's almost 99% certain that the down-res/dither algorithm of most e-ink devices will be FAR inferior to what your desktop PC can do.

On my V2, if I put several JPEGs on it, numbered sequentially like so - page01.jpg, page02.jpg, page03.jpg, it'll go through each image in order.

I'm reading Adachi's H2 at the mo, and have to say it's pretty nifty.

As for double-page - it's do-able, but on a 6" screen, a two-page spread is far too small to be readable.

Quote:
4. Read RSS. Internal RSS reader of some sort. Easy and fast way to have RSS synchronized from PC to device is important. WiFi/online capability is not interesting for me, I prefer desktop synchronization.
5. I'm a fucker for homebrew applications, especially if it plays Doom. The device should be utterly hackable and there must be a sizable support for it.
6. The device should be compact.

For now, no device seems to cover all grounds equally well. I'm torn between investing wise on HanLin eBook V3 or spending double on iRex iLiad. Specs such as battery life, battery availability, compact size etc. speak in favor of V3. Everything else and the huge homebrew suppoer speak in favor of the iLiad. I hope you could help me out with the decision by sharing your experience on reading PDFs, digital magazines (PDF, no full image pages, but text and images proper magazine), manga (RAR, PNG, ease of interface for image viewing etc.), RSS (internal applications, synchronization, etc.) and anything else you think I should know before I open my wallet.
The stock Hanlin firmware does not allow for RSS, but I've been playing about with Feedbook's RSS thingy today, and it does seem to work somewhat well... Need to play a bit more in the next few days. I'd suggest you take a look at Feedbook.

Regarding homebrew, there is a SDK available for the V3, but I don't think many people have actually bothered to create apps using the SDK. On the other hand, there is a project under way to create a better firmware for various e-ink devices (V3 only for now though), called OpenInkpot.

I have to remark at the end of the day that the V2's interface is really quirky and very dodgy UI design. As a result, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone going in "blind", but for someone who's prepared to put up with its shortcomings, it's a pretty damn impressive piece of work for its price (a touchscreen interface, and half the price of an Iliad).

Any further queries, I hang out in #openinkpot on OFTC
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