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Old 05-15-2008, 11:31 AM   #1
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Astak Mentor at IDPF conference

Where to begin?

Fictionwise wasn't at the conference. At least, I didn't see them and the Astak rep didn't think they were there. So I couldn't get solid info about Ereader support, but I was told that Fictionwise should be ready to announce Ereader support in June. The Astak rep didn't know whether Fictionwise's device would be locked down or what other features it would support.

The 5" model came in several different colors. Not all worked because they hadn't been flashed yet. One did, so this is fine. It only read the PVI/Netronix STK format. I did get a picture of the menu. As you can see, it's different from the 6". Also, look at the position of the buttons. They bear a striking resemblance to the position of the buttons on the Jetbook.

The functional 6" models were obviously the OEM from Netronix. The other is their design, and doesn't work yet. It's an engineering mockup they just receive a few days before. I wonder if the menu on the 6" Mentor is the same as on the EB-100? Actually, I think the 6" readers were EB-100. I was told they would only have the 5" Mentor because the others weren't ready yet.

The 9.7" was a preproduction model. If I hadn't told them I was coming, I doubt they would have brought it. It did have touchscreen, but the software was refusing to work that day. I know many here are disappointed by the lack of a hands on review, but I didn't expect to see it at all. Don't complain too loudly.

There were a number of other questions that people wanted me to ask, and most of the answers are on Astak's website. One thing I forgot to check is the format of the ebooks I was reading.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:40 AM   #2
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The original pictures can be found in a couple zip files over here. If anyone has a question, please ask.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:41 AM   #3
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:48 AM   #4
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Someone in the other thread mentioned that the design of the 5" model in particular leaves something to be desired.

I'm not sure about that. It looks relatively uncluttered and, unlike the Kindle, the buttons seem to be in a reasonable place.

I bet we'll hear complaints about one-handed reading...turning pages and all. You know, for all those that seem to require a device that will allow you to read easily while you're driving or juggling chainsaws.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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i have a question, and i realize this has nothing to do with astak, but you mentioned in that other thread that (my good friend) Garth Conboy was there with the new ETI model, do you have any photos of that ?? or news of any kind ???

Last edited by zelda_pinwheel; 05-15-2008 at 12:48 PM. Reason: i meant the letter *next to* the r.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
i have a question, and i realize this has nothing to do with astak, but you mentioned in that other thread that (my good friend) Garth Conboy was there with the new ERI model, do you have any photos of that ?? or news of any kind ???
A couple of pictures in the zip file in that thread are of the ETI model. And yes, he did say a few things, but I thought it would be best to start a new thread. I haven't written it yet.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:57 AM   #7
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The 9.7" model does look rather sharp and well designed...more so than the other two.

I only hope it works.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:08 PM   #8
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Clearly the dimensions are wrong on the website - I should have realized that myself before seeing these pics. Any sense of what the actual dimensions of the 9.7" model are? That's the one I'm most interested in, though if it's as big as it looks I might change my mind.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
The original pictures can be found in a couple zip files over here. If anyone has a question, please ask.
I thought the Astak guy in the other thread said they were going to be Orange?

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Old 05-15-2008, 12:43 PM   #10
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well, at the time they had an orange bezel, but he said the design wasn't definitive. i admit, i was hoping for orange as well.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:44 PM   #11
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You might not be able to see it, but the 9.7" does have an orange bezel on 3 of the edges.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:55 PM   #12
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Clearly the dimensions are wrong on the website - I should have realized that myself before seeing these pics. Any sense of what the actual dimensions of the 9.7" model are? That's the one I'm most interested in, though if it's as big as it looks I might change my mind.
I think the metric measurements are correct. The imperial measurements were the same for all three units last time I looked.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:11 PM   #13
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Call me paranoid, but so far we have:

- some working 5" readers
- semi-working 6" reader

...and a word of marketing people that it will get better.

So far, vapourwave. It doesn't sound like they're going to start selling them soon. I'm not holding my breath. (Actually, I stopped holding my breath as soon as I heard they use Windows, but I digress ... )
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Where to begin?

Fictionwise wasn't at the conference. At least, I didn't see them and the Astak rep didn't think they were there. So I couldn't get solid info about Ereader support, but I was told that Fictionwise should be ready to announce Ereader support in June. The Astak rep didn't know whether Fictionwise's device would be locked down or what other features it would support.

The 5" model came in several different colors. Not all worked because they hadn't been flashed yet. One did, so this is fine. It only read the PVI/Netronix STK format. I did get a picture of the menu. As you can see, it's different from the 6". Also, look at the position of the buttons. They bear a striking resemblance to the position of the buttons on the Jetbook.

The functional 6" models were obviously the OEM from Netronix. The other is their design, and doesn't work yet. It's an engineering mockup they just receive a few days before. I wonder if the menu on the 6" Mentor is the same as on the EB-100? Actually, I think the 6" readers were EB-100. I was told they would only have the 5" Mentor because the others weren't ready yet.

The 9.7" was a preproduction model. If I hadn't told them I was coming, I doubt they would have brought it. It did have touchscreen, but the software was refusing to work that day. I know many here are disappointed by the lack of a hands on review, but I didn't expect to see it at all. Don't complain too loudly.

There were a number of other questions that people wanted me to ask, and most of the answers are on Astak's website. One thing I forgot to check is the format of the ebooks I was reading.
Nate,

It's quite clear the white Astaks are basic Netronix models. Whether they're EB-100s or EB-2xx models isn't so clear, but I'd lean towards EB-100s right now as even Netronix isn't shipping EB-2xx models yet. Except for the "Astak" logo across the top, the white models are identical to my EB-100 in appearance.

I like the looks of the 9.7" model. Would love to see it in action. However, I'm hearing late summer from Netronix for the EB-300 (maybe) so I guess I'll just have to wait.

As I've said elsewhere, if Astak makes eReader work on these, it would be nice. I'd rather have Mobi support, but both of those are FAR superior to .stk ebooks!

Derek
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:17 PM   #15
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Call me paranoid, but so far we have:

- some working 5" readers
- semi-working 6" reader

...and a word of marketing people that it will get better.

So far, vapourwave. It doesn't sound like they're going to start selling them soon. I'm not holding my breath. (Actually, I stopped holding my breath as soon as I heard they use Windows, but I digress ... )
I'm pretty sure the white Astaks are fully working. But I'm willing to bet they're EB-100s, not EB-2xx series. That means they come loaded with Linux 2.6 and STAReBOOK's Eread (.stk format ebooks) ebook reader - and they don't support touchscreen, bluetooth or wifi. Now the other 6" models may well be engineering mockups waiting for the EB-2xx guts.

Derek
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