Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book Readers > Which one should I buy?

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-27-2008, 04:06 AM   #1
FreddyB
Junior Member
FreddyB began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 7
Karma: 10
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK - London
Device: Sony PRS-505 / Ectaco Jetbook
Ectaco Jetbook replacement for Sony eReader is faulty. UK customers - caution.

As an owner of a Sony PRS-505 eReader and fan of ebook reader gadgets I decided on the luxury of also getting an Ectaco Jetbook.

I was attracted by the Jetbook's advertised speed, flexibilty and compactness. Since I am not interested in buying commercial ebooks and am content to use the device for personal and public domain txt / pdf documents, I thought the Jetbook would be a suitable alternative for my sluggish Sony eReader. However, on receiving my new Jetbook I found that it was faulty (the right arrow button did not work) and needed to be returned.

As a UK customer, I had purchased the item from Ectaco's UK website where it was advertised in UK currency. I assumed therefore that they had dealers in the UK. Alas, the faulty Jetbook was sent from, and ultimately had to be returned (at my expense) to, the States. Once I finally managed to get through to the US Ectaco phone support line (I await my phone bill with dread), the support guy suggested that a firmware upgrade would fix the problem. He emailed me a link to a firmware download. This link didn't work but the second link he sent me did. The upgrade instructions required me to copy the download to a SD card (which fortunately I had - no card is supplied with the device) and place it in the Jetbook. However, I was then required to kick off the upgrade process by simultaneously pressing the power and right arrow buttons, the latter being the very button that did not work. Doh! Anyhow, I was eventually instructed to return the product and informed that I should get some goodies with the replacement in order to compensate for the international shipping costs I have incurred.

My slightly protracted dealings with Ectatco support meant that I had the Jetbook for a couple of days and was therefore able to make a brief comparison with my Sony eReader before returning the faulty unit.

The Jetbook's build quality is significantly inferior to the Sony. The Sony has a robust, solid, metallic feel to it whereas the feel of the Jetbook is cheaper and more plastic like. The silver left-hand page-turn slider button on the Jetbook seems particularly yucky. Oh..., and all the buttons on the Sony do actually work.

The Jetbook's display quality was a very pleasant surprise. Whilst not quite as good as the Sony's e-ink display it was nevertheless very good. The Jetbook does have a greater selection of font sizes (six, if I remember correctly) to the Sony's three. The text was crisp and well defined except perhaps for the very smallest font size (which probably would not be used by most people anyway - that is, not without a magnifying glass). There is however a slightly shiny quality to the Jetbook's display which perhaps in strong lighting could become an issue.

The speed of the Jetbook was not quite what I expected. Yes, page turning is pretty much instant, unlike the Sony e-ink flicker. However, switching on the device and subsequently using the menu wasn't quite as fast as I had hoped. On the Sony though, deleting a single file (a feature only added in its recent firmware upgrade) does take 5 to 10 seconds! So any speed comparisons are definitely going to be in the Jetbook's favour.

Conveniently, the Jetbook does not need any special software application and just hooks up to a PC as a USB drive for file drag and drop use etc. There's also an internal file manager on the Jetbook for creating folders, renaming, deleting etc. There is therefore flexibilty in arranging documents - something sadly lacking on the Sony (although it makes an attempt at this with shortcut folders called 'Collections'). The Jetbook also comes with a dictionary and text search facility, something else also missing from the Sony.

All in all, I eagerly await the replacement of my somewhat expensive Jetbook. Whilst it seems slicker and more flexible than the Sony, I do however have reservations about its non e-ink display battery life and also concerns regarding the durabilty of its much to be used buttons.

Last edited by FreddyB; 09-27-2008 at 04:13 AM. Reason: typos
FreddyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2008, 09:58 AM   #2
pilotbob
Grand Sorcerer
pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pilotbob's Avatar
 
Posts: 19,524
Karma: 11329767
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampa, FL USA
Device: Kindle Touch
Wow, that's too bad that you got a bad device.

About it feeling "plasticey".. well it is plastic... but I found it quite sturdy.

The other big advantages the Jetbook has over the Sony are dictionary lookup and folder support.

It is a pretty nice little device... but I wouldn't recommend it unless the price comes down to less than $200. Except for people that don't like or can't tolerate the eInk refresh time/flash. I'd rather have this than a backlighted LCD.

BOb
pilotbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 10:46 AM   #3
FreddyB
Junior Member
FreddyB began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 7
Karma: 10
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK - London
Device: Sony PRS-505 / Ectaco Jetbook
I have eventually received the replacement for my faulty Jetbook from the US. Again I advise UK customers to think twice before buying this device from the US. Buy and collect it from a UK retailer to whom you can return it if it is faulty. You will thus avoid 1) International shipping charges when returning the item 2) FedEx's limited UK delivery/collection service 3) An additional Import Tax bill.

FedEx in UK:

There was a delay in it being delivered to my UK address because it was shipped by FedEx. I was at work when delivery was attempted to my home address but, unlike with the UK postal service, Fedex's nearest collection depot is in the middle of nowhere and unreachable by me during the working week. It also does not open at the weekend and FedEx do not deliver at the weekend either. I arranged to collect from a more convenient FedEx location (i.e. accessible by me during the working week). After waiting 2 days for the package to be relocated for collection, I phoned ahead before going to collect and was informed that this location could not in fact be used as a pick up location after all. I eventually had to arrange delivery to my work address.

Import Tax

A few days after receiving my replacement Jetbook, I was mailed a GBP 20.30 bill from FedEx for import duty they had incurred on receiving the device. Curiously, there was no request for import duty after receipt of the original item.

No charger:

On receiving my replacement Jetbook, I found that there was no mains charger in the box! A 3 pin universal adaptor plug for the UK mains supply was included but no cable to connect it to the Jetbook. Pending receipt of this item, I was advised to use the USB cable for charging, even though the manual specifically advises using the special charger instead.

Goodies?:

I did find that, as promised, some goodies had also been included to compensate for my shipping costs when returning the original faulty Jetbook to the US - namely a reading light, a leather wallet, a plastic sleeve and a SD storage card. Alas, none of these are really of any practical use to me. I already have a SD card, I do not read in the dark, the clumsy chunky wallet hinders access to various keys whilst negating the compact portability of the Jetbook. The white rubbery protective? sleeve thingy seems to serve no purpose than to uglify the sexy black Jetbook.

Dictionary:

Having used the Jetbook a little now, I have found that one of its selling points - dictionary support - leaves something to be desired. Unless the word being looked up is very common then there's a good chance that it will not be in the dictionary. E.g. on briefly looking through Oscar Wilde's ' The Canterville Ghost', I find that the dictionary is missing the following words 'falchion, dimity, oriel, hominy'. Even 'butler, wrought' are absent. What's the point in the dictionary function if one cannot look up obscure words, or indeed, not so obscure words.

Also, it seems that the English dictionary is not selected by default and has to be selected for each book read. The User Manual appears to be wrong in its description of a setting for the dictionary language from Main Menu -> User Settings. There is however a setting at book level (i.e. it has to be set for each document) to select English. The default 'Auto-detect' setting used the Polish or Russian dictionaries to look up English words!.

PDF Support:

The Jetbook has more zoom features than my Sony PRS-505 for viewing PDF docs but the Sony's PDF word wrap (reflow?) and e-ink display really come in to their own and are far superior to the spidery display of PDFs on the Jetbook.

Conclusion:

The Jetbook is a nice, but over priced, device for viewing text docs. It is compact, has flexible folder support for organising documents and also has Search and (limited) Dictionary functions which my Sony lacks. However, I think that in future I will stick to ordering my gadgets domestically or possibly from within the EU.

Last edited by FreddyB; 10-11-2008 at 10:52 AM. Reason: Typos
FreddyB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2008, 12:04 PM   #4
pilotbob
Grand Sorcerer
pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pilotbob ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pilotbob's Avatar
 
Posts: 19,524
Karma: 11329767
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampa, FL USA
Device: Kindle Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreddyB View Post
There was a delay in it being delivered to my UK address because it was shipped by FedEx. I was at work when delivery was attempted to my home address but, unlike with the UK postal service, Fedex's nearest collection depot is in the middle of nowhere and unreachable by me during the working week.
This is why I usually have stuff like this shipped to my office. Even if I am not there some else is... and the office is open normal hours when FedEx et al deliver. Very important cause alot of times gadgets and such are sent signature required.

BOb
pilotbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 11:03 PM   #5
zedex
Junior Member
zedex began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 2
Karma: 10
Join Date: Nov 2010
Device: nonebarazand
Fedex is a disaster in Canada too. I try to determine the shipper before I buy and will look for alternatives to Fedex.

I enjoyed your comments and am in the process of buying one. I need the user replaceable battery. I spend a portion of the year off beaten tracks. mail service is not an option as I move around and wi fi is mostly useless. I just want a dependable reader to replace a satchel of books and appreciate being able to change my own batteries.
zedex is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ECTACO mentions Calibre in their advertisment for ECTACO jetBook MINI kacir Calibre 1 09-12-2010 02:57 PM
ECTACO Jetbook beam Andere Lesegeräte 8 05-02-2010 02:15 PM
Sony PRS 505 or Ectaco Jetbook? Felouen Which one should I buy? 8 08-06-2008 07:57 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:48 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.