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Old 10-22-2008, 07:47 AM   #1
orwell2k
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Device: PocketBook 360°, BeBook (Hanlin V3), iRex DR1000S, iPad
Thumbs up BeBook Review - a really great device...

Bottom Line (even though it's at the top)...

I thought I would put my summary here, to save you reading the whole blurb. But if you are seriously considering this device, or if you just want to know more because you can't decide what's right for you, then read on.

This is a great device! It's not perfect (none of them are) but it does the job as advertised and handles a bunch of formats well (and the ones that are not so good are at least handled, which means they have scope for improvement, and the company seems willing at the moment to try). I have tried PDF, FB2, MOBI/PRC, LIT, TXT, MS Word, RTF, PPT. With the exception of PPT being a bit hit and miss at the moment, the BeBook handled them all. I have given the following ratings (5 stars = the best) for the various formats tried, from my perspective:

PDF ****
FB2 *****
MOBI/PRC ****
LIT ***
MS Word ***1/2
TXT ****
RTF ****
PPT **

These are completely subjective, and open to dispute, but suffice it to say that I will be happily using this device for all these formats (except only rarely for LIT and PPT - I prefer to convert them for eReader use). Overall, if you want a reasonably priced device, good support, ease of use, multiple formats, and like me are not happy with the limitations in format of the Sony / Kindle / iLiad axis of evil, then consider an alternative like the BeBook.

I went for the BeBook because of price (not low, but OK, especially with their €25 discount offer - see the end of this review for details), the wide variety in formats, the excellent battery life, and the apparent ease of use. All of these have been confirmed since using the device, and in fact it looks and feels much better than I was expecting, the interface is dead easy to use (I was expecting a clunky complicated scheme, but they've really done well to keep the BeBook simple yet cover all needs).

My recommendation: Buy it if your uses match some/many of mine (see below) and you won't be disappointed...

Introduction - Unpacking...

So, my BeBook arrived 2 days after notification of shipment (as expected, since I'm in Netherlands), and shipment took place within 2-3 days of ordering, so overall this was a pleasant process (compared with ordering, say, an iRex DR1000!). I was busy when it arrived and had to wait (patiently) for a few days before I could actually crack the box open and check it out - hence the delay in this review.

Overall, the packaging and box contents are as expected, and the device was nicely and securely packed compared with some other gadgets I've bought, and there are a bunch of optional bits 'n' pieces in the box as well (see later).

Some assembly required!

Just kidding, but the device does come without the battery installed, although clearly it was powered and tested at some stage because there was a faint remnant of the BeBook boot logo on the screen. Included in the box is a battery, screwdriver (to open the battery cover), some spare screws (they're small, so I guess easy to lose when you open the device?), a carry strap (I hate them, but they seem to be standard for most devices like MP3 players nowadays), earphones for the MP3/audio functions, and a USB cable. All in all, a complete kit!

I like the fact that the battery is easy to remove/replace by the user (1 screw only - reminds me of a thread on this forum discussing new EU battery regulations). Being an Acer n10 user (sealed PDA with crap battery life) I'm pleased that the battery can be replaced in the future if it is damaged, if you want a higher capacity, or if you just want to carry a spare battery or two (the stated lifetime of a normal charge seems to preclude any real need: ~7,000 page turns). The only caveat to all this battery changing being that you need the little screwdriver to open the battery cover (actually any little philips screwdriver will do).

Initial Reaction...

Some initial comments out of the box - the BeBook comes in a leather case/cover, which is cool since you don't have to spend extra to protect it (unlike many other devices). The case seems sturdy and it has a nice magnetic clasp (it's very "Belkin" in design, if you're familiar with their iPod cases and such). The device fits snugly and securely in the case by sliding under three metal clips. The clips are sturdy, and somewhat adjustable, in the sense that I felt one of them was not "gripping" the edge of the device properly, so I just bent it in a little and that did the trick. Don't get me wrong, the clips are tough and not easy to bend or break, but they can be tweaked a little to give an almost perfect fit. Unlike many other gadget cases, this one fits very well - the device sits square to the edges, correctly positioned, and is securely held in place.

The case is a little weird though, because it sort of opens backwards - hard to explain, but instinctively I attempt to open it by holding the case with the clasp oriented on the front right - normal for a book with left-to-right printing, yes? This cover should indeed have the opening on the right edge, but the clasp should actually be on the back (not the front) right to open the book with the correct orientation. Further confusion is added by the "Stylz" logo on the case being on the back side, which leads me to try to open it back-to-front. This is only a small point, and the reader can't fall out opening it the wrong way, it's just weird. But I like unusual things so it kind of appeals to my warped appreciation somehow!

One nice thing about the cover (as implied in the Pookey video review of the BeBook here http://pookey.co.uk/blog/archives/61-BeBook-review.html) is that allows for righties and lefties to orient the device however they want. The BeBook slides into the case either way up, so if you're left-handed and prefer to open the case the other way, you can do that. In fact, I think maybe the case was designed by a lefty since it seems to be more intuitive to open if you have the reader oriented for "left-handed" use - probably an accidental "undocumented feature" of the simple case design, but worth mentioning.

The device itself is really quite sleek - light, slim, easy to handle, especially when you slip it out of the cover. The surface has an almost sensual velvet feel to it, which is actually matte and kind of grippy - I'm probably just used to shiny slick electronic toys, and this semi-rough surface is different. Not sandpaper rough, but enough to feel very confident holding the device in one hand (two fingers) and not worrying you'll drop it. Again, not sure if this was intentional (no marketing blurb on this) but it's worth mentioning as the device is quite light and the matte finish means you can handle it and use it one-handed with ease.

The Interface...

All actions are taken via the menu/OK button (round concave button), return button (inset in the left quadrant of the return button - very nice), and the 10 number keys (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0). The number of the menu item or book you wish to choose is selected by pushing the corresponding number - a simple and intuitive interface, not as slick and glamorous as an Apple iPod or iPhone (let's face it, nobody does human-machine interfaces like Apple!), but it works well with minimal confusion! The number keys are in two rows of five, and the lower five also have a little icon for their secondary functions (6 = bookmark, 7 = Go To Index, 8 = Zoom, 9 = page back, 0 = page forward).

The page back/forward functions are also selectable from the dedicated page keys on the left side of the device near the display (another intrinsic "left-handed" design feature?) - but it's handy having two different page back/forward key positions. In addition, pushing page back/forward normally goes one page in the desired direction, whilst holding the page back/forward key for a second or so jumps 10 pages in the desired direction - also a very nice feature! Returning to the main menu/book list page is done via the return key (inset in the menu/OK key) - each push takes you back up one level.

Initial Operation...

The main way of charging the device is via USB, although you can purchase an AC power adapter (I see no point in this, as you can also just use an AC USB power adapter, easy to find in most computer accessory shops, cheap, and simple to use (any USB cable will connect, just like a PC). Once the battery was installed (about 60 seconds work) I connected the device to my computer - I'm a Mac user, so I was interested to see how things would go!

Basically the BeBook came to life once connected - it took less than 5 seconds to boot up (the progress bar at the bottom of the splash screen is kind of overkill, as this is no iLiad and goes from 1 bar to 2 bars then all the way to 10 in a flash because the boot up is so quick!).

And then we get to the first of many surprisingly nice little features this eReader has - a little info screen pops open at the bottom of the display saying: "To connect press OK", or "To charge battery press any other key." I have to admit I was a little surprised - for about 2 seconds - then I realized it was a cool idea! Especially as a Mac user, where external drives are mounted and must be ejected before disconnecting, I liked the idea of just connecting the USB to charge, without doing any transfers with the computer. So I pushed some other button, and sure enough the device sat there and began to charge.

I took a few minutes to browse the user manual (a paper copy is included, and this seems a little ironic given this is an eReader, but I guess it's nice to have the first time around) - the user manual is also pre-loaded on the device in English and French, as well as a bunch of eBooks (freebies, available from their web-site also, not the latest best-sellers). Once satisfied there was nothing dangerous involved in pushing buttons, I began to play. The user manual is in PDF so you can immediately check out the biggest question many people have - how does this thing handles PDFs?

Well, obviously the user manual is formatted pretty nicely for the device, but still it's a good first test of PDF readability. The BeBook has 3 pre-set zoom settings for PDFs - the first gives you the whole page, the second expands to the margins (and consequently cuts a few lines off at the bottom that you have to then flip the page to see), and the third basically does half a page at a time in landscape mode. In other modes such as reading an eBook, the zoom settings either give you 3 presets like for PDFs, or you get various text sizing options (usually 5 choices - (1) smallest, (2) small, (3) medium, (4) big and (5) biggest - logical!) so you can really vary the text size to whatever is comfy for you.

You can also push the power button once and the keypad is locked, avoiding "accidental" button pushes when you're done reading - just flip the cover closed and off you go, no need to power down. When in this mode the screen is blank with a little info bar at the bottom telling you the keypad is locked and pushing the power button again toggles it back to unlocked - simple! Holding the power button down for 3 seconds switches the BeBook off completely. When connected to a USB for charging and switched off, the device displays a cool little battery charging symbol (standard battery with a lightning bolt). The little indicator on the top left flashes orange while charging, flashes green while "doing" something (e.g. turning a page, opening a book). Once fully charged you get a little beep (once) then the indicator stays steady green (until you do something).

Reading - After All, That's Why I Bought It...

Slipping an SD card into the slot makes the device immediately switch the the SD-card "bookshelf." A menu item allows you to choose either SD-card or internal memory to browse (built-in memory is 512 MB - not bad, but I left all the original stuff that came on the device there for now, and use the SD-card exclusively for my books - I may change later).

Stored data basically follows a file hierarchy, so you can modify your data via a standard file manager / explorer (Finder in Mac OS X). This is a simple and effective way to manage your data, maybe without some advanced features you get using database tools like iTunes, but this method ensures compatibility with any computer (PC, Mac or Linux) and is easy to create/organize you books.

On the device, files can be sorted by name, date or type - just select the option from the menu. There is also a "Recently Read" list - handy for some who read multiple books/docs concurrently. Opening a previously opened books takes you back to where you left off - I have read in other reviews that some devices don't remember where you were, but this one seems to.

Books and Docs in the file list also get a simple icon depending on format (nice touch). Let me say that one question I had concerned the FB2 format - BeBook said they supported it, but no other devices explicitly say this, so the proof is in the reading. I have a lot of eBooks converted from various sources with Book Designer 4 into FB2 (a good open standard suitable for use on computer (e.g. Stanza will read them on the Mac, Haali Reader on PC) as well as on my Acer n10 Pocket PC using Haali Reader CE). I browsed my SD card, saw PDFs and FB2s all over the place, opened an eBook in FB2 format, held my breath and then... et voilà, the device handled it with ease! I know FB2 is a simple format, but everything was just right - now I can read my books with ease!

I've already mentioned the reading of the user manual in PDF format. I also loaded some work docs in PDF onto my SD card to see what happens. I have to say the PDF reader is impressive for a small screen device. Contrary to other comments (or perhaps because of other negative comments my expectations were lower?), I loaded a PDF (a Minutes of Meeting document, so mostly formatted text, with some tables) and was very pleasantly surprised at how it appeared.

PDF - The Bane Of Every eReader, But Not BeBook?

PDF Zoom 1: The default zoom is to view the whole page (minimum zoom) and although the text was a little smaller than I would set for an eBook, it was nonetheless perfectly clear and readable! In addition, the formatting was nicely displayed (tables) and there were also a few little graphics in the headers which appeared clearly (albeit in grey-scale as opposed to colour). All-in-all, very nice for a basic PDF on a small-ish screen.

PDF Zoom 2: I then hit the zoom button and the page zoomed in a little - basically the left/right margins were cropped, and the last few lines of the page disappeared (i.e. you have to page over to read them). This made the text size nice and readable, and would work well for mostly-text PDFs if you wanted to see most of the page at once. In this mode, the last two lines are grey, which means when you get to them you an hit the page key and by the time you finish, the page flips and you can continue reading the last few lines before flipping again to the next page - a nice convenience feature that shows they have put some thought into making an imperfect solution as friendly as possible.

PDF Zoom 3: Hitting zoom again goes to maximum zoom and basically gives half a page in landscape. Again, the text is very clear, well-sized, and everything is comfortably readable. If you don't mind flipping twice as many pages, this is probably the easiest to read PDF setting, and whilst it will cuts any figures in the middle of the page in two, I don't see this is a huge issue. Basically, unless you can afford the iRex DR1000 series, this little unit does a decent job on PDF (actually, more than decent IMHO - my expectations may have been slightly low due to so many gripes about PDFs and eReaders, but I like PDFs on this). PDF formatted eBooks also look pretty good, and usually don't need full zoom (Zoom 2 usually big enough for easy reading).

Other Formats...

BeBook also claims that they can handle PPT files (i.e. slideshows), so I dropped a couple on the SD-card. Surprisingly the file list identified not only PPT but also MS Word docs (not listed in the official format list!). So I took the plunge and opened one, expecting to experience my first device crash. On the contrary, the document paused a few seconds, gave me the "opening" icon, then... et voilà, I was reading a native Word document (i.e. not just RTF)! Very surprising, although it was a Word doc with text, no heavy duty graphics, tables, etc. - this I will try next! The default text was a little small, but this is easily remedied by choosing a larger text size - how easy is that? Well done!

PPT was not so happy - perhaps not surprisingly, as a slideshow can vary so much ion content. I tried to open one (albeit a large-ish file with quite a few graphics), but it didn't open. The device didn't crash, but the doc didn't open - more experimentation needed, especially since BeBook list this as a format they support. I opened another one, smaller but still with graphics, and this one worked. The slides initially appear in portrait display like PDFs, which means they're pretty much unreadable. Hitting Zoom gets them into landscape which works well for pictures and simple text, but heavy text slides can be too small to read easily.

I see the PPT format as a bonus for this kind of device, and whilst it can open some presentations, the readability is probably not great. However, I had exported the PPT into a PDF file for distribution, and this looked surprisingly good on the screen. Again, going to max zoom means you can read the slides pretty well (not as good as a PDF from a Word doc or ebook, but not bad at all). Again, the PDF handling of this little device is very good - not perfect, but extremely usable.

TXT and RTF documents can be viewed, but their formatting influences how well they appear - lines wider than the screen with hard returns will lead to alternating long and short lines as they are wrapped (not much you can do about this except remove the hard returns before loading it onto the device). RTF works well, although again the forced formatting can change the way different docs appear on the reader. Some formatting is not retained (like underlining, although rather bizarrely italicizing remains).

E-Books, of course...

After all, this is one of the main reasons for most of us to buy it. Basically, this device handles lost of formats. PDF and FB2 have already been mentioned. I especially liked the way both formats were handled - the PDFs for docs were easily readable, and PDF eBooks work just fine. FB2 was excellent, and looked great on screen, with lots of options for text sizing, etc. I also tried various other formats that the device recognized, the most important being MOBI. This is the big question for all users, since this is probably the largest DRM format around. reading the BeBook forum shows me that users are having minimal problems with DRM Mobipocket books, which is good news.

I have some non-DRM books to try now, and they work just fine. I'm not all that familiar with Mobi and the features of other readers, although no doubt some users will be unhappy with the dictionary support (or lack of). Not a big issue for me, and for many others, but I do hope this support improves in the future (at the moment, BeBook seem very committed to improving this device based on user wishes, so I at least will be asking for this feature to be improved, and I suggest others do to - in the current climate of user focus by BeBook we stand a good chance of getting results! - after some success they may lose focus, like other bigger companies (no names)).

Reading Mobipocket books is easy and comfortable. There is a choice of 3 text sizings, and you can also choose between 3 font types (Arial, Times Roman and IBOOKN). I believe you can also add fonts to the root directory of the SD card in a "fonts" folder and they can be substituted for the system fonts via the settings menu (I have not played around with this yet - the fonts are fine for me).

Not being familiar with Mobi readers on Palm or PPC I can't compare directly, but this device works for me. The Mobi books are easy to read easy to navigate, there are some settings which can be changed to suit your preferences, although it does have a "basic" feel to me. I think this can (and probably will) be expanded in the near future.

The BeBook also reads LIT format books, although the formatting is not great, but workable. I haven't tried other formats (yet) but am keen to see what this little toy can handle. It certainly seems to handle a lot formats pretty well.

My Personal Format Preference: I probably shouldn't say this, but I plan to use the device mainly for FB2 books - I will use Book Designer 4 to create my eBooks from other sources (it can handle most, including LIT, LRF, MOBI/PRC and sometimes even PDF) and turn them into lovely FB2 books. That's just my choice, and it's not essential as this device handle these formats anyway, but I just prefer to do it this way (I can do a quick how-to guide for people who are interested).

The Last Word...

As for my usage of the BeBook, I'm still getting used to it. I have been using an Acer n10 PPC for the past 4-5 years, small back-lit screen, PC interface, etc. The contrast is a little disconcerting at times. For starters, I keep worrying that the backlight will dim if I don't read the page fast enough and then flip to the next (power saving "feature" on the Acer) - of course, there's no backlight and I can probably leave the device on with the book open on a page for a week and still hardly impact the battery! My little Acer n10 would maybe get 4-5 hours full-on reading time before "lights out!"

The ~1 second delay in paging and sometimes 2-3 second delay in opening a new book is also distracting. For all its faults the PPC would "page" (i.e. scroll) instantaneously, which eInk devices, no matter who makes them, just don't do. The size of the device is also a plus and a minus - in some ways it's too small (A4 would be nice for PDFs, although not essential from my experience so far), and in others it feels kind of large (compared to a handheld PDA size). It is extremely light and easy to hold, and the buttons are nice to use, good positive response (you can feel when it has been pushed!). The cover works well, and protects it nicely.

Mac OS X: The only issue I've had is ejecting the device from my Mac (I have contacted BeBook about this). It's not a big problem, but when I connect the device to my Mac I can transfer files, etc. Then I should unmount/eject the drive before disconnecting. With the BeBook, two drives appear - one for the internal memory and one for the SD-card (if inserted). I eject one of these drives, and before I can eject the other the first one reconnects - a classic infinite loop! In the end, I just pull the (USB) plug - not great, because you always get an error warning saying the device was not ejected properly and data may be lost. Not an issue, because I always check that all files have copied onto the card before doing this, and I always try once (in vain) to eject it anyway. But it is annoying, and should not happen - I am awaiting BeBook's response.

The Bottom Line: The BeBook is a damn good device - period. It can handle heaps of formats, is easy to use, works as advertised, and has scope (and the company's willingness at the moment) to improve. If you want a reasonably priced device that doesn't lock you into a proprietary format (à la Sony and LRF or Amazon and Kindle), then this could be for you. Especially if you're in Euro-land and want a good device with good support.** And if you want some decent PDF capability, this device will work for many situations (I will be using it for work documents as well, and I will test some PDF text books shortly).

** Let's face it: iRex is just expensive and their support sucks - read their forums! Sony and Amazon are focussed on US business, and frankly I'm willing to look elsewhere in protest of their xenophobic attitudes. They can defend it as business reality, they can explain that wireless frequencies limit sale of their devices in other countries, but what it amounts to is a big f**k you to anyone outside Yankee-land. So I choose to send them a small f**k you in response, within the limits of my meagre consumer power, by choosing an alternative device - so the BeBook's not only a good user choice, but a fine political statement as well!

This is a great device - I'm very happy with it, and I'm an avid reader, so it'll definitely get a big workout from me.

Ready To Order...

Like the old Remington shaver ads used to say, "I was so happy, I bought the company..." Well, I can't afford the company, but I'm pretty damn impressed with the product. If you want to buy one yourself, grab the €25 discount by ordering from their website (mybebook.com) and using any of the various coupon codes (registered e-mail addresses) around the place (this forum has a number of them in various threads). Feel free to use mine:

mybebook@hotmail.com

After 10 "referrals" the e-mail owner is supposed to get a free BeBook, so I'm interested to see if this offer is honored, and naturally I'd like to benefit.

Last edited by orwell2k; 10-22-2008 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:21 AM   #2
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Have you tested RTF files that contain graphics? And do you know if BeBook is planning to support HTML?
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:52 AM   #3
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Sorry if this is a dump question, but why doesn't BeBook have its own forum section like Kindle, Sony 505, Cybook, etc?
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:01 AM   #4
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Glad you like it and a good review of its abilities. It was well up on my list due to its format abilities, when I was considering what to get. I eventually chose the cybook because of the good deal at WHSmiths.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:29 AM   #5
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HTML, CHM, DOC, RTF support

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Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
Have you tested RTF files that contain graphics? And do you know if BeBook is planning to support HTML?
Hi there,

Just as a test I saved this thread page as a complete HTML (i.e. html file plus a folder for graphics, etc.) and dumped it on the SD card of my BeBook. It does display, including the graphics (so my little BeBook avatar shows up). The formatting is not great, as some of the header stuff gets screwed up, and the tables of the thread page mean the text display gets put into a column and does not always use the full width of the page. Zooming allows you to improve it a little. Basically you can read the HTML and see graphics, but it may not look exactly like it doesin your browser in terms of hard formatting.

The format of the HTML page has a great impact on how it displays. As another example I went to a Wikipedia page and saved it as HTML, then selected the printable version and saved that as HTML as well as PDF, and put all those on the SD-card. Much better, as the pages are formatted nicely. There was little difference between the normal HTML and printable HTML pages (both with all graphics), except that the navigation pane from the main page had been dumped to the end of the document - convenient, as it serves no purpose on the BeBook (we're not browsing), but I think it was just lucky - it could have dumped it at the top, which is much messier. Actually the PDF in this case was not great in full page, but zooming to max (i.e. half page per view in landscape) made it very nice, with graphics and text formatted correctly, etc.

RTF files with graphics lose the graphics. However, I re-saved it in Word as a doc file and dumped that on, and amazingly that displayed fantastically! So you could save RTFs with graphics as Word files then read them.

Just out of interest, I also tried a CHM file (Microsoft Help Compiler) - I used the uTorrent help CHM, downloadable from their page. This worked surprisingly well - there was a little header formatting problem on each page (easy to ignore), but the body of the text was perfectly formatted. And best of all by going to the BeBook menu and choosing the "Go to index..." option, it effectively went to the table of contents you usually see in the left pane when you open a Microsoft CHM help file. This allows you to dig down into the lower sections and find exactly what you want, then jump to that page/section directly! I was surprised it worked so well, as I have seen threads here complaining about CHM support on other readers.

As for future BeBook support for HTML, anything is possible. I will post a query on their support forum to see if they will reveal some plans. As I said in my review, they're in the "honeymoon" phase at the moment, so very receptive and willing to listen. We'll see how things progress.

Hope this helps. Cheers!
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:31 AM   #6
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Sorry if this is a dump question, but why doesn't BeBook have its own forum section like Kindle, Sony 505, Cybook, etc?
That's a damn good question. Basically it is new and a re-label of the Hanlin V3. But I think the BeBook development may well diverge as the popularity progresses. Regardless, I think they should have a dedicated forum, even if it is the same hardware. After all there are separate forums for each Sony model, each iLiad model, etc.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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We are planning a major forum reorganization in the relatively near future. Once we've done that, each of the Hanlin "clones" will have its own sub-forum.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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Excellent review - you gave a real account of what was surprisingly good, what you and expected and it came through, and your honest account what what might be lacking (not much there though...BeBook seems to have a good deal when it comes to a Reader.)

Thanks for taking the time to be one of the first to give us a good review.

minor aspect - Does the HUGE screaming icon words "BEBOOK" on the front bother you (or any one else) at all? The design, although utilitarian and I like it for that, could be greatly enhanced by having a smaller, much smaller, tasteful logo. The EZReader seems to suffer the same GIANT logo thing too!
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:19 AM   #9
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Sorry if this is a dump question, but why doesn't BeBook have its own forum section like Kindle, Sony 505, Cybook, etc?
The BeBook has a different name but it is otherwise the same as the Hanlin. Support and discussions in that group are appropriate to the BeBook. There will be an organization change at some point to group products differently but the trend will be to group by manufacturer, not by brand since there are way too many brands and the expertise is the same between most of them.

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Old 10-22-2008, 11:25 AM   #10
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That's a damn good question. Basically it is new and a re-label of the Hanlin V3. But I think the BeBook development may well diverge as the popularity progresses. Regardless, I think they should have a dedicated forum, even if it is the same hardware. After all there are separate forums for each Sony model, each iLiad model, etc.
Actually that is not true. the Sony 500 and 505 have the same forum. If the BeBook diverges in software it will get its own subforum. If you have a question about how something works you wouldn't want to have to ask it is multiple forums. A reorganization is in progress to help with this probably using prefixes.

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Old 10-22-2008, 11:29 AM   #11
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Hi orwell2k

Thanks for the review. Have you checked the real size of the PDF's you used. If you have a real A4 size PDF how does it look? You said PPT files were difficult to read and I would expect this to be true of PDF files as well if they were targeted at letter size or A4 as the majority are.

Have you tried images yet? How do they come across? how do you like the bookmark features? I do not believe the mobi font can be changed currently although it is likely the fb2 font can using Trutype fonts.

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Old 10-22-2008, 11:35 AM   #12
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Hi ! Can you tell me how the device work with Manga ( pdf format or whatever ... )
thank you !
Very nice review
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:21 PM   #13
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Orwell,

Hi great review. Just a few comments and questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orwell2k View Post
The BeBook slides into the case either way up, so if you're left-handed and prefer to open the case the other way, you can do that. In fact, I think maybe the case was designed by a lefty since it seems to be more intuitive to open if you have the reader oriented for "left-handed" use - probably an accidental "undocumented feature" of the simple case design, but worth mentioning.
So, if you turn the BeBook over in the case, does the cover then open on the right side of the device? If not, I'm confused.

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And then we get to the first of many surprisingly nice little features this eReader has - a little info screen pops open at the bottom of the display saying: "To connect press OK", or "To charge battery press any other key." I have to admit I was a little surprised - for about 2 seconds - then I realized it was a cool idea!
That seems a nice touch. I assume this is not so much so that the drives don't mount on the PC, but so that you can read while the device is charging. Is that the case if you just select to "charge battery"? Also, does this prompt display if you plug it into a mains USB charger?

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Opening a previously opened books takes you back to where you left off - I have read in other reviews that some devices don't remember where you were, but this one seems to.
I think all the other devices do this too. What you may be thinking of is that on the CyBook if you turn it off/sleep it opens back to the library/book list rather than to the page you left of on. Both my Kindle and Sony always come back to the exact page I left off... however, I don't turn them "off".

Quote:
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PDF Zoom 1: The default zoom is to view the whole page (minimum zoom) and although the text was a little smaller than I would set for an eBook, it was nonetheless perfectly clear and readable!
Ok... two questions to this.

1. What size page was the PDF formated for. Many PDF eBooks at not actually 8.5x11 but a smaller trade paperback page size.
2. How old are you?

Quote:
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limit sale of their devices in other countries, but what it amounts to is a big f**k you to anyone outside Yankee-land. So I choose to send them a small f**k you in response, within the limits of my meagre consumer


Don't ruin such a great review with such FUD. I think the above was uncalled for. Sony has released the reader in Canada, UK and soon to be France and some other European countries. It just takes time to get the device and distributors together. Face it, as much as the EU is one big happy place, there still aren't many EU wide distrubtion and sales channels.
***

Now a couple of questions that you didn't answer.

1. What is the font selection like?

2. What about justification, can you set Left or Full justification for all the flow able formats?

3. Are you willing to try OpenInkpot on it...? I would love to see a great review on that also. You can do it without replacing the current firmware.

Once again, thanks for a great review.

BOb
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:33 PM   #14
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Face it, as much as the EU is one big happy place, there still aren't many EU wide distrubtion and sales channels.
Strange then that you can buy a Sony TV all over EU. I wonder how Sony solved that problem when there is not so many EU wide distribution and sales channels.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:34 PM   #15
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Strange then that you can buy a Sony TV all over EU. I wonder how Sony solved that problem when there is not so many EU wide distribution and sales channels.
I didn't say it wasn't possible... I said it took time. How long has Sony been selling TV's in Europe?

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