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Old 02-08-2009, 10:43 AM   #1
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Jetbook feedback after a week

I've had my Jetbook a week now and its going back to the store :P. The reason for the return is screen funkiness -- about 20% of the time the LCD screen 'wiggles'. I'm suspecting it may be a heat issue as I had the black reader in the Caribbean and it seemed to mostly be peak heat times that this occurred. I'm going to switch to an e-ink device (probably the Kindle 2). The wiggles make me very, very wary of the long term survivability of the screen -- especially for anyone in a hot climate. Even now that I'm back to a more temperate climate don't trust the longevity of the device.

Overall impressions:
1) I settled on it expecting the rumored future MOBI and ePUB support.
2) It was cheap ($190) compared to the others (from Frys).
3) Font selection was perfectly fine for me. I stuck with 16 or 18pt. It automatically opens the first time per book at 20pt -- some global for this would be handy.
4) Smart wrapping of some sort which strips leading an trailing spaces would have been nice (for justified books). I'm not sure if this is an issue with all Readers.
5) PDF reading is a pain -- mostly for the scrolling needed when its in a readable font and having to hit right arrow/left arrow once space at a time. Line end/line start would be better or smart calculation of characters per screen the best.
6) The landscape/portrait option was nice but I never used it beyond playing with PDFs.
7) Smart font translation would be another handy feature. I was using txt files converted from other formats that'd sometimes still have ASCII character codes in them.
8) I read it for hours at a time at the beach, on the plane, on the deck of the hotel and didn't notice any eye strain. I did get some squinting in direct sunlight types of things but I'm sure that'd be the same with any Reader. I think I read 5 novels read in 7 days so it wasn't lite reading.
9) The fonts 'bleed' more than I'd like. Its LCD, there is no reason edges can't be crisp.
10) I did occasionally wish for better lighting at times but a booklight would fix that issue.
11) The low battery message would pop up every so often when it was 1/3 full which was an annoyance even though it kept going for a long time (seemed like hours) after the nagging started. The battery meter tells me its 1/3 full, I don't need pop ups reminding me and interrupting my reading until its about to go critical.
12) 11 could be fixed with a finer line in the battery meter instead of just thirds.

I didn't use the MP3 player or other options. It was just to read books.

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Old 02-08-2009, 01:36 PM   #2
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I used my Kindle daily while in Mexico over the summer - didn't have a single problem (and it was HOT for about half of it). And of course, our summers get into the 100's here.

It may be something with the Jet itself and not related to eInk tech itself.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:49 PM   #3
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I have no any problems with jetBook screen when I used it in Florida last year. It was really hot but unit worked perfect.
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:04 PM   #4
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Just a couple of thoughts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by artifact View Post
Overall impressions:
5) PDF reading is a pain -- mostly for the scrolling needed when its in a readable font and having to hit right arrow/left arrow once space at a time. Line end/line start would be better or smart calculation of characters per screen the best.
PDF's are pretty much a pain on any reader (even assuming they support them). Ultimately the only solution is if a reader properly supports reflowable PDFs. That being said, my personal impression of PDFs is that scrolling at least worked faster than in eInk where the screen refresh times are slower.

Quote:

7) Smart font translation would be another handy feature. I was using txt files converted from other formats that'd sometimes still have ASCII character codes in them.
Actually, the problem is that the character codes you see represent characters that are not available in ASCII (which is why they show up on the screen). The fault lies with the conversion program, not the ASCII reader. My general solution is that if I convert books into another format, it is generally custom sized PDFs (as such the scrolling issue doesn't exist).

Alternately, it is not hard to map out a conversion of the encodings to alternate ascii characters (Generally the most common one is the medium length '-' which I generaly replace with --.).

Quote:

9) The fonts 'bleed' more than I'd like. Its LCD, there is no reason edges can't be crisp.
Actually I wonder if you might have gotten a bumb screen on your reader. The experience of most Jetbook owners is that the screen is very sharp in comparison to e-ink screens.



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Old 02-10-2009, 09:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
Actually I wonder if you might have gotten a bumb screen on your reader. The experience of most Jetbook owners is that the screen is very sharp in comparison to e-ink screens.
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I was looking at the Jetbook tonight. The font (arial) on the display model was also blotchy, but still very readable. That would not stop me from buying one. Interesting to note that the text had better contrast than the Sony 505. Just one thing though, I could not figure out how to change the font style. Arial is so horrible.

My overall impression was very positive for the hardware. I was very surprised how it stood up against the e-ink display. The most important and critical advantage it has over the Sony's is the page refresh (turn) speed. I would buy the Jetbook in a minute if it had better support for other, established formats such as eReader or Mobipocket. As it is, it's really limited to just .txt files, so I will have to pass.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akira28 View Post
I was looking at the Jetbook tonight. The font (arial) on the display model was also blotchy, but still very readable. That would not stop me from buying one. Interesting to note that the text had better contrast than the Sony 505. Just one thing though, I could not figure out how to change the font style. Arial is so horrible.
Yes, the Helvetica looks much better on the Jetbook. Been a while since I had this device so I don't remember how to change it.

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Old 02-11-2009, 02:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akira28 View Post
I was looking at the Jetbook tonight. The font (arial) on the display model was also blotchy, but still very readable. That would not stop me from buying one. Interesting to note that the text had better contrast than the Sony 505. Just one thing though, I could not figure out how to change the font style. Arial is so horrible.

My overall impression was very positive for the hardware. I was very surprised how it stood up against the e-ink display. The most important and critical advantage it has over the Sony's is the page refresh (turn) speed. I would buy the Jetbook in a minute if it had better support for other, established formats such as eReader or Mobipocket. As it is, it's really limited to just .txt files, so I will have to pass.
If you play around with the options, (I can't remember specifically how) you can change the fonts. I hear you about the .txt files... but since when I convert books from other sources, I tend to convert to jetbook sized pdfs.. so I put the font I want in the pdf.. it works great .

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Old 02-11-2009, 08:49 PM   #8
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OK I figured it out. One must keep hitting the back button to get to the main menu. There you will find a settings tab that contains the font style choice. However, there are only two choices: Verdana and Arial, which are too similar to be considered more than one, and neither are suitable, in my eyes, as a reading font. Another strike against the Jetbook.
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akira28 View Post
OK I figured it out. One must keep hitting the back button to get to the main menu. There you will find a settings tab that contains the font style choice. However, there are only two choices: Verdana and Arial, which are too similar to be considered more than one, and neither are suitable, in my eyes, as a reading font. Another strike against the Jetbook.
Actually it was Verdana I was thinking of... it looks much better on the Jetbook than Arial. No they are not the same font.

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Old 02-11-2009, 10:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Actually it was Verdana I was thinking of... it looks much better on the Jetbook than Arial. No they are not the same font.

BOb
Yes, I use Veranda and like it more than Arial too.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
Actually I wonder if you might have gotten a bumb screen on your reader. The experience of most Jetbook owners is that the screen is very sharp in comparison to e-ink screens.



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100% agree. I compared JetBook screen with Sony 505 before purchase it and I like TFT screen more.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:38 AM   #12
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Can you use Calibre to convert the files for Jetbook?
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:49 PM   #13
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Can you use Calibre to convert the files for Jetbook?
I use Bookdesigner program:
http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Book_Designer
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:59 PM   #14
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2 weeks...

Well, I didn't return it after all. Since returning from the Caribbean I've not seen any of the screen wiggle. It was always on the left side of the screen for about the first 1". It happened sporadically over several days and lasted through power on/off (Didn't have a paperclip to try a reset). I did still manage to read the book despite the dancing letters. I'm totally baffled as to the 'wiggle' cause since it didn't pop up for Kriss777 in Florida. It wasn't that hot with highs around 84 but humidity was always over 70 percent, but that is the only factor that seemed to be consistent. From the return flight to now I've not seen the issue re-appear.

---

Transferring content

I use Stanza on a Macbook to translate books into txt. Open the book with Stanza. File > Export As > Plain Text. I've tested lit, mobi, prc, pdf, html. It'll output directly to the SD card or the built in memory. Sometimes I open the translated files in TextWriter to clean up extraneous carriage returns, spacing, and wonky characters: usually --, " or ' showing up as a character code (\154) or non-english characters (cyrillic backwards capital E with round edges).

--
Bleeding characters

It isn't that bad and is a minor annoyance. Its sort of like writing with a felt-tip pen on absorbent paper.. the edges bleed just a little bit rather than being crisp. I believe it is less bleed than eInk but this is a TFT so that is a moot point -- my persnickety feedback is because its TFT it should be crisp . And for the record of others squinting at their jetbook screens to spot the bleed I'm using Verdana 18pt.

---

Overall I'm happy with the purchase (as long as the mystery wiggle doesn't return.) I don't have eye strain which was my biggest concern vs. eInk. I can find enough books to keep it filled despite the limited supported formats. I don't see enough value in whispernet or the missing formats to justify the extra $100+ for the other readers. The biggest downside at this point is the total lack of support for encrypted formats severely limits purchasing of books. Hopefully JetBook will come out with the hinted at mobi and ePub support. The next downside is that for reading indoors it really can use a booklight (an issue which is probably universal across readers).

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Old 03-13-2009, 02:25 PM   #15
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Can you give any word on how jpg files work on the jetbook? Does it support folders of images, so I could have separate folders for different manga volumes? And do they appear fullscreen, or is there a status bar when viewing images? Thanks a lot for the impressions so far - I really want an eBook Reader, but have very limited funds (who doesn't right now?).
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