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Old 04-29-2009, 07:59 AM   #1
smithno
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My 2 cents worth on the jetBook

I couldn't resist the $179-shipped Fry's deal and got a jetBook. I have tried a few formats and am on Chapter 3 of a Tom Swift book in PDF format from Feedbooks. The PDF is a "custom" version with values that I found on the jetBook formum site. It is extremely readable. I also flashed it with the update as soon as I got it charged up.

My likes:
  • The thing is georgous!
  • The size. It is much smaller than a normal 6-inch reader.
  • The screen. Mine is perfect. It has one of the issues described in another thread.
  • A lot of people would say the instant page turns, but the "flashy" page turns of e-ink don't bother me.
  • Books can be deleted directly in the jetBook.
  • File folders for organizing books.
  • PDF works well, especially when custom formatted.
  • Mobi works well. Non-DRMed of course.
  • I think RTF works OK with tweaking of the input file. The one I tried treated the entire book as one paragraph. I am pretty sure I can fix that in the original file, but haven't tried yet.
  • Battery life compared to my Touch. I still read on it, but the battery life is so short that it's annoying. I expect to get a couple of days reading on the jetBook.

Things I don't like:
  • No DRM support. Not a real big deal for me because I format shift most books anyway.
  • Mixed results from epub books. I tried a couple that I generated via Calibre and they both stopped after the table of contents, which was 4 page in one book and 6 pages in the other. I've crossed epub off my list for reading on the jetBook.
  • HTML support. It is not listed specs, but I did have one HTML book open. Others did not. This would be a welcome feature for me!
  • Battery life. It is not in the same ballpark as an e-ink device!
  • The book list is updated only when the SD card is inserted while the unit is on. I always turn my EZ Reader of to take out the SD card.
  • The wife hasn't seen it yet and I'll pay dearly when she finds out I have yet another ebook reader!

My conclusions are that I like it. It is not as good as the current e-ink devices, but that is mostly from a software stand point. The jetBook with better software below the $200 could be a killer machine! The jetBook with better software at +-$200 would be a killer machine! By software, I mean formats that work and DRM; the general user interface with search, deleting files, etc. is fine. I have been doubtful about 5-inch readers, but now I firmly believe that they will do well in the marketplace! I believe that the magic price point for mass reader acceptance is $199. 5-inch readers could be that item!

Last edited by smithno; 04-29-2009 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Updated my likes.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:28 AM   #2
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Good summary. Thank you for the review. Alas, you convinced me I don't really need to spend that much money for an extra 1-1/2" of reading space. I guess I'll stick to my PDA for now.

It's a shame, because my favorite ebook reader was my ancient Compaq Aero 1550 PDA, which had a screen similar to the jetBook. It was easily readable under almost all lighting conditions. The ones you couldn't read it in, you probably shouldn't be reading in anyway. I was sorely tempted by the BB&B announcement, but the closest BB&B store in New England with jetBooks is in Somerville, MA, and I was just not that motivated.

Sigh. Maybe when the price drops below $150.

Thanks,
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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Hi smithno,
Thank you for your review! I downloaded several books in ePub format from Gutenberg.org and some of them were illustrated. I had no problems to open it.
Did you try ePub books from Gutenberg.org?
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Tingle View Post
Good summary. Thank you for the review. Alas, you convinced me I don't really need to spend that much money for an extra 1-1/2" of reading space. I guess I'll stick to my PDA for now.

It's a shame, because my favorite ebook reader was my ancient Compaq Aero 1550 PDA, which had a screen similar to the jetBook. It was easily readable under almost all lighting conditions. The ones you couldn't read it in, you probably shouldn't be reading in anyway. I was sorely tempted by the BB&B announcement, but the closest BB&B store in New England with jetBooks is in Somerville, MA, and I was just not that motivated.

Sigh. Maybe when the price drops below $150.

Thanks,
Jack Tingle
$150 price looks unreal but NewEgg.com sell it for $199.95 and they don't charge taxes.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the review. Mine should arrive today~
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Tingle View Post
Good summary. Thank you for the review. Alas, you convinced me I don't really need to spend that much money for an extra 1-1/2" of reading space. I guess I'll stick to my PDA for now.
You do realize that the 1-1/2" addition gives twice the reading area? It is a significant difference. There are also several 5" E-INK devices becoming available and if 1-1/2" isn't enough you might go with an eBookwise 1150 with a 2" larger screen and even cheaper.

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Old 05-01-2009, 12:57 PM   #7
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You do realize that the 1-1/2" addition gives twice the reading area? It is a significant difference...
Dale
Well, no it isn't a significant difference to me, not at $200. Doubling the reading space is nice, but you also double the weight, and now have to keep track of 2 pieces of hardware. I just got my PDA and my cell phone to be one object. Paying to go backward to 2 hunks of plastic is a disadvantage. Doubling the reading area just isn't enough.

It's too bad, but my current system works OK. The improvement (the game) is not worth the cost (the candle), to mangle a quote.

Regards,
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:20 PM   #8
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Is the Jetbook backlit?
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:23 PM   #9
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Is the Jetbook backlit?
No, it is not backlit and never will be.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:28 PM   #10
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No, it is not backlit and never will be.
That's a shame. I won't buy an LCD unless its backlit.

Thanks for your oh-so-complete answer. If I remember correctly, you are the guy that gets all irratated when anyone just mentions LCD or backlight.

Why would this be any better than e-Ink then? My PRS-505 has a ton more battery power. The only reason I can see getting LCD is to have a backlight. I would likely recommend getting an ebookwise-1150 if you don't want e-Ink. I can't see paying nearly $200 on an LCD device that doesn't work in the dark. Better yet, I'm still waiting for an answer on that 4.3" PMP in the other thread. Only $70 bucks!

I went back to reading on my Nokia 770 for the time being. The PRS-505 just sits there. I don't much like the light for it (which actually makes it worse than reading on an LCD), and since I read mostly in the dark, I'm just looking for the right device.

Last edited by ColdSun; 05-06-2009 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:11 AM   #11
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Is the Jetbook backlit?
The detailed information about jetBook screen available here:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45593
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:38 PM   #12
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The PDF is a "custom" version with values that I found on the jetBook formum site. It is extremely readable.
Could you elaborate on that? What do you mean a "custom" version?
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:16 AM   #13
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I would also be curious to know, as a potential Jetbook buyer.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:02 AM   #14
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I'd really like to know also. I have many ebooks in PDF format and I own the full Acrobat program, so I can edit the PDFs. But I have no idea if/how to change the page size and font type/size. It would be wonderful if I could format the PDF books for the jetBook screen without margins, etc. I know next-to-nothing about Acrobat editing.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:12 AM   #15
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I'd really like to know also. I have many ebooks in PDF format and I own the full Acrobat program, so I can edit the PDFs. But I have no idea if/how to change the page size and font type/size. It would be wonderful if I could format the PDF books for the jetBook screen without margins, etc. I know next-to-nothing about Acrobat editing.
See the User’s Guide to Creating PDFs for the Sony® Reader attached.
It can be used for jetBook screen too in case if you use 5" settings instead of 6" size.

I hope it will help.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Sony-pdf.pdf (1,010.9 KB, 311 views)
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