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Old 07-30-2009, 11:20 AM   #1
marcins
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Is Iliad right solution for technical&business purposes?

Hi,
I consider buying an e-book reader device, probably Iliad, but I'm not sure if it is right for me. I'd like to read mostly e-books (also A4 pdfs containg mainly 12, maybe 10 point sized text and A4 electric circuit diagrams). Next, I'd like to use it as a notebook, and the feature is very important for me. And I need it to be really mobile, so I could take it anywhere with me. I like it to completly complement my PDA which I use as a portable addressbook, mobile phone, e-mail reader and internet browser. So I wouldn't need any notebook or pen and so on. I thought about DR1000S also (because of its large screen it would be much better for circuit diagrams, I think), but it seems to be too large and too heavy for taking it for a walk, to bed or something. And I can't find any information about usabilty of DR1000S as a notebook device.

I thing you got the picture. May I ask for some advices?

Last edited by marcins; 07-30-2009 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:17 PM   #2
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IMO:

A5 size books or re-flowed text is okay, but A4 PDFs are not nice on the Iliad.

The Iliad's screen ( probably due to the way it is mounted in this device, rather than an inherent flaw ) makes the device too fragile to be something to "take it anywhere".

The Iliad is a dead device, abandoned by its manufacturer, and the only improvements to the inadequate built-in software are coming from the open source community, which is slow-moving at best ( no offence guys - I'm one of you ! ).

Unless you have cash to burn, I would wait for a better-engineered device with better software from an established manufacturer - I regret my investment in the Iliad.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:11 PM   #3
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You broke my heart, stonehat

I thought the Iliad was the most mature device on the market. All the reviews I've read are nearly enthusiastic. Gee... Are you sure it's a crap? So what about the second device - DR1000S? Is it also a junk (in your opinion of course)?
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Old 07-30-2009, 04:59 PM   #4
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I like iLiad very much. It's the best device that most fits my needs. I learned a lot during playing cross-compiling. But it may not be a proper device for other people. I must say something warning:

1. Don't expect a e-ink device serving as (even partly) notebook or PDA or you will be disappointed.

2. Irex has concentrated its R&D power to DR1000S. I guess you know what that means.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcins View Post
I thought the Iliad was the most mature device on the market. All the reviews I've read are nearly enthusiastic. Gee... Are you sure it's a crap? So what about the second device - DR1000S? Is it also a junk (in your opinion of course)?
From what I've heard, the iLiad isn't crap... it's just slightly older tech, and not being improved. It's got some flaws, like all cutting-edge technology--and those flaws aren't going to be fixed, ever. If it's not perfect for your needs, it's not going to be more useful in the future.

For any business use of an ebook reader, research the problems first. The parts that are good--hundreds of books at your fingertips, X many file formats, wifi/touchscreen/storage card/whatever--aren't going away, and will only get better.

Find out if the device you're considering has problems that make it not work for you; if it doesn't, then look at its benefits. Don't be blinded by the advantages and then realize that it [doesn't annotate/can't zoom/has screen glare/won't read the format you most need/crashes on startup half the time/is prone to shattering the screen if it's bumped/whatever].

IMHO, none of the current e-ink readers are good for technical or business purposes. They're designed for reading novels, and they support that brilliantly; everything else is kludgey. They're fragile. Documentation is minimal (worse for some than others) and customer's ability to find the full range of features (and glitches) is limited.

Nothing in the e-ink market has great PDF support, and whether any of them have "good" PDF support depends on your standards. For business purposes, none of the e-ink readers can remotely compete with a netbook. The advantages of the e-ink reader are (1) insane battery life and (2) easy-on-the-eyes screen. You lose a lot of functionality for those two advantages.

For just reading, it's worth it. For anything else... the tech isn't there yet. Half a dozen companies are scrabbling to figure out what the "anything else" should be, and in the next few years, we'll probably see a handful of new devices with interesting new features. In the meantime--research carefully, and start by looking at the problems, not the advantages, of each device.

And ask questions. Ask if a particular problem is still annoying when users have some practice with the device. Some are; some aren't. Some things, you get used to; some are still annoying a year later.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:56 PM   #6
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ericshliao, Elfwreck thanks for your answers.

I've never wanted an e-ink device to be substitute for PC or PDA. I meant I'd like to use it instead of a paper notebook and as a very convenient, comfortable in reading, mobile and handy stock of technical and business documentation. And for e-books of course. That's all what I need. And my question was: is iLiad the device I'm looking for, or maybe DR1000S is the device, or both, or none, or something else.

If the support for PDF isn't so good as I thought, so maybe there's a way to convert PDFs to another format, more friendly with the iLiad/DR1000?

EDIT: So what about using this as a notebook? Does it work well?

Last edited by marcins; 07-30-2009 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcins View Post
EDIT: So what about using this as a notebook? Does it work well?
It's miles better for reading+light annotation than for 24/7 writing.
I've bought another stylus, which makes the writing a lot more comfortable, but the problem is mostly that, when you write too finely, after refresh the letters will become slightly less clear than when you first put them down; also, creating a new page using the 'notes' tool is slow at best.
If you create empty PDFs to write on (say, 70p of white), and then browse through them and write, icw a good stylus, I'd say it would be adequate, but no more than that. If I write on paper, and concentrate even slightly on neat writing, I can still write about 2x as fast as on my iliad.

That said, i'm not even half as negative about the pdf reading+annotating than my predecessors in this thread, though I usually don't write much more than 2-3 lines worth of commentary around any given page of text.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcins View Post
I thought the Iliad was the most mature device on the market.
The Iliad is one of the oldest EInk devices, but, sadly, it was not updated by its maker to a point where it did what is could and should have been capable of, so it never reached "maturity". And now it's just old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcins View Post
All the reviews I've read are nearly enthusiastic.
_Recent_ reviews ? I too was enthusiastic about the possibilities when the Iliad came out. Not now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcins View Post
So what about the second device - DR1000S? Is it also a junk (in your opinion of course)?
They are now updating that device regularly although not frequently. No doubt they will abandon that too when the next hardware iteration appears, so we can only hope it reaches "maturity" before then - Caveat Emptor.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonehat View Post
The Iliad is one of the oldest EInk devices, but, sadly, it was not updated by its maker to a point where it did what is could and should have been capable of, so it never reached "maturity". And now it's just old.
That's a matter of opinion. Everyone has a different definition of "what it should have been capable of". I use mine almost every day and it's great. It does everything I need and it does it well. Are there a couple things I would like it to do differently, sure, but that's true of just about everything I own.

I think the main thing here is to do your research on a device before you buy it. Figure out what your needs are, and if the device is capable of meeting them. Base that decision on what the device can do now, not what you hope it will be able to do in the future. That's true of anything though, not just eInk devices.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:05 PM   #10
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The upcoming iRex 8.1" device looks very interesting, see New mainstream iRex 8.1 inch reader for 400$. It appears to have a wacom touch screen, like the iLiad and DR1000S, so it should work like those older iRex devices. The big unknown is how it will work for web browsing, since iRex has never produced a browser for its other models.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:31 PM   #11
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The upcoming iRex 8.1" device looks very interesting, see New mainstream iRex 8.1 inch reader for 400$. It appears to have a wacom touch screen, like the iLiad and DR1000S, so it should work like those older iRex devices. The big unknown is how it will work for web browsing, since iRex has never produced a browser for its other models.
There are a lot of unknowns about that new device. It's basically just rumors on tech sites at this point.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:43 AM   #12
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I think the main thing here is to do your research on a device before you buy it. Figure out what your needs are, and if the device is capable of meeting them. Base that decision on what the device can do now, not what you hope it will be able to do in the future. That's true of anything though, not just eInk devices.
Quote. Do not believe to developer's and seller promises. Do not buy products from sellers that do not invest in products they are selling. So, do not buy iRex products.

f.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:06 AM   #13
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Do not believe to developer's and seller promises.
Base your decision on what features a device currently has. Don't base your decision on what a company claims it will eventually be able to do. That has nothing to do with iRex, that should be standard procedure for any product you look at from any company. If an iRex/Amazon/Sony device meets your needs today, then go for it. If it doesn't, then you should wait, regardless of what claims they make about additional features in the future.
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:40 PM   #14
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so im also in this dilemma
just want to read pdf A4 about 50% of the time, so can you read them, if resized on the iliad without zooming?? like this
http://www.cgarena.com/freestuff/ezine/

so if its also not able to read without zoom on the DR, i would grab the iliad....

any idea?
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:52 AM   #15
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34MB PDF, 7 seconds to open the file on my iLiad (from the USB stick).

While the pictures and text are crisp and clear on my iLiad, they're beautifully coloured on my PC - you just can't see this on a greyscale device.

3 internal screen shots and 1 photo (it looks much better on my iLiad's screen than the photo indicates).

The 1st 2 screenshots are full page view, the 3rd screenshot is at highest zoom level. Edit: Added a 3rd screenshot of a page with text. Very readable at full page view i.e. unzoomed.

I'm using the default iLiad PDF viewer.
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Last edited by cbell; 09-06-2009 at 03:16 AM.
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