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Old 08-21-2009, 03:20 AM   #1
Moo Strength
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Question regarding the EZ Reader vs EZ Reader Pocket Pro

Hi, I've been reading your forum after recently registering here. I'm glad I found this site, it confirmed some conclusions I've been looking at over the last week or so.

I've narrowed my choice down to either the Astek EZ Reader here:
http://www.astak.com/product.asp?serial=EB-06EZ

and the EZ Reader Pocket Pro here:
http://www.astak.com/product.asp?serial=05EZBLK

Obviously I'd rather have the bigger screen. But I noticed that the smaller display has a faster processor, support for SD's higher capacity cards, and the higher level of amount of gray scale differential.

About me and my needs:
I've never owned an eReader. This is my first purchase. I am an avid book reader, but I tend to buy by the author. I started reading Stephen King much too young, about 1983 when I was six years old. First book was his short stories collection Night Shift (I loved Graveyard Shift and Mangler).

Anyway, I own about 700 books already. I'm tired of lugging books around in a bag whenever I travel, so i'm in the process of trying to acquire the books I already own to put on my own eReader device (yes I understand the implications of PDF books, I know how the DMCA works, I own the books already, many first editions; I am legally allowed to make a copy of any media I legally own for my own backup purposes, much in the same way that I have all 4853 Audio CD's backed up to MP3 for myself; no I don't share them, nor intend to).

What I'm interested in is an eReader that I can store my books on, using external SD/SDHC cards, and read on my own.

What I would like to know is, should I buy the more expensive reader for the bigger real estate, or will the quality of the display and speed of the CPU be of more value. I really like the open firmware availability that this site provides for the EZ Reader.

Any help that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated. If someone on here owns one of each I would appreciate their input. I'd ask that Robert guy that works for Astek but I'm worried he might tell me to buy the more expensive one just because of the price. I don't want to Q1 2010 for the Mentor class eReaders either, I want one now in the next couple days. I've been looking for 2 weeks now and am too impatient to wait another five months.

Cheers
Moo

Last edited by Moo Strength; 08-21-2009 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moo Strength View Post
What I would like to know is, should I buy the more expensive reader for the bigger real estate, or will the quality of the display and speed of the CPU be of more value. I really like the open firmware availability that this site provides for the EZ Reader.
This is really a very tough one, because you are likely to hear some very different answers. It's a very personal choice when it comes down to screen size.

However, you should be aware that both screens are the same size in terms of pixels (800x600) displayed even though the physical dimensions are different. This would mean that you would be able to fit the same amount of text on both screens, but that it would be smaller on the 5 inch.

The physical size of the two screens is 3" by 4" (5" screen) versus 3.6" by 4.8" (6" screen). This gives a respective area of 12 square inches versus 17.2 square inches. So the 5" displays 30% smaller area than the 6".

The best way that I can think of to simulate this if you don't have both readers in front of you, is to use Calibre to load a book and manually resize the window to 3.6 by 4.8. Get out your ruler and actually measure it on the computer screen. Now, resizing it to the smaller size in Calibre won't work since Calibre wouldn't automatically shrink the text. Instead you need to take a screen shot and take the image into your nearest photo editing program. In that program, resize the image to 83.5% of the original. Now compare the original screen shot and the resized one.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:35 AM   #3
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FWIW:
The differences between the two devices are most pronounced on ergonomics. Screen size is part of it--same font size text on the Pro will be sharper because of the smaller pixels--but there is also the fact that the Pro is exactly the width of a paperback book and thus easier to operate in single hand mode. It also has a job dial for paging on the right side.

The other big difference you'll find is the Pro's support for TTS on DRM-free content.

For the record, while the 6" Hanlins don't officially support SDHC above 4GB, in practice many of us have successfully used 8 and 16GB cards with them.

And, finally, there is the issue of price; the differential is about the cost of two 16GB cards, no?

Last edited by fjtorres; 08-21-2009 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #4
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I have a EZ Reader and I am buying a EZ Reader Pro. However, I don't really know if the screen size will make a difference or not. The arguments that made it worth trying the smaller screen for me were:

a) I also have a Kindle and it "wastes" a large fraction of its 6" screen to "look and feel". The 5" Pro will have more book text on the screen per page than a Kindle for the same physical font size.

b) Both EZ devices have only 5 (or 3 ) fonts sizes, so it might be that the same font size is "about right" on both (exactly the same amount of text on both screens). Or it might be that on the 6" device I can use a smaller font (more text per page). Probably a wash.

c) Landscape mode is your friend on a small screen. I was happy for a long time with my Nokia 770 (4.1" screen), because I used it in landscape mode. Note that not all ebook formats have a landscape mode on the EZ Readers, but PDF and ePub do. I use ny EZ Reader in portrait mode, but I have the option of landscape on the Pro if necessary.

d) I don't read many PDFs. For letter/A4 PDFs I think you need at least an 8" screen anyway. PDF reflow works some of the time, but if you have to use the non-reflow modes the 6" screen might be significantly better (but still not very good).

Last edited by wallcraft; 08-21-2009 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moo Strength View Post
Obviously I'd rather have the bigger screen. But I noticed that the smaller display has a faster processor, support for SD's higher capacity cards, and the higher level of amount of gray scale differential.

What I would like to know is, should I buy the more expensive reader for the bigger real estate, or will the quality of the display and speed of the CPU be of more value.
As others have said, a lot of it depends upon YOU and what YOUR priorities are. Most of the points have been covered by others, but one additional one, regarding the CPU speeds: the 5" PEZ is twice as fast as the 6" and has a newer display controller, so "black flash" during page turning is supposed to be almost non-existant, whereas on the 6" you get a definite BLACK FLASH of the whole screen each time you turn a page. The 5" turns pages much faster than the 6". Maybe not a big deal, but it's an important to me, esthetically.

Another thing to think about is portability. 'Smaller' is easier to carry everywhere you go, 'bigger' is easier/better for reading when you don't have to carry it around. I'm starting out with a 5". Later on (year or two), I plan to buy a larger, 8" or 9", for reading at home.

Everett
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:13 AM   #6
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The one advantage to the EZ Reader is that that can install a number of different firmware versions. You can use the Hanlan (sp?), Lbook, BeBook, and Astak. So you have more options based on who does what better in terms of firmware.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:08 PM   #7
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Great advice from many people!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moo Strength View Post
Hi, I've been reading your forum after recently registering here. I'm glad I found this site, it confirmed some conclusions I've been looking at over the last week or so.

I've narrowed my choice down to either the Astek EZ Reader here:
http://www.astak.com/product.asp?serial=EB-06EZ

and the EZ Reader Pocket Pro here:
http://www.astak.com/product.asp?serial=05EZBLK

Any help that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated. If someone on here owns one of each I would appreciate their input. I'd ask that Robert guy that works for Astek but I'm worried he might tell me to buy the more expensive one just because of the price. I don't want to Q1 2010 for the Mentor class eReaders either, I want one now in the next couple days. I've been looking for 2 weeks now and am too impatient to wait another five months.

Cheers
Moo
Dear Moo:

I am RobertB and I work for Astak.

It is a hard choice. Both are good honest and dependable devices and both come with the crush-resistant case included and ear buds included. Both Have Adobe Digital Editions and both take an SD card and have a user-replaceable rechargeable battery. Both are Open Format... meaning it displays in 12 formats... meaning you can buy eBooks from literally hundreds of websites and get the price you want! Both have MP3 stereo.

What really makes the 5 inch Pocket PRO your ideal choice (in my fair opinion) is that it has 8 levels of grey scale where the 6 inch only displays 4 levels. Pictures and illustrations come up far better. Text-To-Speech (TTS) is nice... and only on the Pocket PRO. The processor is 400MHz (double most others); and the Epson Controller IS a landmark difference!

For these four reasons above (and the beautiful 6 colors) I am recommending the Pocket PRO for you!!

By the way, you are welcome to go to my blog: robertbEZ.blogspot.com. There is a detailed post on the Pocket PRO just up today!
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:25 PM   #8
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Like wallcraft, I have the EZ Readr Basic & a Kindle and have pre-ordered the Pocket Pro. There have been several good features of both already pointed out here. Something that you may want to consider is 1) how fast do you read & 2) how good are your eyes.

If you read very fast and have very good eyes, you might want the 6" and use small font size so you're not continuously turning the page. Or the same thing if you have poor eyesight and will use larger text.

On the other hand if you're like me and carry your reader everywhere, the smaller, more portable unit might be best.

IMO the 16GB storage doesn't really buy you much. I have a few hundred books in about 2/3of a GB on my EZ Reader Basic.

Something for me that is a plus for the basic, 6" model is that I use the OpenInkPot (OI) firmware. Since the Pocket Pro is so new, OI hasn't been developed to run on it yet.

My best recommendation (especially since you have not used a reader before) is go for the 5" because it's cheaper, plus you get the advantage of the $199 promotional price. This will let you get into the reader market cheaper to see how you like it.
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:40 PM   #9
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Thank you, Slayda. Good analysis!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slayda View Post
Like wallcraft, I have the EZ Readr Basic & a Kindle and have pre-ordered the Pocket Pro. There have been several good features of both already pointed out here. Something that you may want to consider is 1) how fast do you read & 2) how good are your eyes.

If you read very fast and have very good eyes, you might want the 6" and use small font size so you're not continuously turning the page. Or the same thing if you have poor eyesight and will use larger text.

On the other hand if you're like me and carry your reader everywhere, the smaller, more portable unit might be best.

IMO the 16GB storage doesn't really buy you much. I have a few hundred books in about 2/3of a GB on my EZ Reader Basic.

Something for me that is a plus for the basic, 6" model is that I use the OpenInkPot (OI) firmware. Since the Pocket Pro is so new, OI hasn't been developed to run on it yet.

My best recommendation (especially since you have not used a reader before) is go for the 5" because it's cheaper, plus you get the advantage of the $199 promotional price. This will let you get into the reader market cheaper to see how you like it.
Dear Slayda:

I much agree. Your points are very good and written in a friendly and down-to-earth style!
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slayda View Post
My best recommendation (especially since you have not used a reader before) is go for the 5" because it's cheaper, plus you get the advantage of the $199 promotional price. This will let you get into the reader market cheaper to see how you like it.
I agree that you should go with the Pocket Pro. I do not think the 1 inch difference will be that noticable and with the 5" you get a lot more for less.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:52 PM   #11
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It will be interesting to hear how good the TTS is. When I first heard of it on the Kindle2 I thought it would be useless (reading by a computer voice). However, I have been pleasantly surprised by how often I use it. When I'm driving, at the gymn and while I am doing chores and other stuff. And then I can switch back to reading when its convenient.

Now somewhere on these boards, I heard this described as "1st generation TTS" on the pocket pro. If it's as good as the Kindle2 it will definitely be useful, and if so this will lead me to keep the Astak firmware in place instead of OpenInkpot and other alternatives.

Question for RobertB, what formats support TTS? Currently, most of my files are .mobi. Will TTS work with this, or will I need to convert them?
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:23 AM   #12
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Wink Well.....

I just happened to come across the Sony PRS-505 at a Target store this evening and it was my first chance at seeing ANY of the e-reader devices in person (I have not purchased an e-reader yet.). I'm sold on the 6-inch (or larger)screen. I've actually been doing mock-up drawings of a couple device dimensions trying to get a feel for what the actual screen size would be like. For me personally, I'm not sure I'd like the 5-inch screen and am holding out for one of the newer models coming out that will have the larger screen. I have to say I have my eye on the new Sony-600 but am also very curious about the Astak Mentor. I like the fact that Astak is open format for the content but the 5-inch screens just don't do it for me. I also have to say that I am impressed with Robertb's enthusiasm for the product his company sells. Robertb obviously believes in the product his company sells. It's interesting the other companies who sell the e-readers do not use this sight more to promote their products and get user opinions. Having only discovered this site several weeks ago, I quickly developed a respect for the knowledge of the other members of this site. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:27 AM   #13
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I have a version of each of these machines.

The 5" screen quality is very noticable when looking at covers and pictures - a world of difference.

It is also much faster at turning pages. And mine has an extra page turner that you flick instead of pressing - much easier on the fingers. I find after a long session of button pressing my finger can get sore.

The weight and size difference will make a big difference if you intend to carry it around with you. I'm going to take the small one out and about on pubic transport and leave the bigger one at home.

It depends on what you will mainly use it for. For plain novels and carrying around I'd suggest the small one. I think the extra page turns will be cancelled out by the faster speed. For more complex documents you might be happier with the 6".

I'm very happy with both of them. (Well, actually, all three as I have an older 6" I'm leaving with Mobipocket format.) If I had to choose only one I'd get the 5" for it's speed and portability.

Hope you enjoy whichever model you finally decide on. Happy reading.
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:48 PM   #14
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I discovered and have been reading posts here for a month or so. Have decided I want a reader and discovered this site doing research on them. The Astek looks like the current leader by far. Undecided whether to take the plunge immediately or wait until the beginning of the new year.

Anyway, I have the same quandry that Moo Strength does.....5 inch or 6 inch. But in all the posts I've read no one has mentioned something that I think is important. Why does the 6 inch model come with USB 1.1 and the 5 inch model have USB 2.0? As near as I can find out, the 6 incher came on the market just this year. USB 2.0 has been around since 2000-2001.

Gary

Last edited by gastan; 08-22-2009 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:15 PM   #15
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I have the 6 inch EZreader and if I am going to be transfering more than one file to it I use a sd card reader to do my transfers. I too was very disappointed in the fact that the usb was so slow but I have learned to adapt. I will be upgrading my reader in the future but I do not wish to go to a 5 inch at this time. Seeing I do a lot of pdf reading I am going to wait to see if the larger reader comes out hopefully a 9.7 inch screen.

Chuck

Last edited by cvkemp; 08-22-2009 at 03:17 PM.
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