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Old 09-02-2009, 04:10 PM   #46
griffonwing
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Also, take a look at the design of the device.

The design of the EZR and PEZ are not modern, nor attractive in the modern sense. (As a matter of fact, I would love to be able to put the PEZ inside the case-design of the 505.) As for the Astak devices, they are practical, and have put much of the R&D into the inner workings and build quality, which accounts for such low returns from fry's and high sales in China and Europe.

Take a look at the Kindle. or the Opus. Or even the new one by iRiver. It looks like they spent so much time prettying up the outside. How much thought did they put into what really counts? It's like all of the people that would rather spend tens of thousands of dollars on a shiny new automobile than spend a few thousand on an older model that will far outlast the new one.

I have a 2000 Cavalier that I have had since 2001. Bought used. My next vehicle will probably be a late 60s model Ford, Volvo or Mercedes. Much cheaper to buy and repair.

I understand format-shift is quite easy, and what I like about the PEZ is that it supports so many. Sure, some formats could be better supported, but look how often Astak and Hanlin release firmware updates. It seems they are constantly updating and fixing things, and to me, that is a great sign that requests are being listened to and implemented.
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:49 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffonwing View Post
Take a look at the Kindle. or the Opus. Or even the new one by iRiver. It looks like they spent so much time prettying up the outside. How much thought did they put into what really counts? It's like all of the people that would rather spend tens of thousands of dollars on a shiny new automobile than spend a few thousand on an older model that will far outlast the new one.
You're funny. When the Kindle 1 came out... most people complained that it was, and I quote "fugly"... but most people admitted it was very functional. So, they put alot of thought it what really counted.

But, as you say, MANY complained about the looks, so they redesigned it, making it slimmer and curvy.... MANY now say it looks pretty... but to make it so thin they dropped the SD card and user replaceable battery features.

So, while I think you are wrong when you say that thought didn't go into the features that "count". However, you are right when you say that most of the complaints about the K1 were superficial and not functional.

BOb

Last edited by pilotbob; 09-02-2009 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:55 PM   #48
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While I agree with you in regard to the Opus and the Kindle, this does not apply to the sony 300 which is both well designed and pleasing to look at and to hold while maintaining a high build quality. I feel much safer with the inherently fragile EInk screen encased in sturdy metal than I do with it encased in plastic. Having used the 300 for a few days now, I am also quite pleased with the firmware which has yet to force me to press the reset button and sports a very user friendly interface. I like the collections feature especially, because it allows you to sort your books into multiple categories, which is difficult to do with a file folder set up without having multiple copies of a particular book. TTS and a faster processor might be nice, but frankly I'm not missing it. I don't use the SD card reader in my 700, so I'm not missing it in the 300 either.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:01 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
The Pocket Pro supports many formats, but most of them are for DRM-free (i.e. without encryption) ebooks only. There are exceptions, but most ebooks you buy from on-line stores come with DRM. The Pocket Pro currently supports Adobe DRM, which is Adobe PDF ebooks and Adobe ePub ebooks. It will probably later on (but not yet) also support eReader DRM, which is what the Barnes & Noble ebook store uses.

The Sony ebook store has announced that they are switching all their ebooks to Adobe ePub by the end of the year. So this will be a good source of ebooks for the Pocket Pro eventually, but currently they use the Sony-only LRX format.

With the exception of LRX (and TOPAZ for the Kindle), all the other popular ebook DRM schemes can be circumvented. So you can buy MOBI or LIT or eReader ebooks and read them on the Pocket Pro by stripping their DRM (and perhaps format shifting the DRM-free ebook using Calibre). Note that Adobe DRM has also beeen circumvented, so you are not locking yourself into Adobe-ready devices by buying Adobe ebooks. It will probably never be tested in court, but stripping DRM from ebooks for personal non-commercial use is likely legal in the US.

The Kindle's AZW format is MOBI, but you can't buy a Kindle ebook without either a Kindle or a iPhone/iPod Touch. A small faction of Kindle ebooks are in the TOPAZ format, which can't be read by non-Amazon devices at all.
The Pocket PRO does have 14-20 formats on it. Yes, most are non-DRM, but that is consistent with any eBook Reader. Name one that has two DRM formats on it! The vast majority of eBooks on the market ARE non-DRM and Astak is approved for the Google 1 Million free eBook library! In addition to this, our website ( www.theEZreader.com ) lists sites that have huge quantities of free non-DRM eBooks.

The Pocket PRO does have Adobe Digital Editions on it. You can buy the latest DRM titles from Sony or two great sources of ADE DRM books are Books on Board and Powell's Books. Both specialize in the ADE format and both tell me they are adding 3,000 ADE titles a month to their lists.

Yes, we still are close to adding a second DRM format: Fictionwise eReader. That is being ported now and B&N is trying to approve a contract (they are the hold-up at this moment).
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:03 PM   #50
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I have worked in manufacturing and to be honest a well designed plastic case will with stand drops and accidents better than a light metal case. And I can happily say that the EzReader plastic case is very well designed and it does with stand accidents.

Chuck
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:16 PM   #51
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I can see where you're coming from with functionality. I agree that a keyboard is very functional in regards of user-search queries and possibly dictionary support. However, I think a sliding keyboard would be more practical, so you can put it away when you don't need it.

Also, I suppose my main issue with the 3 I mentioned are the glossy coverings. Readers are meant to be carried, handled, used outside, inside, etc.. The glossy white shell is very prone to visible scratches and fingerprint smudges, and any crack that may happen, you are not going to hide it. User Abuse is one item that should be on all manufacturers agendas.

But "shiny" sells. That's one thing that differentiates Mac from PC. Every Mac I have seen is white eggshell glossy and no amount of buffing and polishing can bring it back to out-of-box look. And this is for a Mac Mini that isn't really designed to be constantly handled, but simply moved around form one place to the next, perhaps 3-4 times a day max. For a reader that is held and constantly fiddled with every minute for a couple hours at a time average? It boggles my mind. Then again, this is only personal preference.

The 505 design, excellent. I like the row of buttons along the right side. The iPod-like circle and surrounding buttons, again nice. Never messed with one too intricately, so I'm not sure why they put a circle button on the left side. I would have mirrored the L/R buttons on the right, on the left, and possibly put another L/R button set in the center, right under the screen, so you could change pages with either hand, from either side or form the bottom, and put the 2 tiny circle buttons on either side of the 2 middle L/R. Then you could shorten the chassis, because that is a lot of extra space. Or more room to hold the device without hitting the buttons.

But there is hardly going to be one design that suits everyone needs. The Kindle and 505, Opus and iLiad, Jetbook and EZ Reader each has fans and detractors. It's never a win/win for everyone
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:19 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffonwing View Post
Also, I suppose my main issue with the 3 I mentioned are the glossy coverings. Readers are meant to be carried, handled, used outside, inside, etc.. The glossy white shell is very prone to visible scratches and fingerprint smudges, and any crack that may happen, you are not going to hide it. User Abuse is one item that should be on all manufacturers agendas.
Can't speak for the K1, but the K2 and Opus housings are not glossy.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:20 PM   #53
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Look, please, who makes the Pocket PRO.

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To keep with the car analogy. Many years ago I was shopping for a new car. We were at a car dealer that sold Mazdas and Hundais. We had a target price in mind, and for the same price the Hundai Elantra was loaded, power everything. So, we bought the Elantra. Well, this was the first year for this car, and I have to say it was a POS.

Sure, it had power windows, A/C, and cassette tape in the stereo, etc. But, it basically fell apart within 3 years. It was no where near as well built and dependable as the Mazda 323 I had just sold with 100k miles on it, zero service needs but PM and 1 set of new brake pads.

Now, I'm not saying the EZ Reader is a POS. But, I am saying that just because a device ticks alot of feature boxes doesn't mean it is a better device or a better buy.

But, as you say, the "quality" issue is very important.

BOb

I keep hearing this "quality" issue come up! The first EZ Reader Basic sibling was the number 1 selling model in Europe in 2008. The EZ Reader Basic device had the lowest incidence of returns at FRY's Electronics. The device is built by a factory that manufactures more eBook Reader devices than Amazon and Sony combined!

Agreed, features do not make a quality device. BUT... it does show, I think, a great engineering team (180 engineers at last count) with 10 years of eBook Reader manufacturing experience.

Astak sells devices that are well-proven all over the world. Where is there any doubt here that the quality will not match (and possibly exceed) any other device? You are grasping at straws to try to defame a device with a heritage of quality.

It is pure muck-raking and non-professional!
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:34 PM   #54
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I am going to say something hear that I know is going to get a lot of you screaming but here goes. There seems to be a concept that the AD types keep hammering home that you do not have anything unless it is so and so Brand or you are not with it unless you have so and so brand. I have found it over my 50 plus years working and consuming products that the Brand names in most cases never last any longer and in a lot of case will not last at all. And in most cases you are paying as much for the name as you are for what the product is. When I was raising my kids I would always have the disagreements with them about the fact that they could not be caught death with anything but this or that brand of this or that. No that they have their own kids I have to rub it in when I hear them give their kids the same speach that I gave them.
Now I do believe that you get what you pay for but I choose not to pay for a name. I want a product that works and does what I need it for or at least what I believed that I needed it for when I got it. And I am always happy when it does more than I asked for and even happier when I find out that it can be improved to do even more with out more money put into it. For that reason I am extremely happy with my Ezreader. I does with I believed it would and I am finding as the firmware is improved that it does even more that Astak really listens and are willing to make it better.

Just my two cents.

Chuck
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:45 PM   #55
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Chuck, my feeling has been that the brand names present the standard. Not the gold standard, but just the standard by which all else is compared. So if a minor company wants to compete, it should be obvious why its product is better than the name brand standard.

Oftentimes it is obvious. Otherwise, no one would buy the off-brand.

I see many markets to be made up of two types of customers - those who are lazy and will make the easy choice, and those who prefer to do their homework and make an intelligent decision. Nowadays in the US, the off-brands appeal to the latter type of customer.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:50 PM   #56
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Can't speak for the K1, but the K2 and Opus housings are not glossy.
Odd. The images that I have seen of them they look glossy.

Perhaps it was simply reflected light, or maybe some were renders.. I dunno. It may even be that the rounded corners plus eggshell gave an illusion of glossyness.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:57 PM   #57
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When I was shopping for a ereader. I spend almost 3 months reading everything I could find about ereaders and comparing it to what I was expecting out of the one that I hoped to get. the big thing that I noticed about the Hanlin clones with the flexablity of the firmware and the formats that it could read. I learned a long time ago I do not have a price in mind when I go shopping I have a list of what I am looking for then when I have serveral items in my list tht me my requirements I will start looking at what others have to say about their experiences with the items. Then I will finally see which ones can be gotten either in my area or from the internet the easiest. I normally like putting my hands on the item before buying.

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Old 09-02-2009, 06:35 PM   #58
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It is pure muck-raking and non-professional!
I think perhaps you should re-read the posts in question before you get your panties in a bunch there Robert.

BOb
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Old 09-03-2009, 04:01 AM   #59
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Also, I suppose my main issue with the 3 I mentioned are the glossy coverings. Readers are meant to be carried, handled, used outside, inside, etc.. The glossy white shell is very prone to visible scratches and fingerprint smudges, and any crack that may happen, you are not going to hide it. User Abuse is one item that should be on all manufacturers agendas.
The Opus does not have a "glossy covering"; it is a matt finish.
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:22 AM   #60
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Take a look at the Kindle. or the Opus. Or even the new one by iRiver. It looks like they spent so much time prettying up the outside. How much thought did they put into what really counts?
Could you elaborate on this, please? What do you believe the shortcomings of the Opus to be? Just curious why you're so "down" on it. Have you used one?
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