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Old 09-11-2009, 05:31 PM   #1
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Impressions of the EZReader Pro from a new member

Hello all! Long time lurker - first (well, second) time poster.

I wanted to upgrade my old eBook reader, a Cybook Gen3 (affectionately referred to as Mr. Fugly) for something faster, and after doing some research here at mobileread, I pre-ordered an EZReader Pro. I’ve had it about a week now and I’m really happy with it. I thought I’d go ahead and finally create an account and share my impressions of the device.

First of all, the EZReader Pro is a nice looking device. Mine is white and it looks much better in person than I though it would. Definitely won’t be calling this one Mr. Fugly, Jr. As others have mentioned, the device has a rubbery coating (the buttons too) that feels really good in the hand. It gives the device a nice soft feeling and does not show fingerprints. The included case has a real leather exterior and the interior is a cream colored textured pleather (I think it is anyway). However, the clips that hold the unit in the case are plastic (clear acrylic). The unit is snapped into the case when you get it and is very firmly held. I took it out of the case to peek at the battery, and it was a little hard to get the EZRP out. I can see problems with breakage of the clips in the future if you take the unit out of the case often. Also included in the box is a USB cable, a wall adapter, a wrist strap that can be tied onto the bottom of the unit, a screwdriver and two extra screws for the battery compartment, and a set of headphones. There was also a 1 gig SD card with 300 books in text and pdb (TEXtREAd) format. These are a variety of public domain books from Project Gutenberg. I think Robertb said that this was a gift from Astak for those who pre-ordered, so the card may not be included in the future.

The text on the screen is very sharp and images look much better with 8 gray levels instead of 4. Compared to my Gen3's 4 gray level screen, the background on the EZRP seems to be a tad bit darker. I don't know if that is due to the white unit or not.

One of the main reasons I purchased the EZReader Pro was because I could read my existing mobi files on it without having to format shift them. It will open many other types of files; I opened up the following types to test:

1. Mobi
  • a. You can change the font from inside the eBook, but you can only choose between Times, Ibookn, and Arial (three of the preinstalled system fonts).
    --correction, you can install your own fonts to use with the mobi files, see http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Hanlin_V3. Thanks to DaleDe for pointing this out to me!
  • b. 3 different font sizes, all in portrait.
  • c. Does not support TTS.
  • d. Does not support search.

2. Epub
  • a. You cannot change the font.
  • b. 5 levels of zoom. The zoom levels were improved with the firmware update, but the 100% and 200% levels are really too small to read if your Epub file was set up with a page size that mimics a hardback book.
  • c. Supports TTS (unencrypted epub at least).
  • d. Supports search feature
3. PDF
  • a. Cannot change font
  • b. 5 levels of zoom with text reflow – if your pdf supports it. If you have a pdf with pages sized at 8 ½ x 11 the first two are really too small to read.
  • c. Supports TTS (unencrypted pdf at least).
  • d. Supports search feature
4. Txt
  • a. Book uses whatever the system font is. If you want to change the font you have to exit the book and go to the root directory to do so. You can put custom fonts on your SD card and use them as the system font.
  • b. 3 different font sizes, the largest size causes the unit to switch to landscape mode.
  • c. Supports TTS
  • d. Does not support search.
5. Pdb (TEXtREAd)
  • a. Book uses whatever the system font is. (same as txt).
  • b. 3 different font sizes, the largest size causes the unit to switch to landscape mode.
  • c. Supports TTS
  • d. Does not support search.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for DRM Ereader support. I have several books I purchased when I used to use a Palm to read on and I would love to read them on my EZReader Pro! Ereader also has dictionary support, so it would be nice to have that feature included if Astak can work out the legalities with B&N.

The TTS feature wasn’t one of the reasons I purchased the EZRP, but I tried it out. Overall, it’s not bad. It adds pauses at commas and periods and the sentences flow fairly well. There were a couple of things that it didn’t read correctly. The word café was pronounced caf and the name Jan that appeared at the end of the sentence got pronounced January. Contractions are pronounced as two separate words – don’t is pronounced as don tee.

There are some things I would like to see improved, but overall this is a great device! It is well worth the money if you are looking for a compact device for pleasure reading.

Wow, this was a long post - hope it wasn't too redundant.

Last edited by tamzilla; 09-13-2009 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Correction on Mobi format
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
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First Impressions and Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamzilla View Post
Hello all! Long time lurker - first (well, second) time poster.

I wanted to upgrade my old eBook reader, a Cybook Gen3 (affectionately referred to as Mr. Fugly) for something faster, and after doing some research here at mobileread, I pre-ordered an EZReader Pro. I’ve had it about a week now and I’m really happy with it. I thought I’d go ahead and finally create an account and share my impressions of the device.

First of all, the EZReader Pro is a nice looking device. Mine is white and it looks much better in person than I though it would. Definitely won’t be calling this one Mr. Fugly, Jr. As others have mentioned, the device has a rubbery coating (the buttons too) that feels really good in the hand. It gives the device a nice soft feeling and does not show fingerprints. The included case has a real leather exterior and the interior is a cream colored textured pleather (I think it is anyway). However, the clips that hold the unit in the case are plastic (clear acrylic). The unit is snapped into the case when you get it and is very firmly held. I took it out of the case to peek at the battery, and it was a little hard to get the EZRP out. I can see problems with breakage of the clips in the future if you take the unit out of the case often. Also included in the box is a USB cable, a wall adapter, a wrist strap that can be tied onto the bottom of the unit, a screwdriver and two extra screws for the battery compartment, and a set of headphones. There was also a 1 gig SD card with 300 books in text and pdb (TEXtREAd) format. These are a variety of public domain books from Project Gutenberg. I think Robertb said that this was a gift from Astak for those who pre-ordered, so the card may not be included in the future.

The text on the screen is very sharp and images look much better with 8 gray levels instead of 4. Compared to my Gen3's 4 gray level screen, the background on the EZRP seems to be a tad bit darker. I don't know if that is due to the white unit or not.

One of the main reasons I purchased the EZReader Pro was because I could read my existing mobi files on it without having to format shift them. It will open many other types of files; I opened up the following types to test:

1. Mobi
  • a. You can change the font from inside the eBook, but you can only choose between Times, Ibookn, and Arial (three of the preinstalled system fonts).
  • b. 3 different font sizes, all in portrait.
  • c. Does not support TTS.
  • d. Does not support search.

2. Epub
  • a. You cannot change the font.
  • b. 5 levels of zoom. The zoom levels were improved with the firmware update, but the 100% and 200% levels are really too small to read if your Epub file was set up with a page size that mimics a hardback book.
  • c. Supports TTS (unencrypted epub at least).
  • d. Supports search feature
3. PDF
  • a. Cannot change font
  • b. 5 levels of zoom with text reflow – if your pdf supports it. If you have a pdf with pages sized at 8 ½ x 11 the first two are really too small to read.
  • c. Supports TTS (unencrypted pdf at least).
  • d. Supports search feature
4. Txt
  • a. Book uses whatever the system font is. If you want to change the font you have to exit the book and go to the root directory to do so. You can put custom fonts on your SD card and use them as the system font.
  • b. 3 different font sizes, the largest size causes the unit to switch to landscape mode.
  • c. Supports TTS
  • d. Does not support search.
5. Pdb (TEXtREAd)
  • a. Book uses whatever the system font is. (same as txt).
  • b. 3 different font sizes, the largest size causes the unit to switch to landscape mode.
  • c. Supports TTS
  • d. Does not support search.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for DRM Ereader support. I have several books I purchased when I used to use a Palm to read on and I would love to read them on my EZReader Pro! Ereader also has dictionary support, so it would be nice to have that feature included if Astak can work out the legalities with B&N.

The TTS feature wasn’t one of the reasons I purchased the EZRP, but I tried it out. Overall, it’s not bad. It adds pauses at commas and periods and the sentences flow fairly well. There were a couple of things that it didn’t read correctly. The word café was pronounced caf and the name Jan that appeared at the end of the sentence got pronounced January. Contractions are pronounced as two separate words – don’t is pronounced as don tee.

There are some things I would like to see improved, but overall this is a great device! It is well worth the money if you are looking for a compact device for pleasure reading.

Wow, this was a long post - hope it wasn't too redundant.
Dear tamzilla:

Thank you for a good and thorough review. More changes to improve are being done and a new firmware upgrade has been promised for Monday if I remember correctly.

I am very happy that you like the Pocket PRO and we will try to make you even happier!
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for that excellent review, tamzilla!

I'm very curious as to what the 300 free books include.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for a great review Tamzilla!
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:15 PM   #5
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Is it true that ePub and PDF are the only two formats that support DRM and the rest have to be DRM free to work?
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:44 PM   #6
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Yes, good question Jon. I'd like to know that too...
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:20 PM   #7
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Only pdf and epub are DRM

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Originally Posted by grimo1re View Post
Yes, good question Jon. I'd like to know that too...
Adobe Digital Editions sets up the format. Astak does not. Adobe gets DRM in pdf and epub. Astak gives you 14 and more non-DRM formats. Amazon has made Mobipocket impossible to get now for device manufacturers and it is EXCLUSIVE anyway (you cannot put Mobi and ADE on the same device).

Astak is trying to get Fictionwise eReader for DRM as well; but Barnes&Noble still must produce and OK a workable contract.

I have heard of NO device that offers more than one DRM format. So, there is nothing deficient here. It is the norm to have one or two formats as the DRM.

Last edited by Robertb; 09-11-2009 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:27 PM   #8
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I for me am not making a problem, not a dealbreaker for me. I was, however, curious.
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Is it true that ePub and PDF are the only two formats that support DRM and the rest have to be DRM free to work?
I believe Wolf also supports DRM but none of the other formats support DRM and most don't even have the concept of DRM.

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Old 09-12-2009, 08:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Is it true that ePub and PDF are the only two formats that support DRM and the rest have to be DRM free to work?
Yes, ePub and PDF are the only formats that provide DRM support on the EZRP. DaleDe mentioned the Wolf format, but I've never seen any US eBook store offer that format, so I can't comment on it. Maybe this is offered in some overseas markets.

I, um, found ways to make my purchased DRM mobi books readable a while ago..
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA Russell View Post
I'm very curious as to what the 300 free books include.
I've attached a couple of files that list the txt and pdb files included on the SD Card. The few I opened were Project Gutenberg files.
Attached Files
File Type: txt text.txt (7.2 KB, 129 views)
File Type: txt pdbfiles.txt (12.4 KB, 124 views)
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:34 AM   #12
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Tamzilla - Enjoyed your review very much. It was straight forward and didn't bash other readers. So, do you have any pics?

Robertb - will the SD card be included in future purchases?
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:36 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your comments! I'll be happy to try and answer questions if any of you have some.

One additional comment on the case. The plastic clips I mentioned aren't flimsy, so I don't think you would need to worry about them breaking off with normal use. You do need to use some force to bend the clip back far enough to get the reader out, just be careful not to use too much force.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Tamzilla - Enjoyed your review very much. It was straight forward and didn't bash other readers. So, do you have any pics?
Thanks Goldilocks. Here are some pictures. I tried to take them without the flash, so it looks like the screen shots might be a little blurry.

-- ok, so I need to read the FAQ again and figure out this photo thing. Here are links to the photos:

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink

Last edited by tamzilla; 09-12-2009 at 06:39 PM. Reason: pictures wouldn't attach
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I've attached a couple of files that list the txt and pdb files included on the SD Card. The few I opened were Project Gutenberg files.
Thanks! A number of those titles interest me. There are quite a few classics that I've never gotten around to.
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