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Old 08-14-2009, 06:36 AM   #1
jasio
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Hanlin V5 - First impressions and a question

Hi everyone,

I couldn't wait for the V5 to become available in the UK so I ordered it from China. A week later it was in my hands (Customs kept it for a few days but didn't charge me).

The reader comes already in its leather cover. It makes a nice impression but it is actually a bad idea. It moved during shipping and the plastic support of the cover cut the side of the device a bit so now it is a bit loose. Nothing bad though. The protection film on the screen was much too sticky and difficult to remove. It left some slight marks on the top part of the screen which I haven't managed to get rid of yet. Annoying.

My V5 came with a 2GB SD card and a card reader. A gift from the seller that I didn't expect. I loaded the card with a few ebooks that I had already prepared in a few formats.

ePub: this is the format I expected to use the most. I won't. It is not useable in the current firmware. The choice of font size is way too small or way too big or so large that only a few words fit on the screen.
FB2: that one works fine. I have noticed that chapter titles are often run-in with the previous line. That might be badly formatted documents (some were converted with Calibre).
PRC/MOBI: this formats looks good too.
PDF: documents with a simple layout are easy to read once zoomed in. Documents containing scanned pages are useless as there is no zooming facility.

I also tried a few pictures and I was impressed at how well they were rendered. So I also tried reading comic books. The black and white of an old Japanese manga (Samurai Executioner) looked good on screen but the text was too small to read. I cropped the margins but it only improved slightly. I think if there were an option to remove the rather large status bar it would be just about good enough.

I haven't tried to play MP3's. All my music files are in Ogg.

The screen is readable in most lighting condition, even in direct sunlight. There is glare if a light source is shining directly on the screen. Tilting the reader a little gets rid of that.
I like that there are three ways to turn pages: the large buttons on the left, the 9 and 0 keys at the botton and the wheel/rocker switch on the right side.
The page change is disapointingly slow. Nothing happens for almost two seconds and then there is a brief black flash before the next page is displayed. The only other reader I can compare with is the Sony on display at Waterstones. The Sony takes about the same time to change page but changing pages in quick successing is possible. Not so on the V5.

Overall I'm very pleased with my new book reader. It's not perfect but it works well. I'll be able to take a good selection of book on holidays and only carry the small weight of the V5.

Something that annoys me:
There is a "Restore_PC" directory created both on the internal storage and the SD card that contains information about all documents I have opened. Why is this directory showing up in the bookshelf?
Anyone knows how to hide it?

I didn't plan on writing such a long post. I'll add more thoughts on the V5 later.

Jasio
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:03 AM   #2
Dragon_Well
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How's the page refresh time?
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:51 AM   #3
jasio
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Originally Posted by Dragon_Well View Post
How's the page refresh time?
I can't really compare it to other devices (as I said, I've tried a Sony in a shop, that's it) but it's not exactly fast.

The black flash doesn't last long at all. It might be slightly faster than on the Sony reader but not in any way that would matter.
The problem is that an actual page change takes a lot longer that just the screen refresh time. When I press the button for the next page, nothing happens for over a second. Then the page is refreshed in a black flash.

I imagine that all that time is needed to wake up the device and process the request, prepare the layout of the next page and whatever else needs to be done.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasio View Post
ePub: this is the format I expected to use the most. I won't. It is not useable in the current firmware. The choice of font size is way too small or way too big or so large that only a few words fit on the screen.
This has been the biggest complaint about the Hanlin V3 version of mobile ADE as well. For scans of a EZ Reader (Hanlin V3) screen at the 5 ePub fonts sizes see Just got my Cybook Opus. Note that this is an ePub with an embedded font, so this isn't the default font but the sizes are the same. The largest sizes may be useful to those with poor vision, but they are much more usable in landscape mode (with longer lines) and the lack of hyphenation in mobile ADE makes even that questionable. Overall, either the number of sizes needs to be increased or the five font sizes need to cover a smaller range.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:47 AM   #5
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Thanks Jasio!

I have seen on YouTube an informal demonstration of the txtr, focusing primarily on changing pages. I sure would like to see a similar video of the Hanlin/Astak Pocket Pro in action.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:23 PM   #6
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Can you tell us what kind of material you are seeing the 2 second page changes on? For example, if it were an image pdf then I understand the need to pull up the large picture and position it on the screen. What about for a text pdf?

Personally, I'm most interested in page changes for mobi.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:46 PM   #7
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There seems to be an update to the firmware on the web site. You might try updating. Perhaps it will fix your extra folder problem Restore_PC. It should have a . at the start of the name.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:52 PM   #8
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I have just tried playing music on the reader. It works pretty well. Jut select an mp3 in the shelf and the music player opens. The interface is nice. Once the music is playing just go back to the bookshelf, return to your book and start reading. With the right ambiant music, this can be quite pleasant. The music I just tried, Wardruna, would be perfect for a fantasy book. I need something different for the Sci-Fi novel I'm reading.

The only thing missing is a shortcut to go back to the music player from your current book. As far as I can see you need to return to the bookshelf first.
I'll see how long the battery last while playing music. I can't comment on the sound quality as my good earphones have been stolen.

Wallcraft, interesting that that you mention hyphenation as it is one of the irritating things about the book I'm reading: hyphens are breaking words in weird places quite often. It's an FB2 file from manybooks.net.
Is hyphenation dependent on the file format? If so, which format(s) will support proper hyphenation for French and English?

I don't have a video camera so I won't do a demo of the reader, sorry.
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Old 08-14-2009, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasio View Post
Wallcraft, interesting that that you mention hyphenation as it is one of the irritating things about the book I'm reading: hyphens are breaking words in weird places quite often. It's an FB2 file from manybooks.net.
Is hyphenation dependent on the file format? If so, which format(s) will support proper hyphenation for French and English?
Yes, it depends on the reader app which is rendering the format. Hanlins have 3 or 4 "readers" for different formats. The ePub/PDF one is mobile Adobe Digital Editions, which does not do hyphenation at all. The FB2 one is CoolReader, and I have heard others say that its hyphenation is weird. There may be a way to turn it off. Some Hanlin V3 firmwares include FBReader, which does excellent hyphenation.

Both FBReader and CoolReader are available in OpenInkPot (often for the same formats, so you choose whichever you like more for each format), which is a complete Open Source replacement for the standard V3 firmware (and hopefully soon for the V5 firmware). However, OpenInkPot does not support DRM.
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Old 08-14-2009, 01:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
There seems to be an update to the firmware on the web site. You might try updating. Perhaps it will fix your extra folder problem Restore_PC. It should have a . at the start of the name.
Thanks for the tip. I've renamed the offending folder and it is gone from the book shelf. And my list of recent files is still there.

I had already updated to the new firmware.

Emellaich, if I find a decent stopwatch I'll test the page change with different formats over the weekend. I just tried it on a PRC file (that Mobi, right?) and it takes about 2s. A PDF doesn't seem to be any different even on pages with pictures.

OpenInkpot was one reason for my choice of a Hanlin reader. I know it's not available yet for the V5 but hopefully it will happen. And if I have time I'm planning to contribute to the project (not the kernel though).

Last edited by jasio; 08-14-2009 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:42 PM   #11
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Wow, it's disappointing to hear that page changing is so slow on this new model.

Despite my dislike of the company, the new sony readers are starting to look appealing... :/
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:16 AM   #12
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I have a Sony-505, Cool-er and a Hanlin V5. The screen refresh time is the shortest in the V5. It is about 1 s, when I change pages in an epub or prc book. These are the 2 formats which are well readable.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kisxela View Post
I have a Sony-505, Cool-er and a Hanlin V5. The screen refresh time is the shortest in the V5. It is about 1 s, when I change pages in an epub or prc book. These are the 2 formats which are well readable.
These are more in line with the times posted by RobertB, but of course he is a company rep .
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:19 PM   #14
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actually i have a irex dr1000 and today i got the hanlin v5 personally my impression page turning hanlin v5 is faster than irex and i quiet like it i bought this device vast format support and portable but of course i cannot compare with irex my in the first hand my opinion who wants buy this device they should not wait reading such a huge scan pdf those should go to irex dr1000 but its really good for fiction reading and easy to charge small and easy to carry around and sd card support i guess we bought same guy he sent extra things card reader 2 gb sdcard personally i never think to buy sony
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:29 PM   #15
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two things i forgot to say really decent mp3 player it doesnt disturb you when you are reading in the backround you can listen all your music files or just one file in the cycle text to speech is good when it reading it continue read you dont need to push button change to page and wait for continue readind whole it is doing itself you can listen whole book and you dont need to do it anything and bookmarking jump chapters if it contains easy to do i am little bit angry to irex dr1000 which has so many good things but bookmarking (painful take the pen touch the screen waste the time ), capacitive buttons which i really hate and chapters when you are reading book is so important for me and battery second point really i hate it why i am telling this because the guy who sold this to me left it open and deliver it took 12 days battery is full bar i know it cannot be comparison such a eink device but i am charging my dr1000 almost everyday another things dictionary support i am not a english speaker there is no such a thing in hanlin v5 which i really need and another thing battery still can changeable not like a nokia battery i guess i can find similar size and shape battery on the market which is good for me i dont know what irex using i dont even bother for change killer point hanlin v5 has a sim card slot there is so much possibility for development download book from server waiting for updates but i dont know maybe it wont be happend at all but still good to have it and my irex side I dont hear anything about 1000 SW recently maybe they cancel it for color screen they dont even have a reliable software for dr1000 device funny tough and each week they are raising their price for dr1000 i mention alot dr1000 sorry guys but if you paid huge amount of money and buying another device maybe half price doing some sort of good job i am loosing my impartiality sorry about my broken english
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