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Old 03-16-2006, 07:20 AM   #16
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well..for me the Iliad is still an interesting device, but it has lost a lot of attractivity for me...

Reasons:
1.) Price

2.) no cover (don't laugh, it's very important for me...I don't want to have to pack the book away in a case or pouch/sleeve as soon as I put it out of hand...and I don't like to carry around a seperate case all the time. Also consider weight...the Iliad is heavy...with case even heavier...?)

3.) Too much focus on IDS in my opinion...I don't mind something like Sony's connect store in principle, but a device with Wlan can be used for so much more than synching to some kind of Content-Delivery-System. Instead of using it that way, iRex cripples the Wlan capabilities and makes them "IDS-Exclusive".

4.) The device is set to launch in April and apparently still not done...it should be in production stage by now...in my opinion...

5.) The device is expensive and has a lot of capabilities...but the only thing that seems to be full-fledged is IDS...and they don't have the server or the content for that yet...the Hanlin V2 offers no content delivery but has a calender and other PDA functions onboard straight from the box...and they also offer the SDK so there can be more software very soon...Sony offers no SDK and probably will not support many formats, but they promise to have 10k+ books ready for purchase right on launch-day.

6.) Battery Life...I know the Iliad has more features and everything...but judging from the fact that they give their usage in time in hors instead of page-turns, something is fundamentally different between teir power-management and the Sony/Jinke version. 21 hours in comparison to 7000-8000 page-turns seems pretty puny. Seen from a "reader" perspective it means reading a couple of chapters instead of reading 10 or more books on one battery charge. Longer battery-life means more book-like to me. And always keep in mind that all stated values are ideal values...real-life battery-life is probably a lot less, especially if you use anything but the basics...

That's it...my impression so far. I still think it could be a cool gadget, but it's no longer my Nr.1
I hope Jinke and Sony get a move on so we can get a preview/review of the Hanlin V2 and the Sony Rader soon...

Last edited by CommanderROR; 03-16-2006 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:13 PM   #17
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Hello, I just received a copy of your review, and joined this forum.
Thank you for the great review (and also thanks to this forum for the information which led me there).

If you don't mind, I've got two questions.
  1. I couldn't find anywhere mentioning about the type of battery it uses.
    Recently when I read the spec at eWind, I found a description that they are able to use 4 AAA batteries, as well as an attached Lithium battery.
    Could this be true, or is this just a feature for the Chinese products?
    (I thought this could be important, since it may be hard to purchase iLiad's Lithium batteries oversea.)
  2. Is the iLiad capable of displaying foreign multibyte characters such as CJKV (Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Vietnamese) in TXT, PDF, XHTML format?
Thank you in advance.
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:03 AM   #18
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Question writing

The main thing I want to know is if there will be a noticeable screen delay when writing or drawing on it. Any idea when we'll be able to find this out?

Also, you say the wireless is only for connecting to IDS. Does that mean I have to use a cable to transfer files to/from a PC? If so I would assume that means no support for Linux or Macs.
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:19 AM   #19
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Tying up the wifi to IDS effectively means no wifi. It just means that one can pay for restricted content in a wireless manner. Big deal.

Just imagine a notebook with wifi built-in and the only site one can access is www.hp.com to get the latest patch update. Or say Palm T|W with its wifi but you can only go to PalmReader.com (or whatever name it is right now) and buy ebooks there. *bum*
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:31 AM   #20
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Having followed this thread for a couple of days now, I was becoming ever more disappointed with some of the features (or lack of them) of the Iliad. Mainly the locked down nature of the wireless connection and the still unknown format of handwritten notes seem to be the biggest problems for me personally, however after re reading the FAQ on the irex site the outlook is a little brighter.

The following entry suggests that the wifi connection might not be as locked down as first thought.

Is the E-reader restricted to feeding by iDS only?

No, The E-reader is an open system that also works with your laptop/PC (wireless/wired). The E-reader is also fit for reading from a USB stick, SD cards and CF2.
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:08 PM   #21
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Battery Life

I just read through the review, and I was wondering if you could maybe do some battery life tests? Does it drain the battery to leave the iliad powered on but unused? Or does it have a low power mode? Waiting a minute for it to boot every time I want to use it sounds like a major problem to me.
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:46 PM   #22
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The big drain on battery power is the WiFi link and turning pages and I think it is the added WiFi that makes it difficult for the iLiad to so easily quote battery life in page turns.

The iLiad uses rechargeable batteries and I charged the device on Monday, have used it so far for about 20 hours, on top of which I deliberately left the display on for 24 hours and it still seems to have plenty of power left. iRex inform me that with normal use of three hours per day and at an average page turn rate for reading the iLiad should only need recharging once every couple of weeks.

Recharging took less than an hour.

The delay on power up is a bit annoying but nothing compared with the the time one has to wait for a laptop to boot up and load Windows, I said one minute in the review it is probably closer to thirty seconds.

The reader is an open system, you can create your own content, or obtain it from other sources and load it into your iLiad via a laptop/PC, USB stick or memory card. The only lock down at the moment is the WiFi link to download bought content, in particular subscription publications, has to be via the IDS server. However, there is no reason why anyone should not sell or distribute publications for the iLiad in any one of the formats it supports, the only thing is that if a publisher wants the additional feature of wireless push delivery then it has to be done via the IDS server.

I personally do not think that this is a major constraint, it will not prevent me downloading Project Gutenberg or other public domain e-books and reading them on the iLiad, and I like the idea of using it as a paper replacement device, printing documents that I need to carry around directly into the iLiad instead of to a printer, it will make my briefcase a lot lighter.

I am not sure about multibyte characters, but it would seem to support full XML and full PDF and these both support multibyte characters so I guess the answer is yes, However, I will try to find out.

I suspect that CommanderROR is correct that the April launch date for Europe and US is a bit optimistic. If they deliver the units for the field test they are doing with De Tijd newspaper in Belgium before the end of March as planned then they might well be on schedule. I know that they are currently in production in the Phillipines.

I suspect that the early market that iRex are aiming for is not the average e-book reader but the corporate user, the design of the device is certainly auimed at corporates, and the content they are signing up also fits that view. In particular newspapers and trade periodicals, watch out for newspaers like the Times and Telegraph in the UK being distributed via IDS, I believe that they are also talking to textbook publishers, once again a specilist niche and not the main consumer market.
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Old 03-17-2006, 06:24 PM   #23
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hmm...interesting...so the irex does use the on/off mode, or else it should have been dead after those 24 hours...but probably it does not switch off immediately after pageturn becaseu of the touchscreen and of course the long boot time.

I'm really starting to feel nervous...the iRex has some really cool features I'd like to have...and some serious downsides too...

The Hanlin V2 is really cool, but there are some features that I don't quite trust yet...

and the Sony Reader is the "weakest" device in my opinion, but it does have the backing if the connect store...which should provide a nice amount of books that can only be read on a sony reader...damn...
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:08 PM   #24
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So it appears that its wifi is not locked totally. Hey Nick, any idea if the wifi can be switched off? I'm sure that will save some power.

How abt the touch screen? Some TabletPC's touchscreen can be turned off via a hardware button.

30secs to boot up is erm kinda slow. My notebook resumes from hibernation (which is effectively powered off) in about that time and its only because I have 1.25gb (yes gb) of ram, so it takes longer to hibernate and resume (writing 1.25gb of ram to hdd takes awhile, esp on a notebook with 4200rpm hdd). On other machines with 384mb ram or 256mb ram, hibernation and resume can be as fast as 10+ secs.

Granted, its not a big thing if usage pattern is reading the ebook for a few hours at a time, and if batt life is good enough, one would prob not need to switch it off ever.
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:41 PM   #25
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Thank you again for your detailed answer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Hampshire
The iLiad uses rechargeable batteries and I charged the device on Monday, have used it so far for about 20 hours, on top of which I deliberately left the display on for 24 hours and it still seems to have plenty of power left. iRex inform me that with normal use of three hours per day and at an average page turn rate for reading the iLiad should only need recharging once every couple of weeks.
Nice battery life, so I guess AAA batteries are not in their option?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Hampshire
I am not sure about multibyte characters, but it would seem to support full XML and full PDF and these both support multibyte characters so I guess the answer is yes, However, I will try to find out.
Sometimes what I find in mobile gadgets is, that although the software itself supports multibyte characters, the system lacks the required fonts (or the framework) to display it.
This is quite understandable, since multibyte fonts tend to be large, and most of it have high prices (due to the vast amount of characters to be made).
I hope that the iLiad has built-in multibyte fonts, or a mechanism that somehow allows users to install fonts.
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Old 03-17-2006, 11:13 PM   #26
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I'm interested in using the Iliad to store reference texts. Given my priciple areas of interest (math/physics) it would need to be able to handle mathematical notation without difficulty. Do you think you could test the reader with some random pages from http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/ and/or http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ and see how well they reproduce the website?
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Old 03-18-2006, 05:18 AM   #27
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There is one thing I do not understand:

iRex gives the run-time at approx. 21 hours reading, but apparently the device is capable of more...at least if you can trust the results Nick got.

They apparently also told him, that you would only need to recharge it every couple of weeks, something that would match the Specs given on the chinese site...but then why do they give different specs? Is the Touchscreen a major battery drain? The Chinese iRex appears not to have a touchscreen...

And one other thing: If the devices are in production as Nick was told, then why did they give him a sample that still has not got all features. A production model usually goes through some internal testing before going to the factories...I'm not trying to "talk down" the Iliad, but somehow there are a few oddities that I just can't understand.

And unfortunately I still have received no reply from iRex by email even though I emailed them about 2 weeks ago...if they talk only to business people they should say so on their website...which they don't actually...
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:44 AM   #28
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....i thought that one major advantage of eInk display is that it wont use power when page is not changed...so in theory i could just leave the device at a particular page (without turning off the device) and resume say 2 days later with no or very little battery power used?
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Old 03-18-2006, 12:34 PM   #29
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from the information we have, it can be concluded, that the Iliad goes offline (although still displaying the last page of course...Eink at work... ) after a longer period of idling...no idea how long...so if you leave it on, it'll continue to drain the battery for a couple of minutes and then switch off leaving the last active page on the display (see Nick's post...). If you want to use it again, you have to boot it up again which apparently takes some time.

The other devices such as v2 and Sony Librié and Reader power down after each pageturn immediately, thus achieving much longer battery life (measured in PageTurns instead of hours).
The reason for this could be the touchscreen...and of course the long boot-time.
I wonder why the Iliad takes so long to boot in comparison to the other devices that can apparently go from sleep-mode to operation in no time at all (otherwise the page-turning would become very slow)
It can't be the OS, the other devices also use some kind of Linux OS as far as I know (the V2 uses Wolf-Linux) so it probably is some kind of driver-implementation thing for the Wacom Interface? or the W-Lan module...but W-Lan is not needed and not active (I hope) when no connection to the IDS is required...so what's going on?

Nick...can you shed some light on the power-saving features of the Iliad? How long it stays on before it goes into sleep-mode?
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Old 03-18-2006, 03:59 PM   #30
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Is it possible to turn off the WiFi completely, until such time as you want to use it ? or does it have to be on all the time ?
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