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Old 11-05-2009, 10:44 AM   #1
davebalme
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Is the Pocket Pro the BeBook Mini?

Please excuse me if this is covered elsewhere but is the Pocket Pro (US)
the same as the BeBook Mini? Are there differences between the two?
Until recently I had a Cool-er (please don't laugh) but due to reliability and software issues I'm now looking for a new ereader and whilst the new Sonys are tempting I had narrowed down my choices to the Cybook Opus & the BeBook Mini.
I've read the forum postings regarding the Opus and feel that it could be as problematic as the Cool-er although I would love the large amount of storage space. The BeBook mini covers the bases with regard to supported formats, and does allow for memory expansion. Most comments that I've are positive. Is it worth buying and are there any glaring drawbacks or problems that I should be aware of?
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by davebalme View Post
Please excuse me if this is covered elsewhere but is the Pocket Pro (US)
the same as the BeBook Mini? Are there differences between the two?
Until recently I had a Cool-er (please don't laugh) but due to reliability and software issues I'm now looking for a new ereader and whilst the new Sonys are tempting I had narrowed down my choices to the Cybook Opus & the BeBook Mini.
I've read the forum postings regarding the Opus and feel that it could be as problematic as the Cool-er although I would love the large amount of storage space. The BeBook mini covers the bases with regard to supported formats, and does allow for memory expansion. Most comments that I've are positive. Is it worth buying and are there any glaring drawbacks or problems that I should be aware of?
They are, both based on the Hanlin V5. The installed firmware might be slightly different, but you can cross-install the firmware. So they are identical.

What is different is the contents of the package. Biggest difference is the PP comes with a protective leather cover, the Bebook Mini doesn't (stylz covers are around $25US) and an AC-USB charger. The PP represents better value for money IMHO - and a choice of colours.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:57 PM   #3
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They are the same ereader. The reader is not very intuitive to use. I bought the Pocket Pro, returned it and purchased a used Sony 505. NOW, I am happy.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:04 PM   #4
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They are the same ereader. The reader is not very intuitive to use. I bought the Pocket Pro, returned it and purchased a used Sony 505. NOW, I am happy.
The Hanlin V5 is not very intuitive to use and a Sony is?!?! Well, let's just say that's a matter of personal preference, shall we?

My mom actually finds both my BeBook (the original, not the Mini, though the controls are pretty darn similar) and the Sony 505 about equal in terms of ease of use. The Cybook Gen3 was the one that she found difficult to use - the so-called "D-pad" isn't exactly the most user-friendly control button layout; she hates the one on her cellphone too. She also found the Cybook's menus more difficult to navigate than those on either the 505 or the BeBook. The Mentor is more or less the same hardware as the Cybook Gen3; I don't know if the buttons on it are just as stiff and tough to handle for arthritic fingers or not.

I was never entirely happy with the Cybook's controls (osteoarthritis and stiff buttons with narrow pressure areas, like the outside ring on the Gen3, do not a good combination make) or menus but liked the Gen3's menus considerably more than the 505's menus (though the 505's controls beat the Gen3's, no contest). The controls and menus of the BeBook (and, later, the Astak Pocket Pro), however, were love at first use for me. I especially love the folders for organizing my books (something that's notably missing from the Sony readers - and, no, collections are not an adequate substitute).

The Sony 505 (and 300)'s main saving grace is the number keys, similar to those used by the BeBook & Pocket Pro. They make menu navigation much more convenient. I don't particularly like the Sony menus but could probably learn to live with them if everything else was up to par. However, I never found the 505 very comfortable to hold - I'm not sure why; it just didn't feel right in my hands despite the fact that its page turn buttons are reasonably well-placed; its weight and balance were just a bit off for me - but the 300 is actually a pretty slick little reader.

The 300's main downfall for me is the fact that it just has one set of page turning controls, dead center at the bottom. I like to hold my reader one-handed, especially when using a 5", and that simply isn't very comfortable with a central set of page turning controls. Reaching the right page turn with my left thumb when holding the 300 with my left hand just doesn't work. Reaching with my right thumb when holding it with my right hand is doable but a bit awkward. It just can't match the usability of the multiple page-turning options on the Pocket Pro (BeBook Mini) in particular.

I also find that the metal case of the Sony readers feels chill enough that it makes my osteoarthritic fingers ache; the plastic case of the BeBook and Pocket Pro doesn't.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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I would suggest a look at the Pocketbook 360 over the Bebook/Astak 5" clone V5 devices. There is a forum here for the Pocketbook and the 360 has been for sale in other countries for a while now and is also currently to be had here in the US. The US distributor is a nice guy and posts in the forum here.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
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They are the same ereader. The reader is not very intuitive to use. I bought the Pocket Pro, returned it and purchased a used Sony 505. NOW, I am happy.
I agree completely. Both are good readers, but the Sony is intuitive and that gives it the edge.

And yes the BeBook mini and Aztak pocket pro are the same hardward.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:39 PM   #7
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I would suggest a look at the Pocketbook 360 over the Bebook/Astak 5" clone V5 devices. There is a forum here for the Pocketbook and the 360 has been for sale in other countries for a while now and is also currently to be had here in the US. The US distributor is a nice guy and posts in the forum here.
It is clearly a superior device... at least on paper. We still have to wait for some reviews.

And... of course it doesn't support any DRM formats at this time. But, we hear from a pocketbook person on the forum that they should have the Adobe support by the end of the year... I hope they choose to support both the Adobe ID and the Social DRM methods.

BOb
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:30 PM   #8
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It is clearly a superior device... at least on paper. We still have to wait for some reviews.
You will get review from a long-time MR member as soon as I receive my unit. It is in the mail at the moment.
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:38 PM   #9
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It is clearly a superior device... at least on paper. We still have to wait for some reviews.

And... of course it doesn't support any DRM formats at this time. But, we hear from a pocketbook person on the forum that they should have the Adobe support by the end of the year... I hope they choose to support both the Adobe ID and the Social DRM methods.

BOb
Pocketbook already in Betafirmware support DRM in EPUB and PDF. Even before the end of November will be officially released a new version of Firmware to support DRM in EPUB and PDF.
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:05 PM   #10
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You will get review from a long-time MR member as soon as I receive my unit. It is in the mail at the moment.
What? Are you getting a "review" unit? It's not supposed to be released til last this month ... unless that has changed.
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:04 PM   #11
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What? Are you getting a "review" unit? It's not supposed to be released til last this month ... unless that has changed.
The pocketbook 360 has been for sale for a month or more. Perhaps you are thinking of the 302?

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Old 11-07-2009, 05:28 PM   #12
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Oops, never mind me, I was totally confused.....I thought he was talking about the B&N nook. Not sure exactly why I was thinking that. I'll just back out slowly now....
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:00 PM   #13
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Oops, never mind me, I was totally confused.....I thought he was talking about the B&N nook. Not sure exactly why I was thinking that. I'll just back out slowly now....
DUDE....HAHAHAHA....nice one!! Please pass that stuff to the left!! BCBud can sneak up on a person...so go easy!!

Not to worry it's been that sorta pact few months for me too!!

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Old 11-07-2009, 07:08 PM   #14
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You will get review from a long-time MR member as soon as I receive my unit. It is in the mail at the moment.
Can't wait to read your take...this really is the device I have my sights set on simply because of the excellent firmware (other reviews and comments around the web from those who bought theirs direct from the HQ in Ukraine) and the very simple protective cover makes more sense than almost any other I've found for an ereading device to date.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:27 AM   #15
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What? Are you getting a "review" unit? It's not supposed to be released til last this month ... unless that has changed.
Not a review unit.
I am getting my very own, fully paid for unit.

Official sale in Germany starts very soon. At the moment our member Forkosigan is reselling "unofficial" PocketBooks 360 he has purchased from PocketBook copany.
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