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Old 12-01-2009, 10:44 AM   #1
Ebiumn
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Newbies first impression on PB360

Being totally new to these devices other than two months of reading reviews and forums, I have finally got my hands on the 360, actually one for myself and one for the other half. There are lots of tips that I have picked up from reading other peoples posts and this has allowed me to do some configuration of the 360.

The device is alot lighter and smaller than I imagined, the only other devices I have seen are the Sony 505,300 and 600 all attached to the wall in Waterstones, and so far I am glad that my research has lead me to the pocketbook.

From a mainstream casual users perspective though I can see most people just walking into a store and buying the product they see widely available, with a name they know. My other half and I will be showing friends and family the 360 and I'm sure there will be interest, but getting the 360 into the stores is what will be needed to sway most people as this is where they will go to purchase.

After charging and a small problem with reset button (in another post) that has now been resolved, I tackled the firmware upgrade using a scandisk 16gb microSD card that I have in my HTC smartphone. I had some concerns on doing this as I had been following the problems people have had with the Bebook Mini (my 2nd choice reader) and SD cards not being compatible, having to format the card in various ways, having a 1GB card as it only reads certain partition etc etc. To my joy this was an easy task after I worked out that it requires you to press three buttons at once, so you need to lay the unit on a desk attached to the usb.

The unit for my needs comes supplied with alot of superfluous books in various lang inc Hebrew, Japanese, Russian and Ukranian. These have been removed and then I got into the same problem I had with storage of music, how to structure folders/files on the device. Some folders in root appear in your book directory and others don't i.e Photo directory does and games directory doesn't. I have searched for some configuration file to list exclusions but to no avail. So I have inside the books menu item; Books, Photos and News, even though Photos and News is also at top level!!! Under Books I have a folder Classic Books to store the ones that came with the device that I may read one day and then I have Author directories and Reference directory. Still not sure how I want this and I would like to be able to exclude and then get rid of the first level directories and have my device organised correctly from the start.

I have various books in various formats that I have aquired over the last few months, they are either RTF PDF LIT and the device has read everything except LIT with various levels of success. I then decided to install Calibre and started to play with this (reminded me of MediaMonkey for books). I am not sure what is the best format to use on the 360 and would like some pointers as now I can convert I only want to do it once, and this whole reader experience is turning into another time hole. The formats have various compression advantages, but not sure how much research time I want to spend on it. I have converted a 13mb pdf to a 256kb epub and it is more readable on the device.

I installed the websters dictionary from this forum and removed the various Russian dictionaries that were installed.

The Chess game has no menu options that I can find so once started you have to play out the game.

The Battleship game wont allow you to turn the ships through 90deg for placement.

I am having fun playing with the device and learning a new string to my bow. The degree of configuration is excellent compared to what I saw on the Sony devices, but there needs to be a much more detailed manual if you are ever going to get joe public to buy this from a store.

All in all the device is excellent, it has not crashed once (unlike the Sony in Waterstones), the size and weight are great, my deliberation over whether I needed a 6" device was unfounded as once reformatted and configured to small margins and with the degree of control over fonts, I have had no issue with real estate as I imagined I would. The hard case and cover have taken away all my worries over which cover to buy to protect the unit as it almost appears indestructable. It fits in the front pocket of jeans with no problem and there is no glare or issue with the screen being clear enough. I have read alot about the Sony 505 having a much better screen, well having seen both I can say that there is no difference.

The only small niggle is the click that the buttons make when you push them and to be honest it is only a very small niggle and I'm sure you won't notice it after a few days.

Yar kindly supplied a light to make up for the lack of packaging on the early supply and this does not really fit the device without blocking out the screen and it would scratch the case, so the first must have accessory would be a custom light - pretty please

I will give you an update once I get further into using the device.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:47 AM   #2
Katti's Cat
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Thanks for the review. Always interesting to see the impressions of someone not as savy with devices as the 'pros'. Good Job
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:00 AM   #3
wallcraft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebiumn View Post
I have various books in various formats that I have aquired over the last few months, they are either RTF PDF LIT and the device has read everything except LIT with various levels of success. I then decided to install Calibre and started to play with this (reminded me of MediaMonkey for books). I am not sure what is the best format to use on the 360 and would like some pointers as now I can convert I only want to do it once, and this whole reader experience is turning into another time hole.
Calibre makes it easy to format shift, so you could try a few formats (ePub, MOBI, FB2), but the best bet for LIT is probably ePub because ePub is "version 2" of the standard format LIT was based on. This also gives you two choices of reader app on the 360 (ADE and FBReader).
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebiumn View Post
Yar kindly supplied a light to make up for the lack of packaging on the early supply and this does not really fit the device without blocking out the screen and it would scratch the case, so the first must have accessory would be a custom light - pretty please
Oh yes please!
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:18 AM   #5
davebalme
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Had my 360 for a few weeks now (from Anatoli ~ many thanks) and having loaded up a few pdf files found that it didn't handle them as well as expected. I've used Calibre to convert a few and have found that fb2 & RTF are the best viewing formats. It's just the time it's taking to prepare my library that's stopping me from using the reader.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebalme View Post
Had my 360 for a few weeks now (from Anatoli ~ many thanks) and having loaded up a few pdf files found that it didn't handle them as well as expected. I've used Calibre to convert a few and have found that fb2 & RTF are the best viewing formats. It's just the time it's taking to prepare my library that's stopping me from using the reader.
Oh. I personally found that the way PB handles the PDFs is the best I've found so far on a hardware reader. Would you mind telling me what your specific problem is?

As for fb2 and Calibre, I resent that the conversion app is not able to create TOCs! That strikes me as a big flaw!
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:59 AM   #7
Alilas
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I just got mine a few days ago. Can't stop touch playing with my new baby.
Convert, manage, and throw in a few hundreds books and it works fine so far. (First time with Calibre for me too ;P)

I tried some Thai texts and very impressed! But those too-wide space between words are pretty annoying. Will try some more fonts tomorrow.
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