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Old 12-30-2009, 04:46 PM   #31
Robertb
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A lot of the CES announcements will be for spring/summer release, but at least you will know what will be available "soon". The EZ Reader Basic would not be a bad choice, and the only 6" alternative you might look at is the PocketBook 301+ because it has better PDF support. The 7" Sony PRS-900 might be better still for PDFs (because of its wide screen). Of the 9.7" screen devices announced so far, the PocketBook 901 is the best for your needs, but there are likely to be several more choices after CES. Note that all these devices will require you to convert PowerPoint and Excel to PDF, and perhaps DOC to HTML or ePub. The exception to this would be the Plastic Logic QUE, because it is WinCE based and therefore has access to MS office readers.
Another very fine choice may be the Astak Mentor Lite. This has Epson Controller, 8 level grey scale, SD card slot for easy memory expansion, MP3, and a lot more. You can even one-touch the buttons to go direct to main menu, horizontal screen, and Sudoku game. That one is on: www.astak.com It has ADE DRM and supports 16 formats!
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:02 PM   #32
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Not all things at CES take so long.

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Originally Posted by lionel47 View Post
So, I guess I should wait a week or so before purchasing my first reader. I have been researching since November and the Astak 6" EZ Reader so far seems to lead in meeting my requirements.

Just so you know: I am an IT architect and try to get through at least two books every week. I travel a lot and am tired of lugging them in my briefcase.

Also, a lot of my work involves business process re-engineering and I create a lot of flow charts and save them as PDFs. Also, I create a lot of DOC files (MS Word), PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets.

What I would like is the ability to carry my documents and books on one device. A touch screen so I can take notes would be great but I can live without it.

Wireless would be great so I can log on to my home or office network and copy documents to my reader. Also, I subscribe a a number of RSS feeds on my iPhone; I would prefer to read them on a reader and sync them through wireless while I wait at the airport. Again, it would be great but I can live without the wireless.

I think what is important to me is the ability to handle a variety of document formats while also being able to read DRM and non-DRM books.

I decided on the Astak 6" EZ Reader because of the wide variety of file types it can handle. I was also considering the Mentor Lite but I don't think it handles as many formats. I may be wrong.

So, having read the above, can I get some recommendations? And, should I wait till CES is over before pulling the trigger?

I am afraid that CES will happen but the new stuff will not be released until the spring or summer. What do you guys think?
Dear lionel47:

Thank you. Either the Astak EZ Reader Basic (6 inch) or the Astak Mentor Lite (6 inch) are fine choices. Both of them are discussed at length in my blog: www.robertbEZ.blogspot.com

Not all things introduced at CES take 6 months or so. There are, for example, 20 or so device manufacturers in Taiwan and China. North America only gets a handful of what the world has to offer! Many of them make great products but do not have North American market savvy or representation. Items of this nature can be displayed at CES and be selling within 6 weeks.

Also, I can only speak for Astak, but the factories often impose total gag orders until CES (under penalty of death or banishment... HA!) and the actual devices are made and sitting on the dock waiting to ship. These can sometimes be selling within a month.

By the way, are you aware that Astak has its own Astak Dedicated Forum on this MobileRead Forum? Come on in and chat. You can also see the most recent reviews!
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:05 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertb View Post

Not all things introduced at CES take 6 months or so. There are, for example, 20 or so device manufacturers in Taiwan and China. North America only gets a handful of what the world has to offer! Many of them make great products but do not have North American market savvy or representation. Items of this nature can be displayed at CES and be selling within 6 weeks.

Also, I can only speak for Astak, but the factories often impose total gag orders until CES (under penalty of death or banishment... HA!) and the actual devices are made and sitting on the dock waiting to ship. These can sometimes be selling within a month.
Robert,

I have been lurking and reading about the Astak products for bout a month and half now in that forum. I have been impressed by your responsiveness to comments and your willingness to pass the information on to the developers. I watched the reactions to the the various firmware updates with interest.

If I had to buy a reader today, it would probably be the 6" EZ Reader though I don't see much difference between it and the Mentor Lite except the controller (which I understand makes for faster page turning?).

I am going to wait due to the larger format and connectivity options I am reading about. I am hoping Astak has some exciting things to announce as, again judging from your responsiveness here, it looks like a company with good customer service. I value that.

I won't ask you to disclose anything but I will say you have some stiff competition and wish you well at CES. I will try to contact you through your blog after reading more of it.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:33 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionel47 View Post
Robert,

I have been lurking and reading about the Astak products for bout a month and half now in that forum. I have been impressed by your responsiveness to comments and your willingness to pass the information on to the developers. I watched the reactions to the the various firmware updates with interest.

If I had to buy a reader today, it would probably be the 6" EZ Reader though I don't see much difference between it and the Mentor Lite except the controller (which I understand makes for faster page turning?).

I am going to wait due to the larger format and connectivity options I am reading about. I am hoping Astak has some exciting things to announce as, again judging from your responsiveness here, it looks like a company with good customer service. I value that.

I won't ask you to disclose anything but I will say you have some stiff competition and wish you well at CES. I will try to contact you through your blog after reading more of it.
Dear Lionel:

That is smart to observe first. Thank you!

You are always welcome to Private Message me.

Yes, I know that we have very stiff competition. The new NOOK will steal a ton of thunder (despite reviews being not so complimentary). We have a large booth but little advertising. It is, as always, up to me to run up and down the aisles trying to get reviewers and media into our booth. Just ONCE I would like to see us follow more conventional approaches and actually ADVERTISE!

We have some big things coming. I think we will gather some attention if I can corner enough reviewers and media!!

Thank you!!
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:01 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertb View Post
The new NOOK will steal a ton of thunder (despite reviews being not so complimentary). We have a large booth but little advertising. It is, as always, up to me to run up and down the aisles trying to get reviewers and media into our booth. Just ONCE I would like to see us follow more conventional approaches and actually ADVERTISE!

We have some big things coming. I think we will gather some attention if I can corner enough reviewers and media!!
I was at a B&N store recently and they had a Nook on display that customers could play with. I tried it and the screen looked nice. However, it crashed and had to be restarted twice in ten minutes. I was not impressed.

Also, another fact for me is that I don't want to be tied to one device for content I purchased.

I'll be in touch.
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:34 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertb View Post
Dear Lionel:

That is smart to observe first. Thank you!

You are always welcome to Private Message me.

Yes, I know that we have very stiff competition. The new NOOK will steal a ton of thunder (despite reviews being not so complimentary). We have a large booth but little advertising. It is, as always, up to me to run up and down the aisles trying to get reviewers and media into our booth. Just ONCE I would like to see us follow more conventional approaches and actually ADVERTISE!

We have some big things coming. I think we will gather some attention if I can corner enough reviewers and media!!

Thank you!!
hehehehe...why is it I see them having you running up and down the isles wearing a thong and pasties with tassles.......it is vegas after all and what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...now I think I will go iron my eyes and pump bleach into my brain...
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:43 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionel47 View Post
Robert,

I have been lurking and reading about the Astak products for bout a month and half now in that forum. I have been impressed by your responsiveness to comments and your willingness to pass the information on to the developers. I watched the reactions to the the various firmware updates with interest.

If I had to buy a reader today, it would probably be the 6" EZ Reader though I don't see much difference between it and the Mentor Lite except the controller (which I understand makes for faster page turning?).

I am going to wait due to the larger format and connectivity options I am reading about. I am hoping Astak has some exciting things to announce as, again judging from your responsiveness here, it looks like a company with good customer service. I value that.

I won't ask you to disclose anything but I will say you have some stiff competition and wish you well at CES. I will try to contact you through your blog after reading more of it.
Were I you I would look at the Pocketbook 302 (a touch scree and other niceties...also there is a super secret larger format reader "rumored" to show up somewhere soon...winkwink) over anything from Astak/Bebook or Bookeen, though the Opus is the same hardware as in the Pocketbook 360 but different firmware and the 360 has that great integrated hard-shell cover.

Astak devices are just missing something and fell short of their promises as far as I am concerned. Though the EZ Reader actually a nice solid device but it's older as well. If you want a basic 6" reader look at the Pocketbook 301+ as well...the folks at Pocketbook are also honest and deliver on their promises. No hyperbole with them compared to the re-branders who don't even have their own firmware only a rebadged version of the same firmware found on the other clones of the same device/model.

Of course the more readers ya compare the more confused it can get...
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:42 PM   #38
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hehehehe...why is it I see them having you running up and down the isles wearing a thong and pasties with tassles.......it is vegas after all and what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...now I think I will go iron my eyes and pump bleach into my brain...
i actually will be at CES so save some of that bleach will ya?
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:50 AM   #39
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i actually will be at CES so save some of that bleach will ya?
hehehehe....you bet, I'll get a new bottle in the AM. I was considering getting some Liquid Plumber Gel as also, so I'll make sure I have enough to share with the class.
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