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Old 01-09-2010, 10:10 PM   #1
Nate the great
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A visit to the Freescale booth at CES

Freescale is a CPU manufacturer. Their chips are in a lot of devices including ebook readers. They had in their booth one of each of the major ebook readers that use a Freescale processor. I'd like to thank whoever thought up that idea; it was fun to see all those devices in one place.

The list of devices include:
  • Onyx Boox
  • Irex DR1000
  • Irex DR800SG
  • Sony PRS-300
  • Sony PRS-600
  • Freescale's own reference design
  • Kindle DX
  • Kindle 2
  • Playaway Audio Book
  • txtr

The txtr was really the only reason I stopped by the booth. It didn't show up until Friday morning, and that was because the developers who brought it from Germany didn't arrive until Thursday night. I played with the txtr on Friday afternoon, and then happened to meet the txtr people at a private party that night. I couldn't play with it Saturday because it was stolen Saturday morning. (I didn't do it, and I have security camera footage to prove it.)

It's a really neat device, and after having used it I understand why it's restricted to Germany at the moment. It relies heavily on txtr's servers. It is significantly more connected than any other ereader. I'm not going to give a detailed opinion on it because I couldn't test all of its abilities. But I did get a number of photos; they are attached.

I went back Saturday to play with the txtr some more. It wasn't there, so I had a look at the DR800SG. The first bad impression was when I realized there was no slot for the Wacom stylus, and it went downhill from there.

The txtr folks came by shortly after I started. One wanted to make a video so it could be discussed back home, and I'm glad he did. I know from the time stamp on his video that the DR800 has a boot time of well over a minute.

The firmware is very limited in its abilities. I'm shocked at how much it couldn't do:
  • only one font size
  • can't draw on the screen
  • can't highlight
  • no font choices
  • dictionary didn't work

The DR800SG is not ready to be released, and there is no way it could have been released in late October. I can only conclude that the original release date was an outright lie on the part of Irex.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:23 PM   #2
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I wonder if the irex was running an old version of firmware? The reason I ask that is because there are a number of videos floating around from the launch and the Frankfurt book show that demonstrate it changing through many font sizes. There has also been confirmation from irex that it had a suspend feature and wake up from suspend was on the order of a few seconds. With that said, I was an early iLiad adopter so what you saw in the unit there doesn't necessarily surprise me. A single font seems to just put it on par with many of the devices like the Kindle and Sony.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:36 PM   #3
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Kinda funny off all the devices the txtr got stolen, I wonder if a spy from Amazon could be the culprit
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ervserver View Post
Kinda funny off all the devices the txtr got stolen, I wonder if a spy from Amazon could be the culprit
I do wonder if it wasn't one of the device companies that did it, yes.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:41 PM   #5
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I do wonder if it wasn't one of the device companies that did it, yes.
Wouldn't be the first time something like that happened.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:45 PM   #6
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With the crowds and devices present at CES I wonder how many things end up "missing" by the end of the show.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:17 AM   #7
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With the crowds and devices present at CES I wonder how many things end up "missing" by the end of the show.
I've already got a search going on eBay. Will let you know if I find anything
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:58 AM   #8
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A single font seems to just put it on par with many of the devices like the Kindle and Sony.
But he also said one font size only! That's really limiting.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:19 AM   #9
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Thanks for the Info about the txtr, we still hope it will be available in the future...
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
I couldn't play with it Saturday because it was stolen Saturday morning. (I didn't do it, and I have security camera footage to prove it.)
That's not fair to steal the toys of others People should have learned that in kindergarten...

Still, thx for sharing your impressions. Did you have the chance to talk to txtr staff or was there only the device for display?

Last edited by BlueMonkey; 01-10-2010 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BlueMonkey View Post
That's not fair to steal the toys of others People should have learned that in kindergarten...

Still, thx for sharing your impressions. Did you have the chance to talk to txtr staff or was there only the device for display?
The booth was staffed by Freescale, so they didn't know much about the devices.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:30 AM   #12
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But he also said one font size only! That's really limiting.
I agree, but the confusing part is that there are videos of the 800 being demonstrated that show i believe 5 or 6 font sizes in the menu selection and there are videos that show the font size being changed. I looked at some of them again last night and saw 3 distinct font sizes in actual use.

I'm in no way questioning what Nate saw just pointing out that contrary information exists in these actual videos, which would lead me to believe it was an early firmware version or somehow some books are locked down to only one font size which would be really weird as well. I guess time will tell, if they ever actually get this thing in the stores.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:56 AM   #13
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iRex

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
...I went back Saturday to play with the txtr some more. It wasn't there, so I had a look at the DR800SG. The first bad impression was when I realized there was no slot for the Wacom stylus, and it went downhill from there.

The txtr folks came by shortly after I started. One wanted to make a video so it could be discussed back home, and I'm glad he did. I know from the time stamp on his video that the DR800 has a boot time of well over a minute.
Long-time problem.

See older review of iRex iLliad's slow boot, other problems, and customer service by a long-time owner of the device at
- AlexOnLinux


Quote:
The firmware is very limited in its abilities. I'm shocked at how much it couldn't do:
  • only one font size
  • can't draw on the screen
  • can't highlight
  • no font choices
  • dictionary didn't work
It should be able to allow one to write on a PDF though. Hmmm.

The 'edit' tools were not going to be 'ready' until 2010 but they weren't going to charge for adding them though they do with the 'DR1000S' model, an added $100 there.

Review of the DR1000S model and the 9 steps it takes to close a file in some instances.
- Paper tiger


Quote:
The DR800SG is not ready to be released, and there is no way it could have been released in late October. I can only conclude that the original release date was an outright lie on the part of Irex.
High hopes, usually and marketing vs engineers.

- Andrys

Last edited by andrys; 01-10-2010 at 09:59 AM.
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