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Old 01-19-2010, 08:23 PM   #1
solara
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Considering 5" - how Sony compares to 6"

Okay, since I could not touch and see an actual 5" model, I went to Fry's and looked at their older 6" model for sale there, sitting next to Sony's 5" model.

For those who have seen and held both the Astak 5" and 6" - I have some questions. First, is the feel of the plastic case the same on both models?

Second, how is the speed of the page turns on the 5" compared to the 6" - the 5" should have the newer, faster processor???

Third, how is the text resolution of the 5" compared to the 6" Astak?

Reason I ask is because the Sony 5" model was definitely faster with page turns than the 6" Astak. And I'm not sure if it was the book, or font used, but the text on the Sony seemed slightly sharper than the 6".

I would rather get the 5" Astak over the Sony 5" because of all the formats it supports, but need to compare/contrast more.

Since Astak is based in San Jose - any chance I could come to the company office and get a hands-on demo of one since I'm from the Bay Area??

I'll even volunteer to test out new models for you!
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:03 PM   #2
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YES!! You can come to the office!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by solara View Post
Okay, since I could not touch and see an actual 5" model, I went to Fry's and looked at their older 6" model for sale there, sitting next to Sony's 5" model.

For those who have seen and held both the Astak 5" and 6" - I have some questions. First, is the feel of the plastic case the same on both models?

Second, how is the speed of the page turns on the 5" compared to the 6" - the 5" should have the newer, faster processor???

Third, how is the text resolution of the 5" compared to the 6" Astak?

Reason I ask is because the Sony 5" model was definitely faster with page turns than the 6" Astak. And I'm not sure if it was the book, or font used, but the text on the Sony seemed slightly sharper than the 6".

I would rather get the 5" Astak over the Sony 5" because of all the formats it supports, but need to compare/contrast more.

Since Astak is based in San Jose - any chance I could come to the company office and get a hands-on demo of one since I'm from the Bay Area??

I'll even volunteer to test out new models for you!
Dear Solara:

I think most on this forum would say they love the feel of the Astak Pocket PRO. That is what I have heard. Please, all. chime in!!

The 5 inch Pocket PRO uses the latest EPson Controller with a 400MHz processor. Most will say it is plenty fast, I think! I use the scroll wheel to turn pages and with that it is really fast. BUT... that is my opinion and I am biased. I will tell you that the 6 inch EZ Reader Basis is not slow; but the 5 inch is really quick (unless you drive a Ferrari)! The 5 inch is the newer model and the Epson is the fastest controller on the market! Reviewers at CES LOVED the speed of the Pocket PRO. That is a fact!

The Sony is a fine device. I do not talk down my competition. BUT, it is accurate to say it is essentially stripped! You do not even have an SD card slot. No way to expand the memory. The Sony charges you extra for case and ear buds. These are included on the Pocket PRO! The Pocket PRO has Text-To-Speech! The Pocket PRO has the scroll wheel and plays MP3 WHILE you read. The Pocket PRO has me around on MobileRead Forum and that (I hope) is a plus! The battery on the Pocket PRO is user-replaceable rechargeable (Sony is sealed in).

Reviewers at CES lauded the display on the Pocket PRO. It is very clear and has 9 levels of font increase. It displays horizontally and vertically.

Finally, YES, you can come to Astak!! Just jot me a PM on this forum so I can give you my email address and we can pick a time!! The door is always open at ASTAK... but I am often very busy. I will make you gourmet coffee!! How is that for an invite?? You cannot review new models yet but you can report on Robert B!!
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:26 AM   #3
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i got my husband the pp based on formats it could read and being able to use an sd card, but i've been very favorably impressed with the speed. don't know if it's faster than the sony, but i'd be surprised if it's slower - it's a lot faster than my cybook gen 3. starts up faster, too.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:23 AM   #4
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Okay, a few more questions:

1-Does Pocket Pro support PRC (I have a lot of PRC books)? On Astak's website, they list .PRC as one of the major formats supported (under Features section), but under the complete list of supported non-DRM formats under Specifications, .PRC is not on the list (but .PDB and everything else is)??

I'm guessing the info page for the 5" and 6" reader is just not complete - the single FAQ page for both 5" and 6" state both readers support the same non-DRM formats.

2-Also, I've been reading about how Astak doesn't seem to render .LIT files very well. Is this a known problem, and are there any plans to improve support for .LIT files (not the larger than 4mb files and those with lots of pictures - just basic .LIT files with text)?
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solara View Post
Okay, a few more questions:

1-Does Pocket Pro support PRC (I have a lot of PRC books)? On Astak's website, they list .PRC as one of the major formats supported (under Features section), but under the complete list of supported non-DRM formats under Specifications, .PRC is not on the list (but .PDB and everything else is)??

I'm guessing the info page for the 5" and 6" reader is just not complete - the single FAQ page for both 5" and 6" state both readers support the same non-DRM formats.

2-Also, I've been reading about how Astak doesn't seem to render .LIT files very well. Is this a known problem, and are there any plans to improve support for .LIT files (not the larger than 4mb files and those with lots of pictures - just basic .LIT files with text)?
Non-DRM .PRC is supported on the Pocket Pro, so no worries there. There are some of us who have experienced a few minor problems with the PP "hanging" after a period of inactivity when reading a .PRC, but that was with earlier firmware (plus being non-DRM it is a very easy convert to .epub using Calibre).

There has been some discussion on issues with .LIT, and from what I can tell it is a pretty much a 'hit or miss' case with that file format. Astak have released roughly 1 firmware update each month since the PP release (AFAIK it is not a release schedule, it just happens to be coincidence when the firmware updates are released). Robert is very active in listening to our problems and passing the information on, so I have no doubt that the .LIT issues are documented and in the pipeline to be fixed.

A BIG advantage with the number of file formats the PP supports, if you have a non-DRM file that has some issues, it is very easy to convert to anyone of the wide variety that the PP supports. In the Sticky section in this forum there is a thread "Astak Pocket Pro Version listing" that is being kept up to date with what changes take place in each firmware release.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solara View Post
Okay, a few more questions:

1-Does Pocket Pro support PRC (I have a lot of PRC books)? On Astak's website, they list .PRC as one of the major formats supported (under Features section), but under the complete list of supported non-DRM formats under Specifications, .PRC is not on the list (but .PDB and everything else is)??

I'm guessing the info page for the 5" and 6" reader is just not complete - the single FAQ page for both 5" and 6" state both readers support the same non-DRM formats.

2-Also, I've been reading about how Astak doesn't seem to render .LIT files very well. Is this a known problem, and are there any plans to improve support for .LIT files (not the larger than 4mb files and those with lots of pictures - just basic .LIT files with text)?
NEGATIVE:
1) The rendering of .Lit files is not very good. It also has difficulties with rft. I'm very displeased with that and feel that Astak should drop that advertising from the list or fix it and make it usable. It's one thing to say "we have [fill in the blank]"; it's another issue entirely when it is barely usuable or functional.

2)
My case displays poor stitching, as well as mis-cutting BEFORE it was stitched together. It does, however, indeed protect the Pocket Pro.

3) The implementation of hyperlinks is a pain-in-the-ass.


POSITIVE:
1) The Pocket Pro is very good with ePub and with Mobi/PRC files.

2) It's a very light unit and easy to carry around.

3) The Pocket Pro is fun to read on.

There's much to like in the Pocket Pro, but there is a lot of work ahead for Astak. Remapping a few keys "does not a Reader make." Get the programmers off their ass and get that .Lit implementation either working or off the advertising page. I vehemently dislike advertising that sings the same song over...and over...and over again, when it is (blatantly) a hyped-up falsehood in what it promises. There are a lot more positives/negatives that can be mentioned. The Pocket Pro is a fine Reader. What I've listed here are things that really bother me, as well as listed a couple of things I really like.

Remember: Your opinions may differ, and anyone here is welcome to disagree or agree.


Don

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 01-20-2010 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:10 PM   #7
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I think Dr. Drib really summed it up well (He got "the bad case" in the lot ).

I have been successful using Calibre (another MR group) to easily convert from non-DRM .lit to EPUB.

I also think the "Supported formats list needs to be updated.
RAR and ZIP are not document formats, they are file compression methods and could be listed separately as "including files compressed with": rar or zip .
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:49 PM   #8
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Finally, YES, you can come to Astak!! Just jot me a PM on this forum so I can give you my email address and we can pick a time!! The door is always open at ASTAK... but I am often very busy. I will make you gourmet coffee!! How is that for an invite?? You cannot review new models yet but you can report on Robert B!!
Oooh, now that's a thought. I'd love to check out the Pocket Pro, especially not in a store where the only help is some cashier who says "it, um, reads books? Or something?"

Scroll wheel. Sigh. I *miss* reading with the scroll wheel on my Clié.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:14 PM   #9
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Oooh, now that's a thought. I'd love to check out the Pocket Pro, especially not in a store where the only help is some cashier who says "it, um, reads books? Or something?"

Scroll wheel. Sigh. I *miss* reading with the scroll wheel on my Clié.
It is not really a "wheel", like on a Mouse.
It is more like a spring loaded rocker switch that "rolls" a limited travel amount. and includes a push button mode (press in).
IMHO it is easier to use than the buttons on the 6") and also easier to "bump" when you did not intend to. Note to self: "Lock screen before putting PEz into shirt pocket"
Yes, the PEz really fits into a sport shirt pocket (without cover).
I use a over the neck, camera strap for a safety tether.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:06 PM   #10
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It is not really a "wheel", like on a Mouse.
It is more like a spring loaded rocker switch that "rolls" a limited travel amount. and includes a push button mode (press in).
IMHO it is easier to use than the buttons on the 6") and also easier to "bump" when you did not intend to.
Sounds good.

Quote:
Note to self: "Lock screen before putting PEz into shirt pocket"
Yes, the PEz really fits into a sport shirt pocket (without cover).
I use a over the neck, camera strap for a safety tether.
I assure you I can't comfortably put any ebook reader in a front shirt pocket. Not even my Clie. My anatomy doesn't allow for it. I've thought about getting a camera strap for my PRS-505, and it's just a bit too big; I'm pretty sure the PEZ would be too big as well. (I'm 5'1". If it's bigger than my hand, it'd look ridiculous & get in the way.)
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:06 PM   #11
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So can anyone compare and contrast the 5" and 6" Astak with regards to the plastic shell, speed of page turns, and qualify of the eInk screen?
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:08 PM   #12
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So can anyone compare and contrast the 5" and 6" Astak with regards to the plastic shell, speed of page turns, and qualify of the eInk screen?
The shell is about the same, the page turns on the 5" is faster. The e-Ink screen is the same although depending on the font the 6" text is a bit darker. This has been fed back to Jinke so I expect them to fix it. The 6" has 4 gray levels vs. 8 on the pocket pro and some text may be at level 7 instead of 8. The pixel size of the 5" is smaller so this may also make it seem not quite as dark. Often a bigger black seems more black than a smaller one. The 8 levels make images better although the 6" does a good dithering job on images.

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Old 01-20-2010, 05:09 PM   #13
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Sounds good.



I assure you I can't comfortably put any ebook reader in a front shirt pocket. Not even my Clie. My anatomy doesn't allow for it. I've thought about getting a camera strap for my PRS-505, and it's just a bit too big; I'm pretty sure the PEZ would be too big as well. (I'm 5'1". If it's bigger than my hand, it'd look ridiculous & get in the way.)
You can completely hide the PEz (without cover) with a standard MM paperback, and it is a lot thinner.
(In case: I was too subtle: That is the same book under my PEz.)


Page turns are faster than when reading said MMPB as there you need to move your hand, catch the page edge and flip.
With the Pez you flick the "wheel" or press a button. The "flash" does take a tiny bit of time.
I think it is not a fair comparison to measure page turn speeds against a computer/PDA with LCD display.

Last edited by theducks; 01-20-2010 at 08:41 PM. Reason: Subtle note
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:17 PM   #14
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NEGATIVE:

2)My case displays poor stitching, as well as mis-cutting BEFORE it was stitched together. It does, however, indeed protect the Pocket Pro.

I wouldn't dis the whole design for a manufacturing defect. This should be covered under warranty. Have you contacted them about a replacement?

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Old 01-20-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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You can completely hide the PEz (without cover) with a standard MM paperback, and it is a lot thinner.

Page turns are faster than when reading said MMPB as there you need to move your hand, catch the page edge and flip.
With the Pez you flick the "wheel" or press a button. The "flash" doe take a tiny bit of time.
I think it is not a fair comparison to measure page turn speeds against a computer/PDA with LCD display.
That looks very nice. I've been reading on a Sony for over a year, and while the page turns are normally fast enough, it'd be nice to have something a *little* faster. (The few times I've tried to read MMPBs in the last six months have driven me crazy--you need two hands! And the pages keep slipping! And it takes so long to turn them!)

I also like the extensive filetype support, esp. pdb. I made a lot of pdb files when I used the Clie, and I haven't had the energy to re-convert most of those.
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