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Old 05-28-2010, 08:06 PM   #1
Mickey330
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Hey! I Just Got A Pocketbook 360°...

... and I am loving it!

The Pocketbook 360° (henceforth known as the PB360 'cause I’m tired of typing the whole name out) is freakin’ AWESOME!!

* WARNING * I tend to be long-winded and I am about to extol the virtues of the PB360 ... which is rather redundant when you look at the other posts about this thing. But - I can ... so I will. My apologies if you’ve read/heard all this before; I just have to talk about my exciting [to me] new purchase. After I ramble a bit about how wonderful this thing is, I’ll just end up in the same spot as all the other posts from other people about their new devices - pleased as punch I got it and thrilled to be ereading. So, honestly, I won’t be offended if you leave now...

Anyway.

I have an ereader 'cause I want to read books and I also want to be able to access the public libraries. So, I don’t care about all the bells & whistles that can be found on an ereader (much) except being able to have a good reading experience and the ability to access my books. I also own an Irex DR800SG that I also really, really like - mostly for its 8” or so screen and folder management system. I’m a little nervous now about taking the Irex out of the house after I already broke one while it was in my backpack (which I dropped). So, I decided to get another ereader and I picked the PB360.

Ah heck, let’s be honest - I didn’t need an excuse to buy another ereader. I wanted another one and the PB360 is what I wanted!

Now that I’ve got it, I will rank the PB360 right up there with my DR800 and, except for the 8” screen, the PB360 is as good as - or better than - the Irex. The screen clarity is just as sharp and the page turns are as fast (mayhap even faster). The Irex has that wonderful screen size, while the PB360 has this:

1) A better folder management system. Not only can I access folders on the PB360 via the computer or the device itself, I can move books around within the device (to include to the SD card or within the device’s memory) by using operations ON the device. While I cannot change the title of the book on the PB360, I can create a new folder (with menus and the PB360's ingenious keyboard) and then move the book to it. Awesome! Also, I can delete books as needed.

2) Fbreader180. A MobileRead member, SciFiFan, created this version of fbreader and then a whole bunch of others modified it at will (if I understand correctly). My apologies to not knowing the details - but my heartfelt thanks SciFiFan (and any others) because this “tweak” of fbreader is how I think an ereader should work. There are so many options for this version/tweak of fbreader. I’ve just barely gotten into all its tricks, but what I’ve seen so far is great. And,

3) I get to pick my own fonts! Right now, thanks to a stray comment from one of poshm's posts, I’m using the Andika Basic font, which was designed by a literacy group “ especially for literacy use, taking into account the needs of beginning readers. The focus is on clear, easy-to-perceive letterforms that will not be easily confused with one another.” And believe you me, on a 5” ereader; having “easy-to-perceive” letters is very important. This font is crisp and clear and I thank poshm for mentioning it. I tried the others heavily mentioned within this sub-forum, but Andika is it for now.

4) A cover. What an ingenious idea! Having a device the size of a CD case is one thing, but having the integrated cover means I don’t have to bulk up the item with an aftermarket cover so I can protect the screen. This makes this thing VERY portable and comfortable to use/hold; it is very light. The PB360 is also very streamlined (notice there’s really no extra buttons/bezel space on the PB360) which I like. Essentially, it’s nothing but a well-protected screen; no extra buttons or extraneous bits. Yes, I’ll be careful of it, but I don’t worry as much about it when I “toss” it into my purse or actually slide it into my pocket. Cool.

5) The g-sensor. I get tired of holding it in my right hand, so I turn the device to read in my left hand - the text (and buttons!) change to the new perspective. That is such a handy thing. No finding another button or clicking through a menu option (if rotation is available at all). It just does it.

There are so many other things about this, but the above are the things that get my “WOWs.” I’ve not mentioned user-selected pictures at start-up/shut-down, the incremental font sizing steps, the dictionary, the clock, the status bar, the Favorites folder (which is essentially built in links to your books), setting up fbreader as default, how it can read darn near any non-DRM format, the programmable buttons (especially the key-lock function), the ability to mark a book read/unread or the other “hackability” parts of this device. Heck, I could go on for days with all the functions the PB360 has - it’s very tempting to geek out and spend time just fiddling with all the different options available. So, I’ll stop about all that.

I must confess that I DID downgrade the firmware from 15.1 to 14.2 on the second day after I got tired of the [seems like] hourly crashes and freezes. This is a problem that’s mentioned on this sub-forum (although, to be fair, some said they had no trouble with the 15.1 version). Since the “downgrade” (which was easy to do, by the way), I’ve had zero problems. I hear there’s a better firmware versions about to be released, this is just full disclosure...

As a reader, it is very crisp and clear with rapid page turns (you can even control the number of times the PB360 does a full screen refresh upon a page turn ... but I digress). It is a very efficient, high quality product. I’ve owned a Sony PRS300, PRS600, the Irex, tried out a Nook and a Kindle. IMNSHO, the PB360 blows the Sonys out of the water and if the Irex didn’t have that 8” screen, it’d take out the Irex. I didn’t have as much time with the Kindle or the Nook to make such statements, but I think the PB360 could take them - if you didn’t need/want web access. For a 5” reader - the Pocketbook 360° punches w-a-y above its weight!

Thanks for taking the time to read all through this. If you are searching for an ereader - give this one a chance. If you want a portable, lightweight reader with its own cover that has a clear e-ink screen, you won’t go wrong looking at this. Yeah, it’s a 5” screen, but with the size-adjustable fonts, you won’t notice. Try it, you might like it!

Happy reading.

Marilyn

Last edited by Mickey330; 05-29-2010 at 09:21 AM. Reason: Changed "problem" version firmware number to 15.1 & erased where I said FBreader can read Adobe DRM'd ebooks (ADE does that).
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:46 PM   #2
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Thanks Marilyn.

Did you say that FBReader can read the Adobe Digital Editions DRM'd ePub and PDF? I thought another piece of software handled these DRM'd eBooks.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asjogren View Post
I thought another piece of software handled these DRM'd eBooks.
You thought correctly.
PB360 uses an Adobe mobile ADE implementation (with all the pluses and minuses that implies) for DRM'ed content.

Also, unless Marilyn's PB360 shipped with beta firmware, I believe the crash-prone version was 15.1, not 15.2 which is the next release still in testing. (Hourly crashes sounds like a bit more than what I'm experiencing; I get maybe once a week, lately less. But I rarely use ADE, so...)

So far she sounds happy; hopefully it will only get better as she starts playing with Themes and such. (Me, I really, really, like "FIVE".)
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Old 05-29-2010, 01:57 AM   #4
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Congrats on the pocketbook.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:16 AM   #5
Mickey330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
You thought correctly.
PB360 uses an Adobe mobile ADE implementation (with all the pluses and minuses that implies) for DRM'ed content.

Also, unless Marilyn's PB360 shipped with beta firmware, I believe the crash-prone version was 15.1, not 15.2 which is the next release still in testing. (Hourly crashes sounds like a bit more than what I'm experiencing; I get maybe once a week, lately less. But I rarely use ADE, so...)

So far she sounds happy; hopefully it will only get better as she starts playing with Themes and such. (Me, I really, really, like "FIVE".)
Thanks for the corrections, fjtorres. I WAS mistaken - the firmware prone to crashing was 15.1. And yes, fbreader can't read DRM'd ebooks. I've fixed my post in case other's don't get to yours (well, I AM long-winded! ). My apologies for the confusion...

I have a question for you - since you mentioned it. I want the themes that are mentioned, specifically either "Five" or the "Cleanlook" theme. But, I go to the recommended download link site and they aren't there (and there is a notice that states the filehosting service is temporarily unavailable). I'll mention this in the themes post in this sub-forum, but do you know of another place I can find them (well, specifically Cleanlook as I understand you can get to the Calendar with it)?

Thanks again for clarifying things.

Happy reading.

Marilyn
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:40 AM   #6
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Yowsa! The hosting service has been raided by the PTB.
(Naughty, naughty!)

Well, FIVE can be found in this thread;
http://67.205.70.12/forums/showthread.php?p=836266
Post number 60.

Hopefully nobody will object if I upload my *copy* of cleanlook to the themes thread. (If they object, I'll take it down, of course.)

Have fun!
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