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Old 02-06-2010, 02:00 PM   #1
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Hanvon N516, some questions to owners

Hi there,

I'm very interested in the Hanvon N516. I already searched for reviews, photos and videos but I still have some unanswered questions. I've already found out that you can flash OpenInkpot on the N516 and that meanwhile you can open EPUB and PDF on it. With the old firmware this wasn't supported some months ago and this is maybe the reason why the device isn't that popular.

Maybe someone here owns this device and can answer me those questions:
  • Does the device support justification? Can I choose a font and override the standard font of the document, as seen on Cybook Opus?
  • Is it possible to set the size of the margins and the line spacings?
  • How many font sizes does this device have? The Wiki says 8-12 font sizes, in the videos I only saw 3 font sizes. That is the problem I'm having with the Sony Reader. It has only three font sizes. The smallest one is just about right, sometimes it could even be smaller. The bigger one is already to big and the big one is unusable on this little screen.
  • Can I turn the screen only to one side? Or is it possible to turn it upside down, so that you can use the trigger on the left with the right hand?
  • How fast does it turn the pages? On some reading devices you have to wait a little before you can turn the pages again. If you press too fast the device doesn't recognize it and doesn't turn the page. So it isn't possible to make a fast forward for a few pages. On other devices on the other hand you can press down the turn button and it has a fast forward.
  • Is Text-to-speech really supported as it is written in the Wiki?
  • Is there a possibility to lock the screen or do I have to shutdown and boot up the device every time I'm changing the tram lines?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Greetz

Scheich Xodox
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:41 PM   #2
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Hi there

I have a Hanvon N516... I got it before Christmas last year, but didn't like it much, so in January this year I bought a kindle.

I found it very dark, so reading in poor light was impossible.

It has 3 font sizes.

I don't know about justifications, I like left justified text.

I don't use text to speech, as I like to read. I don't think mine has text to speech.

Page turning is slow, I press the wheel, when I start reading the last line.

It stays open on the book you're reading for approx 2 hours, after which it shuts down... Starting up is slow, so go make a coffee.

It only rotates once, pressing the button again gets it back to normal view.

If you hold down the page turning wheel for a few seconds it'll forward/backward 10 pages.

I don't think I can answer anymore of your questions, as I only used it for a short time.
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:53 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot. That was really helpful. I also read that your N516 lost the page where you were in the book so that you couldn't resume reading and always had to search the page again. Is it really that bad, that you can't even continue reading after shutdown?

I also don't need the Text-to-speech function. It would be just a nice gimmick. I only asked because I think that the Wiki is wrong here. The only reader I know about which has Text-to-speech is the Kindle.

Now I'm not that sure anymore if I still want that reader. Maybe some of the flaws will disappear with the OpenInkpot-Firmware. But I don't want to buy something I'm not really convinced about.

Greetz

Scheich Xodox
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scheichxodox View Post
Maybe someone here owns this device and can answer me those questions:
  • Does the device support justification? Can I choose a font and override the standard font of the document, as seen on Cybook Opus?
  • Is it possible to set the size of the margins and the line spacings?
  • How many font sizes does this device have? The Wiki says 8-12 font sizes, in the videos I only saw 3 font sizes. That is the problem I'm having with the Sony Reader. It has only three font sizes. The smallest one is just about right, sometimes it could even be smaller. The bigger one is already to big and the big one is unusable on this little screen.
  • Can I turn the screen only to one side? Or is it possible to turn it upside down, so that you can use the trigger on the left with the right hand?
  • How fast does it turn the pages? On some reading devices you have to wait a little before you can turn the pages again. If you press too fast the device doesn't recognize it and doesn't turn the page. So it isn't possible to make a fast forward for a few pages. On other devices on the other hand you can press down the turn button and it has a fast forward.
  • Is Text-to-speech really supported as it is written in the Wiki?
  • Is there a possibility to lock the screen or do I have to shutdown and boot up the device every time I'm changing the tram lines?
The one I bought from Fry's had the v1.7 firmware. It can do none of the things you want.

But I just got Open Inkpot installed, and it can do nearly everything: margins, line spacing, font choice, 15 font sizes, justification, all 4 orientations, etc. And it does respond to repeated page turns. But it can't do TTS or sleep mode.

I wouldn't get the N516 just to put OI on it. It's too risky. Once you try to install OI, you can't go back to the original firmware. I failed at least 5 times before i successfully installed OI. The risk of being stuck with a bricked device just isn't worth it. There are several e-readers in the same price range that are quite good without the risk.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
The one I bought from Fry's had the v1.7 firmware. It can do none of the things you want.

But I just got Open Inkpot installed, and it can do nearly everything: margins, line spacing, font choice, 15 font sizes, justification, all 4 orientations, etc. And it does respond to repeated page turns. But it can't do TTS or sleep mode.

I wouldn't get the N516 just to put OI on it. It's too risky. Once you try to install OI, you can't go back to the original firmware. I failed at least 5 times before i successfully installed OI. The risk of being stuck with a bricked device just isn't worth it. There are several e-readers in the same price range that are quite good without the risk.
... and they look a lot better...

One thing I like about the N516 is that it's attached to its cover by magnets... That prevented my dogs from eating the actual unit, because it fell out, to just mauling the cover.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:57 AM   #6
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The one I bought from Fry's had the v1.7 firmware. It can do none of the things you want.
What firmware would mine have? and how do I find out?
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by scheichxodox View Post
Thanks a lot. That was really helpful. I also read that your N516 lost the page where you were in the book so that you couldn't resume reading and always had to search the page again. Is it really that bad, that you can't even continue reading after shutdown?

Now I'm not that sure anymore if I still want that reader. Maybe some of the flaws will disappear with the OpenInkpot-Firmware. But I don't want to buy something I'm not really convinced about.

Greetz

Scheich Xodox
After the unit has shut down and you want to read your book... you start it up, make a coffee, and then go into 'recent readings', pick your book and find your place... Probably if you use a bookmark you might be able to find it quicker...

I wouldn't buy this reader...
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:32 AM   #8
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But I just got Open Inkpot installed, and it can do nearly everything: margins, line spacing, font choice, 15 font sizes, justification, all 4 orientations, etc. And it does respond to repeated page turns. But it can't do TTS or sleep mode.
There is a sleep mode. It is being activated after some time of inactivity (1 - 1.5 seconds). You can see the blue led blinking after each page turn - it is going to sleep.
And if you hold the OK button for 3-4 seconds it will block the keyboard.

Quote:
I wouldn't get the N516 just to put OI on it. It's too risky. Once you try to install OI, you can't go back to the original firmware. I failed at least 5 times before i successfully installed OI. The risk of being stuck with a bricked device just isn't worth it.
Well, there is a way to install original firmware back. http://openinkpot.org/wiki/Device/N5...iginalFirmware

It is virtually impossible to brick N516 while flashing OI.
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:37 AM   #9
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15 font sizes

To be precise, there are 19 font sizes. From 6pt up to 24pt.
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:16 AM   #10
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Guys, this is really great news. After Nate's OpenInkpot hint, I just read the User Guide and I must say that OI supports nearly everything I need. You can set any font, font size, bold, line spacings, margins, justification. You can set how the rotation behaves if you click the rotate button. You can choose between 90 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise, 180 degrees or 90 - 180 - 270 - 0 by each press. You can set the indicator below the text and if it should show the position in the book, page number, time, battery status. Hell, you can even set the height, font size and the offset from text for the indicator.

OI seems even a lot faster than the original firmware. There are YT-Videos like this one where you can see how fast the OI firmware is compared to a Sony. And in this video you can see a bit of the UI and the speed. You OI-Developers really did a great work. Thanks for that!

I think I'm going to risk it and try the N516 with OI. The problem is here in Germany ebook readers are still expensive. For a Pocketbook 360 you have to pay 240 Euro. One of the cheapest devices you can get here is the Sony PRS-300 for roundabout 180 Euro. Right now I found a special price for the N516 which is normally sold for 190 Euro, now for only 155 Euro. That's also the reason for my questions here.

Thank you all. You were a great help.

Greetz

Scheich Xodox
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:32 AM   #11
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It is virtually impossible to brick N516 while flashing OI.
Does getting stuck in the middle of the Flash process qualify as bricking it? That happened to me several times before I succeeded.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:27 AM   #12
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Does getting stuck in the middle of the Flash process qualify as bricking it? That happened to me several times before I succeeded.
It's not completly bricked if you still can flash it. There might be a problem with old usbboot version. It always got stuck in the middle of the flashing when I was using it in VirtualBox, but the newer usbboot works fine even in a virtual machine. You can download it here: http://openinkpot.org/pub/contrib/n5...oot-new.tar.gz

Btw, if it could flash some part of the firmware, the bootloader should be already there (it takes the first 1Mb of flash, afaik) and you can proceed with installing a reinstall image from the SD card.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:01 PM   #13
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Good luck scheichxodox. I've replied to the PM you sent two days ago (summary: I love OI, I hope you do too but here are the caveats).

lunohd: any idea when we'll see an official release of OI which includes the new usboot? It's a pity you have to point people to a separate usbboot download in order to get a reliable install (e.g. handling bad flash blocks).

If it's not happening soon, do you mind me documenting it in the InstallationGuide?
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:49 PM   #14
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Thank you all for your help but I decided against the Hanvon N516. The reason is I want to wait until larger devices will be available. More reasons for my decision in this thread.

Greetz

Scheich Xodox
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:52 PM   #15
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lunohd: any idea when we'll see an official release of OI which includes the new usboot? It's a pity you have to point people to a separate usbboot download in order to get a reliable install (e.g. handling bad flash blocks).
The next daily build will already contain new usbboot.
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