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Old 03-17-2010, 07:08 PM   #1
krhysling
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Jetbook/JBL/Libre vs. Pocketbook 360

I've been without an ebook reader since I sold my PRS-505. One of the main reasons I got rid of it was ergonomics. I hated the right side page turn buttons.

So, between my choices, cost is not a big issue. Battery life is not an issue. DRM choice is not an issue.

What I do care about is screen quality, page turning ergonomics, HTML support, and general reliability.

JBL: I've looked at pictures and can't tell if I will like the screen more or less than eInk. I've read some complaints about it requiring careful positioning to avoid uneven lighting/contrast. However, some people say it looks better than eInk which I find enticing and faster page turns wouldn't hurt.

PB 360: This one is pretty appealing. A big concern is the clicking noise from the buttons some people find annoying. Does the d-pad make as much noise as the big buttons? I know about the G-sensor page turning firmware, so this might be moot.

But the big issue is HTML support. A primary function of my new device will be to (hopefully) provide me with a portable copy of Access to Insight. There is a downloadable copy of the site.

Would any kind JBL/Jetbook/Libre and PB360 users be willing to try loading it and poking around? It's about 52MB unzipped so it's not too huge. Also, is there any difference in HTML support between the JBL/Jetbook/Libre devices?

Thank you very much for any help you can provide in my struggle to make a decision!

Kieran
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:28 AM   #2
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I've found a video comparing both of them in a thread, in case you hadn't watched it already it can be of help.

As you can imagine, I can only speak from the PB360 view.

The big buttons are stiff, which is a bit cumbersome, and probably loud, though the only moment when I can imagine that makes trouble is if you read next to somebody else. However the D-Pad works smoothly, less noise.

About the ergonomics: the sensor of the PB360 works just fine. You can read with both hands very smoothly, up to the point that I usually invert the device and use the left hand though I'm right-handed: as it leaves the D-Pad in the left side, I can concentrate better on reading text from left to right. Though of course that's a personal thing.
If you don't like the flash while turning pages, there is an enhanced software version for the HTML reader (FBReader) which allows you to deactivate it (it's been very nice for me, as I really dislike the flash). Lastly, it has never hung for me, up to date (1 month).

About the site, I've been poking some minutes with it. The content itself displays nicely, however there is content I can't get to see (random suttas, or contact information, for example). However, as it is the first HTML file I open with the reader, I'm not very savvy with it.

Last edited by Logseman; 03-18-2010 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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I've found a video comparing both of them in a thread, in case you hadn't watched it already it can be of help.
Thanks for pointing that out. I hadn't seen it yet and it definitely is helpful.

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If you don't like the flash while turning pages, there is an enhanced software version for the HTML reader (FBReader) which allows you to deactivate it (it's been very nice for me, as I really dislike the flash). Lastly, it has never hung for me, up to date (1 month).
Is that enhanced software included with the firmware that allows the page turn by tilting? Have you noticed any ghosting problems since disabling the flash?

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About the site, I've been poking some minutes with it. The content itself displays nicely, however there is content I can't get to see (random suttas, or contact information, for example). However, as it is the first HTML file I open with the reader, I'm not very savvy with it.
I really appreciate you trying it out. It sounds like something I could work with.

Kieran
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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Another thread on the topic of HTML in the Libre which will be of interest to you. The "Similar Threads" section below the posting interface is a gold mine, I hadn't seen it in other forums and it's really helpful, it seems to parse just the right words to bring the useful topics.

Quote:
Is that enhanced software included with the firmware that allows the page turn by tilting? Have you noticed any ghosting problems since disabling the flash?
Yes, it is, however I don't like the tilting feature so I can't report exhaustively on that, as I don't use it. From its side, ghosting is, as far as I've used it, not bothering at all. While reading it's been a non-issue with me (I actually discovered the ghosting only in a white page, and it can be almost not seen).
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:50 PM   #5
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52 MB is actually a rather large file as far as many ebooks go. Are there a lot of illustrations?

I don't have a pocketbook, but I do have a Jetbook, so I will give you my opinion of the device.

From the hardware perspective, the screen is both its strongest feature and its biggest negative. The screen is clear. While a some people do prefer e-Ink, the reflective LCD is very readable in the same light conditions as e-Ink, has excellent contrast and a near instantaneous refresh on page turns. Unfortunately, these strengths come at the cost of reduced battery life. While the battery lasts much longer than units with a back lit screen, its still far less time than e-Ink can give you. To put it in simple terms. I would estimate I get about 12-14 hours of reading from the Jetbook between charges. Figure three or four days worth of reading 2-3 hours a day (allowing for losses while its sleeping between reading sessions). In contrast, most e-Ink readers can go for much longer periods of time between charges.

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Old 03-18-2010, 03:41 PM   #6
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I had the Libre, and traded it in for the Pocketbook 360. If DRM isn't an issue for you, the FBReader is a much better software for reading than the Adobe. And even if you do want to read DRM books, the Adobe support on the Pocketbook is better than the Libre.

I don't really notice the clicking unless it's in a REALLY quiet room. I prefer the wing buttons to turn pages, I actually have all the buttons mapped to turn the page, that way I can hold pretty much any way I want and use whatever finger or thumb is handy to turn the page, and with both hands, since it automatically flips the screen.

After I got my Pocketbook, my husband traded in his Sony PRS600 for a Pocketbook for himself. He likes it much better too.

Something else that I noticed, even though people say the LCD is as easy on the eyes as the e-ink, and I didn't really notice it until I traded in for the Pocketbook, my eyes used to get more tired reading the LCD screen. I can read the e-ink screen much longer.

Edited to add: I don't know about the HTML support, but what I would recommend is asking the Calibre folks to add that site to their downloads. I read MSNBC and Newsweek on the Pocketbook. Which reminds me of another nice feature -- it supports tables of contents, so it's much easier to read something like that on the Pocketbook than the Libre.

Last edited by Serena; 03-18-2010 at 03:45 PM. Reason: added comment
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:20 PM   #7
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Hi Serena,

I wanted to ask about your husband's switch from the Sony PRS-600 to the PocketBook 360. I'm considering the Nook, PRS-600 and the PocketBook 360. What is it about the 360 that your husband prefers over the 600 -- if you don't mind me asking? I was considering e-readers with 5-inch screens, but then thought I'd prefer a larger screen size. However, when I've seen comparisons between the 360 and other e-readers with 6-inch screens, I don't see a tremendous difference in the amount of text on screen. Also, how does the 360 handle RSS Feeds? I follow a few blogs and it would be great to stay up-to-date using an e-reader.

Thank you for your feedback!
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:45 AM   #8
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I can only comment about the Pocketbook 360 and I've only had it a couple of days. I have a lot of HTML files, and I am extremely impressed with how the PB 360 handles them. FBReader makes them look exactly like a novel. I don't have any files with images, so I can't help you there, but for pure, simple, plain HTML files, it works brilliantly.

I researched for months before finally deciding on the Pocketbook. My main concerns were page turn speed and then, when I heard about it, the page turn noise that I'd noticed on many of the videos available. The noise is nowhere near as bad in person as it is on those videos. It's not even as loud as a mouse click with my computer. I haven't installed the wrist page turn update yet, but I will be next week.

I can't imagine anyone not liking this device.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:38 AM   #9
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Hitchcock fan,

One reason for the switch was that my husband didn't like the reflectiveness of the Sony. But more than that, he likes the options available with the FBreader software. He thought he wanted the larger size, but he borrowed mine for a while, and decided he really liked the smaller size. I think the Pocketbook 360 is the lightest ereader available. And with FBreader, you can adjust the text size by 1 point increments if you chose, which he really liked above the Sony -- it had one, maybe two text sizes that were reasonable, and the others were way too small or way too big. You can adjust the spacing between the lines, the margin width, get rid of the status bar, basically, he can get as many words on the 5" screen as he could on the 6" Sony, with the same "readability". And you can pick your font.

The ability to map any button to any function you want is also very nice. Couple of other advantages over the Sony that weren't necessarily dealbreakers, but he thought was nice is the ability to create folders, and it shows on the menu when you have a book open and when the book has been read. You can also read a book while charging, which you couldn't do with the Sony. And it has a clock on the status bar. Small feature, but I couldn't figure out why none of the other readers had that.

The Pocketbook handles RSS feeds, it comes with an application that allows you to pick which feeds you want and upload it to the book. It works well for smaller feeds. But I've found that the Calibre program does a much better job of pulling in webpages and creating a very slick table of contents. They're open to creating a feed for whatever web page you request. (Donations probably don't hurt!)
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:53 AM   #10
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Thank you all for your helpful comments!

IndecisiveMe, you have really helped with both my big concerns about click noise and HTML support. The offline website I want to use it with is primarily simple HTML text and I have hopes that it will work well.

My finger is inching toward the Buy button....
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:32 PM   #11
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Thank you all for your helpful comments!

IndecisiveMe, you have really helped with both my big concerns about click noise and HTML support. The offline website I want to use it with is primarily simple HTML text and I have hopes that it will work well.

My finger is inching toward the Buy button....
I'm so glad I could help I forgot to mention in my last post that the page turn speed is extremely fast. Much, much faster than I had been expecting. I am very impressed with it.

If you do click that buy button, I'm sure you will love your new PB 360!
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:47 PM   #12
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Thank you Serena for your feedback -- it's greatly appreciated!! I think I've chosen my e-reader!
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:19 AM   #13
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If you're already in your way, you'll like to visit the dedicated Pocketbook sites in English and German (if possible). There are Pocketbook representatives there, and they provide much, much more than your usual customer support. Aside of the fact that people seem to like programming for the device and you see software modifications and enhancements regularly. They're almost more a fan group than a support team
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:10 PM   #14
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If you're already in your way, you'll like to visit the dedicated Pocketbook sites in English and German (if possible). There are Pocketbook representatives there, and they provide much, much more than your usual customer support. Aside of the fact that people seem to like programming for the device and you see software modifications and enhancements regularly. They're almost more a fan group than a support team
Do you mean the Mobileread Pocketbook forum? I've spent lots of time reading through posts there.

If that's not what you meant, can you give me a link to the dedicated English Pocketbook site you're talking about? I looked on pocketbookreader.com and didn't see any forum. That website could definitely use some help!

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Old 03-20-2010, 08:30 PM   #15
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I meant the Pocketbook forums here, of course. Those people provide fan service, more than customer support. Well, in order to be fan service they'd need to bring a very attractive woman as one of the support members for us to lust around her, but you know what i mean
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