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Old 05-24-2010, 03:35 AM   #1
After Nightfall
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Smile My first impressions of Bebook Neo

A week ago, I took the plunge and ordered my Bebook Neo from mybebook.com. I'd spent months reading this forum and analysing reviews, and decided that the Neo, in spite of its problematic battery life, was the device for me.

First things first, I really have to praise the delivery service that mybebook.com is using. My Neo was shipped on Wednesday, and on Thursday, there was a delivery notice in my mailbox! I live in a somewhat obscure where-the-hell-is-that country of Slovenia, so I'm not used to such prompt deliveries at all.

Incidentally, my electronicreading.eu cover that was supposedly shipped on Monday hasn't arrived yet...

My first impression was "oooh, it's an overgrown iPod!" However, the Neo felt much sturdier than an iPod, and pleasantly rough in my hands. I also liked the metal back. When it arrived, it was partially charged, and had the 1.3something firmware installed. I turned it on immediately and admired the screen. I liked the sharpness, and the fact that the background was light grey rather than white didn't bother me. I actually prefer it to pure white. I am a programmer by profession, I spend most of my day staring at computer screens, and usually set my application backgrounds to light grey rather than white, since my eyes seem to prefer it.

The most important thing that I was itching to try out was, of course, the sunlight issue. So I charged my Neo, loaded up some of my favourites from Project Gutenberg, and settled in the bright spring sun to enjoy. I read in the sun for about half an hour, turning pages, experimenting with full refresh on and off, and there was no change whatsoever in the colour of the e-ink. There was also no glare from the screen, which my eyes appreciated. If anything, the display was more readable in brighter light.

I had no trouble with purchased DRMed ePubs either, when I transferred them from my computer via USB. Then I decided to test the WiFi. Here, I encountered my first disappointment. My home WiFi network uses WPA, and is hidden. My Neo did find it, even if it could not show its name, but when I entered my password, it got stuck on "Connecting..." and never did get connected. Just for a test, I set my network to not hidden, and got connected immediately. This is not acceptable for me as I prefer to keep the network hidden for security reasons, so I guess I won't be using WiFi for the moment. I will, however, be submitting a request for the next firmware.

After my experiments with WiFi, I charged my Neo up and set to reading. Over the weekend, I was reading about 3 hours a day with Neo in standby if I was only going to leave it for a couple of minutes, and off when I went out and overnight. The battery is now down to three bars from the original five. I can live with that, although I would of course have been happier with a longer battery life.

What would have been very nice to have, however, would be not to have to reopen the book I was reading before I shut the Neo off. The "Recent documents" list seems to have a quirk, namely, all my "Last accessed" times are 00:00:00 - midnight, no matter when I actually opened the book. So when I was opening a lot of books in the beginning to see how they looked, "Last access time" was no help in finding my book since all the books had the same access time: 2010-05-22 00:00:00. I had to locate it manually on the fourth page. After that, I cleared the "Recent documents" list.

This is not a dealbreaker, but merely an annoyance. I know how quickly bugs can creep in, and I hope that this one, if it is a bug, gets resolved soon.

I have no complaints about the touchscreen, the sketch function is a nice addition and I haven't tested out the annotations yet. All in all, I am happy with my purchase because it performs its function - reading - extremely well. The screen is everything I hoped it would be and the WiFi problem will hopefully get resolved. I'm now eagerly awaiting the cover because I'm much too paranoid to take my Neo anywhere unprotected.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:38 AM   #2
xiaoff_1982
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plastic back, not metal.

neo is a shanzhai model of China's onyx boox 60.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:13 PM   #3
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plastic back, not metal.
Are you sure? It feels cold, so I thought metal as well...
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:44 AM   #4
HarryT
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If the back isn't made of metal, it's a damned good impersonation of metal .
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:14 PM   #5
artof
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wifi hidden

My home network is hidden but Neo found it without trouble, listing all available networks, hidden and public. You may have some other issue
rgds Arto
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:10 AM   #6
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Good to have your company, AfterNightfall, Xiaoff and Artof. It's not often we get to meet a whole trio of new members at the start of a new thread. Best wishes. Neil
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:42 PM   #7
jezster
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Well I have my Bebook Neo now and I'm starting to enjoy it greatly. I had a Sony PRS-600 for a while, and the only feature I miss is the use of Metadata. It was nice in building libraries and controlling books.

Other than that it's excellent :-) and I'm looking forward to any software updates that come. Is it worth casing the Boox software or just stick with Neo branded?

Cheers

Jez,
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jezster View Post

Other than that it's excellent :-) and I'm looking forward to any software updates that come. Is it worth casing the Boox software or just stick with Neo branded?

Cheers

Jez,
If you are happy trying Beta firmware and the risks it brings then go ahead. There are bugs and a couple of functions seem to have been removed (the screenshot function for example) but if you don't like it, you can always go back to the Neo firmware.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:37 AM   #9
After Nightfall
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My home network is hidden but Neo found it without trouble, listing all available networks, hidden and public. You may have some other issue
rgds Arto
Hmm, that is interesting. Do you have the Neo or the Boox firmware? And do you see the name of your hidden network when you're trying to connect? I do not see the name at all, only a nameless network.

I will look into my router settings. For information, my router is a Linksys and I use WPA2.
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:38 AM   #10
artof
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I have the march edition of Neo software. I use WPA2-PSK with Netgear router with n-standard. Not at home now so cannot see exactly what type. I can see the name of my own and all other available networks, the closed ones (like mine) with a little padlock. I have not tried to connect anywhere away from home, so don't know how it would function e.g. at some public access point.

Have a nice midsummer, rgds
Arto
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