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Old 05-28-2010, 08:15 PM   #1
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Pocketbook 360 vs. EZ Reader Pocket Pro

I can't decide. I like the looks of the Pocketbook 360 and I like the great reviews I'm reading. On the other hand, the EZReaders seem great too. I'm wondering anyone can help me decide.

This will be my first eReader. It'll be a gift for me, so I really do want to make it count.

I read in the matrix that the Pocketbook 360 only has 4 levels of gray, while the EZ Reader Pocket Pro has 8. On the other hand, the matric tells me that the 360 has a dictionary and note taking capabilities, while the Pocket Pro does not have either.

Now, I can't say that I need or would often use any of that. Is the Pocketbook worth the extra $$$'s?

Can I copy and read RSS feeds on either?
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:27 PM   #2
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One thing I'd look at is how they organize the books. One of my big issues with PP is that it does pretty much nothing, organization-wise. You have to kludge together your own method of organization, with directories, otherwise everything is just dumped on there. There no searchability, no front end showing covers or database behind it, etc.

For someone who reads one or two things at a time, and only copies things to the reader right before reading, that's no big deal. But if you want to keep your ENTIRE ebook collection on the unit all at once? Its a nightmare.

No idea what the 360 does in this department. I've heard a lot of things about the unit, but haven't actually used one.

Back to the PP for a bit and its inability to manage, on the device, a large inventory of book files. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of other things about the PP. Okay screen (not excellent, but pretty darn good for the price). Decent ergonomics for either left or right hand use (big centrally placed easy to use buttons for page turning with your left hand, a nice "lever" switch for doing the same with your right hand). Replaceable battery, as long as you order the part. Decent case coming with it by default. The ability to read just about any format (although I think the 360 also has that). But the lack of ANY kind of book organization interface is a price to pay for that, and the low cost, with the PP.

The 360's ergonomics, frankly, look even better. You've got those HUGE page turn buttons, and apparently you can flip the display to use the buttons with either hand. That's a great idea. Plus apparently there's some kind of accelerometer built in, like Wii peripherals have, and it can be used to turn pages just by tilting the unit (don't know how well it actually works though).

The differing gray levels between the PP and the 360? No idea if that really makes a difference if your focus is text and not pictures.

re: RSS feeds - by default I don't think either can do it "out of the box", but either probably can (or ANY ebook reader) if you use Calibre as your ebook management/copying utility. Calibre also makes up for some of the PP's shortfall in book management, since at least if the unit is hooked up to your PC, and Calibre is running, you can get a nice searchable database of what's sitting on the unit.

Last edited by Spiffy; 05-28-2010 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:39 PM   #3
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Pocketbook is supposed to read rss, though I haven't tried it myself.

Organizing books is very easy, you can create folders and move files around without using a computer, you can add books to favorites and you can even organize your favorites in folders, so that you have a simulation of the 'collections' used by sony, if you prefer that to folders. The two or three (don't remember for sure) last opened books are always visible on the top of the main menu so that you can have easy access to them any time.

It is so versatile and customizable, the ergonomics are great and the cover ingenious. Is it obvious that I really want one for myself?

I don't know much about the Pocket Pro, but the Pocketbook is highly recommended.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:41 PM   #4
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thanks! I thought of another question, if anyone knows: how easy is it to clip a reading light onto either of these units?

Also, re levels of gray. I don't read graphic novels, but I do love art books. While I realize that most art books should be color, I have seen some grayscale images that would fail if the gray rendering was sloppy. I say this without knowing what kind of art books I'll find cheap or free.

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Old 05-28-2010, 08:51 PM   #5
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I Have Both and...

PB 360 wins hands down.
A simple 30 degree (adjustable to any angle) flip and you can turn a page back or forward - saves wear and tear on both wrist and hardware buttons.
Ultimate organizing ability - just make folders on your SD Card (I have a 16 Gb in there) and you can load books from there (I name my folders by author - can have as many as you want )
Better contrast than EZ Reader and very much quicker page turns
Neat snap-on cover to protect screen (reverses for reading)
The RSS is nothing to write home about and the games are a bit lame
The best part is FBReader - very customizeable - can choose fonts, spacing, etc.

Also, read the post in the PB 360 sub-forum titled
" Hey! I Just Got A Pocketbook 360°... "
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:31 PM   #6
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That's a glowing review, thanks for pointing me there.

I forgot about another one that was on my short list: the Aluratek Libre Pro. I don't see that one in the matrix for comparison with the other two. How does it compare? Looks to me quite a bit like the EZ Reader
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:06 PM   #7
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Its all a function of your needs and preferences:

Do you care that the Astak does TTS?
Do you care that it tries to read LIT files?
If yes, then the Pocket Pro is your toy.

Also, I have the older Hanlin v3 and stability is *not* its best suit. Not sure if the V5s are different but after a year of installing alternate firmware after alternate firmware, I just moved on to the PB360. Check the Astak and Hanlin forums for details on the current state of the firmware.

Conversely:

Do you care about end-user typographical controls? You choose font face and size, margins, chapter headings, and how practically every possible tag displays and even choose whether you want a status bar or not. (I don't; I want nothing but clean text with quarter inch margins all around. And I have that.) These overrides are all controlled globally, from inside the reader app, for DRM-free content, and via a less powerful but still useful userstyle css file for DRM'ed files. (This one is a recent hack--check the Pocketbook forum for details.)
Do you care that the PB360 Themes let you change the look of the Bookshelf *and* the features it offers? (I use the "Five" theme that displays the last nine opened bookss on the main page and only the five most used functions as Icons. It also adds an extra display mode for the bookshelf that lets you browse your folder structure 29 titles per page. I know of about two dozen other themes. You can also build your own. not trivial but not hard, either.)
Do you care that you can do dictionary look-up from multiple dictionaries from inside the ebook you're reading? They provide a tool that lets you create your own dictionaries if you choose to.
Do you care that you can do full page or partial page screen caps and paste them into an HTML file as a form of note taking?
Do you care that you can define the functions of every single button on the device to get it to work the way *you* want it to work? (I have mine configured so that I can control all the reading functions I care about with one finger, my thumb, with minimal effort. And I can hold it in position with either hand, stress-free, for hours.
Do you care that the hard cover it comes with clips to the rear? (Apparently some folks hadn't noticed that. )
Do you care that you can choose which app opens DRM-free ePubs and PDFs by default and still choose an alternative manually on a book-by-book basis?
Do you care that (if you choose) you can assign a button to display a list of your last ten open books and you can switch to any of them on the fly from *inside* an open book? No need to quit one book and go to the bookshelf to open the other. It has its uses, I've found.
Do you care that the bookshelf has full file-managemennt features (copy, move, rename, delete, create folder, etc) and lets you choose whether to display file names or metadata?
Do you care that it comes with games and a calculator app and has several dozen other free games and apps you can install, from chess and checkers to a Bejeweled clone?
And (finally) do you care enough about enough of them to justify the cost?

Your call.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:24 PM   #8
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I care! I care!

Can you clip a light to it for night reading?
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:30 PM   #9
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Thumbs up I have the libre pocket pro and like it a lot

Quote:
Originally Posted by jezebel View Post
That's a glowing review, thanks for pointing me there.

I forgot about another one that was on my short list: the Aluratek Libre Pro. I don't see that one in the matrix for comparison with the other two. How does it compare? Looks to me quite a bit like the EZ Reader
For the price it is hard to beat. The book organization is easy just create folders while link to the pc that you can sort by author (my choice) type , etc... . Screen is great , it support drm'd epub, the only real draw back is battery life I usually have to charge it once every 7 days the way I read. Here in So CAl fry's has libre on sale for 139.00 a insane price. Have fun and enjoy what ever yopu final choice is
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jezebel View Post
I care! I care!

Can you clip a light to it for night reading?
Yes, you definitely can. Please check this thread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...cketbook+light
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Its all a function of your needs and preferences:
[snipped all of fjtorres' excellent points on how awesome the PB360 is...]

And (finally) do you care enough about enough of them to justify the cost?

Your call.
I just have to add to this because this just came into my mind as I was reading all of fjtorres' points/questions. Yes, the PB360 is a bit more expensive than other 5" ereaders (or other 6" ereaders, for that matter). BUT, for the expense, you get a LOT of functions that enhance your reading experience!

Take a look back through his list. It's all about optimal viewing of your book, so you are comfortable (physically and mentally) reading an ebook. IMO, that's worth the extra money. So, the PB360 doesn't come with all the neat functions such as WiFi, 3G, scribbling/annotation, etc. But - when it comes right down to it - it makes reading a book your way easy. Then, when you are done reading your book, or want to read another, the PB360 lets you put it back on the shelf and select another. Very, very user-friendly.

Of course, I am completely biased, as the PB360 is my newest toy...

Good luck on your decision. Regardless of your choice, ain't it fun to decide with the knowledge that soon you'll have endless ebook possibilities?

Happy reading.

Marilyn
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:54 AM   #12
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OK, I'm pretty much sold on the PB 360. Now.... what color? I love the pearly one (which might also ensure that my husband won't be borrowing it to take to work very often), but wonder how clean it will stay. Does anyone notice if oily fingers have made any stains on theirs over time?
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I love the pearly one (which might also ensure that my husband won't be borrowing it to take to work very often),
You may have to search him on the way out; the thing fits unobtrussively in front pants pockets.
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:36 PM   #14
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Maybe we'll get him one of his own, though I don't see him using all the extra awesome features. He'd probably be better off with one of the more basic readers.
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Old 05-29-2010, 02:48 PM   #15
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You *could* start him out with this one:
http://www.chipchicklets.com/2010/02/vtech-flip.html
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