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Old 06-14-2010, 07:21 AM   #1
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Astak Mentor for $149.99

Didn't see this posted, so thought I'd mention - Newegg.com is selling the Astak Mentor (6") for $149.99 (plus shipping), apparently a discount of $130.

Here's the link:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16858242008

Two questions:

- What is the general consensus on this device? Is it good? The Kobo is the same price; which one would you guys say is better? One thing I've noticed is that the Astak has wider format support...

- It seems Newegg only accepts orders from within US/Canada, and only US/Canada credit cards. Anyone know any way around this? I hate it when companies refuse to accept international orders. Apparently, they didn't get the memo about globalisation and the Internet and all that...
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:10 AM   #2
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NewEgg currently only exists in Canada, United States, and China since that's where all their warehouses are. As to why they don't ship internationally, when I asked for a reason, they replied that "it would not be cost effective". I think it's silly since they've become so popular and known now that opening up to the rest of the world would more than cover their losses in the short and long runs in a very quick few months.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:52 AM   #3
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NewEgg currently only exists in Canada, United States, and China since that's where all their warehouses are. As to why they don't ship internationally, when I asked for a reason, they replied that "it would not be cost effective". I think it's silly since they've become so popular and known now that opening up to the rest of the world would more than cover their losses in the short and long runs in a very quick few months.
The amount of (commercial shippers) CUSTOMS paperwork and varied regulations to comply with each countries laws takes an expert and many minutes MORE to process than interstate shipping does.

This is not the same as the tiny form you fill out at the Post Office when you send a gift. Get the Harmonized code wrong and your package hangs at either end while they decide on additional duties or impound it as contraband.
You don't get to use "Generic" forms. Names and addresses, descriptions, costs, codes must be entered in the proper places on each form. The forms must be signed by the shipping clerk that prepared the shipment and multiple copies attached. Commercial vs Gift.
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:18 PM   #4
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I'm not so worried about them not shipping internationally. I can expect that many businesses would find that unfeasible (nonfeasible?).

What irritates me is that I can't even buy internationally. Maybe I have 'sources' to get me my stuff shipped here. Maybe I have friends/family who can ship it to me. Maybe I just want to buy it from here and have it sent to a friend (in US) as a gift. Maybe whatever.

Why the hell would you stop me from buying?? Just say that you won't ship it internationally, but what's the big deal in allowing me to purchase it from here?

That's what bugs me...
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by afa View Post
I'm not so worried about them not shipping internationally. I can expect that many businesses would find that unfeasible (nonfeasible?).

What irritates me is that I can't even buy internationally. Maybe I have 'sources' to get me my stuff shipped here. Maybe I have friends/family who can ship it to me. Maybe I just want to buy it from here and have it sent to a friend (in US) as a gift. Maybe whatever.

Why the hell would you stop me from buying?? Just say that you won't ship it internationally, but what's the big deal in allowing me to purchase it from here?

That's what bugs me...
Because Dumb Dumb web designers probably never considered gifts or US Drop Ship. The other thing, may be the Credit Card processor says NO to foreign transactions because of difficulties with recovering goods or funds.
e-mail Sales and explain what you want. The Automated order may be the block point and a human can say Yes!
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:31 PM   #6
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The black one is $129.99 now. Hard to resist!!
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:51 PM   #7
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The Astak Mentor is a Netronix EB-600 variant with Epson Broadsheet controller (8 grey levels) and with the Netronix standard software. There are many similar devices worldwide, for example the Cool-er Classic. These are not typically thought of as category leading deices, but they are hard to beat at this price.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:32 PM   #8
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Smile Mentor is a fine device

Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
The Astak Mentor is a Netronix EB-600 variant with Epson Broadsheet controller (8 grey levels) and with the Netronix standard software. There are many similar devices worldwide, for example the Cool-er Classic. These are not typically thought of as category leading deices, but they are hard to beat at this price.
Dear All:

Actually, this does have the Epson Controller with 400MHz processor, user-replaceable rechargeable battery, SD card to 16GB for memory expansion, E-Ink for 9,000 pages to a single charge, plays full version of Sudoku, one-press to change from verticle to horizontal, MP3 and you can read WHILE playing music, and 8 level gey scale. It comes with the crush-resistant case included!!

I do not know what category-leading truly means. The Mentor Lite certainly is not as popular as the Kindle... but I think it does compare very favorably. It depends what you want and what is important. If speed and a user-replaceable battery and memory card expansion are critical to you and you want to pay under $150 for a great device... this IS category leading!
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:35 PM   #9
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Hey Robert -- when you flip to landscape mode, which side is the button/controller on, or can it be switched either direction? Also, are there any font choices available? Thanks!
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:47 PM   #10
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Robert,

I assume you've read my comments above regarding international sales?

Is there a way to order this device from my location (Middle East) that you can advise me of? Astak.com apparently doesn't allow it; I can only choose US or Canada as my location if I try to create an account.

Thanks
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:38 AM   #11
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Well, I bit the bullet and ordered it. My needs are simple: allow me to read my books I scanned to PDF. The landscape position will probably do that for me. I like the idea of being able to expand memory as easily as plugging in an SD card (although I don't plan on keeping my entire library on it; that's what my computer is for) and being able to replace the battery myself is appealing. I don't need to be able to download books via an expensive 3 or 4G plan or connect to my computer via WiFi (cable is good enough although if I can load directly to an SD card, that would be even better). I do not want a touch screen! Even if not perfect, at this price, I can probably live with it until something better comes out. I'll let you all know what I think after I get it and fool around with it a bit.

Last edited by Lady Fitzgerald; 06-15-2010 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Robert,

I assume you've read my comments above regarding international sales?

Is there a way to order this device from my location (Middle East) that you can advise me of? Astak.com apparently doesn't allow it; I can only choose US or Canada as my location if I try to create an account.

Thanks
I'm not RobertB, but I would recommend that you either call or email Customer Support. The email address is support@astak.com. Amy was able to help me order mine, even though I was not in the US or Canada. She recommended that I use http://www.astak.com/category.asp?id=8 to place my order, with my full address in the comments box. I'd recommend that you contact someone there first so they know about your order.

They've sold to several people in Australia, so they support international orders. If you try calling, you should remember that they are located in California, ten hours behind you, and are not big enough for 24/7 customer support lines. You'll have to call during their normal working hours.
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:14 AM   #13
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Thanks for your advice, polly. I'll try and get in touch with them, probably through email as the time difference and high international calling rates in this part of the world mean contacting them by phone is a little unfeasible.

By the way, can anyone tell me if there is any significant difference between the 6" Astak Mentor and the 6" EZ Reader? I've read the specs online, and they seem to be essentially the same, just look different. The only difference I can see is that Mentor has 8-level grayscale compared with 4-level for the EZ.

Is there anything else? And do either of them have dictionary (the website doesn't mention it, which I guess means they don't)?

*EDIT*
So I tried the Astak website by pretending I was in US (you have to create an account to see the discounted price) and apparently the Mentor is still $229 there, $100 more than the offer on Newegg. I guess I should try to contact them, instead.

Last edited by afa; 06-15-2010 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:30 AM   #14
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Okay, so I just contacted Newegg.com via email. Firstly, I was quite impressed by the promptness of the replies, specially considering the time difference (it must be very early morning in US now). So, that's definitely an 'A' for customer service.

On the flip side, it's a 'D' for Newegg and their policy of not catering to international clientele. The CSR told me that they only accepted payments from credit cards, PayPals, etc. where the billing address is in US. Since my PP address is in Dubai, it's a no-go. I would actually give them an 'F', but am being generous because I accept that they have *some* semi-legitimate reasons.

And since the price on Astak.com is far too high, I guess I'm going to have to pass on the Mentor. A shame...
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:55 PM   #15
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Do these Mentors run OpenInkpot?... if so this seems like a really great deal.

Anyone want to comment on OpenInkpot?... Is the screen on this comparable to a 505?
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