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Old 06-15-2010, 07:47 PM   #1
kgn
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New 302 - first impressions

I recently bought a PB302 from Tatiana on this forum. She is great to deal with and highly recommended if you want to buy one yourself.

The 302 shows a lot of promise. While I like the unit, there are some small problems with it.

1. the cover verges on useless. It is a nice leather thing - looks good, and it is useful to protect the screen. But there is no hole for the power plug. More importantly, it is very hard to press the side buttons with the cover on, especially since the side buttons work in a weird fashion. You have to click on the INSIDE of the button to make it work, and with the cover on, this is hard (not impossible, just awkward). The cover also hides the power LED.

2. epub format does not seem to work very well. Personally, I find it useless - too slow and menus/buttons do not work well while in the viewer. Very hard to change pages. Often you have to swipe 3 or 4 times to change a page. Eventually, you just give up.

3. metadata is not displayed. This is weird to me - it is the very first thing I would write if I was writing the software. I am hoping for it in the next firmware release.

The thing about the metadata is fundamental. Like most users, I have a lot of books on the 302. I would like to know what they are - some details about the book - and I would like to see the cover art as well. Even in Detail or Thumbnail mode, cover art is not always (never in my case) displayed. Certainly no book (meta) data is displayed.

PDF is a problem (to me, useless), but that is not a surprise. I guess PDF will always be a problem. I do not count this as a problem as I think all 6" readers will be the same.

All the other formats seem great (ie FB2, DOC, TXT, etc). I think this is because these formats all use the FBReader, and that seems to work just fine.

WiFi worked. I don't know what to do with it yet - but I got a wireless connection very easily. The internal mini-browser seems a bit of a problem. I went to Google and it did not display properly. Could not use it at all. Not a big issue for me, but if you want to surf the web it will be.

There is a very nice clock - looks good. The games and other apps are fairly basic.

The 302 does not come with an English dictionary. You can download a fairly old and basic one, but I was not that impressed with it. Still, the few times I tried it, it did work.

Glare was a big worry for me - many people reported it as a problem, and suggested that a matte screen protector would be needed. Frankly, I cannot see the problem. My screen has no glare at all. I was slightly disappointed in the contrast of the screen though - it does not have a white background - it is more of a dirty gray. This does not give as bright an image as I would have liked. Still, it is very readable, as I guess all eink screens are.

The 302 handles the SD card seamlessly. You just plug it in and anything on the SD card will appear in your list of books. You do not have to switch to it, or to internal memory - it just does it. It also seems very fast. Very nice.

If you tilt the 302, the g sensor changes the orientation of the screen. In theory, anyway. I found it to be very flaky. Sometimes it would - sometimes it wouldn't. Or it would do it when you did not want it to - and to get it back can be awkward. Frankly, not worth the trouble.

The touch screen is great. It is just as well, as I cannot use the buttons (with the cover on)!! it is very nice. Swiping the page left to right (or vice-versa) changes the page - very much like the iPhone and the like. Swiping up and down changes the font size. Very nice.

I like the fact that you can change the theme (the very first thing I did). Now it looks pretty good. And you can change almost everything else - very nice also.

This is the very best thing about the 302 - it seems you can change almost anything. Even the poor ePub reader - I suspect it will be fixed - or if not - you can find another one and use that instead.

It is a nice unit.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:11 PM   #2
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Which ePub reader are you using? AdobeViewer or FBReader? FBReader180? All three?
Just curious.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:26 PM   #3
kgn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Which ePub reader are you using? AdobeViewer or FBReader? FBReader180? All three?
Just curious.
Dunno - whatever the default is on the 302. It is not FBReader though.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:06 AM   #4
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Whatever the default is, is adobe.
Not sure how it works on the 302 but on the 360 if you press and hold on the line item for an epub book in the bookshelf, you get to choose what app opens it. (Open With...)
You can also tweak a plain text extensions.cfg file to make FBReader the default.
And, finally, you can install FBReader180 and a hacked version of AdobeViewer into the system/bin folder to replace or supplement the factory installed versions.
Check the sticky threads right here for details.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:33 AM   #5
zensun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgn View Post
1. the cover verges on useless. It is a nice leather thing - looks good,
I found the cover to be pretty useless, too, and would debate that it 'looks good'! I'm currently using it upside down in my bag so I can slip the reader in/out when needed. I'd *really* love to know about a simple slipcase that would fit the 302!

Quote:
2. epub format does not seem to work very well...

<snip>

PDF is a problem (to me, useless), but that is not a surprise. I guess PDF will always be a problem. I do not count this as a problem as I think all 6" readers will be the same.

<snip>

If you tilt the 302, the g sensor changes the orientation of the screen. In theory, anyway. I found it to be very flaky. Sometimes it would - sometimes it wouldn't. Or it would do it when you did not want it to - and to get it back can be awkward. Frankly, not worth the trouble.
I'm guessing you're using the 15.1 version of the software? I had similar issues (especially with the g-sensor). Upgrading to 15.2 really improved reading PDFs and g-sensor performance for me.

Quote:
The internal mini-browser seems a bit of a problem. I went to Google and it did not display properly.
Agreed. When I found it couldn't handle Google, I didn't go any further with it. Very disappointed with the browser.

Quote:
Glare was a big worry for me - many people reported it as a problem, and suggested that a matte screen protector would be needed. Frankly, I cannot see the problem. My screen has no glare at all.
You're very lucky, then! Glare is an issue with mine, I often have to tilt it to remove the glare.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:39 PM   #6
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I'd *really* love to know about a simple slipcase that would fit the 302!
The PB302 is almost exactly the same size as a Kindle, if that helps at all.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zensun View Post
Agreed. When I found it couldn't handle Google, I didn't go any further with it. Very disappointed with the browser.
The beta version of the webkit browser (found on the firmware thread) is very functional. The menu doesn't work but it browses many more web sites. Google works fine, as does wikipedia. I've changed my extensions.cfg to use this browser to display .html documents. It works very well for me. Supposedly the real deal will be delivered in September but until then I'll use the beta.
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMcLaren View Post
The beta version of the webkit browser (found on the firmware thread) is very functional. The menu doesn't work but it browses many more web sites. Google works fine, as does wikipedia. I've changed my extensions.cfg to use this browser to display .html documents. It works very well for me. Supposedly the real deal will be delivered in September but until then I'll use the beta.
Thanks for that. Will look into it. It is rather puzzling why they ship the current minibrowser. Surely they checked it on Google?? Dunno if any other site worked - if Google does not work, then nothing else matters!
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:03 AM   #9
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The PB302 is almost exactly the same size as a Kindle, if that helps at all.
Very much, thanks! I found a large selection of nice slipcases on Amazon.co.uk.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:11 AM   #10
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I recently bought a PB302 from Tatiana on this forum. She is great to deal with and highly recommended if you want to buy one yourself.
Thank you for such a great feedback! I truly appreciate that.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:37 AM   #11
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3. metadata is not displayed. This is weird to me - it is the very first thing I would write if I was writing the software. I am hoping for it in the next firmware release.
This disturbed me too with my PB360, until I realized you can save all your books with useful titles with Calibre very easily.

I have 3 classes of books -- plain, tagged and series. Plain is obviously a stand-alone book, tagged are books that are part of the same "universe" but don't have a special order they should be read in (i.e. Nero Wolfe) and series, well they are series.

I save all plain books as "Author Name Folder/Title -- Author(s)"

I save all tagged books as "Author Name Folder/Tag Folder/Title -- Author(s)"

I save all series books as "Author Name Folder/Series Folder/Series Number -- Title -- Author(s)"

So I am essentially getting all the metadata information straight from the folder structure and file names. My only complaint is series still can get split up if different authors contribute. I've considered saving those series as:

"Series Name Folder/Series Number -- Title --Author" but that would complicate my book transferring and be more work.

-Marcy
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