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Old 06-19-2010, 05:18 AM   #1
Hadel
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Question Contrast&Glare: PocketBook 302 vs BeBook Neo

I spend (as I do usually) an extreme amount of time comparing these 2 devices:
PocketBook 302 and BeBook Neo (Boox 60)
They have pro and cons for me, but ultimately I cannot find a good judgement on 2 important aspects:
Glare and Contrast

I have no experience with e-ink readers so i need some input from you:
1. Glare.
Boox {Edit}PB 302{/Edit}has touch screen on top of the e-ink and it has to have more glare.
How bad is it? maybe compare it with normal non-glossy TFT, a glossy TFT and standard e-ink. {Edit} Is the mate screen protector they ship it now any good? In terms of preventing glare and not decreasing the touch screen function. {/Edit}
I want to be able to read it in the park, next to a window but not necessarily on the beach under the direct sun.

2. Contrast
Which of the two devices have better paper reproduction? I guess (but correct me if I am wrong) that it is good to have the "paper" part as white as possible. Which one has whiter "paper"?

And few minor points:
- is there anything better for ~300Euros
- which of the two is likely to have more active community - i ma a techie and like to hack and tweak my devices
- is the bluetooth on Pb 302 really possible to connect via mobile?

Thanks for your reactions in advance!

Last edited by Hadel; 06-19-2010 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
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Device: Onyx Boox 60, PocketBook Touch
The Boox has its touchscreen BELOW the eInk (it's Wacom), as opposed to the PocketBook 302. It is the Pb that has its touchscreen layer on top. The Boox has less glare than the Pb.

Whether or not the glare on the Pb will bother you is something only you can decide. Some people hate it, some people don't have a problem with it. Glare on readers seems to be worse in artifical light than in sunlight. I heard from people who tried that mate screen protectors are no good at all.

All e-readers currently on the market use exactly the same eInk displays from the same supplier. So they all look the same. Although the Pb may have less contrast than the Boox because of the touchscreen layer.

I like your shortlist! These two are probably the best 6" inch readers currently available for ~300 EUR. You might want to wait for the Pb 602 which seems to come this summer, which has a mate screen, so less glare than the 302, but probably some other hardware changes as well (they mentioned a less powerful battery, for instance).

I have a Boox myself, and can recommend it. There is an active community on Booxusers.com. I don't know about the Pb community.

Last edited by Zetmolm; 06-19-2010 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadel View Post
1. Glare.
Boox has touch screen on top of the e-ink and it has to have more glare.
How bad is it? maybe compare it with normal non-glossy TFT, a glossy TFT and standard e-ink. {Edit} Is the mate screen protector they ship it now any good? In terms of preventing glare and not decreasing the touch screen function. {/Edit}
I want to be able to read it in the park, next to a window but not necessarily on the beach under the direct sun.
The boox has not more glare than my PRS-505. The PB302 has much more glare. PocketBook delivers the PB302 with an antiglare foil though. With the boox there is just no need for such an foil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadel View Post
2. Contrast
Which of the two devices have better paper reproduction? I guess (but correct me if I am wrong) that it is good to have the "paper" part as white as possible. Which one has whiter "paper"?
Both are far away from having a white background. The background of PB302's display seems to be a little bit more gray though. Contrast and font sharpness of both devices is comparable imho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadel View Post
- is there anything better for ~300Euros
Imho not - at least not with a comparable range of functions. The BeBook Neo, a boox60 hardware clone, is also interesting though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadel View Post
- which of the two is likely to have more active community - i ma a techie and like to hack and tweak my devices
The PocketBook community seems to be bigger and more active - even (or especially) here on MobileRead. There is also an official SDK for the PocketBook firmware available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadel View Post
- is the bluetooth on Pb 302 really possible to connect via mobile?
Yes, i tried it multiple times with different mobiles.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:07 PM   #4
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetmolm View Post
The Boox has its touchscreen BELOW the eInk (it's Wacom), as opposed to the PocketBook 302. It is the Pb that has its touchscreen layer on top. The Boox has less glare than the Pb.

Whether or not the glare on the Pb will bother you is something only you can decide. Some people hate it, some people don't have a problem with it. Glare on readers seems to be worse in artifical light than in sunlight. I heard from people who tried that mate screen protectors are no good at all.

All e-readers currently on the market use exactly the same eInk displays from the same supplier. So they all look the same. Although the Pb may have less contrast than the Boox because of the touchscreen layer.

I like your shortlist! These two are probably the best 6" inch readers currently available for ~300 EUR. You might want to wait for the Pb 602 which seems to come this summer, which has a mate screen, so less glare than the 302, but probably some other hardware changes as well (they mentioned a less powerful battery, for instance).

I have a Boox myself, and can recommend it. There is an active community on Booxusers.com. I don't know about the Pb community.
Yes you are right - indeed the PB 302 has the touch-over screen.

My problem is that I can't test any of these 2 devices. And for 300 Euros they seem to deliver not as good package as I expect. After all 300 Euros can buy you a decent netbook.

Today I spent some time reading through the issues each device has and it is frightening. Onyx has quite some bad habit to send devices that cannot refresh pages under direct UV light (some monkey forgot to put the UV filter in the screen factory! dammit! Feed them more bananas!), for example. Not to mention that several firmware upgrades down the road still have bugs that should have never left the lab at first place!
PB's touch screen can have up to a centimetre from EACH edge where the stylus is not working AND the battery goes to 0 in few hundred pages instead of 10.000 pages . Helooou! Did you EVEN TRY to keep the device on standby for a week?! It takes NO EFFORT but just to leave it alone in a corner! (Dammit! Rent rooms with more corners!!!)

I really miss a company that can put some decent thought, make the effort and deliver decent product on a acceptable price AND not expect the customer to subsidize their half-hearted fault-fighting for years to come. Or sponsor their "next generation" product release.

{sigh}

P.S.
Exactly the same happened when I was looking for a media player...
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Onyx has quite some bad habit to send devices that cannot refresh pages under direct UV light (some monkey forgot to put the UV filter in the screen factory! dammit! Feed them more bananas!), for example.
*Every* manufacturer using displays made by PVI has a number of devices that don't work under direct sunlight. It's not a special "Onyx issue", it's a "PVI issue".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadel View Post
PB's touch screen can have up to a centimetre from EACH edge where the stylus is not working
I can't confirm that. Perhaps there are some faulty devices out there but i've never seen one with this issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadel View Post
AND the battery goes to 0 in few hundred pages instead of 10.000 pages . Helooou! Did you EVEN TRY to keep the device on standby for a week?!
Actually the PB302 has the most powerful battery that i've ever seen in a E-INK device. During the last german MobileRead Meetup i've even charged my Palm Prè over USB with the PB302.



You will find some horror-stories about every device out there. Order one, test it and if you don't like the device then return it...
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:00 PM   #6
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Well, if you think 300 Euro is too much for what you get, don't buy one (yet).
But these readers are not as bad as they may seem sometimes on the forums. When people have problems they'll let all of us know. When people don't have problems they don't tell us - they spend their time reading!

As netseeker says, the sunlight issue is not brand specific. And once Onyx knew about it, they have made sure that new batches are OK.

The Onyx firmware is very good, actually. It's stable and reliable. I've had the Boox for almost half a year now, and never had to reset yet. Of course there are bugs, as in all software. But nothing that really hurts.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:30 AM   #7
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I have quite a few different readers, and personally consider the Neo / Onyx to be the best 6" device currently available.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:25 PM   #8
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I debated a long time between the Onyx Boox and the PB 302. I chose the 302 mainly because it doesn't need a stylus to operate. I'm happy with my decision but there are some things I don't like.
  • Some of the 302s are pretty reflective. Mine is one of them. But most days I don't notice it.
  • In direct sunlight, my screen doesn't completely paint. This is a problem with only some of the screens, I understand.
  • PDF support is good, but not as good as in the Boox.
I've never had a problem with part of the screen being unresponsive. In fact when I want to move the screen up or down, I drag my fingernail along the very edge of the screen. As far as contrast, it's good enough. I wouldn't mind having a little better contrast. It's about like reading a cheap paperback. I read under a 19w CFL light and have no problems. I can read in direct sunlight as long as I shade the reader when I turn the page.

The pocketbook developers are constantly releasing new firmwares. I'm pretty pleased with my reader, especially with the latest firmware. Right now I think the Boox might be the slightly better buy especially if you don't have a problem with the stylus.
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