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Old 07-20-2010, 01:04 PM   #1
rscudder
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Augen The Book: Preliminary evaluations



Battery Life
I have now gotten about 8 hours of reading done on The Book (now to be abbreviated TB), about 2/3 in dim light, and am down to one bar. I did manage to get Wifi working, (more on that), and so that was on for about 40 minutes of the time, presumably using additional battery power.

While this is nothing exceptional compared to most of the ebook readers around, it does seem to bear out Augen's claims for battery life. I used that much between yesterday and this morning, so it looks like I will need to recharge every couple days if I continue using it at this rate. I will try to do that while reading in a chair, with it plugged in. It suggests that the power connection be left on for four hours, so I'll be checking that as well.

Comments on battery life others have been getting?

I am not finding reading a strain on the backlit TFT LCD screen, even after a couple hours straight reading. Now, I do not like really bright screens, so that may also help any possible eye strain.

Any one getting eyestrain?

I have also come to the realization that turning up the brightness, as was pointed out to me, does make it easier to read in sunlight.

Wifi
Augen has indeed put up a little more information on their site on TB, and had directions for Wifi to connect and buy books. Sitting about 12 feet from the router, with a standing bookshelf between me and it, I was not able to connect again- and this time I did not even see the SSID of the system. I badgered my daughter to going over and lifting the router to a higher height, and wiggling the little antenna so they pointed at me. My laptop said 84 % Wifi reception, but I still did not see anything.

Getting off my lazy butt, I took TB into the room with the router and positioned it about six inches away. Searching for the signal did work at that point. I was able to give it the security phrase and get access to Wifi. TB showed 48 % reception six inches away. It seems they do not have a very powerful receiver installed. Browsing - slowly - was possible.

Rebecca

ps - as posted in #53 of the previous thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...t=84004&page=4 , I am going to be doing a review on TB, and will be mining user comments for the user reactions portion of my review. Please message me if you do not want any attribution of your comments. I will be contacting anyone if I want to quote from a post they made. That post has details about this review. I am directing you there because the posting guidelines say do not duplicate posts in different forums.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:20 PM   #2
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Rebecca,

It sounds to me like the wifi function of your particular unit is defective. Mine found not only my wireless network (the router was in another room), but my next door neighbors' network, which is a pretty good distance, given the size of the lots around here.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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Well so far so good. I haven't done a timed measurement but battery life seems decent. The wifi connected to my router with no problem. It even remembers the password the next time you connect. It also connected to a friends router that was on the the other end of his house. The text to voice works well if a little monotone. I only tested the video capability with a couple minutes of a cartoon avi file. Looked nice for its size. Have tested PDF, txt and html ebook formats. All seem to work well. Tested audio on 2 or 3 mp3's it worked with built in speaker but not that well. Probably work a lot better with headphones. The font selection and font sizes seem quite nice. I can read ebooks easily with brightness turned way down. This device also does something I haven't seen elsewhere, it splits words on the fly at the end of lines with a - and if you change to landscape it puts the word back together and splits the new word at end of the line. This means if makes better use of the space on the screen. ie displays more text.

Now a few suggestions for improvements.

1. Need a way to lock down the orientation. The auto adjust is wayyy too sensitive.

2. Need to be able to set the style ie margins, line spacing and justification globally instead of on each book.

3. Need for it to recognize cbr or cbz files so people can use it to read comics.

4. Need to be able to rotate the browser orientation so you can see the whole width of webpages.

5. Definately need an auto-shutoff timer. So you wont wake up to a reader with a dead battery.

6. This is more of a wish than a need but I would love the ability to use that keyboard to fix ocr errors on ebooks as I read.

Will post more as I remember more items.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilohertz53 View Post
Rebecca,

It sounds to me like the wifi function of your particular unit is defective. Mine found not only my wireless network (the router was in another room), but my next door neighbors' network, which is a pretty good distance, given the size of the lots around here.
My unit isn't quite as bad as Rebecca's, but it does have by far the worst Wifi ability of any of my gadgets.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:25 PM   #5
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How well does it handle PDFs? I saw it at Kmart today and just couldn't bring myself to buy it just for night reading (I just got a Nook late last month). I do have a lot of PDF books/mags that just don't play well with the Nook.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lastblade View Post
How well does it handle PDFs? I saw it at Kmart today and just couldn't bring myself to buy it just for night reading (I just got a Nook late last month). I do have a lot of PDF books/mags that just don't play well with the Nook.
Not very well.

I wouldn't get this for PDFs.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:51 PM   #7
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Too bad, thx for the info.
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Not very well.

I wouldn't get this for PDFs.
Hmm. I just returned mine to Kmart today for various reasons stated in the original thread, but one of the things I *was* impressed with was the reading of pdfs. It was truly a pleasure, even for texts with complicated text formatting and those little text inserts on the side of the page.

I considered keeping it just to read pdfs, but couldn't get past some of the other irritating features.

-Marcy
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:17 AM   #9
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I'm finding the comments and "reviews" just a bit harsh for a $90 ebook reader
This is my very first so i guess i don't know what to expect - heheh

Long story short - i'm blind in one eye and have not read books in years as after just 10 minutes or so both eyes are watering
So, the grand experiment to see if an e-reader that lets me change font and spacing was the ticket
Certainly didn't want to spend the money that would be necessary to aquire a sony or a kindle but happened across news of The Book (TB) at kmart for $89 bucks - cool - sold out in my area but a friend 20 miles away managed to snag me one

TB is wonderful i have to report
i bought it just as a reader so the terrible browser wasn't an issue although i wanted to try purchasing a book but there was no way i was gonna do all that scrolling around - being able to view in landscape would solve most of this but sadly....
Also, i had no issues with the Wi-Fi connecting - TB just asked for the password once and remembered it
Did have an issue with the Wi-Fi turning itself off but so far that happened just the one time

I have not had an issue with a too sensitive orientation but i tend to sit pretty still while reading

Wearing trifocals i found the middle lens the best and with my limited viewing area reading in landscape mode worked very well
Almost by accident i found how comfortable it was to hold as i had read about half of chapter one of "bram stokers dracula" before i realized how perfectly the reader rested in the crook between my thumb and forefinger of my right hand with the page turning button naturally under my thumb (not in leather case of course)

I would definitely recommend TB to noobs wanting to try out an ebook reader
I'm sure i will eventually upgrade when the 3g readers get to a reasonable cost but for now i'm just tickled as i was able to read for over a half hour with no issues - ha!

Now i need to figure out what all those file extentions mean and where and how i get new books and whether you can just buy them from anywhere and try to convert them or do they just automatically work (now that seems unlikely)
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:59 AM   #10
rscudder
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Hi Kurt,

Welcome to the ebook world!

I think that the reviews are not trying to be harsh, as much as we are all learning about it. Augen did tout its virtues!

I think that the ability to have resizable type is wonderful for people with variable eyesight- your comments put that virtue into perspective

There are a lot of places where you can get free- and legal- ebooks- if you mention the type of books you like to read, I think many people will chime in. My advice on putting the books on the reader is to do it through a computer- either directly on it (not really fast) or on an SD card, where you can play with the hierarchies for the books. A computer browser will make getting books much easier than using the browser in TB. (even though mine is working )

I would avoid ebooks in PDF for this reader for one reason- the resizing / zoom is most limited for PDF ebooks.

Have you tried the text to speech function yet?

Rebecca
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:10 AM   #11
rscudder
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night reading / pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lastblade View Post
How well does it handle PDFs? I saw it at Kmart today and just couldn't bring myself to buy it just for night reading (I just got a Nook late last month). I do have a lot of PDF books/mags that just don't play well with the Nook.
Hi,
Marcy had a frustrating experience with it as far as night reading, but I have used it at night 3 nights running, and I am getting the hang of the essential keys pretty well down. If you do get your hands on one to try, would you post how it handles night reading as opposed to your iPad, which I noticed you had listed under your devices?

TB doesn't have the traditional Apple glassy screen and I have been successful reading outside on it, although I do turn up the brightness for that. I have not, however, read for long outside- just 15 minutes at once, I think, so I do not know if outside reading will induce eyestrain.

I think, although I don't suggest Kurt use PDF format on his TB because of the zoom issue, that I am in Marcy's camp in general on PDF clarity and images. I'd actually be interested in seeing an art book on TB, to see how well it works, since it does have the color and the PDF mode. I have a copy of the 40" x 40" CIA factbook map of the world PDF- I think I am going to pull that over and see how it looks
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:28 AM   #12
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The Book kinda fascinated me, so I went out and hunted down a Kmart (I thought they were extinct). My beloved Sony 700 is starting to have battery problems (not holding a charge like it used to) and I wanted a smaller scale lit screen for portability, in compliment with my iPad.

Quick Notes:

This is an ereader... and a competent one, not a web browsing tool, or a multimedia player. It can do those things, but not satisfactorily.

WiFi worked fine for me, but I doubt I will use that much.

Someone on another thread compared it to the ebookwise,and that is a fair comparison, but The Book has a bigger color screen, and supports many more formats. I have only tried non DRM'd epubs, and epubs from which I have stripped the DRM, and it seems fine, except for some odd spacing with apostrophized words.

Don't = Don' t on The Book for the files I have loaded using Calibre.

I am happy with the purchase at the moment. Will give more feedback, as I get better acquainted with it.

Last edited by Donnageddon; 07-21-2010 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:33 AM   #13
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One more thing. Internal hyperlinks do not seem to work (example: table of contents), or even appear to have a way to attempt to use them. That is not a good thing.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:42 AM   #14
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The Augen handles pdfs, especially Adobe ebook pdfs, reasonably well in that I can actually read the tiny type on the TFT screen without resorting to the lame zoom function. But pdf has always been a crappy format for e-books. In trying to make an e-book look exactly like its dead-tree cousin, the typical pdf has an island of small print marooned in the middle of a sea of white space. The huge margins look classy in a paper book, but are a complete waste of precious screen real estate in an e-book, since most e-reader devices have only 5" to 7" screens.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:13 AM   #15
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PDF

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilohertz53 View Post
The Augen handles pdfs, especially Adobe ebook pdfs, reasonably well in that I can actually read the tiny type on the TFT screen without resorting to the lame zoom function. But pdf has always been a crappy format for e-books. In trying to make an e-book look exactly like its dead-tree cousin, the typical pdf has an island of small print marooned in the middle of a sea of white space. The huge margins look classy in a paper book, but are a complete waste of precious screen real estate in an e-book, since most e-reader devices have only 5" to 7" screens.
Have you tried the PDF menu options of fit to width or height?

I am going to pull a PDF into a program and see if I can do any resizing of it. Results to follow...
Rebecca
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