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Old 08-06-2010, 11:04 AM   #1
rscudder
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Yet another Augen The Book review in the works

I finished the review on my other ebook reader, the Aluratek Libre, http://www.brighthub.com/electronics...ews/80043.aspx ,
and am starting one for TB to be published at the same site, the digital magazine Bright Hub.

I used the Aluratek for about 6 weeks before I wrote the review, and I've had TB for a month now. What I'd appreciate from other owners of the device is any points to include that I don't have listed here.

Pro
  • Very inexpensive
    Reads a very large list of non DRM formats well
    (overly) sensitive gravity sensor for reading in portrait or landscape
    Can show approximately a full page of text on the screen in a readable font
    Can handle PDF format (fairly well)
    Nice case- good protection
    backlit, with adjustable settings
    text to speech function
    several choices in fonts and sizes
    color
    has additional functions besides ability to eread (but doesn't do them all that well)
    Wifi
    browser (slow)
    matte screen
    can handle large (32GB) SD card
    has external speaker
    has keyboard
    has notepad (1 page)
    joystick control
    Calibre included as computer ebook manager
    can have firmware updates
    continue reading option
    can be read while charging
    available through KMart with KMart protection plan
    formatting text margins, etc.

Cons
  • has trouble with DRM books- although claims to handle them- (partially fixed in firmware update)
    awkward size
    no PDF reflow ability
    Firmware update was flawed, directions were poor
    Support is uneven to nonexistent
    early adopters are being used as beta testers
    no strap
    extra features fairly unnecessary, and do not work all that well
    notepad seems to only have one page
    low quality Wifi
    slow browser (yes, I know, what do you expect for $99)
    bit heavy
    joystick functions as enter sometimes but not always- WHY?
    entirely too easy to accidentally reformat
    does not always recognize SD card **issue becoming worse**
    books can only be managed through Calibre ***correction - other option
    poor instructions
    gravity sensor too sensitive
    Wifi and browser virtually useless
    cannot charge through USB when attached to computer
    charge only lasts for 6-8 hours, especially at higher brightness or using Wifi
    intermittent availability for puchase
    sound through external speakers is awful
    cannot remove items from favorites section
    power button works oddly
    has popup boxes with X in corner that are a real pain to shut!***problem solved
    no real way to bookmark ***not issue
    metal prongs to held reader in case look like they will suffer from metal fatigue
    LCD display not as good as e-ink for reading outside

SO- please tell me what I have missed, good or bad, that needs to be covered

thanks,
Rebecca

*new Cons -
need option to power off if not used for period of time
inability to use links in ebooks
text to speech/pronounce reads a page and needs to be started again.
text turns to gibberish in file names sometimes
charger cord slips loose VERY easily- just moving TB around

Last edited by rscudder; 08-14-2010 at 07:13 PM. Reason: corrections to list
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:00 PM   #2
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My main issue is the inability to use links (like in the table of contents, or footnotes)

Good luck on the review Rebecca. Let us know when it is posted!
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:04 PM   #3
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Also your con "books can only be managed through Calibre"

I am a firm devotee of Calibre, but with this device there is always drag and drop.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:13 PM   #4
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i have found the back button works to close those pop-up windows
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:24 PM   #5
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I am going to have to correct you on another con: "no real way to bookmark"

Bookmarking is one of the easiest things to do with this device. Just "Menu" then "Bookmark" then either "Go To Bookmark", "Add Bookmark", or "Delete Bookmark".

Actually very intuitive and simple.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:29 PM   #6
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Oh, and another new con: Then fonts are kinda flakey. Especially the "Microsoft YaHei" font. It causes an error that inserts a space in contracted words, like "Can't" becomes "Can' t".

Troublesome because the "Microsoft YaHei" font is the best font they have, in my opinion.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:17 PM   #7
rscudder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
i have found the back button works to close those pop-up windows
Thanks!

That is good to know, and can be taken off con then.
Rebecca
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:30 PM   #8
rscudder
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Bookmarking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnageddon View Post
I am going to have to correct you on another con: "no real way to bookmark"

Bookmarking is one of the easiest things to do with this device. Just "Menu" then "Bookmark" then either "Go To Bookmark", "Add Bookmark", or "Delete Bookmark".

Actually very intuitive and simple.
I don't know why I was having so much trouble- they are working now- I though perhaps it was the format of book, but I tried it with a couple, and it worked, and it even took more than one, which was a problem I had when I first started using it. I also went back to the first book and checked, and they were still there.

I am glad people are giving me input!

Rebecca
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:58 PM   #9
rscudder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnageddon View Post
My main issue is the inability to use links (like in the table of contents, or footnotes)

Good luck on the review Rebecca. Let us know when it is posted!
link issue added to cons- thanks
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:02 PM   #10
rscudder
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font issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donnageddon View Post
Oh, and another new con: Then fonts are kinda flakey. Especially the "Microsoft YaHei" font. It causes an error that inserts a space in contracted words, like "Can't" becomes "Can' t".

Troublesome because the "Microsoft YaHei" font is the best font they have, in my opinion.
I do not reproduce this issue- spacing is correct for me using that font. Can you tell me what format you were reading, or if it showed up in more than one?
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:23 PM   #11
rscudder
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new con - I have had this, as well as others reporting it too. The time set seems to slip gradually- mine was about 9 hours off, and I just reset it - I will keep track of the slipping this time.

Rebecca
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:03 AM   #12
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You omitted the ability to play avi movies or TV shows really well and to play mp3 audio files,either music or books very well..
I think the choice of fonts and their sizes a big step forward in just being able to read what the epub or whatever was formatted with. I have played with this and will use it alot.
Also not mentioned is the ability to set the side and top, bottom page margins and justification. Just a little perc, but nice if you like some self formatting.
I'm going to buy another one of these for my husband and call Augen for availability of a car charger.
I will use this alot while my husband is driving the RV at night. I much prefer the backlit screen to the small glarey clip-on lights.
I found a link for an upgrade download somewhere in a post with warnings and another with instruction. I also read a thread about Android utilties, but am not sure if they are speaking of the reader or another Augen product. I would very much like to see our own forum slot where topics can be listed together. Does anyone know how to start this?
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:53 PM   #13
RadioMan52
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Augen The Book CONS (additional)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rscudder View Post
new con - I have had this, as well as others reporting it too. The time set seems to slip gradually- mine was about 9 hours off, and I just reset it - I will keep track of the slipping this time.

Rebecca
Rebecca,
Funny thing about the clock my TB when powered on keeps time.
When power down it looks like the “clock” is powered down as well when you turn it back on the time can jump back and then move way forward and it will pop up in military time….
The most frustrating CON: is the lack of usable folder functionality for storing and playing audio or video files.
CON: The lack Of even the MOST Basic Controls in the video player (NO PAUSE?) (NO Volume Control in this day and age?) But I will say the video once started plays well using my stock avi files .
Come on folks in this day and age! I had type of “simplicity” way back on the first orient produced personal 512K mp3 players and this was like six or more years ago I guess they are regressing or just being a penny wise and a pound foolish?
I checked with my Linux friends and the ports of open source audio and video players, directory managers and even mini port of open office exist for this processor running Linux 2.
The only thing that I can think of is that Augen hired a class of China first year intergrators/programmers and this was some form of first time class project.
I am amazed that a company (Augen) would put their present and any future commercial reputation at especially with a large mass marketer like Sears/K-Mart.
Being a electronics “nerd” I opened the unit and examined it.
The electronic bones are their the to be implemented, what works can be improved to the point that this has the potential to be a fantastic device, just look at the text to speech IT ACTUAL WORKS WELL… (B+ to the student that did that module)

It looks like Augen just likes to shoot them selves in the foot or they are banking that the Android touch screen will be the premier product and the TB will just fade into obscurity via the “discount” and clearance channels.
This can easily explain the lack of forward support (or any form of support or acknowledgments) from Augen on their web support site. This may also account for the price drop at K-Mart and other sites on the TB, fire sale?
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:06 PM   #14
rscudder
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video= Pro?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dixieknits View Post
You omitted the ability to play avi movies or TV shows really well and to play mp3 audio files,either music or books very well..
I think the choice of fonts and their sizes a big step forward in just being able to read what the epub or whatever was formatted with. I have played with this and will use it alot.
Also not mentioned is the ability to set the side and top, bottom page margins and justification. Just a little perc, but nice if you like some self formatting.

snip

I would very much like to see our own forum slot where topics can be listed together. Does anyone know how to start this?
Hi Dixieknits,

Yes, I think the ability to play avi files is amazing- but the option seems to be start, full steam ahead! If there were some controls for the video, and instructions- something Augen has been light on the whole time- I would feel more positive about the video ability.

Organizing MP3 files is an issue- the sound is not.

You are completely correct about the formatting ability- I will add that to the pro list.

I started a thread for discussion on a TB subforum- I think you should post there if you are interested I mentioned what was explained to me about new subforums starting in the starter post.
Rebecca
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:07 PM   #15
Jim Stinson
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More cons: AVI is a huge file format and used mainly for editing. WMV, MP4, FLV: there are many more common formats, and this does not play them.
I did the whole DRM routine; checked out two library books. One loaded, the other gave me an error message every time.
The unit is so slow! Going from the home page to power off takes forever. Some web pages, like my library consortium here in Oregon, take up to 60" to access, let alone load.
The joystick is so slow and imprecise that when I get to a button, I have to diddle back and forth up and down half the time to hit it.
I agree re the unit's potential. When you talk of firmware upgrade, folks, do you mean the initial one that in effect, moved early adopters from beta to first release -- or has there been further improvement. My wife and I each have one, and we need more infor before deciding whether to throw them back to Heartland and let them grow up some more.
BTW as a brand-newbie, I'm impressed by the civility and good cheer in these forums.
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