Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book Readers > More E-Book Readers > Astak EZReader

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-14-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
Tom2112
Tablet eReader
Tom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheese
 
Posts: 45
Karma: 1060
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Western PA
Device: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, iPad, Dell Streak 7, Moto RAZR MAXX
Astak Mentor Lite 6" - First Impressions

Well, I just bought an Astak Mentor Lite 6" for my sister. (Don't tell her, it's a surprise!) And it arrived in the mail today. I've had it for all of about 3 hours so far, and I've only had an hour or so to monkey with it.

I purchased it through buy.com, and it was a good price: $230 plus $15 shipping and handling. The package arrived without incident, and I was impressed with how well they packed the Mentor's box inside another box with a bunch of packing foam. So kudos to buy.com.

I pulled the unit out of the packing materials, and the consumer box it was in was stylishly designed. It was lighter than I expected. I popped it open and pulled out the Mentor. The mentor was securely packed within the box and protected with a heavy foam pad over the screen. It was also inside a plastic pouch. While it isn't waterproof, I will have no anxiety shipping this to my sister overseas.

Finally:
I got a black Mentor simply because I didn't like the look of the white and I figured white would show its age quicker in the long term. The Mentor was surprisingly thin. You don't really think about how thin 0.35 inches is, but it's thinner than my iPhone. It was also very light. I don't know what I was expecting - as this is my first dedicated ereader - but maybe I was expecting a big battery and extra weight and size from it.

The Mentor has a nice satin finish to it. I would have liked a glossier finish for bling-factor, but I know the satin will hold up better, give better tactile grip when holding the device, and it will fade into the background while I'm reading. So that was a good choice, Astak.

The black Mentor is nice looking, and has several buttons (seven) around the outer edge of the device. They are all cryptically labeled with unintelligible icons - except the power button which is obvious. I was shocked to learn that the "Off" notification on the screen was NOT printed on the plastic sheet of screen protector. And as soon as I pressed the power button the device booted. It booted relatively quickly, though I think it should be quicker. But then again, we all want things quicker no matter how fast they are. The boot time was not excessive by any stretch.

Once the device booted, I started playing around with it. The interface isn't complicated, but it will take a minute or two to figure out. The one thing that really puzzled me was that you could scroll down through the ebooks already on the device by hitting the down directional button, but it did not scroll to the next page after the bottom item. You have to hit the right button to go to the next page. While I suppose that makes sense from a book perspective, it doesn't make sense from a computer perspective.

The device isn't nearly as responsive as my iPhone, but it wasn't terribly slow either. I opened up one of the included ebooks and paged through it. I was completely impressed with the e-ink screen. It looks fabulous! Sure the black could be a touch blacker, but the contrast was excellent and the text was easier to read than a lot of papaerback novels I have lying around.

I thought the screen flashing between each page turn was bizarre until I found out that it is the nature of the e-ink screen to do that. The page turns weren't lightning fast, but were very acceptable - probably about the same amount of time as I would normally take turning a page in a print book.

I found the interface to be a bit klunky at first. I guess I'm just used to using Stanza on my iPhone. But after a few minutes I was navigating with ease.

The menus are a bit cryptic, and I wish the device were more configurable - but I'm a techie - I wish everything was more configurable.

I only ran into one real problem. I loaded a large (13 Mb) .RTF file onto the device and tried to read it. The device never opened the file. It sat for several minutes - I even left, went to the restroom and came back and the device still hadn't started the file. I tried navigating away, but all the buttons were unresponsive - even the power button. So I clicked the reset button on the back with the tip of a pen, and the device immediately rebooted. I didn't try that file again. I grabbed a couple other files and they all worked fine.

I did notice that the device does not support .LIT files. That's disappointing as I have a ton of them. It's not a deal-breaker though, since I can convert them to epubs if I take the time.

I should mention that the device came with a nice faux-leather carrying case. The case fits the device nicely, but the front flap doesn't close quite right. I think the magnets are misaligned, and you have to close it "just right" to get it to stay closed. Other than that, the case is nice. I don't think I would want to read too much with it in that case, but I'm sure my sister will appreciate it since she will probably throw the device in her cavernous purse.

Overall, I'm impressed with the Mentor 6" and if I didn't always have an iPhone in my pocket, I would probably buy one of these for myself. As it is, I will definitely take advantage of the device and use it to read on the plane trip to go deliver it to my sister.

Feel free to ask questions, if you have any. I will have the device for a few weeks before I give it to my sister.
Tom2112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
Tom2112
Tablet eReader
Tom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheese
 
Posts: 45
Karma: 1060
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Western PA
Device: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, iPad, Dell Streak 7, Moto RAZR MAXX
P.S. I haven't tried an SD card out yet. But the USB connections works like a charm. The device appears as a USB memory stick in Windows and I just drag and drop files into it. Easy-peasy.
Tom2112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 12-15-2009, 02:32 PM   #3
Tom2112
Tablet eReader
Tom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheese
 
Posts: 45
Karma: 1060
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Western PA
Device: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, iPad, Dell Streak 7, Moto RAZR MAXX
Well, I tried the SD card, and I almost wish I hadn't. The device is getting RMA'd now. There's something physically wrong with the SD card slot. It takes more force than usual to insert an SD card (not a lot, just more than usual) and it makes a funny click before it should. Then it seats in the slot just fine. It works fine until you try to remove the SD card. You press it in a little to release it and it pops out about a 1/4 of an inch, but then it doesn't want to come out any farther. It takes a good grip and some pulling to get it out, and it makes a click and a pop when it finally does come out. I've tried it with a couple SD cards just to make sure it isn't my card, and I get the same results.

So now I'm waiting to see if the company I ordered it from will take it back. Even though I ordered through Buy.com, it was being sold by another vendor. So we will see...
Tom2112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2009, 04:43 PM   #4
MaggieScratch
Has got to the black veil
MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.MaggieScratch knows the square root of minus one.
 
MaggieScratch's Avatar
 
Posts: 542
Karma: 7960
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Device: Kobo Aura One, Kindle Paperwhite 2
If it's anything like the Cybook Gen3 (another Netronix clone), the SD card is a little tetchy, yes. You have to push very hard until the card is a little lower than the edge of the card slot and wait for the very obvious click to know that it is home. To get it out, you have to push it DOWN and it should pop out then, enough to pull it out.

It works, absolutely, and I've had my Cybook nearly two years without a problem. I keep all my books on the SD card, so I'm always popping the card in and out to load new books. It hasn't worn out. I don't know if the mechanism is smoother, or maybe I just got used to it.

Also, you insert the SD card with the top facing the back, which to me seems backwards.
MaggieScratch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2009, 05:16 PM   #5
jusmee
Wizard
jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jusmee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,002
Karma: 203682
Join Date: Oct 2009
Device: Kobo Touch / Astak Pocket Pro
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom2112 View Post
Well, I tried the SD card, and I almost wish I hadn't. The device is getting RMA'd now. There's something physically wrong with the SD card slot. It takes more force than usual to insert an SD card (not a lot, just more than usual) and it makes a funny click before it should. Then it seats in the slot just fine. It works fine until you try to remove the SD card. You press it in a little to release it and it pops out about a 1/4 of an inch, but then it doesn't want to come out any farther. It takes a good grip and some pulling to get it out, and it makes a click and a pop when it finally does come out. I've tried it with a couple SD cards just to make sure it isn't my card, and I get the same results.

So now I'm waiting to see if the company I ordered it from will take it back. Even though I ordered through Buy.com, it was being sold by another vendor. So we will see...
I find my PP SD card requires a little wriggling as I remove it, but in the end it comes out fine.
jusmee is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 12-15-2009, 05:54 PM   #6
Robertb
Astak Director, Bus. Devl
Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Robertb's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,560
Karma: 2500000
Join Date: Apr 2008
Device: Astak Pocket PRO
The Mentor Lite is an Astak product

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom2112 View Post
Well, I tried the SD card, and I almost wish I hadn't. The device is getting RMA'd now. There's something physically wrong with the SD card slot. It takes more force than usual to insert an SD card (not a lot, just more than usual) and it makes a funny click before it should. Then it seats in the slot just fine. It works fine until you try to remove the SD card. You press it in a little to release it and it pops out about a 1/4 of an inch, but then it doesn't want to come out any farther. It takes a good grip and some pulling to get it out, and it makes a click and a pop when it finally does come out. I've tried it with a couple SD cards just to make sure it isn't my card, and I get the same results.

So now I'm waiting to see if the company I ordered it from will take it back. Even though I ordered through Buy.com, it was being sold by another vendor. So we will see...
Dear Tom:

The Mentor Lite is an Astak product so you are under full Astak support and customer service.

Call us at: 1-866-368-8788 or email: support@astak.com and let us help you!!

SD card slots can very rarely just get a bad mecahnism. Do not try forcing the card. Call us and let us analyze the problem!
Robertb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2009, 11:22 PM   #7
Tom2112
Tablet eReader
Tom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheese
 
Posts: 45
Karma: 1060
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Western PA
Device: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, iPad, Dell Streak 7, Moto RAZR MAXX
Thanks folks for the online support. The SD card slot mechanism is definitely not working right. I have several other devices with similar mechanisms and while normally they require a little push and a little pull (you wouldn't want the card popping out onto the floor!), this one almost require plyers! OK, it's not that hard, but you get my point.

RobertB: thanks for the offer. I contacted the vendor and by the time I had posted here, they had replied to me with an RMA#. I'm shipping it back to them tomorrow. I just hope they don't try to "repair" it. I doubt that they do repairs of that sort anyway. I'm sure it will all work out in the end.
Tom2112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2009, 11:38 PM   #8
Tom2112
Tablet eReader
Tom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheese
 
Posts: 45
Karma: 1060
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Western PA
Device: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, iPad, Dell Streak 7, Moto RAZR MAXX
RobertB:
I have two things I would like to mention to you, in the hopes that you pass them on to your design folks. They are criticisms of the product, but I hope they are taken in the constructive fashion that I mean them. They do not mean that I don't like the product, I'm just pointing them out so future models can be improved.

First:
The USB port on the Mentor: while I love having one, the designers goofed when they made it recessed. Didn't they hear about all the hooplah over the recessed jack on the initial iPhones? Anyway, the problem is that if I don't use the USB cable that came with the Mentor, I can't plug it in!! On every other cable that I've tried (three of them) the head of the cable is too fat to fit into the recessed USB jack. I know they did this to protect the jack, but seriously: if my Blackberry can survive a flush mounted USB jack, I'm sure an e-reader can. After all, my phone (and most others these days) gets a lot more rough treatment than my e-reader ever will - stuffed in pockets, tossed in purses, backpacks, suitcases, etc.

Second:
The buttons on the Mentor lack a tactile sense of being pressed. I'm never sure if I pressed the buttons (especially the four on the left side). I often have to press them more than once to get them to function. They give the Mentor a "cheap" feel that it doesn't deserve. I wish I knew what kind of buttons to replace them with, but I'm not an electronics engineer. I can suggest buttons like on my Blackberry Curve. Grab one off a friend and try it. They are, in my opinion, tactility perfect. You KNOW when you pressed it. And it feels right.

The placement of the four buttons on the left edge (and the two on the right edge) is poor. They really should be on the front of the device. It is relatively natural to hold the device in your right hand with your thumb over "next page" button while you're reading. None of the side buttons (right or left) are convenient to press at all. They're poorly placed, and should have been on the front near the next page button or possibly running up the right side of the device (pressed from the front though).

Anyway, that's my two cent's worth on the buttons.

I can't wait to get my Mentor back so I can play with it some more.

Last edited by Tom2112; 12-15-2009 at 11:41 PM.
Tom2112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
Ladyrixx
Zealot
Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ladyrixx ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Ladyrixx's Avatar
 
Posts: 130
Karma: 585496
Join Date: Aug 2009
Device: Astak EZ Reader Pocket Pro, Kobo Mini, Nook Glowlight 2, Kobo Forma
I'm wondering about your SD slot, I have to grab mine with my fingernails and pull fairly hard on my PP. I was surprised, I'm used the them popping out easier like on my camera or DS.
Ladyrixx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 06:18 PM   #10
Robertb
Astak Director, Bus. Devl
Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Robertb's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,560
Karma: 2500000
Join Date: Apr 2008
Device: Astak Pocket PRO
Thank you, Tom!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom2112 View Post
RobertB:
I have two things I would like to mention to you, in the hopes that you pass them on to your design folks. They are criticisms of the product, but I hope they are taken in the constructive fashion that I mean them. They do not mean that I don't like the product, I'm just pointing them out so future models can be improved.

First:
The USB port on the Mentor: while I love having one, the designers goofed when they made it recessed. Didn't they hear about all the hooplah over the recessed jack on the initial iPhones? Anyway, the problem is that if I don't use the USB cable that came with the Mentor, I can't plug it in!! On every other cable that I've tried (three of them) the head of the cable is too fat to fit into the recessed USB jack. I know they did this to protect the jack, but seriously: if my Blackberry can survive a flush mounted USB jack, I'm sure an e-reader can. After all, my phone (and most others these days) gets a lot more rough treatment than my e-reader ever will - stuffed in pockets, tossed in purses, backpacks, suitcases, etc.

Second:
The buttons on the Mentor lack a tactile sense of being pressed. I'm never sure if I pressed the buttons (especially the four on the left side). I often have to press them more than once to get them to function. They give the Mentor a "cheap" feel that it doesn't deserve. I wish I knew what kind of buttons to replace them with, but I'm not an electronics engineer. I can suggest buttons like on my Blackberry Curve. Grab one off a friend and try it. They are, in my opinion, tactility perfect. You KNOW when you pressed it. And it feels right.

The placement of the four buttons on the left edge (and the two on the right edge) is poor. They really should be on the front of the device. It is relatively natural to hold the device in your right hand with your thumb over "next page" button while you're reading. None of the side buttons (right or left) are convenient to press at all. They're poorly placed, and should have been on the front near the next page button or possibly running up the right side of the device (pressed from the front though).

Anyway, that's my two cent's worth on the buttons.

I can't wait to get my Mentor back so I can play with it some more.
Dear Tom:

Noted!! I will talk with them at CES. The Mentor Lite does have those tiny buttons. I brought it up 6 months ago that there was no tactile feel. As they sell 500 to me and 50,000 at a shot to others... guess who caught their attention!!

Tom, the Mentor Lite is a great device... and too good to pass up... but the factory for the Mentor does not listen very well. I agree and will keep trying!
Robertb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2009, 06:21 PM   #11
Robertb
Astak Director, Bus. Devl
Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Robertb ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Robertb's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,560
Karma: 2500000
Join Date: Apr 2008
Device: Astak Pocket PRO
They should pop out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladyrixx View Post
I'm wondering about your SD slot, I have to grab mine with my fingernails and pull fairly hard on my PP. I was surprised, I'm used the them popping out easier like on my camera or DS.
Dear Ladyrixx:

Mine surely pops out. Please call: 1-866-368-8788 or email to: support@astak.com. Let them figure out what is going on. I do agree, when you push "in" first, it should just pop out!!
Robertb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2009, 11:04 PM   #12
water515
Junior Member
water515 began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 6
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2009
Device: Onyx Boox
Price drop

Just saw the price for the 6" Astak Menotor dropped to 199 at Newegg.com
water515 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2009, 12:54 AM   #13
Tom2112
Tablet eReader
Tom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheeseTom2112 can extract oil from cheese
 
Posts: 45
Karma: 1060
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Western PA
Device: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7, iPad, Dell Streak 7, Moto RAZR MAXX
Crap! I paid $245 delivered.
Tom2112 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2009, 04:04 AM   #14
El Macho
Junior Member
El Macho began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 9
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2009
Device: Kindle PaperWhite
I noticed the Mentor on NewEgg is listed as only having 4-level gray scale instead of 8-level. Is this accurate, or a mistake on the part of the 'Egg?

Last edited by El Macho; 12-19-2009 at 04:05 AM. Reason: spelling >.<
El Macho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2009, 04:22 AM   #15
rxsz
Connoisseur
rxsz began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 60
Karma: 20
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shenzhen, China
Device: Astak Pocket Pro
6" vs newer 5"

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Macho View Post
I noticed the Mentor on NewEgg is listed as only having 4-level gray scale instead of 8-level. Is this accurate, or a mistake on the part of the 'Egg?
The 6" one has 4-level gray scale, USB 1.1 and supports up to 4GB SD

The 5" Pocket Pro has 8-level gray scale, USB 2.0 and supports up to 16GB SD.

Not difficult to figure out which is the newer hardware. No amount of firmware change after the fact is gonna upgrade to USB 2.0, etc.
rxsz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
9.7" Astak Mentor Electra vs PocketBook 901 AlexGrant Astak EZReader 10 02-12-2012 05:15 AM
Astak Mentor 6" (EB600BLK / EB600WHT) LisandroP Astak EZReader 3 03-17-2010 03:49 PM
Astak Announces New 6" Mentor Lite emellaich News 34 11-17-2009 05:04 PM
astak mentor kakolirisn Which one should I buy? 14 06-21-2009 01:55 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:00 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.