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Old 01-26-2018, 12:24 PM   #1
akasha
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Kepler Pro & Onyx with Calibre

Hi.

I am looking into getting a new ereader. I really like the specs of the Kepler Pro. Does anyone have one? If so, how do you like it?

Some reviews on Amazon said some of the Onyx's models are fragile. Have people here found that to be the case? I killed my Kobo Aura HD a couple years ago when I dropped it while indoors. I have Otterboxes on my phones as I am pretty accident prone!

US users, where did you purchase it? What was your experience?

I use Calibre for my library & love it. Is there an Onyx plug in? Does it store series & categories/tags in the built in Onyx reader? Or to keep those would I have to use a different app?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-26-2018, 03:17 PM   #2
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I decided to give Boox a chance and bought the T76ML from Banggood last December. It already had a major malfunction with the screen. I'm still dealing with it now since the problem came back a few hours after disconnecting the battery inside. It was never dropped or mishandled. It basically lasted less than 2 months. Shipping it back to China is costly and I'm not interested in going through the hassle of returning for repair which might incur more fees.

If you decided to order from Banggood or any seller, please read the return policy thoroughly and keep it in mind in case you get a dud. I've ordered other products from Banggood and Aliexpress and have had good luck. For me, this is my first bad experience when ordering direct from China.

With that being said, for the device itself when it was working, I didn't really care for the Android 4.04 experience with Moon+ Reader or any other apps I tried to install. The default book reader app though was decent enough for mobi, epub and text heavy PDFs. Using Calibre to load books on it with my Macbook Pro was relatively okay. Sometimes I had to restart Calibre for the external SD card to be detected but eventually it would be detected and books would load just fine. As far as series/categories/tags I didn't see or notice anything different with that. Perhaps someone else can comment on that. The case it came with is really nice, feels premium and feels good in the hand.

YMMV with Boox. Good luck!
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Old 01-26-2018, 03:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your experience rayliam. I am sorry you didn't have a positive experience with the T76ML & Banggood.

I was kinda leery of Banggood given it is in China & sells so many different things. So I appreciate the feedback on them.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:09 PM   #4
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My first experience with Onyx was a T68 - the ancestor of the T76. That one was a dud. Later, i bought the C67ML Carta from Banggood. The C67 worked well. I now have a Kepler Pro that I bought from here. It has worked very well for me. It's one of the best 6 inch Android eInk devices that I have seen, if not the best. It's only limitation is that it still runs on Android 4.04 (officially), so there could be an app or two you may want that requires a newer version of Android. But its Neo Reader 2.0 is quite good for ePub. I received mine maybe two days after I ordered it. I'm in the USA and the store is in Germany.

The Kepler Pro has a quality feel. The light is quite even. Battery life is respectable, given Android. Calibre works with it, as does Calibre Companion. I've never worked with series and categories, but my guess is that you'd be better off installing a third party reader app.

I can't speak to its fragility, as I've never dropped it! But it feels sturdy and solid, FWIW.
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:26 PM   #5
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Thanks for your insights downeaster59. It is very helpful, especially the way their devices have changed over time & your hands on experience with the KP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeaster59 View Post
It's only limitation is that it still runs on Android 4.04 (officially), so there could be an app or two you may want that requires a newer version of Android.
I thought I read that some people were able to install Android 4.4 on the Kepler Pro. Of course, looking again, I can't find the thread. I found your post about beta testing 4.4 but that the wifi doesn't work. I really thought there was a post with download links for 4.4. Think I have been reading about too many different devices! *grin*

The two apps I would really like to use with an eink program require 4.4 or better... If Onyx is working on an update, I can wait as I have a tablet that I use with them currently.

And of course now the KP is out of stock at the ereader.store site! Always the way.

I saw you also own a Nook Glowlight 3. Which do you like better and for what purposes? I am curious about your experiences with them.

I had counted the Nook out because it doesn't have a card slot. With the old 1G partition for sideloaded content, it made no sense for me. But since the partition has been removed, it came back into the debate.

Given the price & B&N is in the US, it does entice me a bit. I feel it is good to support any Amazon competition (but fear B&N will continue to shoot themselves in the foot!)

Do either handle pdfs well? I find most readers aren't good with them unfortunately. But I was hoping the KP might be better than some given the processor speed & RAM.

I think I could sideload apps for the Nook. I would figure given the processor & less RAM, it wouldn't behave as well as the Kepler Pro.

Thanks so much. I really appreciate the insights.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:49 PM   #6
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First of all, Booxtor (who works with the eReader Store in Germany) and his staff continue to work on a 4.4 upgrade for the K-Pro. The last beta they sent me for testing was much better. WiFi and Bluetooth both worked. The display did have a lot of ghosting when turning a page or changing a screen, so I needed to set it to refresh on every page. It's close, but not quite there yet.

Onyx does have some devices coming out that run Android 6.0. However, they are larger (10.3 and 13.3 inch) and much more expensive than the K-Pro would be. I haven't seen any mention of a smaller (6 or 7 inch) device coming any time soon that would run anything beyond 4.0.4, 4.2.2, or 4.4. Give me a K-Pro (or something like it) that runs Android 6.0 or higher, and I'll buy it now!

The Onyx app Neo Reader does a good job handling reflow text on pdfs. However, not every pdf is capable of reflow mode. I use my iPad for pdfs, to be honest. My eInk devices are simply too small. I haven't tried pdfs on the Nook.

The Nook Glowlight 3 has the same resolution (300dpi) as the K-Pro. The display is the same size (6 inches). Both have page turn buttons. I'm not bothered by the absence of a microsd card slot on the Nook, as I don't see the point on that device. The Nook feels lighter than the K-Pro.

The best thing about the Nook is the adjustable light feature in the display. You can make the light as warm or cold as you want. It does help for long reading sessions. You can sideload apps, and Calibre works well with it.

The K-Pro is quicker than the Nook (given its specs, you'd expect that). The K-Pro has more RAM (1 gb vs 512 mb for the Nook), internal storage (16 gb, with 12 gb available) while the Nook, since the upgrade, has one partition of 8 gb, with about 6 gb available to the user. I have tried Calibre Companion and Instapaper on the Nook, and both work fine. If you root the Nook, you can remap the buttons to work with a third party app (like AlReader). Otherwise, the buttons only work with the stock Nook reader. With the K-Pro, the buttons already work with AlReader and several similar apps. All in all, the Nook can handle some apps reasonably well, but the hardware isn't as good as the K-Pro. I suspect that the Nook's more limited hardware might mean that some apps wouldn't run on it even if they were compatible with 4.4.

The Nook is less expensive. If you don't mind fiddling with it a little, it might serve your needs. Otherwise, I'd suggest the K-Pro or the Boyue T63 or T65. The Boyues all run Android 4.2.2. The K-Pro and the Boyue can be found on Banggood. I've had good experiences dealing with them. No complaints.
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:08 PM   #7
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Hi.

I'm a K-Pro owner.

Fragility: it is a very solidly built reader. It is built like a high-end tablet (including metal case) rather than like most e-Readers. Far better than my previous eReaders (PocketBook 360, then Onyx-Boox i62HD).

I'm non-US, and don't use Calibre, so can't comment on those issues.

On the topic of Android version, if you want an eReader with newer-than-4.0, you may wish to look at the Russian variant of the Kepler Pro, the Monte Cristo, which comes with 4.2, and which they also sell through their US subsidiary (MC3 listed on their website, but only MC2 currently listed for sale).

The only major issue I have with the Kepler Pro is its button placement. The buttons are placed on the sides of the eReader closer to the top than to the bottom, which I get around by reading with my eReader permanently inverted (which Alreader allows), and the sides of the eReader curve back, meaning that the buttons are slightly recessed behind the front of the reader, making it slightly tricky to get a registered 'press' of the button without it registering as a 'long press'. (The MC comes with completely different buttons, which I have not tried, nor can I even remember reading a review of.)
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akasha View Post
Some reviews on Amazon said some of the Onyx's models are fragile. [...] I am pretty accident prone
I have five Onyx devices. Never had an issue with physical resistance. Of course, I treat them respectfully. I carry them in buffered covers, and for the big ones have added rigid sheets as extra screen protection.

If you are accident prone, you should really organize buffers around the edges of any "e-reader" shaped device you will decide upon. If commercial products are not available, you could maybe visit your DYI store.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:19 AM   #9
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Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. It is very helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeaster59 View Post
First of all, Booxtor (who works with the eReader Store in Germany) and his staff continue to work on a 4.4 upgrade for the K-Pro. The last beta they sent me for testing was much better. WiFi and Bluetooth both worked. The display did have a lot of ghosting when turning a page or changing a screen, so I needed to set it to refresh on every page. It's close, but not quite there yet.
Thanks for the details. That is very helpful to know the Booxtor & the eReader store are working on it. I thought I saw on the forums that there was a download link for some updates. If I buy it from another vendor, could I still use that? Or is that for the eReader customers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeaster59 View Post
Onyx does have some devices coming out that run Android 6.0. However, they are larger (10.3 and 13.3 inch) and much more expensive than the K-Pro would be. I haven't seen any mention of a smaller (6 or 7 inch) device coming any time soon that would run anything beyond 4.0.4, 4.2.2, or 4.4. Give me a K-Pro (or something like it) that runs Android 6.0 or higher, and I'll buy it now!
I want to stay in the 6"-7" for my reader. I completely get the appeal of the larger models. But they aren't what I need right now. It would be great if some had Android 6.0.

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeaster59 View Post
The Onyx app Neo Reader does a good job handling reflow text on pdfs. However, not every pdf is capable of reflow mode. I use my iPad for pdfs, to be honest. My eInk devices are simply too small. I haven't tried pdfs on the Nook.
I actually have an iPad Pro 9.7 for work. Cracked the screen when walking and reading at the same time! It now has an Otterbox and is only used for testing a work reader app. I picked up the 7" Fire when I broke my Kobo Aura HD 2-3 years ago. And I liked it enough that I got the 8" HD model. But I found my reading of books has dropped off the more I use it for games and such. I just think the backlit screen isn't great for long term reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeaster59 View Post
The Nook Glowlight 3 has the same resolution (300dpi) as the K-Pro. The display is the same size (6 inches). Both have page turn buttons. I'm not bothered by the absence of a microsd card slot on the Nook, as I don't see the point on that device. The Nook feels lighter than the K-Pro.
Thanks for the details. That is very helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeaster59 View Post
The best thing about the Nook is the adjustable light feature in the display. You can make the light as warm or cold as you want. It does help for long reading sessions. You can sideload apps, and Calibre works well with it.
The adjustable light has a lot of appeal. It is one of the reasons the Kobo Aura H2O v2 was still in contention is I decide to stick with purely an ereader w/o Android.

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeaster59 View Post
The K-Pro is quicker than the Nook (given its specs, you'd expect that). The K-Pro has more RAM (1 gb vs 512 mb for the Nook), internal storage (16 gb, with 12 gb available) while the Nook, since the upgrade, has one partition of 8 gb, with about 6 gb available to the user. I have tried Calibre Companion and Instapaper on the Nook, and both work fine. If you root the Nook, you can remap the buttons to work with a third party app (like AlReader). Otherwise, the buttons only work with the stock Nook reader. With the K-Pro, the buttons already work with AlReader and several similar apps. All in all, the Nook can handle some apps reasonably well, but the hardware isn't as good as the K-Pro. I suspect that the Nook's more limited hardware might mean that some apps wouldn't run on it even if they were compatible with 4.4.
All good points. I worry that the Nook may be very sluggish for anything Android. One of the video reviews seem to find it was a bit slow with page turns and such. But I am hopeful that the updates have addressed that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeaster59 View Post
The Nook is less expensive. If you don't mind fiddling with it a little, it might serve your needs. Otherwise, I'd suggest the K-Pro or the Boyue T63 or T65. The Boyues all run Android 4.2.2. The K-Pro and the Boyue can be found on Banggood. I've had good experiences dealing with them. No complaints.
The Boyues are running 4.2.2. which means they won't run either of the apps I would like on the reader.

Thanks for the thoughts on Banggood. I confess that I am a bit reluctant to buy from them. But hearing people here have had good experiences is encouraging.

Thanks again for your thoughts. They helping tremendously.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:27 AM   #10
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Thanks for your reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrafn View Post
Fragility: it is a very solidly built reader. It is built like a high-end tablet (including metal case) rather than like most e-Readers. Far better than my previous eReaders (PocketBook 360, then Onyx-Boox i62HD).
Thanks. It is helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrafn View Post
On the topic of Android version, if you want an eReader with newer-than-4.0, you may wish to look at the Russian variant of the Kepler Pro, the Monte Cristo, which comes with 4.2, and which they also sell through their US subsidiary (MC3 listed on their website, but only MC2 currently listed for sale).
The Monte Cristo 3 on the Onyx site has half the internal storage & RAM. Which is part of the reason I counted it out when I started looking at Onyx.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrafn View Post
The only major issue I have with the Kepler Pro is its button placement. The buttons are placed on the sides of the eReader closer to the top than to the bottom, which I get around by reading with my eReader permanently inverted (which Alreader allows), and the sides of the eReader curve back, meaning that the buttons are slightly recessed behind the front of the reader, making it slightly tricky to get a registered 'press' of the button without it registering as a 'long press'. (The MC comes with completely different buttons, which I have not tried, nor can I even remember reading a review of.)
I appreciate your thoughts on the button placement. I am with you that lower placement seems more logical. Though interesting about flipping it with Alreader! I will definitely keep that in mind.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp View Post
If you are accident prone, you should really organize buffers around the edges of any "e-reader" shaped device you will decide upon. If commercial products are not available, you could maybe visit your DYI store.
Good thinking on some DIY for a case. That seems to be the trouble with many ereaders. There isn't a lot of protective cases. I have Otterbox for my phone, my work iPad (after dropping it and cracking the screen...) and a shockproof case for my Fire tablet. Didn't go the Otterbox route on that as it was cheap enough that I could replace it for twice the amount of an Otterbox! *laugh*

I am a klutz and do a lot of my reading during my commute. So there is a lot of shoving things into bags quickly. Though killed my Kobo Aura HD while sitting and reading while waiting for my daughter. Slipped out of my hands & fell on a concrete floor.

I just can't have nice things! *laugh*
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:54 AM   #12
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Hi
Yes I'm so happy for e-reader store that Booxtor worked with them, but now we have July and no other update for 4.4.4! This older One, in the Kepler Pro Reviews from the e-reader store, is about 1/2 year old.
It is very fast and stable but on my KP is the fonts and the buttons so very small, (I can't without Stylus not have agood Aim).
Heee @Booxtor, what can I do for a better (bigger) Screen???
Please who has any hints to solve this (my?) problem.
Thanks for all tips
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:54 AM   #13
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The Monte Cristo 3 on the Onyx site has half the internal storage & RAM. Which is part of the reason I counted it out when I started looking at Onyx.
I have one, I will probably get a Pro soon but I'm happy with it. Handles 256G cards.
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