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Old 06-27-2016, 07:22 AM   #1
church mouse
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Tolino Vision 3HD first report

I am UK based, but got the chance to buy a new Tolino Vision 3HD (from Germany) for £120 (so a bit more than the Kobo Glo HD) on 30 day approval. My initial impressions are below, in case anyone else is considering looking for an e-reader outside the usual Kindle/Kobo default.

My book collection is managed via Calibre and is all purchased as, or converted to DRM free epub.

The Torino arrived nicely boxed, with the unit, a good quality braided USB cable, and a very small/short "Quick User Guide" (the main manual is loaded on to the reader). The reader feels solidly built and the back and sides have a nice rubbery/non-slip texture.

To get to full charge took about 3 hours.

I selected English as user language, and then set up wifi. It immediately gave me the options to download the latest firmware (1.8) and the English dictionary.

The first start process also wishes to get you to register for the Tolino bookstore, but the options are for Austria, Germany and Switzerland only and it did not want to accept my UK address. (No great loss, though registration does apparently give 5gb upload storage for books).

The unit itself is very slightly larger (though thinner and lighter) than my Kobo Glo. It has a main power button, a light power button, a reset pinhole, a micro USB port and a "Home" touch point on the front bezel. There is no sd card option. The unit is water-proofed.

I connected it to my Mac and opened Calibre. Calibre immediately recognised the Tolino, so I moved over a proportion (281) of my epub books (I have already seen reviews describing how bad is the pdf function of the Tolino, but I have no pdfs anyway). Calibre integration with the Tolino is pretty basic compared to all the extended facilities one gets as a Kobo user (such as collections organisation).

Copying the 281 books via Calibre was simple, though, once the reader was ejected, it took 13 minutes for the unit to process and index the books (but I am used to such indexing delays with my Kobos).

If one loves to do lots of tinkering with an e-reader's settings to get one's experience just right, then the Tolino will give you very limited chances. It is possible to add favourite fonts in addition to the units basic collection (ttf or otf format). However, sizing is limited to about 7 steps and Kobo's advanced options for weighting do not exist. Line spacing is also limited to three sizes. There are 3 alignment options too.

Other user options include: page refresh settings (the default is "never" but options are 1 page, 10, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 pages); auto-sleep mode at 5, 15, 30, 60 minutes and never; an option to set a PIN code security on start; and an option to use the Tap2Flip function (page turns by simply tapping the back of the reader).

My "in use" experiences are:

1. The unit is nicely light and feels pretty balanced in the hand.
2. The screen is wonderfully sharp (better than both my Glo and my H2O).
3. The frontlight is really even with virtually no shadowing/coning – again, better than my Glo and even my H2O).
4. When lit, the screen has (to my eyes) a whitish rather than blueish hue.
5. Navigation through a book and through the settings is quick.
6. Tap recognition has been very good so far.
7. No obvious page flashing.
8. The Tap2Flip function is rather nice to use (a quick tap on the back of the reader) but only goes forward – so one must touch the screen in order to go back.
9. For those users who like minimal screen information when reading, then the Tolino will make them happy – there is just a small area at the bottom for page number/total pages, and a little icon in the top right for bookmark. There is a nice feature that a touch of the page number area not only brings up a navigate slider but also details of the current chapter name and chapter pages remaining. (Coming from my Kobos where I used the Kepub option of "Pages in Chapter", having both page in book and page in chapter information quickly available is pleasant).
10. Font size can be changed by a two finger pinch, but getting to any other information (such as battery strength, time, wifi status) plus all the user settings requires a centre/top tap of the page. So, adjusting the light means tap to get the main options, then tap to get the light slider (oh, how I miss my Kobo slide up/down the left of the screen).
11. The Home page (easily returned to by a single tap of the touch sensitive area centre/front on the bezel) gives 2/3 space to books in your library and 1/3 space to the Tolino bookstore (whether or not registered to it). There appears to be no ability to change this layout.
12. Book organisation is by Title (sorted by either title, author or recent), Author or Collection – however Collection is done entirely manually on the reader itself (reminds me of my old Kindle, and I never used collections on it because of the time taken to maintain it). Contents of the library is shown in a grid or a list, with about 6 items per page, but there is a nice alphabet letter select filter at the bottom, and there is a search facility too.

My early impressions are that I like using this Tolino and that I will be keeping it as my main reader. I know I will miss some of the extended Kobo functionality but I am hoping it will prove less susceptible to the database corruption gremlin.
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Old 06-29-2016, 05:22 AM   #2
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Thanks a lot for this comprehensive review. I live in Germany and have had a look at the Tolino 3HD in a book shop. Like you, I was impressed with the sharpness of the screen and how nice it feels holding the 3HD.

I have grown very fond of all the options of my Kobo (and the 6.8" screen), but I'd be very interested to learn how you get along with the Tolino - whether you get used to its limited options or return to the Kobos after a while because you miss them...
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:09 AM   #3
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@doubleshuffle - one annoyance I have fixed is its hyphenation. I prefer little or no hyphenation, but the Tolino does allow access to amend the .dic hyphenation file.

Providing it proves reliable, I will not be going back to my Kobos.

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Old 07-06-2016, 09:14 AM   #4
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Do you have any photos you can post of it (especially next to your Kobo H2O)?

I'm really impressed with how good you think the screen lighting is. Makes me almost wish I hadn't bought the Kindle Voyage and tried this instead.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:57 AM   #5
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@soulfuldog.

Sorry, do not have the equipment to do decent photos.

Of course, there are many mixed reports on the lighting quality of the Kindles, suggesting significant variation in user tolerances, or Kindle quality control issues. For all I know, Tolinos may also have inconsistency issues too - I only have a sample of 1.

It has been a while since I had a Kindle so I cannot offer a direct comparison, but I was perfectly happy with the lighting on my Kobos, (although, in comparison with the H2O and Tolino my Glo does have some noticeable "coning") so I may just be a very tolerant user. I certainly wouldn't choose the Tolino over a Kobo simply because of the lighting. In fact, had I not grown tired of database glitches with side-loading to my Kobos, I would not have looked beyond Kobo.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:12 PM   #6
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OK thanks church mouse. Variations in both quality of the screens and user tolerance aside, can you see *any* gradient in the colour of the screen (white to yellow, the background darker the further away from the lights)? This is the thing that interests me most, as it seems a real issue with the capacitive touch screen readers like the Kindle Voyage.
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:30 AM   #7
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If I am to be hypercritical, then I would say there is a couple of mm slight shadowing at the very edges of the unit, but completely outside the reading zone. The reading area is very evenly lit and very crisp.

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Old 09-17-2016, 05:27 AM   #8
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New Tolino Vision 3 HD owner

Hi,

I bought a Tolino Vision 3 HD last Saturday for 150 CHF. Previously I had a Kobo Aura for 2.5 years; that died this Summer so I replaced it with a Kobo Aura H2O. Unfortunately I managed to lose / have that stolen after aboutone month, and I was interested in giving a Tolino a go (also I can easily pick one up locally here in CH). As for case, I am using the one I used to use for my Kobo Aura (actually a Kobo Glo case picked up for a pittance from WH Smiths a couple of years ago).

Hardware
I love the hardware - the screen is really clear and the lighting is very good. Better than my old Aura (as to be expected), probably better than the H2O. The unit is light, and ergonomically I prefer it to what I had previously (very nice feel to it, the bevel is better than I though it would be for holding in various positions - feels great in my hands). I do appreciate that is waterproof (although my days reading in the bath seem to be in the past).

Reading Experience
As for the reading experience... I did use to use the advanced font (such as weight) settings on my Kobo (as long as I stuck to a native font). Of course the Tolino does not have that, but I miss it less than I thought I would. I generally use the publisher settings, but will override the line spacing preference to something more to my liking. Ocasionally I do change fonts, and I have installed bookerley (and another font whose name I cannot remember).

Turning pages is good (unless the epub is corrupt or there is something the Tolino does not like about the file), text selection is better than in Kobo and so far I find the dictionaries (mono-lingual and bilingual) better than on the Kobo; so overall I'm very happy but there are a few things that bother me:

- impossible to zoom in on images in an epub
E.g. a table, a picture of an image of text rather than text itself. This is a real problem for me, and might push me to obtain a new Kobo (the Tolino I'll keep for pure fiction, or for the family as it is good in many other repects).

- in book search is 'clumsy'
With my kobo, I would long-press a name or word to selct, and in the pop up would choose to search within the book. The results were displayed nicely, it was easy to go from result to result and get back to your starting place.
With Tolino, I have to type the word in the search box. Also it displays results from your point onwards in the book, and not from the start. Lastly it is difficult to get back to your original starting place.

+ Landscape / Portrait
Great Tolino feature which the Kobo does hot have with the stock Nickel reader.

Library Management
The Kobo excels here IMO - lots of sorting/searching options. What I *really* miss is being able to see the book summary (prepared in Calibre) as I used to with Kobo. I really do miss it! IIRC, Kobo search was also done on this description as well as book/author name. It also means that a trilogy I wanted to start I could not because I was not sure which book came first!

As collection organisation for Kobo with Calibre was so easy, I loaded quite a few books and used collections quite extensively. I now know it is possible with Calibre and Tolino (following instructions here form church mouse, or going to lesen.net), just have to find the time...

Stats
I had got used to Kobo's stats - how long left to read, how long reading etc. I also liked the feature that showed me how the book was made up (a bar chart showing lenght of each chapter). But I can live with that.

Bookstore / Front Screen
I do not like the Tolino approach whereby 1/3 of my screen is taken up by a book shop and I cannot change that. But I understand why they do it, and I do not care much more than that. I did buy a book form one of the participating retailers a few years back, will have to dig out the login information (so far I have not logged into a shop with the Tolino). Tolino cloud sounds interesting, but not yet tried it out.
I much preferred the Kobo screen.

Public Library
My local library partcipates in online lending (onleihe.net) and there seems to be a big regional collection where I am. But for pleasure I prefer reading in English... Although I am interested in reading some stuff in German (shame that neither Kobo or Tolino have the Vocabulary Builder that I have read the Kindles have).

Conclusion
I'm quite happy with the Tolino. Library management is quite primative, but I van get over that. The main issue I have is with images in epubs, in that I have not yet found a way to zoom in as I could with the Kobo. I might upload a screenshot form the Tolino to explain what I am talking about (actually I'll probably open a new thread on that).

I do read and write German, so will have at look at lesen.net. Not sure if I can be bothered to root the device or try to install an alternative reader (I liked having KoReader on my Kobo
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:44 PM   #9
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Hi,

It also means that a trilogy I wanted to start I could not because I was not sure which book came first!
On the Library management point - as you said, you can do the Collections management. The other thing I have done is set up a metadata plugboard so that the I populate Title field in Tolino with:

{title} {series_index:0>2s|[|] }{series:|| }

That way I can see my series numbers.

I reckon you are pretty well spot on with your assessment of the Tolino. I love the flush screen and screen quality. It has been rock solid in reliability terms, but the reading software is fairly basic.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for your plugboard settings, after a quick look in the calibre preferences, think I'll have to check the help as to what exactly to do, but at least then I'll be able to start reading my trilogy safely!
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:27 PM   #11
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Thanks for your plugboard settings, after a quick look in the calibre preferences, think I'll have to check the help as to what exactly to do, but at least then I'll be able to start reading my trilogy safely!
If you do set up a plugboard in Calibre for the Tolino, it will only work on books you subsequently send to the Tolino.

If you want it to work on existing books, I found I first had to delete the books within the Tolino (using the Tolino's own delete function) and I then resent them using Calibre. If I used Calibre to delete them the Tolino seemed to retain its own file record and did not use the new plugboard settings.

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Old 09-19-2016, 06:54 AM   #12
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What I *really* miss is being able to see the book summary (prepared in Calibre) as I used to with Kobo. I really do miss it!
I wonder if you can do the same as the workaround I use with Kindle's; use the polish book option in calibre as one of the things this will do is add a page at the beginning of the book that lists all the book's metadata, including the summary. Along with using plugboards for organising books by series, these are two of my favourite features of Calibre. As with the plugboards, once you polish the books you have to resend the book to your device for the metadata to appear.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:19 PM   #13
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I wonder if you can do the same as the workaround I use with Kindle's; use the polish book option in calibre as one of the things this will do is add a page at the beginning of the book that lists all the book's metadata, including the summary. Along with using plugboards for organising books by series, these are two of my favourite features of Calibre. As with the plugboards, once you polish the books you have to resend the book to your device for the metadata to appear.
That does work. Of course it means having to open the book whereas with Kobo one can get the info pop up without opening the book.

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Old 10-08-2016, 04:36 AM   #14
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Tolino Vision 3 HD registration problem

Hi,

I live in Italy, and have just bought a Tolino Vision 3 HD from an online store located in my country. It works excellently, except for the same inconvenience noted by church mouse: when I try to register it to a library, the only available libraries are german, austrian and swiss. Nonetheless, according to the Tolino website, there should be three italian online libraries available (IBS.it, Libraccio.it and INDIeBOOK.it). I bought Tolino from an italian online store, so this situation is just nonsense. In these months have you found a way to change the countries available for the registration? Thank you in advance
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:44 AM   #15
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Hi,
In these months have you found a way to change the countries available for the registration? Thank you in advance
No. There seemed no way around the registration, other than not to register. I side load everything using Calibre, which now has the added benefit of allowing the automatic creation and population of Collections on the Tolino.
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