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Old 01-18-2019, 02:10 PM   #1
maximus83
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Mediocre user experience with new Clara HD

Just got a Clara HD this week. Nice device: great size and weight, easy to setup, gorgeous screen, super easy to side-load all books from my Calibre library, and also love the Overdrive/library integration.

But...I've noticed 2 significant issues impacting the usability.
  1. Lagging and slow performance on some operations. Example: you click a link to a distant location in a good-sized book like Shakespeare's complete works. Or open a good-sized book. It takes unacceptably long--sometimes 5 seconds, 7 seconds, or more--to locate the new position and re-render the page.
  2. Lack of sensitivity to screen pressure for executing some touch commands. Example: trying to adjust the screen brightness by swiping along left side of screen. The large majority of the time this operation is not recognized by the software, or it does something annoying like flip the page back instead of adjusting brightness. There are other screen commands too that are frequently ignored by the software.

Has anyone else noticed these? Is there a potential fix for either one, besides waiting for software updates?
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by maximus83 View Post
Has anyone else noticed these? Is there a potential fix for either one, besides waiting for software updates?
I don't have a Clara, but generally when I have noticed slow navigation within a book it is because of a problem with the book itself. Most common problem being that the internal HTML files are too large, usually because the publisher has put multiple chapters into one html file, or the book was converted to ePub with Calibre and Calibre couldn't locate the chapter breaks.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus83 View Post
Just got a Clara HD this week. Nice device: great size and weight, easy to setup, gorgeous screen, super easy to side-load all books from my Calibre library, and also love the Overdrive/library integration.

But...I've noticed 2 significant issues impacting the usability.
  1. Lagging and slow performance on some operations. Example: you click a link to a distant location in a good-sized book like Shakespeare's complete works. Or open a good-sized book. It takes unacceptably long--sometimes 5 seconds, 7 seconds, or more--to locate the new position and re-render the page.
  2. Lack of sensitivity to screen pressure for executing some touch commands. Example: trying to adjust the screen brightness by swiping along left side of screen. The large majority of the time this operation is not recognized by the software, or it does something annoying like flip the page back instead of adjusting brightness. There are other screen commands too that are frequently ignored by the software.

Has anyone else noticed these? Is there a potential fix for either one, besides waiting for software updates?
I wonder if someone with more experience than I would know if installing a faster sd card would make a difference with "1"? It's a pretty easy hack (did myself 'just because'.. .did seem to speed up reboots).
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Old 01-18-2019, 04:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
I don't have a Clara, but generally when I have noticed slow navigation within a book it is because of a problem with the book itself. Most common problem being that the internal HTML files are too large, usually because the publisher has put multiple chapters into one html file, or the book was converted to ePub with Calibre and Calibre couldn't locate the chapter breaks.
That's been my experience as well, in general with any reader. In this case, the Shakespeare sample in question (but the same thing happens with other large-ish books) was purchased yesterday, directly from the Walmart/Kobo store.

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I wonder if someone with more experience than I would know if installing a faster sd card would make a difference with "1"? It's a pretty easy hack (did myself 'just because'.. .did seem to speed up reboots).
Cool, hadn't heard this. Searching just now, I see a few threads about people doing it. Obviously a warranty-voiding operation, but that's never stopped me before, esp if it really boosts perf and storage.

I'd be interested in doing that. This reader has so much promise for my use, I hate to return it. If somebody has a good tutorial on doing this, would love to see it. Also, I'd wonder these additional tech spec details:
  1. What TYPE of SD card (speed, etc) does the Clara support?
  2. What maximum storage size on the SD card does the Clara support? For example, could you get a larger card like 128 or 256?

Last edited by maximus83; 01-18-2019 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by maximus83 View Post
  1. What TYPE of SD card (speed, etc) does the Clara support?
  2. What maximum storage size on the SD card does the Clara support? For example, could you get a larger card like 128 or 256?
People have posted about using cards up to 128GB. The critical point is testing the card to make sure the small block read/write speeds are good. Too many higher speed cards are optimized to streaming video and not for operating system that read/write small blocks. My preferred program for testing is Crystal Diskmark. Generally, I've had good experiences with SanDisk and Samsung SD cards.

Last edited by DNSB; 01-19-2019 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus83 View Post
Lagging and slow performance on some operations. Example: you click a link to a distant location in a good-sized book like Shakespeare's complete works. Or open a good-sized book. It takes unacceptably long--sometimes 5 seconds, 7 seconds, or more--to locate the new position and re-render the page.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
I don't have a Clara, but generally when I have noticed slow navigation within a book it is because of a problem with the book itself. Most common problem being that the internal HTML files are too large, usually because the publisher has put multiple chapters into one html file, or the book was converted to ePub with Calibre and Calibre couldn't locate the chapter breaks.
That's been my experience with large public domain collections like those Delphi ones or the 101 Weird Tales books.

Anything like that, I tend to make a project of cleaning it up in Sigil myself.
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:20 PM   #7
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People have posted about using cards up to 128GB. The critical point is testing the card to make sure the small block read/write speeds are good. Too many higher speed cards are optimized to streaming video and not for operating system the read/write small blocks. My preferred program for testing is Crystal Diskmark. Generally, I've had good experiences with SanDisk and Samsung SD cards.
Makes sense, I've had good luck using the Samsung 970 EVO recently for other things, can grab one of those in 64 or 128 if I decide to do this.

So the only other thing I wonder: Have folks who've installed the new cards in the Clara noticed that--besides the increased storage (which honestly, I don't really need)--it actually made a difference in the perf and responsiveness?
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:49 PM   #8
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So the only other thing I wonder: Have folks who've installed the new cards in the Clara noticed that--besides the increased storage (which honestly, I don't really need)--it actually made a difference in the perf and responsiveness?
The only differences I noticed when I tried a faster card on my Glo was a slightly reduced boot time and faster USB transfers.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:00 PM   #9
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The only differences I noticed when I tried a faster card on my Glo was a slightly reduced boot time and faster USB transfers.
Interesting. Searching a few threads about this, I see folks repeating the same comment: it adds storage, but doesn't drastically improve the page rendering and responsiveness issues. If that's consistently the case for most who have tried this, I probably won't bother with the storage upgrade. I don't own nearly enough ebooks to make the storage thing an issue, and for other mobile device tasks I have better devices.
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:46 PM   #10
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Shakespeare's Complete Works isn't a "good-sized book," of course; it's a MASSIVE book -- the Folio Society edition is in three volumes. Nonetheless, I suspect a poorly formatted ebook, not a general problem. Which edition of the Complete Works is giving you trouble?

All best wishes.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:48 PM   #11
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Shakespeare's Complete Works isn't a "good-sized book," of course; it's a MASSIVE book -- the Folio Society edition is in three volumes. Nonetheless, I suspect a poorly formatted ebook, not a general problem. Which edition of the Complete Works is giving you trouble?

All best wishes.
I actually got a pretty nice version of Shakespeare from Kobo. It's the best ebook version of Shakespeare I've yet seen (after trying several over the years) and nicely preserves the layout and formatting:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wil...complete-works

However, this was just a handy example. The same issues occur with other large books, one example being the Bible. I suspect most of the issue is simply the limited RAM and CPU of the Kobo versus large books. My android phone does better with the same books, but it has a LOT better hardware specs.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:25 PM   #12
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If you're looking for a large book, here is a rather VERY large book.
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the...-of-the-fallen
It's some 10,083 pages long!

Actually the number of pages changes. In the link I provided, it actually states 11,927 pages, the description on amazon says 10,083 pages. And in a couple of epub's from the library one is 8,344 pages and the other is 8,244 pages. I think it's just the font sizes selected for the books that are causing the differences and not (hopefully) missing pages.
Regardless, that's one massive book.

Last edited by christopher22; 01-20-2019 at 01:43 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:32 PM   #13
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However, this was just a handy example. The same issues occur with other large books, one example being the Bible. I suspect most of the issue is simply the limited RAM and CPU of the Kobo versus large books. My android phone does better with the same books, but it has a LOT better hardware specs.
The problem is not large books in general, but large html files (or other objects) within the book.

The device only needs to have one or two html files loaded into memory at once, the one containing the page you are reading, and perhaps the one containing the page a link leads to if you are activating the link.

If the book is broken up into lots of small html files then limited RAM is no problem no matter how long the book. But if the book consists of a small number of very large html files then there will be problems. (Some devices will simply crash, others will be slower.)

If the publisher is competent then they will break the large book up into many small html files, but if not then the only real solution is to edit the book and fix the publisher''s mistakes yourself.

(If the book has been converted from another format then it might not be the publisher's mistake but the converter's mistake.)
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:28 PM   #14
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@maximus83, is this in ePub or kepub format? There are two different renderers on a Kobo and one could be faster then the other at links for rather large eBooks.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:13 PM   #15
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Yes, Calibre has a setting for internal file size, default about 260K.
That said, quite obviously Kobo test their sw better on kepubs than epubs, but it's also obviously buggy.
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