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Old 12-24-2009, 08:47 PM   #1
Nate the great
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Entourage Edge hands on

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the Entourage Edge on Tuesday.

If you are thinking of the Edge as an ebook reader, don't. It's not fair to compare the Edge with the dedicated ebook readers in its price range (Sony Daily Edition, Kindle DX, and the Irex Digital Readers) because it is capable of so much more. It would be more accurate to refer to dedicated ebook readers as a group in a way that does not include the Edge. If you want a frame of reference, think of the Edge as the first dual screen netbook.

The Edge has Adobe DE support, of course. But since it runs on Android you will be able to install more software (FBReader, for example). It comes with an email client. It has a complete browser, and Google Apps are quite usable with the touchscreen.

I'm at a loss in trying to describe the best features, so I'll have to take you through an example.

Let's start in the Library menu (on the LCD screen). If you already loaded files into the library then you'll see them here. But, if you just copied a bunch of files to an SD card and inserted it, you'll need to switch to the file&folder menu to find them. Let's select one and open it.

It opens on the epaper screen. If you didn't opened the file from the Library Menu, then you will need to add it to the library before you can make full use of the annotation capabilities. There is an icon in the upper left hand corner of the epaper screen to do this. (I like that you can open an ebook and then add it to the library while reading it.)

At a minimum, you can highlight, bookmark, search the dictionary, and sketch directly on the page. These 4 abilities are provided by the Adobe software, and the Edge can do more. You can select a word or phrase and search Google or Wikipedia. The search results will be displayed on the LCD screen while the ebook is still open on the epaper screen. When you find a relevant result, you can then attach it to the ebook (specifically the word or phrase you just searched for).

The attachments can include files, webpages, or handwritten notes. The annotations will also be listed in the TOC interspersed among the existing entries. This is where the Edge excels. The ability to collect separate pieces of content into one file elevates the Edge above the dedicated ebook readers in its price range. Think of how useful this could be as a research or educational tool.

Shortcomings

Let's briefly consider the Edge by its shortcomings: connectivity, weight, battery life. The Edge weighs about 3 pounds (device+charger), which is significantly more than any of the dedicated readers mentioned above. It only has Wifi ("only Wifi", ha), and its competitors all have a cell connection of one kind or another. The battery life is reportedly 6 hours when using both screens, and 16 when only using the epaper screen. Obviously this is shorter than any dedicated device (other than the Irex units, where it is comparable).

So, if you know that you won't have access to Wifi and _need_ the connectivity, or if you won't be able to charge the unit every day and _need_ the run time, then you should consider one of the dedicated readers. That being said, I still like the Edge over any dedicated ebook reader because it can do so much more.

One last note: the Bezel
I wanted to mention that the screen bezel is not nearly as big as it appears in pictures. Until I saw it in person I thought it overwhelming. It's not.

Last edited by Nate the great; 12-25-2009 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:48 PM   #2
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Here are some questions asked in another thread:
[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemurion View Post
I took a look at the site and the first thing that leaped out at me was that they got the screens backwards.



Maybe I'm funny, but I think the E-Ink screen would work best on the right rather than the left.
It's already set up for all 4 cardinal orientations. When you reverse it vertically, the next page and previous page buttons swap so they are still pointed in the correct direction.

Speaking of buttons, do you see how on one side there are 4 buttons, and on the other side there are 4 buttons and a dot? That dot is a jogball. It's mainly used to navigate between links on a webpage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Can the LCD screen be turned off to save the battery when all you are doing is reading?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Do we know what formats it supports out of the box?

BOb
Epub and PDF, of course, but it also plays and records MP3s. It has 2 microphones so it can do noise cancellation. You can also use the 1.3MP camera to record a video, and then play it on the Edge. It also plays Flash video like Youtube.

Quote:
Originally Posted by netseeker View Post
Any thoughts about the performance of the epaper screen?
All I had with me was my Jetbook, and the Edge was slightly faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
I notice that Entourage has nearly 100 of my own indie publishing house's titles running in their store ... all in PDF format. How does PDF present on the Edge, Nate? Thanks for a great review, by the way. Best wishes for today -- and for the new decade. Cheers. Neil
Good point - I forgot this one.

You can read the PDF on the epaper screen both full size and reflow. But you can also select an image from a page and copy it over to the LCD screen where you can see it in color. Also, while you are reading the PDF in reflow mode, you can copy the page image over to the LCD screen. Consider what you can do with graphs, charts, and equations.

Last edited by Nate the great; 12-25-2009 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:53 PM   #3
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Nate,

That's great to hear; this is the most detailed hands-on review I've seen to date. I've got one on pre-order, and would be using it primarily for academic purposes, so this gives me some comfort about its potential capabilities in that area. Take care.
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Old 12-25-2009, 02:36 AM   #4
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Great review, Nate, thanks It's definitely something to think about.
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Old 12-25-2009, 03:47 AM   #5
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I notice that Entourage has nearly 100 of my own indie publishing house's titles running in their store ... all in PDF format. How does PDF present on the Edge, Nate? Thanks for a great review, by the way. Best wishes for today -- and for the new decade. Cheers. Neil
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:11 AM   #6
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The one point i'm afraid, is the edge being a bit "big", compared to a dedicated reader. But then, dual screen make it the best thing to take notes i guess.

The other problem is :
Quote:
Is the enTourage eDGe available internationally?

We have had a lot of interest from international fans and we are currently working out the details of international shipping. We will post an update when we have it set up.
Encouraging, but then i know some how said they where interested in international, and still haven't done anything after a few years...

Can you do something like book page on e-ink screen , virtual keyboard and the rest the other screen to take note ?

Last edited by EowynCarter; 12-25-2009 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 12-25-2009, 07:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
I notice that Entourage has nearly 100 of my own indie publishing house's titles running in their store ... all in PDF format. How does PDF present on the Edge, Nate? Thanks for a great review, by the way. Best wishes for today -- and for the new decade. Cheers. Neil
Good point - I forgot this one.

You can read the PDF on the epaper screen both full size and reflow. But you can also select an image from a page and copy it over to the LCD screen where you can see it in color. Also, while you are reading the PDF in reflow mode, you can copy the page image over to the LCD screen. Consider what you can do with graphs, charts, and equations.
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Old 12-25-2009, 09:35 AM   #8
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An interesting device, thanks for the review. I think Entourage is onto something, but haven't quite got the arrangement right. I like dual screen clamshells, since it protects the screens without a case.

Personally, I'd prefer a pair of 3.5"-4" non-backlit B&W LCD displays. One or both of them touchscreens. That eliminates the need for a case, provides good daylight readability and avoids some of the defects of eInk in a versatile device. If it was only a reader, eInk would be fine.

WRT speed, I hope it has a beefier processor than the jetBook. That's why the jetBook is slow changing pages. The LCD is almost instantaneous. The jetBook's 200 MHz Dragon Ball processor can't keep up!

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Old 12-25-2009, 09:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
The jetBook's 200 MHz Dragon Ball processor can't keep up!
Neither can the 200 Mhz of gen 3 with e-ink.

Nate, did you see my previous message ?
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:18 AM   #10
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People are always complaining about Bezels, but when you do a'lot of handwriting/sketching/whatever then you will quickly appreciate a place to rest your hand on. It's as neccessary as the screen itself.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:07 AM   #11
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Well, if I buy one I'll have to pay state sales tax. Didn't realize that enTourage's headquarters are located just down the road in McLean.

Great review, Nate, do you know any of the hardware specs?
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TallMomof2 View Post
Well, if I buy one I'll have to pay state sales tax. Didn't realize that enTourage's headquarters are located just down the road in McLean.

Great review, Nate, do you know any of the hardware specs?
I didn't list them because the specs are on the product page:
http://www.entourageedge.com/devices...rage-edge.html
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:16 AM   #13
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I was talking about the processors both CPU and GPU.
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Old 12-25-2009, 04:01 PM   #14
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Videos

Some videos from YouTube done by Netbooknews.com. Showing what they are calling 'generation 1" and "generation 2":

1. Dec 2th. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MzLx0HJPlI

2. Dec 4th. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV2MCBlcowg

Gunner...

Cnet has a video review as well.
3. Dec 15th. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10415424-56.html

Yes, I am interested.

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Old 12-25-2009, 04:32 PM   #15
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I was talking about the processors both CPU and GPU.
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