jump to navigation

Onyx Boox 60 May 17, 2010

Posted by CK in IT, Mobility.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Being sick of waiting for the Que and shocked by its price tag, I decided to look out there for something else. It took a lot of page views to find the right one, but I think I eventually did. This morning I received the Boox 60 e-book reader by Onyx. It is the same product you can also find re-branded as the BeBook Neo.

Pros: The screen is fairly good to look at (albeit too small, I’ll get to that in the “cons”). Construction feels good and solid. PDF rendering is superb (it was the main reason I chose it, they are partnering with Adobe). Reflowing documents works like a charm. Overall, my first impressions are very positive.

Cons: 6 inches is definitely not enough to read full-page documents. This can be largely improved by switching to landscape viewing, increasing font size, or zooming a lot. The problem with increasing font sizes is that, due to text reflowing, images are not being displayed anymore — or at least not in the PDF I was looking at. Also, some settings are often reset, maybe I’ve missed something though.

I haven’t tested yet things like the WiFi, playing MP3s and the like. I’ll get back with a more complete review after a few days of using it.

Plastic Logic’s Que December 13, 2009

Posted by CK in Mobility, Productivity.
Tags: ,
add a comment

For the last few weeks, I’ve been contemplating about buying an ebook reader. Seeing the Kindle ad every time I was visiting Amazon, certainly helped a lot. The truth is, I’ve collected a large amount of books and papers over the last few years, and I’ve only read a small percentage of them. There are two important reasons: Lack of time, and the fact that I don’t like carrying books around — my backpack is already very heavy with the laptop et al. Although the problem of time would not be solved, an electronic reader would certainly help as regards the mobility of reading material.

The price of Kindle is now at $US 259, quite attractive indeed, and the approaching Christmas made the temptation stronger. Although I arrived twice at the checkout screen, I eventually decided I should do some more research. I’m glad I did. Kindle’s support for PDF is unfortunately suboptimal (granted, PDF’s static nature doesn’t help to deliver the reading experience that Amazon has achieved for its own digital format), and all my reading material is PDF-based. Especially for papers this is a problem; I’ve read many reports saying that the conversion to Kindle’s native format leaves a lot to be desired when formulas and tables are involved.

So I set out to find something better for reading PDF documents. I don’t care about wireless delivery and the such. Eventually I found that the offerings of Irex are currently the closest to what I need. A choice between 8.1” and 10.2” displays, native PDF support and a touch screen you can use for notes and annotations! Nevertheless, the price is just too large. The cheapest product costs 540 euros, which is more than double the price of Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and basically pretty much anything else there exists out there. Also, they all are quite heavy, apparently (430g for the Iliad, more than half a kilo for the Digital Reader).

So I kept searching, and stumbled onto a product still unreleased, but about to be officially presented (on Jan 7): The QUE, by Plastic Logic. This is brand new technology, and the QUE is the first product to feature it. This video from All-Things-Digital made me drool; the device is super-thin, apparently very light, and the display seems to be at least on par with everything else. I hope they price it reasonably too!