Nice review. As others have found, I wasn’t allowed to open the product and was told that there would be no returns unless faulty. Not exactly the best sales techniques. Despite Waterstones best efforts, I bought the reader.
As a Linux user, I was disappointed to discover that the device ran Windows 5.0 CE and it wouldn’t show up as a storage media in Linux (I tried two different kernels).
However, I found that the memory was a removable micro SD card (aka Transflash) and my trusty £1 card reader I bought from Poundland worked splendidly. Stroke of luck.
My initial impressions were disappointing – all the pre-installed books were poorly formatted, with line breaks all over the place. I tried a couple PDFs from my collection and found that on complex PDFs, the reflow was so slow that it took over 10 seconds to change the page. Not good. Simpler PDFs worked OK, though.
I’ve found that the Epub format is handled well, and converting books to Epub is a trivial task using the free “Calibre” software.
I can’t help but feel that this product is a rush-job. The primitive Windows CE interface was obviously designed for a stylus. The OK/Cancel screen appears – but where’s the Cancel button? Yes, I know it’s the arrow above the OK button, but I bet this will flummox some people.
Also, the keyboard is wasted. There’s a Search File function available from the main menu. It looks like a powerful tool, until you realise that it’s utterly useless. Sure, you can find a file, but there’s no way of opening any of the found files! Try it to see what I mean. Again, it looks like an unfinished feature that needs the stylus. Also, there’s no search facility within the ebooks. You have to ask yourself, why did they bother including a keyboard? It’s almost entirely wasted. Has anyone found a feature that makes use of the keyboard?
That said, I’m reasonably happy with the device, but only at the price. The interfaces are half-baked. Linux users will need a micro-SD card reader (£1 from Poundland) It struggles with complex PDFs. I’m converting all my PDFs to Epubs which are, to be fair, rendered very well. (Project Gutenberg’s Epub files are excellent)