Elonex 511EB Firmware Update

Well, it's been ages coming, but it's finally here. Elonex have released V0.47 of the 511EB software.
V0.47 was released on 12th March 2010. The previous firmware (V0.41) was released on 18th January 2010. The next release should include note taking functionality.

You may be interested in part 1 and part 2 of my review.

This firmware update resolves some issues when processing very large eBooks, word wrapping issues and some minor bugs with symbols. You can now mount the eBook on Linux - I don't know about Mac. It also adds a new menu item "Digital Editions" for any DRM'd eBooks you may have rented.

New features!

Search with ePubs.
Jump directly to chapters within ePubs (Menu - See List).
Search within PDFs.
The system font looks clearer to me.
The default font is smaller and clearer
Auto Shutdown is can now be set to 40 minutes, 60 minutes or never.
Let me know in the comments if you spot any more!

So, how do you install the new firmware?

  1. Download the .zip file from Elonex.
  2. Unzip the file - there will be two files inside update.bin and update.cde.
  3. Plug your 511EB into your computer via the USB cable (or insert the microSD card into your computer)
  4. Place these two files in the root directory of your SD card.  This means the very top directory.

    Root Folder

    Root Folder

  5. Unmount the eReader or SD card.  Place the microSD card back in the reader.
  6. From the main menu of your 511EB go to "5 Settings"
  7. Press the right arrow twice, then the down arrow twice so you're on "System Maintenance".

    511EB System Maintenance Screen

    511EB System Maintenance Screen

  8. Press "1" to update the firmware.
  9. Here's a video of what happens
  10. Your reader is now updated!

I updated from the orignal software, which was

System ver: 2.21
Software ver: 0.35

My eReader now shows

Hardware ver: 2.21
System ver: 0.47
Software ver: 0.47

If you have any problems, you can call Elonex on 0871 222 3456

Share this post on…

90 thoughts on “Elonex 511EB Firmware Update”

  1. Elliot Muir says:

    Good overview of the latest update, thanks! Glad to see searching within PDFs and EPUBs is finally here!

  2. Jack says:

    I've noticed the font looks much better. The page number within the eBook while you're reading is tiny so now you don't have to spend a few moments trying to figure out what a word is.

    1. Jack says:

      Just to clarify, I don't mean the black line bit at the bottom page number bit. I mean the one that shows within the ebook on the right side of it.

  3. Stephen Biddall says:

    Just downloaded the new update. It looks good so far - nice to see proper dashes in the text instead of the word "m&dash" every time! Font looks OK. Shame there isnt more choice of fonts. Overall seems good. Thanks for the run through.

  4. nita says:

    HELLO again ok i gna cry i get the zipped file
    and it wont open keps saying it aint right can not read or it has been damaged on it's way

    ok it doing my head in
    comp nearly going through window
    god am i really that thick
    and i i did follow yours terrance but trust me
    i saw nothing like you got lol
    see i am totally usless i swear it

    hehe thankyou
    a distressed

    nita xx

  5. NT says:

    Just applied the firmware update, and the LED now switches off while charging rather than going red.

    Minor niggle, but a silly mistake to make.

  6. Carrie says:

    Oh, awesome. Now it mounts on the Mac, and it has the ability to jump to a specific chapter in a book. Just what I wanted. Oh, and NT: my LED still lights up red when charging.

  7. Darren says:

    updated today with no issues (so far). However I still cannot read Under The Dome by Stephen King reader sticks on page 8. I can turn the device off but I cannot page up or down.
    Publishers says its a problem with reader and Elonex are ignoring my emails 🙁

      1. Darren says:

        finally got a reply from Elonex - they claim that the update will fix my problem, like hell it it lol, back to the drawing board 🙂

  8. Darren says:

    I did indeed, I even downloaded the book again from waterstones.

  9. Stooby says:

    I've ran the latest firmware update (0.47) on 1 Elonex 511EB and compared it to a second without the update. The system font is smaller in size as are the headers and footers on the page when displaying a Epub. This gives you more reading room.
    The main display font of the book when running an Epub is actually slightly larger. This, my wife and I agree does make it a crisper font to read. I'd say in font size terms it may have gone up 0.5 or 1 point.
    The little numbers down the side of the page now tend to block a couple of letters rather than a word once they hit 3 digits.
    Happy so far with this update, not really tried out any of the other know changes or found any new.

  10. EmmaRB says:

    Hi Terence,
    I just updated my firmware and when I've gone back to reading the book I was reading this orning, I'm now getting a message saying 'no valid licence for the book'. Also for the last book I read. Neither of them were free downloads so now I'm stumped. Any advice on what to do?

    1. Hi Emma,

      Firstly, don't buy books with DRM. With DRM you don't own the book - you're at the mercy of the publisher and the eReader working together. At any point, the publisher could stop your book from working.

      On a more practical note, you have three options.
      1) Complain to the shop where you rented the book from.
      2) Find a way to break the DRM. That may be illegal, depending on where you live.
      3) Delete the book from your eReader, delete your eReader from the Adobe software, then re-add them. That should work. If not, ask for a refund.

      Remember, DRM doesn't work. It is designed to break and to be inconvenient to you.

      Hope that helps,


      1. EmmaRB says:

        Hi Terence,
        Panic over! I deleted the books from the reader and added it on again. All working OK again.

  11. EmmaRB says:

    Slightly dense questions... how do I avoid buying DRM books? How do I know when something is DRM'd e.g. is that all books from Waterstones etc? (Sorry if you've covered this elsewhere!)

  12. Jon says:

    Hi All,
    My 511 is just over 3 months old and this morning wouldn't boot up but the screen froze.

    Waterstones had absolutely no interest in helping me out but referred me to Elonex.

    I've tried re setting but it wont reboot. Does anyone know of a method to reboot it from the PC. Unfortunately because the screen is frozen the USB mode screen wont appear and my PC wont recognise the reader at all. My next move would have been to change the firmware but I can't even get that far. Any ideas? Or shall I just wait and see what Elonex have to say...:(

    Heres a photo of what has occured:

    1. Stooby says:

      I've not had this problem but 2 previous issues with my 511 were fixed by removing the SD card. Have you tried the reset button with the SD card out? Might not help at all but may be worth a try.

    2. Mike says:


      I had the same problem and have just fixed it - SD card out, plug in USB cable and then press reset - nothing else would work except that - hope this helps if you still have the same issue !

  13. Jon says:

    Thanks, I've tried that but I'm afraid it didn't work. The screen remains frozen with or without the card and the reset button doesn't respond at all..........

  14. Jon says:

    Hi All,
    Here's the latest on the difficulties I've experienced.
    Waterstones are just not interested (wrongly) so the elonex e-reader was returned under warranty to Elonex.
    Despite recorded delivery elonex are denying receiving this 🙁

    In the time the ebook was working this are a few things I found out:

    EPub is consistenly the quickest format to open.
    The EBook doesn't favour PDFs. It quite often depends on the source of the PDF how well it will work.
    The audio reader is only applicable to .txt files.
    Using the reflow option is extremely slow.

    Still, while it was working this was great. As a mature student I found this incredibly useful for my work, I could even listen to lectures and podcasts 🙂 The note taking potential was something I was looking forward to...
    When it did stop working it struck me how much I did rely on it. 8000 books in my pocket! Still, if I cant use it then it doesn't really matter how many books it could hold. On the whole I'm still in favour of e book readers, just not support services:)

  15. Jack says:

    I surprised at all the problems people are having with it. Mine works perfectly fine, especially with ePubs. With the latest firmware update images within ePub files display on the screen so much easier and the damn page number within the text is so small now.
    I think you guys should get a case for it, you may have accidentally damaged it without even knowing.

  16. Harry says:

    Hiya just bought one and updated no problems apart from 2 things it doesnt do. 1 forgets which page i was on in the ebook so starts at the beginning again, wondering if this is because alot of my books are pdf's. 2 When i turn my ebook reader off and back on to use again it forgets some of the settings i set i.e continuous turning 3. text and Key Tone i switch it off but then i resets to on? very weird have you heard of this problem before?

  17. Jon says:

    Hi Harry,
    Mine too forgets which page you're on but this IS ONLY applicable to PDFs. PDFs also have to be processed which takes longer than EPUBs. After a while this may become irritating and it might be worth converting your books. There's a piece of open source software called Callibre, which is quite good at this once you figure out how to use it 🙂
    It shouldn't forget settings when you turn it off so I cant help you there. I would try not turning it off as it claims not to use power unless page turning. Is it all the settings or just some?

    Elonex just replaced mine after some problems, although initially they weren't happy to do so, so I'm quite chuffed 🙂

  18. Harry says:

    Hi Jon , yeah i have been converting pdfs to epubs and alot better and it also remembers which page as well. On the settings its weird really it remembers everything except the Key Tone which resets back to on , which is getting on my nerves abit and Continuous Turning text mode so only those two i've found so far! Thanks for your response and advise maybe i'll contact Elonex about it. Thanks again

  19. Minnie says:

    Terrence hey, have you heard about the Elonex 710EB? It's Elonex's new COLOUR ebook reader, and it's £99 only! It was on the gadget show, but I can't find anywhere to buy it! Can you help me??

      1. Minnie says:


        The firmware date was meant to be a LONG time ago, but now it's just unpredictable. So, here's what I'm doing: I've bookmarked this (http://www.elonex.co.uk/support/products/ebook/511_eBook.shtm) page, and at the end of each day on the net, I just have a quick click to see if it's out. Can't wait for the note-taking functionality, but come to think of it, maybe it won't be "all-that". I've also bookmarked: http://www.google.co.uk/#q=elonex+511EB&hl=en&safe=active&tbo=1&output=search&source=lnt&tbs=rltm:1&sa=X&ei=gSEOTIyINZLw0gS60YGVDg&ved=0CAcQpwU&fp=910a7aef3f321c4b and check that out also.

        As for the Tuff-Luv case, I think it's ridiculously expensive, but as much as it is, it's also worth it.... but it's a priceless feeling if you make your own case, I did and it came out brilliantly, I'll post some pics soon. I've been in contact with the team at DecalGirl (http://www.decalgirl.com/) to prototype a skin, and told them that the 511EB is a clone of the "Hanvon n9526", and they said they'll look into it. Dunno if that a tongue-in-cheek statement or whatever.

        Anyways, happy ebooking.

      2. Jack says:

        I have now been using the I-Nique one a bit and I like it. I will still say it's a bit expensive but it's made for the Elonex. The only problem I have with it is the "Page Up" and "Page Down" buttons feel weird to press, but then I use the arrow buttons anyway.

  20. Minnie says:

    Heyarr everyone.

    The Elonex 710EB ( colour, 7") ebook is selling at HMV and another store:
    - http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=228;16;-1;-1;-1&sku=247897
    - http://www.cclonline.com/product-info.asp?product_id=49255&tid=frooct

    But I'm a bit skint, even with EMA, so I'll wait till it's UNDER £100, as that's the price it's meant to be anyway, but still, am looking forward to buy it. That way, the 511EB will be the one with brilliant battery life, and the colour ebook is the one with the bigger screen, great for the PDF's with colour rich pictures.

    1. Jack says:

      I wouldn't recommend reading from it as it's a LCD screen, it'll be bad for your eyes.

  21. Emma says:

    Hello everyone,
    I actually have the original Hanvon N520, and have been having problems with it. This is by far the most resourceful site on the net so I thought posting here could get some help..
    I've had this Ebook for about 3 weeks (with the Elonex update installed and working) before I had trouble booting it up by the power button. I have to press and hold the reset button on the back to turn it on every single time since then. Sent back for service and they just gave me a new device. Installed the update again and the same problem is happening, again. Needless to say this is very frustrating... I have to install the update in order for the device to mount on my Mac. And it is impossible to un-install the update once you installed it. Have tried formatting the SD card and replacing files again..I really enjoy this Ebook and would just like its basic functions to work! Not sure what to do, any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

    1. Jack says:

      You don't need to turn it off. You can leave it on for 2 weeks or so without needing to charge it. Just "lock" it using the top button, so you don't accidentally press anything. Or while at the main menu, press "Menu" and select "1 SCR" then lock it.

    2. Jon Day says:

      Hi Emma,
      Unfortunately there is no way currently to reverse a firmware upgrade on the Hanvon N520, but you probably already knew that.
      Is the ebook still under warranty? If so then your best chance is to return the ebook a second time and don’t mention your attempts to upgrade the firmware. It will invalidate your warranty – not that anybody tells you that. Get in contact with them, honey not vinegar works best. Then don't attempt to upgrade the firmware. As you've discovered it isn't totally compatible.
      Your second choice is to live with it. Just dont turn it off too often. Use the lock function instead, if it still responds.
      The third thing, and I dont recommend it, but it might be worth exploring, is to use Openinkpot, a open source e-book firmware. It reports its compatibility with the N520, but it is in its infancy. http://openinkpot.org/
      (Requires linux or windows.)
      Hope it works out,

      1. Emma says:

        Thank you for your replies. I have contacted the company and they said that it's probably a hardware problem caused by the high humidity we've been having here in Hong Kong lately. It probably has nothing to do with the upgrade at all. Will send back this new device and see if they will fix it or come up with another new one.

        Also, it doesn't seem like the battery lasts that long. I left the EBook on locked position for a few hours and a good portion of the battery was gone. It seems that the battery would have been totally gone if I left it on for the whole day. Not sure why this is the case, hopefully the battery isn't problematic also! haha

  22. Jon says:

    The covers on offer seem inordinately expensive, so I popped into Staples with fifteen quid in my pocket. Here's what I came up with
    It started life as a business card holder. I cut out the inside and now my ebook fits snuggle, held in place with some velcro stickies. Rock on Blue Peter...:)

    1. Jack says:

      I already have that, but it doesn't say inside it and plus the Velcro inside is on top of the screen

      1. DavePS says:

        Yeah fair do's, your cover is better if you want to take it out and about, mine is designed to protect it whilst i'm carrying it not whilst reading it.

  23. Jon Day says:

    Before firmware upgrade my ebook on/off light was only on momentarily on boot up, or when processing (e.g reflow). Now the light is on permanently and the unit consumes far more power than it used too. The battery used to last weeks and I could leave it in a lock/standby mode. If I do that currently I'm lucky enough if I can get away with overnight. One of the things which attracted me about the ebook was its low power consumption.
    What's the case for everyone else?

    1. Jack says:

      While leaving it on during the night, do you "lock" it using the top-left button?

    1. Jack says:

      That is odd, mine doesn't do that. I have had it on for weeks while it was just locked.

      1. DavePS says:

        What are your 'Sleep' settings set to? I think you need to set sleep to Yes and Sleep Delay to short. Give it a try

      2. DavePS says:

        From the manual @ http://www.hanvon.com/en/downloads/ebook/Manual/N520_English%20Manual_20090922.pdf

        Sleep: Select “Yes”, the system will sleep after 3 seconds if there isn’t any
        operation on the device, the LED indicator will turn off; select “No”, the system
        won’t sleep, and the LED indicator will always light. The system won’t sleep in this
        option: “Music”.

        Sleep Delay: There are three levels can be selected: short, middle, long.
        Select “short”, the system will get into sleeping mode quickly; select “long”, the system will get into sleeping mode slowly.

  24. Jon Day says:

    Thank you Dave PS, your'e a gentleman.
    Like my dad says, 'if all else fails read the instructions.; 🙂
    (It worked.)

    1. DavePS says:

      Heh heh, no worries. I stopped leaving mine on all the time as even in sleep mode it seems to use up quite a lot of battery in a day. I can handle 20 seconds startup 🙂

  25. rwodzu says:

    Hallo Everyone. I bought my elonex e511 and I am preety happy with it. However I have 3 problems and I want to ask for your advice:
    1. I am polish and while trying to read books in my language I found that elonex is not showing my language letters (just leaving a gap) in word formats. In pdf it is fine.
    2. I live in London and I cannot buy any cover/leather case for it . I have looked for hanvon 526 but the result is the same.
    3. RTF formats are not readeable?

    Thank you

  26. Jon Day says:

    Hi rwoduzo,
    1. You're right. The Elonex does not support languages in Word format very well. You might want to try converting your books into PDFs with Calibre. ( http://calibre-ebook.com/ )

    2. Theres some discussion in the posts above about covers. You can buy them on-line, others have made their own.
    3. Mine doesn't read rtf. Again the best thing is to convert them.

    Hope this helps,
    Jon 🙂

    1. Jack says:

      Like Jon said try converting them using Calibre, but try ePub as well. It's the best format for eBooks.

  27. rwodzu says:

    Ok. Thanks. Formats issues sorted .
    The only problem is the cover/leather . I have tried to find it but still without any success. Any suggestions?

  28. Jon says:

    Below are the earlier posts relating to covers:

    Jon says The covers on offer seem inordinately expensive, so I popped into Staples with fifteen quid in my pocket. Here’s what I came up with
    It started life as a business card holder. I cut out the inside and now my ebook fits snuggle, held in place with some velcro stickies. Rock on Blue Peter…:)

    13/06/2010, 14:31 Reply DavePS says Or for a bit less cash and no mucking about you could get this

  29. Mark Oates says:

    Hmmmmm. Now there's no mention of the note-taking upgrade on the Elonex site.

  30. Lancedo says:

    Actually there's no mention of any fothcoming upgrade at all- it's a little worrisome that it's changed. A chance of no further upgrades?

  31. Lancedo says:

    Actually there's no mention of any forthcoming upgrade at all- it's a little worrisome that it's changed. A possibilty of no further support?

  32. Lynn says:

    I have just checked the websites and no upgrades are mentioned. This is worrying as I hoped to be able to take notes on my Elonex. I don't see the point of a keyboard if you can't use it. That said, having used my ereader solely for storing PDF documents on I have just put two books onto it and am going to try using it as a reader.

  33. Jack says:

    Can someone else check if Unicode characters display on the Elonex, as mine doesn't do it. I only checked on ePub files.

    1. Peter says:


      Unicode characters do show up in .txt and .html files, if the files are encoded properly (UTF8). With the .epub the situation is a bit different. Epub files with no embedded fonts are displayed using the internal Adobe font which, besides the standard English alphabet, supports very few special characters. If you need full Unicode support in .epub, you would have to embed at least one unicode font in the .epub package. I tried this and it works.

      Hope this helps.


      1. Jack says:

        Do you mean, I just add the Arial font? From the Fonts folder? And I got to make sure it's set to Arial, in the .CSS

        1. Peter says:

          Basically, yes. Mobileread Forums have several threads discussing font embedding and related issues. I wouldn't go for Arial though, as it may have copyright implications.

  34. Jon says:

    Hi all,
    I have my e-mail set up daily to enquire about a firmware update...:) They might reply eventually, if only to shut me up. Or just send me into a spam folder...

    I discovered a fantastic tool for editing epub files, adding chapter marks, images, meta data etc. It's called Sigil and is available here:
    It comes in Mac, Widows and Linux versions and is open source. Lovely bit of software.

      1. Jon says:

        I'm afraid not Peter. All quiet I'm afraid. I expect they've filtered me out..........

  35. Peter says:

    Hi everybody

    Long time ago, after I updated the reader to v.0.47 firmware, I noticed that one of the fonts (the one in Font settings/4.Black, which looked like Times) disappeared. I didn't care too much since I thought it was ugly anyway. I don't know if anybody else also experienced this, but if you did, I managed to recover the font a few days ago. What worked for me was the following:
    1. Copy a .ttf font in the root of the SD card and rename it to font5.ttf (it doesn't matter what the font is, the important thing is to have a .ttf font named font5.ttf).
    2. Insert the card in the reader and turn it on.
    3. Go to Settings/Font settings and press 4.Black. The font should be now recovered.
    4. Now you can delete font5.ttf from the SD card.
    Note that this procedure results in the recovery of the original font that was installed in the reader before the v.0.47 update; it does not install a new font (that's why it doesn't matter which font is used in the recovery procedure outlined above). Looks like a glitch in the software that can be overcome this way.

    This worked for me but, of course, I can't guarantee success, so try this at your own risk.

  36. John Thorburn says:

    Hi, has Elonex gone bust, no links work to the site. I was hoping for a better guide than the quick start one that came with the 511eb

  37. margaret says:

    When i plug my 511EB into my computer it does not show in my computer that it is an ‘LNX eBook’.
    Can you tell me why?

  38. Hello everyone,

    I know this is a blog for firmware update but i was hoping someone might know the answer to my issue. I have locked myself out of my elonex 511ebook i forgot the password and don't know how to access, and i cannot find a backdoor so to speak.

    Any hints or tips or even resolutions would be greatly appreciated.

    R aka Albino-b2

  39. CryptoKnight says:

    Soo... the download link is down - pretty much all of Elonex' site is kinda buggy and they don't respond to emails... Anybody got a v.0.47 firmware or newer (I wish...) they'd like to share with the world on dropbox or similar?

  40. Frederik G. Larsen says:

    Hi Terence. I've got a Elonex 621EB. I need the firmware for that - think it's called "621EB-FW1028.zip". Do you know, how I can get that?

      1. Unfortunately, not only do the links on the Elonex website not work, their email address doesn't either!

        I just picked up a 511EB for peanuts in a charity shop in boxed, unused condition - looks like it was used once or twice and then forgotten about. I just wanted a basic device for reading PDFs while out and about, so for that it's perfect. But...it's running the old firmware, and I want the update.

        I can't find anywhere to download it at all, despite extensive searching, and Elonex seem impossible to contact. Can anyone supply me with the file?

          1. TR says:

            Hello Terence,
            I would be very grateful if you can suggest how to switch language in Hanvon N520 from Chinese to English. I've asked Hanvon already, but it doesn't look like I'll get a reply.
            Thank you


            1. Terence Eden says:

              Look for the symbol "英文" - that's "English Language" in Chinese. Good luck!

  41. Yann Dubois says:

    Hi Terence,

    This may be a long shot considering there's been close to 2.5 years since the last post.... But, nothing ventured, nothing gained right? I've just gotten hold of an Elonex 511EB and would like to use it but it's firmware has never been updated.

    Would you by chance happen to still have the firmware for it? The dropbox link in your article no longer works (not that I expected it to... 9 years later!). I've scoured the web and couldn't find any update for this model anywhere, including the company's website, which looks like they aren't even in the business of eReaders anymore.

      1. Yann Dubois says:

        Thanks so much!... update worked like a charm, following the instructions. I'm really glad you hadn't deleted those files!


What links here from around this blog?

What are your reckons?

All comments are moderated and may not be published immediately. Your email address will not be published.Allowed HTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> <p> <pre> <br> <img src="" alt="" title="" srcset="">