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Review: Astak 5″ Pocket PRO EZ Reader

Two weeks with an Astak 5”: Text-to-speech mode and parting thoughts
December 22, 2009 | 8:33 pm

There is one last aspect of the Astak that I need to review before shipping it back in. That is one of the major ways it differs from the Sony, and one of the ways it is similar to the Kindle 2: text-to-speech read-aloud mode. Note that with the version of firmware with which the Astak shipped, only PDFs could be read aloud. However, a more recent firmware upgrade expanded speech-compatibility and now it works with ePub too. (And perhaps other formats; I did not check.) I connected the Astak to my computer and recorded a couple of minutes of the...

Two weeks with an Astak 5”: Formats and shortcomings
November 19, 2009 | 4:02 pm

000_0001_01 Photo Note: My auto-focus digital camera had a little trouble getting good shots of the screen; no matter what I do, the shots tend to turn out slightly off-focus. The shots may look blurry, but suffice it to say that’s a problem with my camera—in person, the reader is quite as crisp and clear as printed text. I’ve had more time to play around with the Astak, and the bloom is off the rose. Yes, the e-ink screen is truly amazing, and far clearer than the touch-sensitive Sony reader’s. However, it has certain other problems. In Praise of Astak Before I start...

Two weeks with an Astak 5”: Ergonomic Factors
November 1, 2009 | 2:03 pm

000_0002_00 I have spent the last two weeks reading e-books on the Astak, and am ready to give my first impressions. The Screen First of all, the 800x600-resolution screen. I love the screen. Of course, it is probably the same screen that any non-touch-sensitive e-ink reader has, but compared to the Sony I tested before the difference is like night and day. The touch-sensitive Sony had a huge amount of glare—but on the Astak, the glare is not there. The words are ink-on-paper clear; if the background is greyer than normal book-quality paper, it is not much darker than the newsprint on which...

Two weeks with an Astak 5”: The Unboxing
October 30, 2009 | 3:05 am

A couple of weeks ago I got an evaluation copy of an Astak 5” e-book reader. I’ve been reading books on it over the last week, when I haven’t been busy doing other things, and I’m just about ready to start writing my reviews. But first of all, here is the unboxing video I recorded the other day, in which I take it out of the box and take a first look at it. Enjoy. Technorati Tags: Astak,Unboxing,Pocket Pro,e-reader,e-book reader,e-ink...

Two weeks with an Astak 5”: Preconceptions
October 13, 2009 | 8:40 pm

image Last night, Paul Biba startled me with an offer: he had received a review unit of Astak’s 5” Pocket PRO EZ Reader, but did not have the time to review it. Did I want to? Did I ever‽ This will make a great opportunity to compare this competing e-book reader to what I remember of the Sony. With that in mind, I am starting a new series of columns: Two weeks with an Astak 5”. I actually expect to have this reader longer than two weeks—Paul believed it was mine to keep, though I will try not to get too attached...