EZ Reader

Last week I mentioned that I had ordered an Astak EZ Reader ebook reader (aka the Hanlin V3 and the BeBook). It arrived Friday, so I’ve had a few days to form some initial impressions.

The EZ Reader has a 6″ screen and uses ePaper/eInk (as do most ebook readers). It’s definitely larger than my Palm Tungsten E2 (which is not a bad thing for reading).

It came with the leather case, wrist strap, headphones (plays mp3s), charger and USB cable, and 2 gb SD card.

None of my text comparison pictures turned out very well, alas. (Click on the pictures to enlarge any picture.) Not that you can tell, but the EZ Reader’s screen is, indeed, easy to read and easier on the eyes than the Palm’s screen. Plus the EZ Reader (like most other ebook readers) has several zoom levels. (You can see zoom examples in this comparison of the Kindle 2 and the EZ Reader.) You can also add and change fonts, which I’m sure I’ll find handy since I prefer reading serif fonts.

I much enjoyed the box, too – it’s a fascinating mixture of Engrish, contradictions, and excessive quotations. Don’t even get me started on the manual. I could improve that thing by 250% with a marker and 30 free minutes. *has flashback to tech editing training*

For example, in the upper right corner on the back of the box, it says “Download books easily to your computer, then onto EZ READER thru any USB cable. USB cable not included.” But… the USB cable is included, even if it isn’t mentioned on the package contents on the lower left corner!

The front of the box (above) exuberantly notes that it “INCLUDES 2GB SD Card, Card Reader, Leather Case!” Hmm, no SD card reader, unless you mean… the EZ Reader itself? Oh, and definitely ignore the titles displayed on the EZ Reader pictured on the front of the box – although there’s no disclaimer, those titles aren’t among the free preloaded titles. Nope, not even Jane Eyre!

The front of the box also exclaims that “TEN (10)” book formats are supported. However, from what I’ve been able to determine, the reader supports 11 or 12 formats, plus some handy things like .zip, .rar, .jpg, etc. I’m all about supporting non-proprietary multiformat devices. 🙂

Not everyone around here appreciated the box as much as I.

“This box sucks. It’s way too small to stick my head into. Hmph.” -Chaos

Stay tuned in the days to come as I actually read a few books on the EZ Reader and compare the traditional and electronic reading experiences.