JetBook E-Book Reader Review

Overview
Most 6″ e-readers are very close to each other in price. The reasons I chose the JetBook are the clear screen, the use of AA batteries, the SD card support, the PDF support and the lack of refresh.

I give it four to five stars due to the fact that I like the PDF support with Sony and the Screen with Kindle; however, Sony’s screen is not very clear. I am very distracted by the flashing eInk on every page refresh. Even though Kindle has a very nice screen and a very nice form, I don’t like the fact that one is obligated to use Kindle services. Additionally, PDF files must be converted by PC, and the screen refresh is very slow.

Kindle and Sony cases are the right size for use with JetBook E-Book Reader, which does not come with a case. It comes with a USB cable and nothing else. All you’ll need in the future is an SD card.

No matter what you buy today, it will be obsolete next year due to the fact that the eReader market is in a constant state of growth. You can start reading right out of the box. Newer models don’t have the annoying refresh function of ePaper.

Additionally, they are less expensive, more flexible, thinner, and faster. I would really like to find an e Reader that would let me read 8 x 11 documents or even newspapers without having to zoom in. I would also like to be able to turn pages as quickly as I do with a real book. Up until that point, it is all stop gap measures.

Positives 
• Compatible with many eBook formats including PDF
• Inexpensive
• The LCD screen is clear with high contrast.
• Powered by AA batteries.

Negatives 
• It is difficult to navigate some DRM & PDF files
• LCD doesn’t look like eInk faux paper.

Bottom Line
These small (6″) readers are intended to be like pocket books; however, the documents I like to read are formatted for paper that is 8″ X11″. If you want to read journals, you must upgrade to a larger eReader. These must be formatted. Nonetheless, a JetBook E-Book Reader, for only $130 will do until this upgrade is possible.

In the final analysis, given the assumption that JetBook E-Book Reader might make 8 x 11 format pages adequately readable at a quarter of its original size, what would that mean for pocketbooks and books that are fifty to a hundred percent of their paper based sizes?

In many ways, the JetBook Lite is very much like a 1990s Palm Pilot or a large PDA. It is easy on the batteries, can be read in sunlight, and is not backlit. Releases prior to January 2010 were buggy, but there have been very few bugs since March.

Operation 
The ON button is recessed below, which is not as convenient as one on top. Pressing a button is much harder with a larger thumb than other, smaller fingers. It only takes 3 seconds to start up. Your initial boot will take a couple of minutes. Thereafter, it will only take half a minute. Navigate by using the bar, the page up/down button, and/or the toggle button. You can select a menu item quickly and easily by using the keyboard if the menu item is accompanied by a number.

Loading a book takes about 30 seconds. It’s fast once it’s loaded. Here are some of the key features:
1. Self shut off
2. Resettable defaults such as delete files, time out, fonts, and so forth.
3. Automatic book-marking.
4. Manual book-marking.

If it freezes, find the reset hole on the rear and activate it with a paper clip.

Main Features 
One unique feature is the fact that the LCD screen is very sharp and has much higher resolution than a number of others we have viewed. The screen is clearer and sharper than an eInk screen. Additionally, there is no flashing or blanking when turning pages. I find this very annoying with eInk.

There is less contrast due to the fact that the LCD has a silver/gray background. The screen on the Kindle is sharper – more like paper. Due to the touch screen, the Sony Screen is lacking in contrast but is still readable. In JetBook E-Book Reader, small fonts may appear a bit jagged (unlike in Kindle and Sony).

The AA battery has a long life (more than 20 hours). You will never lack for batteries because this unit uses easily obtainable and inexpensive AA batteries. Lithium batteries (with a typical life of 5 years or less) are used in other eReaders.

The back of the JetBook isn’t flat. The golf-ball-textured battery compartment protrudes and provides a good gripping point and handle. You can swap out the AA batteries easily, so there’s no need to constantly remember to recharge your eReader. It’s easy to forget to recharge an electronic device. Think about how often you have forgotten to charge your cell phone.

Format Support 
Most eReaders do a good job with text. Aside from that, other formats are well supported by firmware 0.15d. Many readers have complained in regards to PDF & DRM; however, the firmware has been upgraded several times to make the rendering of a number of formats better. Most eReaders are weak on PDF files.

I have mostly used the JetBook for PDF files and Microsoft Word files. Keep in mind that there are many kinds of data in most PDFs: formatted text, vector graphics, JPEGs. I like to read PDF files that have lots of charts, graphs and pictures. When viewed using a 6″ screen, the fonts are less clear. In addition, there are fewer options for resizing straight graphics. With Kindle, you can convert PDFs free of charge via your PC, or you can pay a fee to convert it wirelessly. PDF is processed best with Sony. It is easily read even when full size is displayed on a 6″ screen.

Additionally, Sony’s navigation for PDF is easily the best. Although JetBook E-Book Reader is highly readable, it falters in rendering graphics. PDF format can be used for documents of all kinds, so when you hear complaints about PDF, they tend to vary depending upon what kinds of files the user typically wants to view.

Speed 
In terms of speed, the PDF speed is slower than any other eReader. Same with “jump to pages” in any mode. However, font resizing is quicker than Sony or Kindle with JetBook E-Book Reader.

Navigation 
It’s easy to navigate with the Sony touch screen and its PDA-like stylus control. There’s no qwerty keyboard on the JetBook E-Book Reader ; therefore, you enter the alphanumeric numbers and letters using 9 navigation keys similar to those on a telephone keypad.

A full-size keyboard is provided with the Kindle. It has a nice keyboard, but it’s really unnecessary to have it available all the time, and it adds to the size of the unit. It would really be better to have a pop-up keyboard.

There are a number of ways to navigate with JetBook E-Book Reader : Number keys, toggle switch, page switch, and slide bar. You can navigate documents quickly because they are easy to learn, even though, they are not as elegant as those found on Sony and Kindle.

SD Card Support 
You are not stuck with just one merchant thanks to SD Card Support. This makes it easy and flexible to load new files. As compared with Kindle, which uses fixed memory, JetBook E-Book Reader contains a greater amount of virtual storage of readable material on SD cards. You’ll probably find wireless to be the most convenient, but you’ll have to use either Kindle or Sony’s service for it to function.

You don’t have to depend upon a merchant’s service. The SD card loads and unloads in a fashion similar to that of a digital camera. What you see is what you get. You can use the SD card as with any drive, without any software installation.

There are 2 ways you can load books directly to your JetBook E-Book Reader :
1. You can connect to your PC using a USB cable.
2. You can use the SD card (which is faster).