Friday, July 24, 2009

Support for EZ Reader devices outside North America.

First off, let me say that the EZ Reader is built by a factory that makes more eBook Readers than Amazon and Sony combined. FRYs Electronics tells us that we have the lowest retrun rate of any eBook Reader device. So... chances are you will not need support.

However, IF YOU DO, you have the same parts and labor warranty as everybody else gets. The problem will be that like with everyone, freight to send it to our repair center in California is borne by you. That freight may rin around $40USD (a rough estimate).

You may always email our tech support at: Most problems can be solved this way without actual repair. Do not forget that the EZ Reader line has a user-replaceable rechargeable battery that is a cinch to change and the battery is readily available online. IF there is a problem, the battery is normally the source of most problems.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A certain bias in the minds of reviewers?

We all know that very often a bad review can kill a promising new gadget or device. Likewise, a fair and impartial review that comes out liking a device can boost it enormously.

So it is with eBook Readers! New devices are coming out and many of them have innovations and nuances that are important to the industry.

It is no secret that Kindle and Sony dominate the eBook Reader market. That, by itself, is a shame as it limits competition in the marketplace.

What I am railing about today is a well-intentioned but unjustfiable misconception by the press... specifically the reviewers of eBook Readers.

Maybe I can help! Most of you know that every day I am on MobileRead Forum. This week MobileRead Forum celebrated its 39,000 member. This is no small audience... and represents an incredible proving grounds for ideas and suggestions that I do not think you can find anywhere else amongst the most informed segment of the public on eBook Readers. In short, when these people talk they know what they are talking about. I utilize them for Astak for everything from color choices on our products to naming our devices. I also bounce ideas off them and gain valuable insight. NO other eBook Reader Manufacturer has a presence on MobileRead Forum that I have seen.

One thing I have relentlessly asked about is the subject of wireless versus drag-and-drop. Amazon, of course, uses wireless exclusively. WHY? Really because Amazon wants to ensure that anybody that buys a Kindle MUST buy eBooks from them. They will be the first to say that they make their money off of the sale of the eBooks. Surprisingly, I am not writing today over this way of doing business by Kindle. I am writing based instead on the feedback I have received on MobileRead Forum over the last year.

Reviewers seem to feel that there must be an inherent desire in all Americans to want wireless.
This does not hurt too badly until they grade down non-wireless devices as somehow lacking. Let us set the record straight. About HALF of the people on MobileRead Forum like wireless and about half do not. THAT is my point, friends. WHY is a device deficient for NOT having wireless?

Non-wireless has some great advantages! There are no carrier fees to pay or "plans" to sign up for. You have a record of every book you purchased on your desktop or notebook. You can drag and drop your work files, pictures, word documents, and your MUSIC easily and efficiently into your eBook Reader, AND IT COSTS LESS TO THE CONSUMER TO BUY A NON-WIRELESS DEVICE.

Now, recently I have seen some reviews that seem to dismiss non-wireless devices as inferior or difficult or sadly lacking. Astak has come out with numerous new models that do not use wireless. They have been easier to use, less expensive, and have worked flawlessly. Somehow many reviewers take their own bias for the height of high-tech into their reviews and that is not at all fair.

There are some outstanding examples of eBook Readers where the manufacturer has chosen to go non-wireless and put the savings into other features! Witness the Astak EZ Reader Pocket PRO. This has made a huge technological JUMP. It is a 5 inch device, but it has an Epson Controller and 400MHz processor for blazing page turns. It is quicker than the Kindle 1, 2, or DX. It has Adobe Digital Editions... which can reflow .pdf. It displays 14 formats and 20 languages. You can buy eBooks from hundreds of websites... MEANING you can find books and materials that Amazon does not offer. It comes in a choice of six colors. It has Text-To-Speech! It has 8 levels of grey scale. And it costs around $200!!

I am NOT saying let us compare the Pocket PRO to a Kindle 2. I am saying that its lack of wireless is irrelevant... neither a plus or a minus. It IS what it is.

So, please Mister of MRs. Reviewer... open your mind to the fact that half of the public, maybe more, does NOT want wireless. Astak is coming out with wireless devices too. WHY? To serve the other 50%. I see this as a real PLUS and not a minus. Just as Atak devices are made for both left and right-handed people... we are trying to serve the entire public and not half. That is a good thing!!