Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just a note on where to purchase the Mentor Lite

The Mentor Lite is an entirely different line made for Astak by a different factory. As such, we do not put it up on :

You can purchase the Mentor Lite Version 2 at: It may not say "Version 2" as we never sold Version 1. ALL Mentor Lite sold on the Astak website are indeed Version 2 with the new Epson Controller and MP3 and a crush-resistant case included in the box!

Thank you!! We have had a lot of email asking where the Mentor Lite can be purchased and now you know!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why would I buy an eBook Reader?

At a Trade Show, about a year ago, someone asked the question: "If I can buy a paperback book for $10, why would I want to buy an eBook Reader for $300". This told me that a major part of selling eBook Readers is education!

First off, there are the obvious benefits. Try lugging around 20 or thirty paperback books on your next trip to the beach. The Astak Pocket PRO can hold up to 8,000 eBooks in the palm of your hand. Secondly, how many of us get weary and watering eyes while reading? There is no eye strain with an eBook Reader because of E-Ink technology. It is easy on the eyes. How many boxes are stored in your attic or basement or garage filled with old paperbacks, hard cover books, magazines, and such? So, you reduce all that clutter in your life. Ever tried to find a book you read a year ago? Books are like socks in a washer... they disappear. Not so with an eBook Reader. Ever carried a boom box around for listening to music while you read? Well, the Pocket PRO gives you far better sound with its MP3 stereo and a quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones and weighs less than 6 ounces. Reduce the clutter and hassle in your life with an eBook Reader.

BUT... the obvious is a small part of the benefit. The non-obvious is largely environmental and its impact on your wallet, folks.

You may note that all printed books are on white paper. Isn't it wonderful how trees produce white paper for your pleasure? The truth is... they do not. Paper mill pulp comes from cutting down living trees. About 16% is grown on "tree farms". The rest is "old growth forest"! You may note that old growth forests are fast disappearing and Paul Bunyon and Babe (the blue ox) are not finding any more. Further... you may note that trees are NOT WHITE inside. What makes pulp white is BLEACHING!! Why is this important? Because Paper Mill Sludge comes from the bleaching of paper to white. Like nuclear fuel... you cannot mitigate the harm to the environment. Paper Mill Sludge contains 32 known carcinogens. In Canada, they actually tried using it as a mulch on farmland with epic disastrous results. It runs into our streams and lakes and rivers. It enters the food chain. It poisons everything it comes in contact with.

Then they make the books. $10 paperback? Think again. Old paperbacks and hard covers and magazines and newspapers end up (sadly) in our landfill!! Seen many new "dumps" opening in your area lately?? We are fast running out of landfill, folks.

So... how does this impact your wallet? Publishers buy paper, they do not materialize it. If we have a Paper Mill Sludge problem, limited trees, and lack of landfill space... we ARE talking that paper products are going way up in cost! eBooks are coming way down in cost. When a paperback books costs three times what an eBook costs... you will see the benefit to eBook Readers or stop reading!

In 1855, Chief Seattle of the Dwamish Tribe in Washington State put it exactly right: "All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Continue to deficate in your own bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste."

We are about to suffocate in the bed we are making. Look closely into eBook Readers. The Pocket PRO is $199 and is lighter, and faster, and more full-featured than almost any other eBook Reader. It is a fine start in making your bed (the earth) last a little longer while giving you far more convenience and less clutter.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bruce Pechman reviews 5 inch Pocket PRO

I have a friend (Bruce Pechman) who is reknowned as one of the finest male physical speciments around. Entering his 50's... he looks in his low 30's. Don't we all wish we could say that?

Anyway, Bruce, who I met years ago. Bruce does a number of TV shows and two of them are: "Good Morning San Diego" and "Good Morning Los Angeles". IF you ever are in those areas look for Bruce's show.

Bruce started as a celebrity showing off his fabulous arm strength and muscles. However, over the years he has gobe heavily into being "The Muscleman of Technology"! I refreshed the friendship at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January! Bruce recently called me and asked if he could do a live review of the Astak 5 inch Pocket PRO. He was doing a show on eBook Readers anyway... and the Pocket PRO was new and novel!

Clearly Bruce loved the Pocket PRO and still has it. We know he is trying to get other appearances where he might show it. Bruce will also be at this year's CES show in Las Vegas (January 7-10) and will be stopping by the Astak booth (#12640). If you see a guy walking around with arms like the old Blacksmiths used to have... say hello to Bruce and tell him that "Bob sent me"!! Nicest guy you would ever want to meet!!

You should be able to see the TV review on our website:!! We will also be showing it at CES! Anyway, reviewers are loving the Pocket PRO and watching Bruce do the review is incredible!! Thank you so much, Bruce!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

WoW!! Pocket PRO with great reviews!!

Well, the Astak Pocket PRO has been out now about a month or so! I thin it is time to check back in and see what the reviewers have been like and WHY the reviews were positive.

You can see many of the reviews and comments posted on our website:

But WHY did they like it and why is it an overwhelming success. More than that, has it been a "Landmark Device" like I thought it would be.

Overwhelmingly, the single main reason people like the Pocket PRO is the wealth of formats! The Pocket PRO displays 20 formats and 20 languages. This means that you are free to buy eBooks from over 300 different websites. It means that English may be the main language of the USA... but people still prefer to read in their native tongue: Spanish, French, Potugese. Romanian, Chinese, Korean and so on.

The Pocket PRO has Adobe DRM and 8 level grey scale. The grey scale shows up illustarations much more clearly. The Adobe allows reflow of pdf pictrues and illustrations to fit the screen. Reviewers liked that!

Reviewers liked the idea of having MP3 stereo on the device and praised the 3.5mm headphone jack. They liked the Text-To-Speech features and said while it may sound still a bit robotic it was pleasant enough and it turned the pages automatically!

The colors were successful!! The Pocket PRO comes in six different colors. We knew the Black and the White and the Slate Blue were fine... but we took a risk with the Fuscia Pink and the Metallic Purple and the Maroon! Feddback and buying have shown that women LOVE having the "cute" Pink and Metallic Purple and they are not afraid to say it! Women-Only Websites have praised it as perfect to sell to their patrons. It appears that Astak's colors have captured the hearts of all sexes!

Every review praised how EASY it was to download the eBooks!! Most found this very simple, fast, and incredibly easy. One TV reviewer called to ask HOW to download a book and was amazed that within 35 seconds he had what he wanted and it read perfectly. There is NOTHING like making someone feel like an "expert" by simply doing what they wanted to do. This ease of downlaoding really impressed!

Many reviewers picked up on the USER-REPLACEABLE rechargeable battery arguing that sealed batteries are a hassle, and expense, and maybe 4-6 weeks without their eBook Reader! They argued WHO would buy a $199 device and then pay $100 plus freight to have the factroy change the battery for them. The Pocket PRO battery takes maybe a minute to change yourself!

There were some engatives that should be noted: the device did not have Hyperlinks or a Search Function and the Bookmarking was "clunky". Thus, Astak issued free Formware Uploads that eliminated every one of these problems at once and the End Users raved how great it worked!

OH, that SD card slot drew praise too! Just that it has a slot was great... but it supported up to a 16GB card (room for 8,000 ebooks and music)!!

Finally, what won them over entirely and had many reviewers BUY their eval unit was the price! $199-$229 seemed incredibly like a bargain!! This was one eBook Reader that was priced just right.

Is it better than the Kindle? Some brought that up and thought that it was. While the Kindle is a fine device, it has no expansion slot, a sealed-in battery, one format (that seems to be going out of style quickly as ADE becomes dominant), and it ties you forever to buying from one website. Only you can answer this question. We will not! We just know that the Pocket PRO is a hit and people love it. I think that is all any manufacturer could want!