Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Consumer Electronics Show is January 7-10

The annual Consumer Electronics Show will take place in Las Vegas from January 7-10!! About 500,000 attendees and press and media people will all swarm to there like bees to honey!

Why is this important to the end-user?

Here is why> every major eBook Reader manufacturer will be there. There is a special "eBook Pavilion" which Robertb asked for last year and CES agreed this year! My prodding, pressing, and providing names and emails to CES made this happen and I am really proud of that. I feel this pavilion symbalizes what we all now think: the "Year of the eBook" has finally come!!

Exhibitors start working towards this show in July!! That is how big this is. It takes a good six months of painstaking work to get ready. There is booth design, space selection changes, finding audio and video and pretty models. There is also the obvious and largest consideration: transporting displays and 20-40 people to Las Vegas and housing and feeding them so they can man the booth.

Yet... every major newspaper and magazine and TV station and retail store will have representatives there. Present models can be triied out and all new and planned models for the next year will at least be seen in prototype.

CES is really WHY you hear very little about new models form July thru December each year!! Everyone is planning the grand introduction at CES.

So... what will Astak be showing? I cannot tell you. Yes, we will have some major new models with incredible features. Some of the rumored products are really amazing and earth-shaking. BUT, you will have to either attend the show or count on reviewers to let you know. I will be posting here and on MobileRead Forum when I get back after the show.

So, this is why news is limited right now by everyone. They are waiting! The excitement is growing and everybody knows that CES will shake the entire eBook World!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

WHO CARES about User-Replaceable Batteries?

Well, you should and I do.

You will note that both of our lines (EZReader and Mentor) have a battery door. There is one sturdy little screw that opens with a standard phillips screwdriver. You can purchase replacement batteries atour website:

Almost all the major eBook Reader sellers have gone to sealed-in batteries.

"So what?", you might say!

First of all, batteries do not last forever. Maybe you do 200 recharges in a year. That battery might be ready to go out. It depends on how long it sat discharged and weather and temperature and other factors... but Diamonds may be forever and batteries aren't!

With a sealed -in battery you first hunt down the maker of the device and try to contact customer service. You then pay $80 or so to them to replace the battery. But wait, what about freight? Add that in. Then you sit for 4-6 weeks waiting to get the device back. Getting the idea now?

With the Astak line... you can already be up and running for about $16 or so.

Also, what about the concept of a "spare battery"? With Astak you can buy a spare, charge it, and pop in the spare on a long trip! It weighs next to nothing and takes up little room. So, instead of the "8,000 pages to a single charge"... you now have 16,000 pages capability.

Frankly, I would never buy a device that is sealed in! That, to me, is a form of lunacy.

Most reviewers never seem to get this. They comment on font sizes available and Text-To-Speech quality instead... all items that are readily improved by firmware upgrades... free and taking maybe 2 minutes. In the last month or so, Astak has offered firmware upgrades to improve: battery charge, Search Function, Bookmarking, Font Size selection, more languages supported, amd more. Dictionary Support and a visual clock are the next upgrade and already in the works. We listen and we react.

Unfortunately, you cannot change a sealed in battery with a firmware upgrade.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Differences between the EZ Reader and the Mentor Lite

The Mentor Line is made by a separate factory. They are two different lines. We do this to offer the latest in best in multiple lines.

The Mentor line now has the "Mentor Lite"... that is presently the only Mentor that we carry. More models are planned.

The Mentor Lite Version 2 has added the new Epson high-speed controller and MP3 for music while you read.

The EZ Reader Basic does not have the Epson Controller for faster page turns, although it is pretty fast anyway. What sets the Mentor Lite Version 2 (the only version that we sell) apart is the fact that it has the Epson Controller, has one-touch buttons to take you to the main menu or top go to Landscape Mode at any time you wish, and it adds one touch buttons to take you to the first real game on eBook Readers: a full version of Sudoku! So, you can read a bit, listen to music a bit, and then play some exciting Sudoku on a long trip.

Both devices (Mentor Lite 2 and EZ Reader Basic) have E-Ink technology for long battery charge life (8,000 pages to a single charge), a USER-REPLACEABLE rechargeable battery (we think this is a HUGE plus, have SD card slots to at least 4GB, and play music while you read. BOTH come with the case included!!

You can buy the Mentor Lite ONLY on at present.

Regarding Canada, we are working on adding more retail stores that will carry the Astak brand. FutureShop has it now. Others will be added as they accept the device.

This week we added 49 stores of retail stores carrying our device!! Those stores are in Washington State, Oregon, and Texas and they are expanding.

Two websites, one is Domestic and one International

Dear All:

You can buy the EZ Reader Basic or the Pocket PRO at one of two sites!

The Domestic website is:

The International Shipping website is: