Monday, March 22, 2010

New 6 inch EZ Reader PLUS unveiled.

A major surprise, the new Astak EZ Reader PLUS was announced by the factory. We do not have a release date yet butexpect it to be selling within 6 weeks.

Everyone LOVED the Astak EZ Reader Basic. It was of decent speed but had only 4 level gray scale and was held back a wee bit by USB 1.0. This device was rock-solid, though, and was one of the best six inch devices on the market. Many reviewers praised it as a direct competitor to the Kindle 2.

Well, the factory looks like they took an old suggestion of mine and dramatically improved it.

First, they added blazing speed. With a new state-of-the-art Epson Controller and 400 MHz processor... page turns are immediate and books come up quickly. This, by itself, made it better that almsot any other 6 inch.

Then they added 16 levels of Grey Scale for fabulous illustrations and images, USB 2.0, and 64MB of SDRAM!! Now we are talking world class,folks!! Oh, and they also went to 16GB on the SD card slot (enough for 8,000 eBooks and your MP3 music).

Lastly, they left the price the same!! WHEN have you ever heard of a device being changed this much without a price increase?? This will still sell between $229 and $249!!

So, now you get the same rock-solid reliability and easy controls on a device that is a speed demon! Think of your Chevy Cobalt being greatly increased in amenities and receiving the hottest 600 horsepower Corvette Engine!! This new PLUS really moves.

I will post when it starts selling. Save your nickels and dimes and get the ideal 6 inch!! Yes, it now has Hyperlinks and a Search Engine! It now has a Visible Clock too! It also has, as always, twin page-turn stations, a by-the-numbers control system, the crush-resistant case and ear buds included, and the same Grade "A" perfect screen. No corners were cut! The MP3 is still on the Music Zone for wonderful sound quality and yes, it still plays music WHILE you read! OH, and it still has 20 formats on it, Adobe Digital Editions, 26 languages, NINE font sizes in ePub and PDF, and a USER-REPLACEABLE rechargeable battery.

Now, let us see Kindle begin to measure up!!

Seeking help for any problems

Astak has a Dedicated Astak Forum at MobileRead Forum. Here you can go to have tons of fellow Astak device owners help you with problems. It is a great way to get things done and I monitor the forum much of the time. The link to go to that Dedicated Astak Thread is:

You can also contact Astak direct at: 1-866-368-8788 or by sending an email to:

I am not a tech person... we have specialists for that, of course. We ARE here to help! But, in any case, the forum is a wonderful and easy way to get advice and make reading on an Astak device a real pleasure!

Also, thank you for all those who wrote about the User Replaceable Rechargeable Battery that Astak puts in all their devices. We see this as a HUGE plus as dealing with a faulty sealed-in battery is very expensive and time-consuming!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

User Replaceable Batteries and type of battery

Once again I have received word that another person made the choice to buy the Astak over the Sony because of the User-Replaceable battery. People should realize (and that means REVIEWERS also) that this is growing more important.

Here is why. As prices for quality eBook Readers have broken the $199 barrier... the projection is that new chipsets now in development and new screens now starting development will bring the price down to the sweet spot of $150 for a basic E-INK machine. I don't know when... but likely later this year. This makes the User-Replaceable rechargeable battery that Astak has in ALL their models a major decision maker.

WHY? Let us suppose you buy a Fernley eBook Reader with a sealed-in battery. I use that name as purely fictitious BUT most of the major brands have sealed-in. This Fernley has sealed in. After a year the Fernley starts to hold a poor charge and the battery charge life gets awful. The end user calls Fernley and is told he must pay to mail it to Fernley. Fernley will charge him $80-$100 to replace the battery for their trouble. Fernley than charges him to send it back. The poor end user is left without a device for six weekls! Now he hates Fernley and he understands WHY USER-Replaceable rechargeable batteries make the Astak a great idea.

Now, every eBook Reader has different power requirements. It has to do with providing a long battery-charge life and powering all the features. One battery (maybe a Nokia phone battery) may not work well in all situations. Astak stocks spare bateries which cost very little. And they pop in and out with one screw. Maybe it is a 2 minute job to replace the battery. This allows two things: the swift and cheap replacement of a bad battery and the carrying of a fully-charged spare battery the user can pop right in for long trips. But, my point is that Astak also wishes all batteries can be as readily available online as the 6 inch EZ Reader. Unfortunately the wonderful Pocket PRO has Text-To-Speech and numerous other features that required a battery other than a phone battery. That is the way the factory designed it.

One end user did urge me to please try to use phone batteries in the future. This is an intelligent request; and we will try. But, fundamentally, the factories design the unit and its insides and they decide what battery is needed. Astak only can recommend and we will.

But, whatever Astak model you buy (or REVIEW) it has a USER-REPLACEABLE rechargeable battery and that makes economic sense. The Fernley and its real sister devices are out of step with economics!