Technology

Ectaco JetBook Mini Review

Overview 

The Ectaco Mini appeared without a lot of attention. It seems like it may have been kept a secret for a while. Ectaco’s decision to reveal YouTube’s verdict was the right move. The device isn’t currently in stock at Ectaco’s webpage.

The Jetbook Mini was Ectaco’s first e-reader. JCNIP originally created the previous two for markets in China. They can be purchased in China under the brand name Dr. Yi (with an alternative firmware, naturally).

The hardware of the Mini E-Reader is very basic. It excludes the MP3 player, internal storage, and many of the buttons its predecessor boasts. One detail is exactly the same as that of its predecessors, and this is the screen. Toshiba was the original developer of the low power grayscale LCD screen that this unit utilizes.

Positives
• One good thing is the the Ectaco JetBook Mini is very lightweight.
• It doesn’t give you wrist strain when you hold it in one hand.
• Ectaco JetBook Mini offers multi-language interface in German, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, and Polish.
• If you are not an English speaking user, you will be able to access books in languages other than English.
• The battery lasts a long time.
• The unit conveniently runs on 2 AAA batteries.
• The user has lots of formatting options.

Negatives
• The number of pages that can be seen on the 5″ screen is limited.
• The device does not support PDF, so you have to use Calibre to convert PDF files before opening them. However, if it can, we don’t think the small screen can show PDF files appropriately.
• You will only get 3-4 days of reading time from this device. The Sony Touch has 2 weeks of battery life, and the Kindle 3 has an entire month. Regardless of the fact that the Energizer is rechargeable, it is inconvenient to remove the batteries and plug them into a battery charger every few days. However, what happens if you don’t have a recharger?
• There is no one-step connection to a bookstore (such as you would find with Kindle 3 and others) because Ectaco JetBook Mini doesn’t have wireless connectivity. You’ll need to connect the Jetbook to a computer in order to load books.
• I think the eInk screens are more comfortable to read than the LCD screen.

Detailed Review
In summary, both Ectaco Jetbook and Ectaco Jetbook Lite are good pocket companions for the avid reader. The Ectaco  Mini might be concrete proof that good things come in small packages.

This palm-sized eReader makes reading a very pleasurable experience. If you like Ectaco Readers, you will love the Ectaco  Mini for it’s great look and low price (only $99).

Ectaco’s 3rd offering in eReaders is the Ectaco JetBook Mini. The crisp new design is reminiscent of the Pocketbook 360. Most reading devices have the navigation and page turn buttons on the bottom of the screen; however, the JetBook Mini has them all on the right hand side. This gives it a rather jaunty appearance.

The right side is curved in order to rest your palm and provide a better grip. Even though the screen is identical to the original JetBook (a 5″ TFT LCD screen), the Ectaco Mini looks and feels smaller thanks to the updated design.

The JetBook Mini weighs 5.8 ounces so it is easy to use it one-handed. At first glance, it seems directed towards right-handers. When you examine the unit, you will see that it facilitates one handed use by both lefties and righties.

You can change page orientation thanks to the “all-way reading” feature, which lets you rotate the screen as much as 270 degrees.

Here are the text formats supported by this device: FB2, TXT, PDB, PRC, LIT, MOBI, ePub. Line breaks, line spacing and alignment can all be adjusted with the JetBook Mini. There’s six font sizes available, ranging from 16 -32 points. You can store as much as 2GB of music, pictures, and text thanks to the SD slot.

Most eReaders have a built in battery that you can plug in at a regular outlet with a power cord or on your PC using a USB cord; however, JetBook Mini uses 4 AAA batteries. You get 90 hours of reading time when you use the included Energizer batteries. You get two years of battery life on standby.

On the upper edge of the Ectaco JetBook Mini is an SD card slot. At the lower edge, you will find a USB port. On one side of the screen, there are 5 buttons. The buttons found on the device are: Menu, up, Enter, down, and Exit/Power

You’ll find the battery compartment behind the buttons. It only needs 2 AAA, but it actually holds 4. This will permit you to switch out a couple without ruining your settings. That’s good. It is easy to grasp the thickest part of the Jetbook Mini thanks to the battery placement.

The Mini is nice and light, but it was made for people with smaller hands than mine.

You can play Sudoko and a generic tetris on the mini. Sadly, it’s not easy to play the games as it was difficult to understand the buttons. However this isn’t important since you probably are not buying this for the games.

It was similar to reading my Jetbook, which is not a positive trait. Loading time was longer. When I compared it to my K3, I found that it did not turn the pages as quickly. Most CSS formatting was missing, along with images and links.

On the positive side, there are multiple formatting choices to select from. Paragraph break behavior, text coding, font size, line spacing and justification can all be set to your preference. This e-reader will work for left-handed individuals as all four rotations are supported.