Kobo Reader Review

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Overview 

With 8 levels of grayscale, the 6-inch screen of the Kobo displays with 600 x 800 pixels. This provides a very impressive display pixel concentration of 170 dots per inch (dpi).

The only two fonts available on this unit are Georgia (serif) and Trebuchet (sans serif). Each font is available in five sizes. It’s a good idea to use the smaller font size because using a larger font size increases page turn requirements. Using bigger font size is not an advantage for this unit unless the user suffers from sight problems. This device literally does not support sound. This means that there is no text- to-voice option available on in this eReader.

The Kobo Reader has a search functionality which provides the option to find by Title, by Author, or even by time last read. You can view your books either as a virtual bookshelf or as a simple list. The battery is good for turning 8000 pages. At a 5-second average, the page opening time is fast and brisk.

Lacking backlight, the unit avoids the resultant complication of eye strain. The repercussion, though, is that darkness or insufficient lighting will make the text unreadable.

The display on its own leaves much to be desired. The gray background does not change and does’nt provide a clean clear backdrop. However, reading with this device is quite pleasant, due to the Vizplex eInk display with 8 level grayscale. Nothing special happens from page transitions. The effect is somewhat awkward as the display shows the content in white text on a black background before resolving into the proceeding page.

There is no scrolling feature on this device; you must push a button to turn the page. There is no way provided to jump to a certain chapter or page unless you jump through each chapter without opening its page contents up for reading.

Positives
• Satisfactory battery life
• Outstanding paper-like display quality
• Compact dimensions, light weight and affordably priced
• Easy on the pocket, both in regards to price and weight
• Quality materials utilized
• 100 eBooks come pre-loaded
• Bluetooth wireless radio

Negatives
• Only compatible with the Blackberry at this time
• Lack of 3G or Wi-Fi capability
• Best suited for right hand users

Bottom Line: 
Thus, in a nutshell, the Kobo Reader is a barebones eReader that is hoping simplicity will distinguish it in the already crowded eReader market.

In comparison to the Sony Pocket Edition, the other low cost eReader on the market, you receive a device with a larger screen, more memory that translates into more book storage capacity, and a decent battery life, and all this costs $50 less than the Sony device. So the Kobo is an excellent choice for those who enjoy reading and are interested in a no frills eReader that is affordably priced.

Performance: 
The Kobo Reader is powered by the ARM9 (920T) core. It runs at 400 MHz and has an SDRAM that behaves as the standard memory. Kobo is compatible with Mac OS X and higher and with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. In addition, it is compatible with the BlackBerry.

The Kobo features a 1GB onboard memory, allowing you to store almost a thousand eBooks; plus, an SD card slot is available so that the memory can be expanded to 4 GB.

Battery Life: 
The Kobo Reader features a 1,000 mAH Li-Polymer battery. Theoretically and logically speaking, the reader should have a fairly long battery life because its eInk display does not need any power once the page has been resolved. As specified by the firm, 8000 page turns can be performed on the Kobo after one full charge.

A real life test was performed in which the Kobo was utilized for reading for periods of time ranging from a couple of minutes to a few hours while the device remained ‘on’ each day; under these circumstances, the battery lasted almost an entire week. It is possible to leave the reader on for days, but the power will only be drawn from the battery when the e reader is actually being used.

Keep it untouched and the power will not be drained. All the while, the present power condition of the unit is indicated by an icon on the main menu.

Contents: 
The Kobo Reader is not self reliant for downloading eBooks, as it does not have any 3G or Wi-Fi capabilities. A computer or a Smartphone is required to connect to the Internet and download eBooks from the company’s website. They can then be moved to the Kobo for reading, via Bluetooth or a USB cable. This is not the most convenient option for people who do a lot of reading of eBooks, but each additional feature comes at a price on other eReaders.

It is quite easy and quick to use the sync button to transfer eBooks. Kobo accomplishes this transfer utilizing custom software, but at this point, the Blackberry is the only Smartphone device that the Kobo supports for sync transfer. Kobo has pledged to offer sync facility with other brand smart phones before the summer is over.

Those who buy the Kobo Reader are able to access one hundred books by authors including: Austen, Dickens, Homer and Kafka. These books are available at no charge because they are all in the public domain.

Adobe DRM, ePub and PDF formats all work on the Kobo. However, the device is not well-suited for reading eBooks in PDF format. Text in PDF format is restricted due to the screen size, and magnification or reduction do not fix the problem. The issue is not serious because Kobo eBooks are provided in ePub format.

iRex Reader Review

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Overview 

For business people, the iRex Digital Reader is just perfect. Many features are included to help offices operate more effectively and with less of an environmental impact. As a matter of fact, it is quite possible that the iRex Digital e Reader has the largest offering of functions of all the e-readers we looked at, with the exception of the Kindle 2, making it very high on our list of attractive choices.

Reading is quite comfortable due to the Digital Reader 1000s’ high resolution. Not only is reading ability enhanced by a large screen, it is also possible to read comfortably in many different lighting conditions. Using a stylus, users can write notes and draw on the touch screen, adding an element of fun as well as function. Content is automatically adjusted to fit the size of the screen display due to reflow capability. In addition, the IREX reader, with its 10.2 inch wide screen display, makes any document look great.

Positives 
Keeping in mind that the Digital Reader 1000s was originally designed to promote a fully paperless electronic office environment, its large touch screen is an outstanding feature. It is very easy to electronically view documents in their original form, and it is possible to add notes and annotations on the fly using the stylus. Glare is minimized by cutting edge technology – the Electronic Paperless Display, which also enhances the visibility of the text on the screen.

PressReader service comes with the device as well. This provides users with access to 1020 newspapers from 81 countries, allowing them to download to their device and read them. Supported formats are BMP, TIFF, GIF, PNG, JPEC, PRC, DRM, HTML, TXT, PDF & Mobipocket. As firmware updates come out, additional file formats will be supported.

Negatives
Nonetheless, there are some negative aspects to having a large screen. Compared with other eReaders, this device is a little bit heavy. It has lower battery life (only 12 hours). It’s not really suited for voracious readers on the move. Additionally, there is not flash disk or hard drive, so you have to use SD cards to store files. The IREX 1000 S is pricey, with a price tag of $799.

Intended to be utilized for document management in a totally electronic office, the IREX Reader is excellent for that purpose. This reader may not suit the needs of those who require greater stamina, mobility and additional features in the electronic readers. Additionally, one very handy feature is the large 10.2 touch screen.

Bottom Line 
Basically, the iRex Reader is great if you don’t plan on doing any recreational reading. This ereader has many features and services that are appealing to businesses, making business activities more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Design 
In design, the iRex Digital eBook Reader bears some similarities to other devices from iRex, such as the iLiad 2nd Edition and Book Edition, which you can also find on this review site. It’s just half an inch thick, so it’s very portable and thin. It’s a lot smaller and more efficient than the briefcase.

One great feature of the iRex is that it “prints” docs to the reader. This feature saves paper and time. It is possible to send a document to the iRex Digital Reader where it will be converted, similar to an Adobe PDF file, into a format that can be stored on your reader. This saves you from having to print the same document multiple times. Then you can make notes and save the whole thing.

One of the best reasons to get the iRex Reader is its touchscreen. Larger than the screens on any other reader we reviewed, it is possible to utilize the touchscreen for navigation as well as for taking notes or highlighting text. Because of this, the iRex Reader is regarded as one of the best readers to utilize when marking text in a document or editing it.

Content 
There is no dedicated content provider for the iRex Reader, and it has the ability to read almost any information found on the internet. It can also print or convert to PDF. These capabilities make the quantity of available content almost limitless. However, if you plan to utilize it for books, it does not have enough storage for many titles and it supports a limited number of book files.

Additional Features 
In addition, even though the battery only lasts 24 hours, it’s unlikely you will need for it to last longer at a go.

It includes wireless and features a convenient screen that responds when written on, but it is far and away the priciest device amongst those we reviewed. While the features are unique, they do not justify such a high price.

It is possible to get in touch with iRex Technologies on their support page. Or you can download their frequently asked questions and general information articles which come as PDFs.

Sony Touch Edition Review

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Overview 

Last year, Sony — who pioneered the eReader market before it became trendy — came out with three new digital readers in an attempt to capture back some of its dominance. The Touch Edition, as the name implied, was the first device in the family to incorporate touch functionality, which Sony said would move e-reading closer to reading print books.

The benefits of the touch couldn’t make up for the glare-prone display and slow performance. In addition, Amazon and Barnes & Noble both lowered their prices to compete with the major electronics giant earlier this year. Now Sony enters the picture: It has released a new version of its Touch Edition ($229), and even though it has corrected many of the earlier version’s problems, is it still too expensive?

Positives 

The Sony Touch Edition is slimmer and more modern appearing than the Kindle. It has a more responsive touch screen than last year’s Sony Reader. It is more ergonomically correct and easier to use. It offers an optional memory card – either SD or Memory Stick Pro. – so it can store thousands of electronic books. This device features five font sizes and good battery life. Word and PDF files (with zoom) can be read. Most images display well. MP3 and AAC audio play nicely.

Negatives 

Sony Touch Edition screen is still prone to glare. The screen contrast (i.e. the darkness of the letters) isn’t as good as that found on competing models. Due to the fact that there is no wireless access, files have to be dragged and dropped from a PC. The battery is sealed into the unit. The notation &markup functions are quite awkward. The USB charging function only works from a PC.

Bottom Line 

At present, the retail price of the Sony Touch Edition is $229. As it costs more than both the Kindle ($139 for Wi-Fi, $189 for 3G) and the Nook ($149 for Wi-Fi, $199 for 3G), it will be hard for Sony to convince consumers that touch capability along with a more tightly focused reading experience make it worthwhile to give up wireless. This is especially true due to the fact that it costs more than both Kindle and Nook ($139 & $149 respectively) which both feature WiFi and 3G.

A large number of customers like the convenience of purchasing books and having their library updated without the use of a computer. However, many people find it natural to operate something by touch, something this eReader plays to.

Design 

The Sony Touch Edition doesn’t differ much in appearance from its predecessors. Thankfully, Sony stayed with the overall aesthetic and weight they had. This is one of the smallest eReaders available today, measuring 6.6 x 4.7 x 0.4 inches. The display is just 6″ and the device weighs only 7.6 ounces. This makes it a bit lighter than the Kobo Wireless Reader. It is also an ounce lighter than the Kindle 3G at 8.7 ounces.

The black metal case makes the Sony Touch Edition feel solid even though it isn’t heavy, and the chrome buttons on the front and the strip around three sides give the reader an elegant look. Located on top are the power slide and SD card / memory stick slots. A holder along the right edge of the Touch securely houses the included stylus. Located on the bottom are the USB port, headphone port, recessed reset port and volume rocker.

Display 

Like the second-generation Kindle DX and 3G, Sony Readers come with high contrast e-ink Pearl displays. Previous Touch models had another layer covering the e-ink display in order to make touching work better. Sony, noting criticisms that the screen quality deteriorated because of this, took the new Touch in a totally different direction. Movements of a user’s finger or the stylus are noticed and tracked by a network of IR sensors embedded around the edge of the screen.

This makes the e-ink display crisp, bright and readable. When compared to the Kindle 3G, the Sony Reader’s text looks clearer, however the Kindle has better contrast. The Touch has a larger drawback, though: no choice in the way of fonts. Only one font is available on the Sony unit, as compared to three for the Kindle.

User Interface 

The UI of the Sony Touch Edition is largely unchanged. The main menu is made up of big icons created to be maneuvered with a finger and the interface is basic. The Touch Edition is very easy to navigate and understand for most people.

Appropriately for a device that has been designed for touch navigation, the elements are all a little large. This meant that we never had to struggle clicking the elements or the desired text with a fingertip. It was easier to use some of the smaller elements with our finger than with the stylus.

Adding to the improvements over the previous generation of Sony Readers is the fact that response time is greatly improved. Nonetheless, there’s still a second or two wait time between tapping a button or icon and seeing the onscreen results. This is both because of E Ink’s refresh rate and because of the software. We didn’t press buttons twice after thinking the first time didn’t register, though.

Reading Experience 

Some new features have been incorporated into the Sony Reader’s software, and many of them permit users to customize some elements of the display. If you go to Options, located in the books section, then to Adjust View, you can change the brightness or contrast to presets or your own settings.

By hitting the zoom button, you will see 6 text size options. You will also be able to select a Page Mode offering a number of options for text viewing. These include margin adjustments. Similar to the 1st Sony Touch Edition, it is possible to swipe to turn pages. Readers may also use the physical page turn buttons located on the left-hand side of the device.

We would rather have page turn buttons on either side because that would make it more ergonomic and comfortable. The swipe to turn is not very comfortable, although it is very interesting and fun. Using the Touch Edition with just one hand is made significantly more difficult.

Battery Life 

Sony advertises that the Touch Edition’s battery will stay charged for around 14 days, but since it has no wireless connectivity, this seems very short. In our experience with this device, it had 25% of its power left, after we worked with the model for 10 days without recharging it.

Sony Pocket Edition Review

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Overview 

Sony’s the Daily Edition and Touch are among the eReaders that have added touch capabilities and an improved eInk screen. You can find these features on the Sony’s Pocket Edition.

Sony Pocket Edition

The Sony Reader Pocket Edition is the least expensive eReader that Sony offers, selling at only $179. It is a strong competitor for B&N Nook and Amazon Kindle 3G at this price. However, does the touchscreen compensate enough for the fact that it doesn’t have wireless capabilities?

Positives
Lightweight and small. A touchscreen that responds well. The stark contrast of the screen is good for reading in bright light. Easy-to-navigate shop and menus.

Negatives
Pricey. Wi-Fi and 3G not included.

Bottom Line
Sony Pocket Edition is priced at $179. This is midway between the prices of the Kindle and Nook with Wi-Fi-only connectivity. These are priced at $139 and $149, respectively. The 3G versions of each of these devices are priced at $189 and $199.

I think it’s more important to be able to have a wireless connection and update your library anytime you want to rather than having a compact design and a touch screen. But it’s instinct to navigate via touch, so this eReader definitely meets that qualification. The Sony Pocket Edition is good for people who don’t need wireless or who want their eReader to be smaller.

Design: 
The Pocket Edition’s look was overhauled to more closely resemble the Touch and Daily Edition. The buttons along the right hand side of the 5 inch screen have been removed. So has the D-pad. Here are the 5 buttons you will find below the display: Options, Zoom, Home, Page Forward, & Page Back. The Sony Pocket Edition has a touch screen like other Sony eReaders.

One of the smallest eReaders available today, the Sony Pocket Edition measures 5.7 x 4.1 x 0.33 inches. Kindle 3G is 3 ounces heavier than Sony Pocket Edition. The Kindle is 8.7 ounces, whereas the Sony is only 5.5 ounces. You could carry it easily in your hip pocket, although this probably would not be advisable. We advise carrying it in inside jacket or coat pockets or purse/bag side pockets.

In contrast with the Daily Editions and the Touch, the Pocket Edition doesn’t have memory card slots or a headphone jack along the bottom or top edges. Users are limited to the 2GB of internal memory — thankfully, this is enough for thousands of books.

The Sony Reader typical display uses high-contrast eInk Pearl technology. This is similar to the 2nd generation Kindle DX and Kindle 3G. You will find IR sensors along the edge of the screen to facilitate touch functionality. These sensors detect and track movement. You can use them with a stylus or your fingertip. This gives the Pocket Edition’s display a crispness and brightness.

When comparing the Sony Pocket Edition with the Kindle 3G, it seems that the text on the Sony is more crisp, but Kindle offers more contrast. What’s more of a drawback are the few fonts the Pocket has. Sony eReader has only one font as opposed to the 3 fonts offered by Kindle.

The keyboard on the display lags a bit while typing, but the previous generation had more of a problem. Using the stylus and our fingers, we maintained a fairly quick typing speed.

User Interface: 
The UI of the Pocket is similar to that of Sony’s other Readers, but with touch navigation. The main menu has a simple interface with big icons. There was no struggle involved in clicking elements or choosing text because the elements were oversized and made touch capability very easy. Our fingernail was sufficient to reach some smaller elements, and the Reader recognized that very well.

The Pocket Edition also improves upon earlier Sony Readers because it is faster. You must wait 1-2 seconds between tapping an icon or a button before you can see the results onscreen. I did learn not to press buttons twice in the mistaken belief that the device hadn’t registered my command.

Content and Lending Books: 
There are over 1.2 million e-books in the Sony Store, free or for sale. Times best-sellers will cost you $9.99 and up, but some bargain books can be found under $5. Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” for instance, was priced at a low $5.21 when we did our tests.

Also in the store are 40 magazines and newspapers that readers can subscribe to digitally. Before your subscription starts, you will enjoy a 2 week trial period, just as you would with Kobo, B & N, or Amazon.

The Pocket can also read eBooks from other stores that have DRM protection in Adobe’s style. Some of these are Google eBooks and Kobo/Borders.

Reading Experience: 
Your reading experience with the Sony Pocket Edition will be enhanced by the ability to create custom settings and choose from several Brightness and Contrast settings. Here are some of the options you will have with this eReader: some margin adjustment capability, Page Mode options that allow you to choose the way you view text, 6 options for text size, and people using the Pocket Edition can pick a zoom level with pan-and-scan functionality as well, which is good for looking at PDFs.

This means users can either swipe or use the page-turn buttons on the left of the device if they want to turn a page. Our preference is page-turning buttons located on the left and right.

Sony Pocket Edition has a 5″ screen that is much smaller than the majority of eReaders. Nonetheless, it was easy to read Karen Lord’s “Redemption in Indigo” with total concentration. Even though the screen was small, it was easy to read in comfort, and there was enough text on the screen to prevent excessive page turns.

Battery: 
It seems that the Sony Pocket Edition may be a bit skimpy on battery life, lasting only 2 weeks, which is short for a device that does not offer wireless connections. We didn’t charge this device for 10 days during our evaluation, and at the end, the meter had one out of four bars remaining.

Sony Daily Edition Review

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Overview 

Although you may not recall this, Sony’s first Reader device became available in 2006, long before eBooks were trendy. The next year, Kindle was first marketed by Amazon. It offered the ability to download wireless media. Since Sony delayed adding this function, it would later be included in the category it helped create.

With the Sony Reader Daily Edition, the company hopes to recapture their market share with a device that has 3G wireless and a larger touch screen display than that of the Barnes & Noble, Nook or the Amazon Kindle 2. Although, it costs $399, this unit is $140 more expensive than its rivals. Is the cost of premium worth it?

Bottom Line 

Sony is betting that its 3G capabilities and larger touch screen will entice consumers to shell out the $399 for the Daily rather than going for the $259 Nook or Kindle 2. If everything else is equal, these features might appeal to some customers. However, the lack of speed of the Sony Daily Edition’s interface lessened our love of the device.

While touch is a more natural method of navigating through eBooks and we appreciate that Sony continues innovating in this area, the execution leaves much to be desired. The Nook is a better choice for consumers who don’t mind having an eInk touch-screen but like the openness and don’t want to be restricted to one eBook store, as with Kindle. However, for just the ergonomic feel, the Kindle 3 provides the best design, and a wide variety of daily content.

Design

Sized 8.1″ x 5″ x 0.6″, the Sony Daily Edition is basically a longer Sony Reader Touch Edition plus 3G. Both readers share the same version of the screen, touch interface, simple design and ports. As the Sony Daily Edition possesses identical width as the 6-inch Touch Edition, it fits snugly in one hand. Although, more lines of text can be read on the longer 7-inch screen with two-column reading under landscape mode.

Five physical buttons are located under the eInk screen: Previous/Next Page, Home, Zoom, and Options. A stylus is hidden in the upper left corner near the power slide. Media slots for SD and Flash Drive Duo Cards can be found under a cover on the right side. Located on the bottom are a wireless on/off switch, a mini-USB, headphone jacks, volume controls and a power port.

User Interface

The menu on the Daily is much like that of the Touch, with large icons that can be pressed with one’s finger or a stylus. On the home page, you can easily get to the book or periodical you last read, a list of books you added most recently, collections, periodicals and notes. At the end of the screen are tabs for going to the Reader Store, other applications (like handwritten notes and an audio player), and Settings.

While the interface is basic, it’s not user friendly. We had no problems moving around and comprehending the use of the Sony Daily Edition upon opening it. Every element was large, appropriate for a touch device; using our fingers to click elements or text was always easy.

Reading Experience

Sony focused on the screen’s extra layer so touch would be enabled, meaning that the eInk display on the Daily Edition is dull compared to eReaders without touch like the Nook and Kindle. Comparing them side by side makes it seem more noticeable than while using the Sony Daily Edition to read. The screen remains crisp either way, but we experienced more eyestrain when reading in medium to low lighting when we utilized the Daily Edition than we did with other eReaders.

People can change the orientation of their screen from portrait to landscape mode, which is the same functionality that is available on the Touch Edition. Among the advantages of landscape mode reading is the fact that text can be divided into two columns. This is a more natural way to read newspapers. A broad array of text sizes are available, ranging from extra small to 2XL.

When reading N. K. Jemisin’s book, “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms”, we were amazed at how much more of the book could fit on each page, which enabled us to concentrate on the book instead of constantly turning pages.

Sony Store and Content Selection is similar to that of Kindle. 3G connectivity is included with Sony Daily Edition for access to Sony’s Reader Store. Finding your way around the store is as simple as figuring out how to work the model. It takes longer than other devices for the Daily Edition to turn pages and load titles; we think this may be due to the extra time the device requires to download information over the wireless connection.

Sony’s Reader Store offers over 200,000 eBooks, plus over 1 million free eBooks through Google Books, as well as 15 periodicals. Sony has a larger quantity of books available, compared to the offerings of Barnes & Noble. 1,069,161 eBooks were available for the Nook when this review was written, but you can also find over 1 million on Google Books. Amazon continues to have an edge with over 420,000 eBooks, 20 newspapers, 13 magazines and various blogs.

3G Connectivity and Performance

Several times during our testing, the connection to AT&T’s network dropped in mid-search, even though 3 or 4 bars were showing in the indicator in the bottom left corner. It was so slow that browsing and searching the store was faster on a separate computer, which makes the wireless a bit pointless.

However, a good number of EPUB books in Sony’s store contain small file sizes, thus letting us download them speedily. Catherynne M. Valente’s Palimpsest (599KB) could be downloaded in 45 seconds; Holly Black and D. J. MacHale’s Swashbuckling Fantasy: 10 Thrilling Tales of Magical Adventure (2.2 megabytes) took 51 seconds to download, and an issue of the Columbus Dispatch (835 kilobytes) took 1 minute and 24 seconds to download at an average speed of about 176 kilobytes per second.

Sharper Image Literati Review

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Sharper Image Literati Overview 

If you have been seeking a dedicated color eReader, the Sharper Literati might be what you are looking for. The wide 7-inch screen of the Literati aims to display not simply books but magazines, newspapers, comic books, photography books, cookbooks and similar items as they were meant to be seen.

The proportions of the Sharper Literati, though, are not as even as those of the Kindle. The device appears to be too long. However, it appears well-constructed. Colors available for the Literati include white, gray and black.

The Sharper Image Literati isn’t trying to be a tablet, unlike color eReaders such as Augen the Bookor the Velocity CRUZ. Its primary purpose is reading, and it’s very pared down as far as features. It provides no distractions, such as games or videos.

Positives 

Fantastic color. Capability of turning pages is simple by using the arrows on each side of the screen. A padded cover is included. A built-in dictionary is another available feature. Updates were quick and easy.

Negatives

It’s difficult to hold due to its size and weight. The keyboard and joystick are awkward to use. For the latter, you need to use your fingertip. Bright light makes reading difficult.

Bottom Line: 

At $159, the Sharper Image Literati looks like a great deal, but it misses the mark in usability. The Sharper Literati might improve with software updates that are said to be coming, but the LCD screen currently doesn’t improve enough on eReading to make it worthwhile. You can spend $10 or $20 less and get a Nook or Kindle that includes Wi-Fi and more books.

If you really want to have a color eReader, it might be a good idea to save up for the $249 Barnes & Noble Nook Color. The Sharper Image Literati includes a web browser and media player, access to interactive children’s’ books, magazines, and newspapers and access to social networking applications.

Design: 

The Sharper Literati, upon the first look, looks most like the Spring Design Alex because of its oblong shape, but the full QWERTY keyboard located on the bottom is reminiscent of Amazon’s Kindle as well. The 7-inch color LCD on the front is the same size as that of the Nook Color, but this is about all that’s similar.

While the Sharper Image Literati is not only longer at 9.5 X 5.0 X.05 inches it’s also much thicker. Along the device’s perimeter is a chrome strip and a scattering of ports. On the top, you’ll find an SD card slot, and on the bottom, a power port and mini-USB. Sable-colored, metallic paint partially covers the back, which lends an attractive look to the device.

The Next and Previous Page buttons are well-placed on either side of the main screen. In our test, we held the device cradled in our palms, putting the Next Page buttons right beneath our thumbs. However, people whose hands are not the same size as ours may not be able to do this. Nonetheless, the Literati feels better to hold than the Spring Design Alex eReader. The white eReader has a square, sable-colored keyboard and navigation keys in tidy rows underneath the display.

Interface is part of the group of eReaders powered by Kobo. The Sharper Image Literati eReader uses Kobo’s software; however, the hardware is manufactured by a separate company. The Literati, unlike eReaders with color LCDs like the Pandigital Novel and Nook Color, only lets you read eBooks.

There are no apps or additional functions. You won’t find enhanced eBooks, video, email, Web functions or any features like that. There’s only reading. If you’ve used Kobo’s homegrown reader or its SmartPhone apps, you’ll be familiar with its UI. Kobo’s iPhone app has the most similar user interface.

The Sharper Literati has a LCD, not a touch-screen, so to navigate one must use the D-pad and the Home, Menu and Back buttons. The numerous buttons the model contains makes moving around the screen feel more complicated than it really is. It seems as if navigating the interface shouldn’t be this difficult, particularly since the Kobo Reader has a similar UI.

Reading Experience: 

Those who are accustomed to reading eBooks on ePaper will not particularly like the Literati’s LCD. However, users who have used a LCD in the past will not be put out by screen quality. The 7″ color screen features 480 x 800 resolution display. This screen is exactly the same size as the Sony Daily Edition screen. The Sharper Image Literati eReader screen gives an impression of being very tall but does not have wide viewing angles, although we don’t suspect this is likely to become an issue for most. You can easily change the brightness on the Display menu, making the screen easier on the eyes.

The Sharper Literati includes capacitive, not physical page-turn buttons like most eReaders do. Even though the placement of the buttons is good, they’re not responsive at times. About 33% of the time, we had to tap multiple times, for instance after a minutes’ pause between turns of the page. You have to tap the buttons directly and precisely, which isn’t an issue at all with larger physical buttons like the ones on Nook and Kindle.

Battery Life: 

The battery included with the device is rated to have a 6-hour life during reading. When the eReader goes to sleep, the Wi-Fi shuts down as well, so even when we left the device alone for 24 hours, there wasn’t much loss of battery life.

We found it annoying that the device isn’t able to be charged through the miniUSB port. Although the AC adapter is relatively small, it’s just another thing users have to remember if they’re taking their Literati with them, even for short trips.

RCA REB1100 Review

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Overview 

The REB1200’s big color screen and sleek design is aimed squarely at the more high end of the dedicated e-book reader market. However, some of its flaws include a limited selection of available books, lack of ability to display other kinds of documents and a so-so screen.

With its large color screen and sleek design, the REB1200 will be considered a high-end dedicated e-book reader. However, the lack of books available, poor support for different formats, and lackluster screen make this task rather difficult.

Positives 
Although it may be hard to believe that a person would not own a computer these days, there are some people that do not own a computer; therefore, for those people the RCA REB1100 eBook Reader provides a built in modem that permits people to make purchases using a telephone line. Several new eReaders have done away with backlights, selling them as separate accessories, but RCA’s device retains it.

RCA’s original software wouldn’t let you convert formats, but Gemstar-Rocket Reader’s library program can be downloaded for free and will convert files for you.

Negatives
What is missing from the RCA is the new e-ink technology that you see on other electronic readers. The e-ink clarifies the process and has an imitation of a book. The RCA REB only provides an LCD screen, however its screen has a resolution that is six times higher than the standard handheld personal digital assistant.

The battery charge is painfully brief, a mere 12-15 hours when utilizing the built in backlight. Included, though, with the RCA REB1100 is an A/C charger, which many more modern units don’t include because they can be charged with a USB cable.

Bottom Line 
Although many people look for sleek, technologically advanced electronic readers with various capabilities, eBook purists who are only interested in having a basic eReader for reading on the go may find that the RCA REB is ideal.

Design 
The RCA REB1100 has merely basic specs — a 5.5-inch screen and only 8 MB built-in memory. You can expand this to 128 MB of storage, but even this pales in comparison to the 512 MB that more modern devices have already built in.

Be careful using the backlight, since it reduces the amount of time available from a single charge from 30 hours down to about 12 to 15 hours.

The RCA REB comes with a stylus, power adapter, phone cord, USB cable and slip case as standard equipment, whereas these items are optional on the more modern electronic readers.

Electronic Paperback 
The RCA REB1100 is roughly the size of a standard paperback (5x7x1.5 inches) and weighs 18 ounces, perfect to hold in your hand. Although the black and white LCD touch-screen is definitely superior to that of the Palm Vx, the resolution is relatively low which makes the letters look as though they were printed using a dot matrix printer.

A duo of big buttons allows you to skim a book easily. The unit works on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be used for 20 to 40 hours.

There are a few benefits to the illuminating liquid crystals over paper. Additionally, the RCA REB1100 has backlighting that allows you to revisit the act of reading under the sheets. People with poor eyesight will like the ability to change the font size easily.

With your finger, or the stylus provided, you can underline or annotate passages in the book or use the included dictionary to look up words. The device has 8MB memory, which holds roughly 8,000 pages of text or 20 novels, not to mention periodical editions, such as Newsweek and the NYT.

Music and audio book features have not yet been enabled on the device, but it includes a music button and a headphone jack.

Purchasing books 
It is possible to buy and download books and periodicals for the RCA REB1100 utilizing the internal 33.6Kbps modem; alternatively, you can visit online bookstores, like Barnes and Noble, buy a book and download it utilizing your PC.

Using a USB cable, the text is moved to the e-book. You may only read the book on your own ebook, not on your computer, nor may you lend it to anyone else, due to stringent copy-protection regulations. Not only that, but the selection of books offered for the RCA REB1100 is rather limited; only best sellers in fiction and a few non-fiction titles.

If you want to read other novels, science or history, you’re out of luck. All you can download are titles expressly designed for RCA devices; the RCA REB1100 does not have support for Microsoft Reader or Adobe e-book formats. You won’t be able to use the REB1100 with your work documents or anything else in Word or other normal computer formats.

We thought using the device was fun. The model has a backlight, and the ability to turn pages easily, which balances the unit’s smaller screen. Although it costs $299, this device doesn’t enable you to read anything you might like; although an electronic book reader is a good idea in principle. It will require an improved book selection, a cheaper price, and a better screen to make it more popular with customers.

Pocketbook IQ Review

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Overview 

There is no better buy for an entry level tablet than the Pocket book IQ. It only costs $139 US and it has a great deal more functionality straight out of the box than most other low-priced tablet computers.

We really love that it provides a huge amount of content straight out of the box. You’re also able to go to different outlets for apps, and it becomes fun just looking to see what’s there and picking out the ones you like best.

In addition, because its ebooks can be sideloaded into the device and it can read such a variety of ebook formats, this device may be attractive to those who have e-ink eReaders and have already bought content from other stores. Because the 701 IQ is capable of reading just about all major ebook formats, this device may be helpful to have in addition to your existing e-reader.

A few of the disadvantages involve the technology, which is reflected in the inexpensive price of the tablet. Screen refreshes take a little longer due to the use of resistive screen technology. It’s also a little more counter-intuitive to the way you normally interact with devices that use a capacitive touch screen.

Positives 
Pocketbook IQ can read the majority of reading formats in color (txt, html, pdf, etc.) Plays mp3 and videos, youtube Wi-Fi only–no plan required. During this year it will be upgraded to Android 2.2, at which point many nice applications will be available that are currently for android phones. (Rather than reading, think about TTS!)

Negatives
Pocketbook IQ has a resistive screen (even though it’s a good one.) Limited memory for third party apps, which will be resolved with the upgrade to Android 2.2. Quality video is satisfactory for the price.

Bottom Line 
The PocketBook IQ has a dual function–ereader and tablet. It is more versatile than a normal ebook reader, as it can download and display ebooks from most major ebook stores and features free news apps, web browsers and rss readers, providing a complete reading experience.

The big issue is the LCD display and how long the battery lasts. It’s simply a matter of taste whether you prefer the reading experience on a backlit, reflective screen. As with the majority of tablets and laptops, it is certainly best for indoor use. Bright light and outdoor light make the display reflective and difficult to read.

An E Ink eReader with a paper-like display and a battery life of up to a month may be a better choice for those who do not require video or color, who wants to be able to read in direct sunlight and who do not want a reflective screen.

Hardware 
The Pocketbook IQ 701 offers a full color TFT LCD Resistive display with a resolution of 600×800 pixels and 143 DPI. It contains an internal RAM of 256 MB powered by a Samsung S3c410 800 MHZ ARM11 processor . Processing speed for Pocketbook’s first tablet PC is comparable to those of Pandigital 9 Inch and Nook Color.

This device includes 2 GB of internal storage for your data, music and ebooks, but it is expandable to 32 GB if you utilize an SD card. With the tablets we’ve looked at recently, such as the Pandigital 9 Inch Novel, 2GB is a standard default amount of Flash memory.

In addition, this device features volume adjustments on the side, a headphone jack, twin speakers and a micro USB port so that you can connect the device to your computer.

Lastly, a DC adapter is included with the device, and you must have this to charge it. You can link the Pocketbook IQ 701 to your computer, but only to transfer files, not to charge the battery.

Software 
The Pocketbook IQ 5701 is centered around the Google Android 2.0 operating system. So far, there has been no indication as to whether or not Pocketbook will issue official updates on this or if other options will be available to bring the OS more up to date.

Upon powering up the 701 for the first time, you will see the standard pocketbook graphical user interface that you may have seen on their e-ink based electronic readers. While you are reading in the digital format, this device provides statistics regarding the number of books you have read and the number of trees you have saved. Listed on the home screen is also the Pocketbook Library, as well as Notes, Dictionary, Search, Settings, Calendar, Favorites and Programs folders.

Last of all, let’s discuss the formats that are supported for content. At this point, Pocketbook is the leader in this regard because it provides so many options for reading ebooks. All of the following formats are accepted: CHM, DJVU, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, FB2, HTML, MOBI, PDF, PRC, RTF, TCR and TXT. We seldom see devices that support this many ebook extensions.

Content Distribution 
The one sour note right from the start for the unit is their unsound content distribution system. Major eBook stores like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Borders and Kobo are not supported by this device. The eBook portal, ‘Bookland’, is used on this and their other devices. While this name might make you think that Bookland contains an overwhelming number of books that is not the case. Rather, it is confined largely to open source project Guttenberg books in different language versions.

Its e-reading software is stable and robust, with good speed in changing from landscape mode to portrait. Most eBook readers, when you’re switching between modes, have a few seconds’ lag while they reload your content.

PocketBook pro 902 Review

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Overview 

At first, you might think that the PocketBook 902 is merely a “wide-screen” version of the PocketBook Pro 602. While there is some truth to that statement and it is obvious that these two eReaders certainly belong to the same line, there are other differences inherent in the PocketBook 902 other than just its size.

Because it has a large screen and a price that is similar to that of the Kindle DX, people will draw comparisons between the two e-readers. If you had to choose between the two options, the Kindle DX would be a good choice if you did not mind dealing exclusively with Amazon. However, the 902 might be better for you if you prefer more independence with your ebooks or are a little more tech savvy. The Kindle’s page turning speed is superior to that of the 902, and 75% of all ebook sales take place via Amazon.

PocketBook eReaders are generally well-constructed; this one has a heavy design and pleasing appearance. It is available in your choice of white or dark gray, and the back of the unit can be removed in order to change or remove the battery.

Positives
An internal dictionary and calculator are some of the built-in learning tools available on the PocketBook Pro 902. Adding side notes and bookmarking pages are possible for users. Thanks to a hyper link feature, it is possible for a reader to go back to certain sections of a book, like footnotes, without closing the page s/he is currently viewing. You can also sort books, so searching becomes so much easier.

Negatives
Netronix has indicated that plastic screens for eReaders of this size are in short supply. Glass screens will be substituted in the assembly of the first few batches instead. The manufacturers had to skimp to hold down Pocketbook 901’s cost.

Because there is no wireless connectivity with this device, the only reference tools available to students is the built-in dictionary. Since it lacks touchscreen, the PocketBook Pro 902 eReader also does not possess the capability of writing notes or underlining passages in books. Students won’t be able to use the 901 to keep notes.

Bottom Line 
Many innovative features and new ideas regarding customization are integrated into the PocketBook Pro 902, but some of the functions are poorly executed. If a person is interested in combining an excellent eReading experience with powerful connectivity (for checking email now and then and reading the news feed), this eReader is probably not optimal.

As a standalone eReader device, though, it’s quite reliable and has many features users will find useful. We would have appreciated a touchscreen, but the PocketBook Pro 903 is more sophisticated and does come with one.

Hardware 
The Pocketbook Pro 902 is an eReader with a resolution of 1200×825 and 166 DPI and is 9.7 inches. Its core has a Samsung 533 MHz processor with 256 MB internal RAM. In addition, it has 2 GB of internal FLASH memory, which can be expanded up to 32 GB using the micro USB port.

The new PocketBook 902 has WI-FI capabilities and can connect to any open, secure network. We found it fairly difficult to connect to longer password protected networks that utilized combinations of upper and lowercase letters. You can’t see the password that you’re typing, so mistakes are easy to make.

It is possible to utilize the accelerometer to flip it into a 360 degree arc, which means that it can be used easily by left and right handed people. The accelerometer technology created for the 902 is not up to industry standards. Frequently when switching between landscape and portrait mode, it is necessary to press the back button or any other button to get the system to re-draw the lines of pixels in the new mode.

Software 
The applications load fairly rapidly on this large screen e-reader that uses a Linux 2.6.28 operating system. The PocketBook Pro 902 eReader includes many applications by default, such as a Web browser. It seems as though the only way to launch the web browser is to visit the Bookland site; there is no short cut or independent program that launches the browser.

The default homescreen features a clock, calendar and dictionary widget to keep you up to date with what is happening; also, when you become absorbed in a book, you can remind yourself how much time has passed.

The home screen also has a very large navigation array that lets you run any apps — no need to poke around among sub-menus. Options are available for you to launch your eBook Library, Notes, Applications, Dictionary, Music Player, Photo Gallery, Search, Configuration and your favorites directory.

All of the ebooks that come bundled on the device are included in your library. This includes approximately 1000 ebooks in various languages. A key feature is the extremely large number of supported ebook formats.

We noted that of all the e-readers available, Pocketbook supports the greatest number of formats, including CHM, FB2.ZIP, DJVU, EPUB, DOC, DOCX, FB2, HTML, PRC , PDF, (Mobipocket), RTF, TXT, TCR, and PDF. It has the ability to read content that is protected by Digital Rights Management, like a PDF and ePub.

Content Distribution System 
Bookland is Pocketbook’s service through which it delivers its content, but the name is deceiving. Unlike the name, it’s not a wonderland of books with endless choices. The selection is quite limited, emphasizing free Project Gutenberg works along with a small selection of paid books.

Frequently people merely download ebooks with no DRM online, using sites like Smashwords and other ebook stores. It’s simple to sideload ebooks by linking them to your computer with a micro USB cable. If you have Windows Explorer, copying data to the e-reader is very easy, though we are going to make a video that shows you the steps.

PocketBook 602 pro Review

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Overview 

The latest PocketBook device, released Nov. 2010, is a definite effort to outperform its competitors. However, what was intended to challenge or even completely vanquish Sony, Kindle and Nook had a more mixed reception, and there are many reasons why.

This new eReader can display as many as 16 shades of gray thanks to its Linux based operating system. The device has a 600×800 resolution and 166 dpi. It uses a strong Samsung 533 MHZ processor with 2GB internal flash memory. The memory can be expanded as high as 32 GB with a microSD card.

It is equipped with WiFi, so you have the option of ordering your books from Pocketbooks’ online store, or for ordering from anyone else! Having the technology to read many different eBook formats is one of the most valuable qualities of this new model. PDF, ePUB, MOBI, DOX, DOCX and many more are supported.

Positives 

The IQ not only has a built-in Pocketbook reading application, but users can also install third-party apps (such as Kindle, Borders, Kobo), so you can use whichever eReader you like. There’s a resistive touchscreen on the IQ, but the screen is still responsive to taps. The iPad, however, has better swiping and scrolling. PDF reflows images as well as text, something that’s aesthetically pleasing.

Negatives

AVI formats are not supported by the video player, even though it’s listed as supported. Although MP4 videos are supported, they’re slow. Downloading books and websites also tends to be somewhat slow.

Because of the need to insert an SD card, installing apps can be a little puzzling and awkward. There’s also only 50MB or so to install third-party apps. There’s no camera, so you can’t video chat or use applications that require video hardware.

Bottom Line

PocketBook Limited apparently has strove to cram as much into the PocketBook 602 Pro as they possibly can without any reason or logic. No matter how great a devices’ performance is or how many eBook formats it can access or functions it can support, if its web browser performance is rife with glitches, you will not be happy.

As an electronic reader only, the PocketBook 602 Pro would have been great. It should never have been intended to challenge new technologies with its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features because these are severely undermined due to the mediocre software featured on this device.

Design and Ergonomics 

The device is much like earlier models, sleek and minimalistic without many things to interact with. Considering the amount of features and software this device contains, you’d expect there to be more buttons. The PocketBook 602 Pro , though, gets around this quite ingeniously, which we’ll go into detail about later.

This device is just over 8 ounces because of its efficient metal-and-plastic frame, but even though its light, the PocketBook 602 Pro is still durable enough to withstand some wear. Although it has a glass screen, it doesn’t have the same glare issues as, say, the PocketBook 301.

When it comes to hardware, the PocketBook 602 Pro features a Vizplex screen that is simply old-school. It performs well; however, it cannot match Pearl technology when it comes to contrast and sharpness. It’s a noticeable difference, but the reading experience is still pleasant.

There’s 2 GB of memory built in, and a little more than 1 GB is free to use. The PocketBook 602 Pro is also compatible with external memory drives that hold as much as 32 GB. This is enough to accommodate entire libraries.

The life of the battery supports up to one month of reading, or approximately 14,000 pages of clickthroughs. This is plenty for a vacation or voracious bout of reading midseason. Of course, Wi-Fi, music and text-to-speech will drain your battery more quickly, but the PocketBook 602 Pro nevertheless lasts for more than one week under such conditions.

Software & Features 

With the advanced text-to-speech modules, you will find highly customizable controls. Additionally a variety of software is employed. You will enjoy wireless & Bluetooth connectivity, along with the support of sixteen great eBook formats. These are the major facts of how they run the marketing campaign of this device. Did the ereader live up to all of the hype? Yes — well, most expectations, anyway.

The speech synthesis actually sounds human, with 24 language models, female and male, provided on PocketBook Ltd.’s website to be downloaded. The widget-heavy interface is highly customizable — a clock, calendar and dictionary are just a few of the options — but can be cluttered. Obviously, a user can always play with the settings and clear the desktop to remove needless distractions.

And on the subject of glaring flaws and missed opportunities, let’s point out the terrible Web browser. Oddly, the browser application can be found in the “Games” section for some strange reason. Some users say they can’t find it at all. They report having to access the Internet using the built-in Bookland store system of e-book distribution. Furthermore, there’s no sensory keyboard. In fact, there is no keyboard.

Reading Experience 

PocketBook 602 Pro is a wonderful model to use for reading. Everything you need for a good reading experience — different formats supported, customization, PDF and FB2 manipulation opportunities — is there. As far as all that, I have only nice things to speak of.

However, if you try to take it further, Web surfing and apps make it “limp” somewhat. The less than stellar web-surfing and note-taking experience is a constant reminder of the fact that there is no touch screen. Simultaneously, the occasional glitches make it difficult to take this e-reader seriously as competitions with the other state-of-the-art connectivity and innovative technologies available today.

PocketBook 360 Review

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Overview 

PocketBook-360 is just one of the many devices that make reading and finding content go the “green way.” At just 5″, the 360 is a compact and good-looking device. Using this device enables you to save the trees while reading conveniently. Once you get your hands on this, you’ll wish you had embraced high-tech over your traditional reading habits sooner.

PocketBook Global is a joint Taiwanese-Ukrainian company, and the PocketBook-360 is its second device in its eReader line. The 360’s makers are dedicated to improving eReading, so it’s no surprise that this latest model is lighter and more compact than the Pockectbook 301 that came before it.

The high res e-ink screen display makes the reading experience even more enjoyable. Its 16 gray scales approximate real paper almost exactly — fittingly, because the 360 is designed to be as close to traditional reading as possible. The 360 turns pages smoothly and without flashes, while some e-readers suffer from the flash effect, including the Sony 505.

Positives

The PocketBook 360 clearly had a great deal of effort put into it. There’s a protective screen cover that is detachable, almost making the reader look like a nice handbag when it’s on the display.

Providing more protection to the unit, the cover adds virtually no weight at all. It is simple to view folder information, and three methods are available to view files by: book covers, detail, or list. Another great benefit is that the user can replace the battery.

The PocketBook 360 is one of the smallest eReaders at only five inches. There are some advantages to the palm size, one of those being easy portability. It can be easily carried with one hand or inside your pocket.

The size makes it less than ideal for longer reads. Included are all the standard e-reader features, but there’s no wireless, so you can only download content if you have a mini-USB connector.

Negatives

•Very difficult to read in dark
•Screen size is small
• Very little choices of fonts and hard to adjust sizes
• It is difficult to move around in a book

Bottom Line 

If you want an eReader that is simple yet user friendly, the PocketBook 360 is a good choice. The $150 price tag makes it too much to recommend to those in the market for an eReader who live on a budget.

Even though, the PocketBook 360 reads a wider range of formats and is quicker and more responsive than the Sony Pocket Edition, it also costs quite a bit more at $239. This is $40 more than the Sony’s eReader, and that device has access to a larger eBook store.

The design of the PocketBook is excellent, but it just doesn’t match up to its peers in content. We recommend spending the extra twenty to get the Kindle, Nook, or a different eReader that is connected.

Design 

The PocketBook 360 measures 5.5 by 4.6 by 0.5 inches, which is smaller than the $199 Sony Pocket Edition even though the screen sizes are the same. Two large page-turning bottoms are located left of the 5-inch E-ink EPD, or electronic paper display, and a navigation pad with directional buttons and an Enter button is on the center. The top edge contains just enough room for the power button and a microSD card slot. The mini USB port for the 360 can be found on the bottom edge.

The design of the 360 is ergonomically correct while remaining simple. We like the lightweight design; at 6.6 ounces, it’s comfortable to hold no matter how we hold it. The handy cover is included. This is a very elegant item, etched with a diamond pattern. It easily snaps on the front of the device to protect the screen when you are not using it. It snaps onto the back to keep it handy, yet out of the way while you read.

The cover is unobtrusive and doesn’t make the device much thicker at all. At first, it was difficult getting used to snapping it to turn it off or on, but it becomes habit after a few days.

Interface 

Because the PocketBook 360 has so few devices, the interface is naturally going to be simple. The nine chunky icons on the home screen make us think of the Sony Touch Edition. At the top of the screen, you will see the last two books opened.

Following that are icons for Notes, Calendar, Settings, Favorites, Photos, Dictionary, Applications, Books (Library), and downloaded News feeds. The d-pad is responsive and makes navigation easy, and because you can move one page forward as well as up and down, lists aren’t as tedious to navigate through.

Users can press and hold the Enter button to launch menu options while reading a book. Bookmarking, jumping to a specific page, and rotating the screen’s orientation manually are easy processes; however, more complicated tasks such as Dictionary look-up, Search, and note-taking proved to be quite difficult with the limited buttons and options available.

Content BookLand.net is the store for the PocketBook, and it comes with over 70,000 books for free, written mostly in English but for 30 other languages as well. Although the launch date has not been finalized, the company does intend to make available a paid book store with over a quarter of a million titles, the majority being in English.

The PocketBook works with many different formats and Adobe DRM for ePUB, so you can easily transfer the eBooks sold at other stores online. However, Amazon’s more than 400,000 books it makes available for the Kindle are far more than the EPUB selections at any eBookstore. Also, there are no periodicals included with Bookland like the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony stores all have.

Reading Experience 

The EPD uses E-Ink like the Nook, Kindle 2 and other common eReaders, meaning that reading indoors and outdoors in direct sun were both easy. Like the Sony Pocket Edition, the smaller screen means that you’ll turn more pages because every page has fewer lines, but the PocketBook 360 is comfortable enough to use that we didn’t lose interest in our reading.

The built-in accelerometer is one of the top features of the PocketBook 360. The eReader changes orientations automatically when it is turned in any direction. Switching took 1-3 seconds as we tried it out, and the PocketBook didn’t respond well to 180-degree turns, as opposed to successive 90-degree turns. We did think it was impressive that this process was successful for all but 10 percent of the time.

PocketBook 301 Review

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Overview 

The market has many different eBook readers. They can be classified into two types. The first type has readers similar to Kindle. It’s manufactured by Amazon, a major company, is optimized for a certain format and provides excellent online support via Whispernet.

These eBook readers are relatively inexpensive because the company makes most of its money on the sales of eBooks. Because the reader is optimized for the DRM format of the company that manufacturers the reader, you are pretty much forced to purchase books from the company.

Then there are readers from firms such as PocketBook. Companies such as these are not as big and their profit is based solely on the sale of ereaders; this means that they are relatively more expensive. In compensation, readers like this are not bound to one specific format and can read many different kinds.

PocketBook 301 is definitely among the latter. Although it is more expensive than Nook or Kindle, it supports the majority of main formats currently available, as well as a number of games and other applications.

PocketBook 301 is a version of Netronix EB600. Many variations exist, different only in design and firmware. While nothing stands out about Pocketbook 301’s design, the firmware is something else entirely.

Positives
Lightweight, easy to deal with and navigate and its battery has an exceptionally long life. There is satisfactory file format support and the screen quality is superb.

Negatives
Although the button layout and control pad are fine, it would have been preferable to have a larger and better-situated button just for turning the pages.

Bottom Line: 
Touch screen, wireless, keyboard and built in eBook store are not included with the PocketBook 301. In addition, it is priced the same or higher than many readers which offer these features. It’s worth what you spend, though, because it’s so versatile and flexible.

Online, the PocketBook 301 retails for around $220. Though not an inexpensive reader such as Kindle or Nook, it is worth the price due to the reader’s performance and versatility. I believe the purpose of your using the reader is the bottom line.

This reader will not be suitable for you if you intend to work primarily with books containing DRM encryption or if you have a large collection of DRM-protected books like those used on the Kindle. However, if you mainly read e-books without DRM, this device’s versatility and ability to read multiple formats could be appealing.

Appearance and Feel: 
For an eBook reader that features a 6″ screen, the Pocketbook 301 is quite light. Weighing in at 6.1 ounces, or 174 grams, it’s almost half the Nook’s weight and around 60% of that of the Kindle. The device measures 118 by 118 by 8.5 mm. Four colors are available: Black, Green, Grey and Pink. This is primarily a right-handed device.

On the left edge of the screen, four buttons can be found. Additionally, a 5-position joystick and direction keys sit on the screen’s bottom right corner. The firmware’s excellent device makes navigation intuitive and simple. The buttons respond well, and the menus are simple to get around. Left-handed people can use this device, but it’s not as ambidextrous as the PocketBook 360.

Readability: 
A 6″ E Ink Vizplex display with 16 level gray scales and 600 x 800 px resolution is featured on this device. It is possible to read in a daylight environment, and there is no backlight. As with the PocketBook 360, you can customize all of this device’s buttons. Twenty button options exist with more than 30 commands to select from. There is an additional function on the buttons so you can press them longer.

Supported Formats: 
Among the Pocketbook 301’s biggest strengths is how many formats it can read. To read eBooks in different formats, different software apps are utilized.

For eBooks lacking DRM, it employs FBReader, an open source eBook reading application. Supported file types include: FB2, FB2.zip, TXT, RTF, HTML, PRC, CHM, DJVU, DOC, EPUB and TCR.

Adobe Reader is employed for EPUB and PDF books containing DRM-encryption. You can also use PDF viewer to access PDFs. You can pick a particular application for opening an eBook.

Available Books: 
In contrast to Nook or Kindle, there is no online library of books for PocketBook, but it is possible to read almost any non DRM book using this reader. With newer titles, DRM-encrypted PDF files or EPUB eBooks are available; these can be read using Adobe Reader, which is included on the device.

The device doesn’t only have eBooks, but comes with apps including RSS News, Calendar, Notes, and games like Sudoku and Chess. Developer’s kit for Pocketbook 301, a learning programs and terminal emulator are available to the open source community, for anyone who is interested in developing applications for this device.

Performance: 
Like the PocketBook 360 and others in the PocketBook line, performance is very good. Its speed at page turning, loading books and starting up is wonderful. It also has excellent battery life. The battery has a capacity of 1000 mAh and uses Li-polymer technology.

The back compartment, which closes with a screw, houses the battery, which a user can replace. The stated battery life is that one recharge lasts for 8000 page-turns or refreshes. 512 MB of internal memory along with 64 MB of RAM are included. There is also a slot for a SD / SDHC card if more memory is needed. Memory expansion can go as high as 32 GB.

Distributed story in blockchain ecology

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“Trevets looked up and looked as if they were penetrating thick layers of moon rock, reaching the surface of the moon and interplanetary space; it seemed as though they were trying hard to see the distant galaxies that were slowly moving in the incredible space of Hongmeng.”

The famous American science fiction novelist Asimov ended in “Base and Earth.” This novel predicts that due to the ideological struggle of everyone in the galaxy, the war is imminent, and the protagonist, Treviitz, is looking for ways to make the entire galaxy more harmonious.

“If the blockchain really drives our human civilization, and this development can make us go to the interstellar world, then every step we make for the blockchain is proud, maybe at this moment we are the children of the stars. “Coin circle old man, old partner of Coin Capital, expressed so much emotion in a recent public speech that he claimed to be the promoter of bitcoin and blockchain industry.

Li Xiaolai, a friend of the old cat and a partner in the coin capital, recently said that there is no belief in bitcoin. “People who have faith do not need logic. I belong to logic more. I hold Bitcoin because I think it is logically correct.” He also suggested that when discussing Bitcoin, try to only follow logic. At the level of discussion, philosophy, world view, and feelings are not completely compatible with logic.

On April 9th, the old cat and Li Xiaolai came together with the Hangzhou Municipal Government to launch the “Xiongtan Global Blockchain 10 Billion Innovation Fund”.
A week later, “Cyclic Circle” wrote a lot of emotions in the circle of friends:

“The coins circle brothers are not easy to swear, laughing to the Songjiang return to the North Korea, roast cats unpredictable, Zhao Dong tombs climbed, star sulfuric acid face wash, Erbao far away from home, the bulk of Gods tour Qingshan.”

At present, the blockchain world seems to be far away from the ideal of the old cat. Nowadays, the big brothers’ mutual enthusiasm and accusations are sent to the industry to adjust the boring dopamine; blockchain, especially the ICO and the exchange’s entrepreneurs We are looking for other countries to seek a safety radius; the season is already blowing in the spring but the industry is still cold and chilly, everyone warms up in the WeChat group, telegram group, conference summit, waiting for the bull market to come…

Whether it is real Nakamoto Satoshi or not, it has been very difficult for Craig Wright recently.

On April 4th, V Shen appeared at the Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, to attend the Deconomy International Blockchain Forum. His debut did not evoke any cheers, even because the interaction with Craig S. Wright made the scene slightly “awkward.”

During the roundtable discussion, he pointed to Wright’s many mistakes in his speech and bluntly said, “Why is this liar able to speak at the conference?” PANews, who was just on the scene, saw people stunned and laughed.
Then Wright replied sarcasm on Twitter: “When we were discussing BCH (bitcoin cash), he knew that ETH (Ether) would eventually die out.” His supporters also defended the Internet.

Vitalik Buterin, known as the V-God, was a talent born in 1994. At the age of 19, he used Bitcoin’s underlying architecture – the blockchain, and wrote a white paper named Etherum, to create social networking at Ethereum. Various applications such as games. After Ethereum became popular, every time he appeared on the Chinese podium, he received cheers from the audience.

Wright, who exposed himself in 2016, is the founder of Bitcoin, Nakamoto Satoshi. Vitalik has been skeptical and repeatedly pointed out that Wright should not lie again posing as Nakamoto.

Vitalik had been looking for investors for Ethereum since 2014, and Beijing had met with the investment of the distributed capital partner Shen Bo in Shanghai after several collisions. The old man in the industry said that he had an amazing IQ and lived in Shen Bo for half a year. Now, there is no problem in Chinese reading, writing, or reading.

The most famous of the recent rounds may be in February, the chairman of Pan City Capital, the quick taxi founder Chen Weixing and the investor Zhu Xiaohu’s public “battle” in multiple rounds in the circle of friends.

Zhu Xiaohu said, “Don’t pull me into groups of 3 o’clock. Some fans would rather miss out. Some money would rather not earn. We take care of the evening.” “People are doing, heaven is watching, history will not forget, I hope you don’t leave a history of making money because you earn money by harvesting leeks!” Chen Weixing also said, “Zhu Xiaohu cherishes himself as an investment genius with little investment. In order to cut the late-stage investors’ leeks for their own projects, then go to the market to cut the aunt’s meat dishes!”

No matter what the world is, the “big brothers” will not see each other. Even in the blockchain utopia in which the trust is solved, the real trust between people is not established, and the greed and ugliness of human nature also follow. The price of the currency that was leaped up and down was magnified.

A domestic blockchain evangelist and a currency ring poker player had yelled at PANews. “xxx is also arrogant to say that he is a big brother and he betrays the team to go it alone. White papers are copied.” At home and abroad, each member of the blockchain forum gave a speech and the Tucao was also accused of being a “flicker” with a false job.

For the person who thinks that the financial freedom of the speculation will become a big deal, the obsessions who are enjoying the overnight riches will probably never forget the “shortcuts” of life. The imbalance of “not worthy” may eventually lead to disasters. .

After the 94 regulatory turmoil last year, many elderly people in the circle traveled eastward to seek development. Guo Hongcai, known as “Po Er Ye” in Jianghu, opened a “Lancai Manor” in the United States and developed a “new dish” in the United States. He said, “I don’t do my own VC. I’m usually responsible for the platform. I don’t pay for it now. I’ll stand at the station and receive 1%.”

Looking for Guo Hongcai’s endorsement of overseas projects also has its own starting point. “The foreigners do blockchains also want to be internationalized. I hope there will be a Chinese community. There are individuals in China who will speak for them.” Guo Hongcai is very clear about his position and the other party’s intentions.
The old cat also traveled east and recently held a 1.6-bit personal cruise sharing meeting. He bought a house in Bitcoin in Japan and established a company specializing in entrepreneurship and career in Tokyo for domestic industry users, Onkyo Co., Ltd.

“Looking at the words can only read half the meaning, and you can understand half the meaning of English.” The old cat said that he has changed from learning English to learning Japanese. He is responsible for the international expansion of coin capital in Japan and he is also applying for a Japanese exchange license. It should have been approved but the problem has been delayed.

Li Xiaolai was prepared to stay in China. “I would like to immigrate until 2013; I told a lawyer in 2014 that I canceled the immigration program. Then there was no such idea. China is the biggest market for blockchain in the future, and it is the fastest growing area. You let me go. I don’t necessarily want to go.”

In the other country, it is not only the blockchain people in China. From Silicon Valley to Beijing, Dan O’Connor, who has experienced more than 10 hours of flying, has no tiredness on his face but is rather excited.

On April 1st, at a closed offline meeting in Beijing, Dan shared his understanding of the blockchain and their upcoming blockchain project. At the age of 24, he was a blockchain engineer and he made a lot of money by investing in digital currency.
“China and the United States have the same enthusiasm and curiosity about the blockchain. I also hope to find a good investment project in China.” Dan told PANews that he would often come to China afterwards.

In fact, there are quite a few foreign teams that come to China to promote projects, but the publicity results are not optimistic. PANews once joined the Chinese community WeChat group at a US project publicity meeting, but then it became a soft-text group of lost links and advertisements. It was unclear where the project’s foreign workers were, and it often cooperated with “group play” in the group. Thumbs up expression.

Meeting! get together! Summit!

On the day of Dan’s speech in China, a blockchain sharing was held at the university in Chicago, USA, thousands of miles away. The author of PANews in the United States found that this small blockchain share has been sought after by students. There are no seats in the scene and almost half are all yellow skin. What are the applications of the blockchain and what are the better blockchain projects that have become the focus of the students on the spot?

One student from a management discipline in Taiwan told PANews that the school curriculum is also very concerned about the blockchain and digital currency areas. “The teacher just put up a paper to analyze the possibility of Bitcoin becoming a widely-circulated currency.”

At the beginning of the 4th, a sudden blizzard made Beijing suddenly return to the winter. However, the winter of the currency circle has continued for some time, so that everyone has more time to hold various meetings. Guo Hongcai said that he will cultivate new meat dishes and go to various forums and sharing every day. From Shanghai to Taiwan to South Korea and Japan, followed by Singapore, the market leader of a blockchain project told PANews that he needed more than half a month’s worth of baggage on his business trip. There were endless meetings and PARTY meetings. Left behind have to go.

In April in Seoul, the 11-degree night was a bit cool. Many blockchain projects took advantage of the Deconomy Forum to hold a night party. In the dim light of the bar, the bartenders twisted their bodies and served cocktails. In front of him, there were a dozen or so blockchain practitioners from all over the world. It was like a net friend meeting. Everyone exchanges business cards and they want to add each other WeChat, kakao and WhatsApp.

In South Korea, where the speculation is hot, the PANews Korean authors have found that everyone is now deeply impressed by ICOs and speculation and is keen to discuss technology and landing. In fact, South Korea’s attitude towards the blockchain is still relatively modest. After all, the government is also hard pressed against 200,000 people’s official websites to petition “oppose the ban on virtual currency transactions”.

“A bear market is coming. Whoever wants to raise a grievance is now focusing on technology.” The participants on the side warned. It is true that both Bitcoin and Ethereum began to fall off cliffs in December and January last year after they reached a high point. It has not yet returned.

At the Deconomy Korea’s blockchain forum, there are not many Chinese participants because less than a month ago, on March 14-15, the blockchain forum called TokenSky was held in Seoul. This forum was basically covered by blockchain projects and speakers from China. In the formal exchange, although everyone speaks in English on the stage, the simultaneous interpretation devices in the hands of the audience are mostly transferred to the second channel. Many simultaneous interpretation devices simultaneously release Chinese, and the entire venue is covered by this sound.

Some media have written that there are about 30 exhibition booths on two floors of the field, of which 90% are Chinese on the platform. Even if there are several foreigners sitting on the booth, there are also Chinese people in their partner list. Most of the media seats are occupied by domestic blockchain professional media and a few science and technology media, and few foreign media are present.

In fact, the organizer of this forum is a pan-game third-party service platform from China. The next stop of TokenSky was selected in Japan, where the current Bitcoin trading volume stands at more than 55% of the world.

Although the venue was rounded up by the Chinese, such forums are in line with the urgent needs of the project parties to expand into the sea.
“ICO project propaganda is forbidden in China, and many projects go overseas for promotion, but overseas users are not trained. Actually, most of the real users come from China. This is the current contradiction.” Li Rongge, partner of Dahe Venture Capital, frankly stated.
In early April, a blockchain summit in Shanghai was suddenly halted. The reason for this is still unknown. According to the summit agenda, there are important ICO project participants.

At the same time, in other parts of the world, the blockchain conference seems to be “flushing”. At a recent forum called BlockCity in Taipei, Zheng Yiting, the founder of OTCBTC, reminded, “To invest in ICO tokens now requires a deep understanding of the value of the project. Speculative projects run the risk of running out of money. Some projects have low commercial value and cannot be traded on the exchange. Unless you can see the value of the project or there is internal news, don’t be afraid to make it easy.” The author of PANews in Taiwan found that there are some audiences sitting around the stage and there are few people on the project stand. Thanks.

From the perspective of migrating to the southern hemisphere, Wellington in the New Zealand capital is indeed a bit calm. At least when it comes to office, the “village Hui Village” is not enthusiastic. PANews authors in New Zealand found that there has been no recent blockchain, Fintech (Financial Technology) related forum. Although New Zealand media have publicly reported that New Zealand will become a global blockchain center.

On April 16th, in a crowded space in Wellington, a domestic blockchain project held a meeting. 24 of the audience were mostly technical practitioners. The project participants did not forget to recommend their own tokens while introducing their own projects. “Don’t like you didn’t buy bitcoin five years ago. You’ll regret it now.” The people who know the line don’t seem to be too much. “I’m coming to eat pizza.” One of the two women sitting under the table jokingly told PANews.

Wu Xiaobo said that many people are eager to grab a “new age dividend” in the boom of Bitcoin and blockchain. They include young entrepreneurs, family women who play three times a year in hyaluronic acid, urban white-collar workers who often pay for knowledge, and old kellers who have just withdrawn from the postal market.

The dream of being rich will not be easily destroyed. At a blockchain exchange meeting in Beijing, an investor directly asked the speaker. “Do you know the regulatory information? Can you disclose the situation? What should we do? ”

In the face of such sudden and straightforward questions, the guest speakers can only be high-sounding and explain the supervisory attitude. Like stocks, digital currency investors will not miss any opportunity to inquire about internal news.

Researchers found that 4G vulnerabilities can steal user information and send false alarms

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According to foreign media reports, researchers at Purdue University and the University of Iowa after research and investigation found a large number of new vulnerabilities in the 4G LTE network, they can peeping user information, tapping their phones, making the device offline or even false Emergency alert. The researchers described 10 attacks in detail in their response report.

These vulnerabilities can initiate authentication relay attacks by emulating the identities of existing users. While verifying that relay attacks are not new attacks, recent research shows that they can be used to intercept messages, track users’ locations, and prevent them from connecting to the network.

During the study, researchers used a test framework called LTEInspector that helps detect loopholes in LTE radios and networks.

Syed Rafiul Hussain, a member of the research team, said that among the 10 attacks they discovered, they have identified 8 of them with SIMs from four major carriers in the United States. “Most of these attacks are rooted in the lack of proper authentication, encryption, and playback of critical protocol information.”

Hussain said the vulnerabilities could be used to ficture the victim’s device’s location. This will give some criminals a hindrance to the progress of investigations by law enforcement officials through the placement of fake location information.

Another is to send “false alarms” to devices in specific areas, triggering “human confusion.” The warning of a ballistic missile in Hawaii in January this year caused quite a stir in the area, except that it was not triggered by a cyberattack, but both had the same impact.

Hussain said they found that a carrier in the United States has never been able to encrypt aircraft information and is most likely to be used by cybercriminals to steal cell phone messages and other sensitive data. However, Hussain did not disclose the company’s name, but said the other has been fixed.

The researchers also said that anyone can use the common software radio and open source 4G LTE protocol software to launch these attacks, the cost can be as low as 1300 US dollars to 3900 US dollars. However, they will not be released with any proof-of-concept code until the vulnerabilities have been fixed.

While every merchant promises that the upcoming 5G network will become faster and safer, it is clear that 4G LTE will not disappear in the near future, so these loopholes should not be underestimated.

iPhone X sales less than 40 million this season

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According to foreign media reports, the Nikkei Asian Review reported January 29 and February 20 that Apple is reducing the production of iPhone X from 40 million units in March to 20 million units in March.

This seems to be the market for the iPhone in March quarter of the quarter was significantly lower than the previous quarter in December last year, iPhone X sales will be disappointing. But when you look at these numbers and compare them to the new products of the same period last year, you will find that 20 million iPhone X data are more historical.

The article, January 29, pushed Apple shares to fall more than $ 3 a share, plunging from $ 171.51 to $ 167.96 a share. A few days later, the company’s performance outlook for the quarter’s March results also did not help, as the market is still expected to play a role in the super cycle of the iPhone, the company’s December quarterly earnings release the day after the stock fell To 160.50 US dollars. However, on Friday, the company closed at 176.21 U.S. dollars, regaining all previous losses.

The other 30 million iPhones produced seem to be ignored

The Nikkei Asia Review said on January 29 that “Apple will halve the iPhone X production target within three months starting in January from the 40 million set at the time of its launch in November last year. The U.S. tech giant has informed its suppliers that it has decided to cut its production target for the first quarter to about 20 million.

The article concludes, “It is estimated that Apple will maintain a total of 30 million production targets for low-priced products such as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.” That is, a total of 50 million iPhone production, which is in line with the quarterly iPhone in December last year 77.3 million sales compared to a decrease of 35%. In the past two years, such a decline of 32% and 35% respectively, so the 35% decline is not unusual.

iPhone 8 release seems to be investors “forgotten”

Market research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partnership (CIRP) estimates that iPhone 8 and 8 Plus accounted for 24% and 17% of iPhones sold in the United States in the December quarter respectively. Together, the two accounted for 41% of the total, a double that of CIRP’s estimated iPhone X sales of 20%. In addition, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus average selling price is slightly higher than its predecessors iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. This helped raise the total iPhone sales price from $ 696 to $ 797 and a year-on-year increase of $ 101.

Josh Lowitz, co-founder and co-founder of CIRP, said: “All three of the newest iPhones accounted for less of the total US iPhone sales in the December quarter than in the same period last year. The same period last year, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus two sales in the total iPhone sales accounted for 72%.

He also said, “However, with the previous release of the iPhone is not comparable.First, the iPhone X is not the beginning of the quarter when the introduction of Apple’s product lineup further market segmentation, the company now has 8 products, but also Apple released new handsets at different times, releasing three new handsets at a time, but the introduction of the most advanced and expensive iPhone X was postponed for five weeks after the release of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

What is Apple’s forecast for quarterly iPhone sales in March?

Apple did not provide detailed iPhone performance expectations, but this can be estimated by us because we know the history of each product line quarterly revenue, sales and average sales price changes. Based on these estimates Apple’s expectations, that is, the quarter of March Apple iPhone sales of about 53 million.

This is below the level analysts expected in a super cycle, but this is consistent with the historical decline of the past three years.

iPhone X will not become the largest sales of Apple products

Based on a survey of 500 Apple customers in the United States, CIRP has been tracking iPhone sales in the United States for many years. Below is a breakdown of the estimates for the quarter in March over the last three years and the latest iPhone sales. These figures show that the share of the latest iPhone in sales is declining every year.

Specific figures are:

In the March quarter quarter of 2015 (iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus), iPhone 6 sales accounted for 56%, iPhone 6 Plus sales accounted for 22%, a total of 78% .
March 2016 quarter, where the 5 products (iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus) in, iPhone 6s sales accounted for 43%, iPhone 6s Plus sales accounted for 28%, both Total 71%.

Among the five products in the quarterly March 2017 (iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7s Plus), iPhone 7 accounted for 35% of sales and iPhone 7 Plus accounted for 33% of sales, both Total 68%.

CIRP estimated that the iPhone X in the December quarter of last quarter accounted for 20% of the US iPhone sales. If Apple did sell 20 million iPhone X in the quarter of March of this year, and assuming iPhone sold 50 million, iPhone X sales will account for 40% of iPhone’s total sales.

In the December quarter quarter of 8 products (iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7s Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X), iPhone 8 sales accounted for 24%, iPhone 8 Plus is 17%, iPhone X is 20%, the three together for 61%.

in conclusion

After all, iPhonex will not sell 40 million units in the quarter of March, if it is 20 million it will be close to the historical situation. Even if only sold 20 million iPhone X, Apple should also dominate the profit margins of smart phones.

Is Musk’s space Internet successful?

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SpaceX, a unit of Elon Musk, sent two test internet satellites into space. This means that Musk has joined a space race that has left many people dreamy of death.

Each company has burned billions of dollars in its dream of providing Internet services to the world through low-orbit satellite systems. Globalstar, a satellite carrier, and Iridium Communications, an Iridium satellite, are on the brink of bankruptcy. The dream is also underpinned by Microsoft founders Bill Gates, Boeing and other investors.

But the bleak reality did not block the progress of nearly two dozen companies. They are scrambling to raise funds to reach out to more Internet broadband users, including many who are beyond the reach of traditional mobile services.

Icon: Falcon heavy rocket

“There is not much more than hysteria and unrealistic expectations,” Roger Rusch, president of Palos Verdes, a California-based market consultancy, said in an interview.

SpaceX, one of Muskela’s space exploration technology companies, OneWeb of Greg Wyler, Boeing, and Telesat of Canada are demanding that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allow its use of satellites to provide Internet broadband services.

But Lusch said the technical challenges are daunting. Low-orbit satellite systems not only require complex software to operate satellites, but also require complex ground antenna systems to keep pace with satellites in the sky. Lush noted that operating expenditures will soon exceed the savings made using small satellite equipment.

Boeing is applying to the FCC for licenses for 60 satellites, and last year the FCC had licensed OneWeb to use the 720 satellite service licensed by the United Kingdom to the U.S. market.

SpaceX’s plan would require 4,425 satellites to be in orbit, and it will submit an application to the FCC for an additional 7,518 satellites. Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, expressed his support for the application, which makes it possible for SpaceX to license Internet broadband services through low-orbit satellite systems.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a coalition of U.S. scientists for anxiety, as of August last year, there were 1,738 orbiting satellites in orbit worldwide. The number of satellites in the SpaceX program will far exceed the number of satellites currently in operation in all countries.

SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said in an emailed statement that the two satellites launched last week are all test equipment. “Even though these satellites are on track as planned, we still have a lot of technical work to do in designing and deploying low-orbit satellite systems,” said Taylor, which will provide affordable high-speed Internet access in less populated remote areas Into service.

LEO satellites range from 50 to 1,200 miles (80 to 2,000 kilometers) above the Earth and run around Earth orbit every 90 minutes. Traditional communications satellites, about 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above the ground, require one day to travel around the Earth’s orbit and stay relatively still with the Earth itself.

Low-orbit satellites offer additional advantages in sending and receiving wideband signals with less signal latency and no interruption in phone calls and streaming video. At present Universal Broadband service has become a more compelling target, said Satellite Industry Association President Tom Stroup, with a growing demand for satellite services.

Strlub said the new generation of satellites has become more compact and lightweight. “We’ve gone completely beyond the realm of experimentation,” Strrub pointed out. “We’re moving into the next generation of technology.”

Tim Farrar, an analyst at market research firm TMF Associates LLC, said in an interview that satellite capabilities are stronger, in part because they can use higher frequencies to transmit more data. He said tracking satellite ground terminal equipment is also getting smaller and lower cost more.

Of course, innovators also need to compete with existing satellite service providers such as Iridium. The company is using SpaceX’s repeated launch to upgrade its 66 low-orbit satellites. ViaSat Inc. announced on February 27 that it will provide broadband services over high-orbit satellites.

Rupert Pearce, chief executive of British satellite carrier Inmarsat Plc, said: “To me, a business case did not say ‘yes or no’ but ‘did my investment pay off?’ “The company was a survivor of the bubble burst in the satellite market in the 1990s. Inmarsat Plc currently offers broadband services through 13 high-orbit satellites.

“We have not seen a commercial case for LEO satellite networks,” Pierce said in an interview. This is “extremely challenging,” he said. Such satellites themselves require lower manufacturing costs and are difficult to achieve for those typical “highly customized” products. For Inmarsat Plc, they need to change their satellites every four to five years.

In addition, due to the inability of satellite services to connect directly to the interior, corresponding ground equipment presents many operational challenges. Low-orbit satellites are constantly moving; when a satellite slides below the horizon, another satellite needs to be immediately overhead, providing a seamless connection for users who are using the Internet, otherwise network services will be disrupted.

Of course, Musk will use SpaceX’s rocket launcher technology to reduce costs and reuse, rather than discard expensive rocket. When SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket plans to launch two broadband satellites on February 22, Musk said it would offer the lowest cost service if successful.

As early as 2015, when Musk announced the establishment of an engineering complex in Redmond, Washington, near Seattle, the Internet satellite program was revealed. Musk said that to build the entire system need to spend 10 billion to 15 billion US dollars, maybe more. However, once completed, it will generate significant revenue for SpaceX and provide financial support to immigrants Mars.

“What do we need to build a city on Mars in the long run? Well, one thing is for sure: a lot of money,” Musk said. “So we need something that generates a lot of money.”

OneWeb’s Weiler, meanwhile, is working with Airbus to develop satellites in France and Florida, and has attracted Qualcomm, Virgin Atlantic under Richard Branson and Japan’s Softbank Group, which is controlled by billionaire Son Masayoshi investment.

Intelsat SA, senior vice president of strategy and planning for satellite communications services provider Intelsat SA, said in an interview Intelsat SA plans to begin offering OneWeb services around 2020.

Vail pointed out that OneWeb will launch satellites this year, which is expected to launch every three to six weeks. He described it as a “mission” to make up for the digital divide by 2027.

Vincent Chan, a professor at MIT, said the project feasibility depends on how much people are willing to pay for the service.

“The trouble is that technically feasible does not mean that it is economically viable,” Chan said in an interview. “In Africa, who can afford the $ 100 a month service fee? Maybe $ 10 they can consider.” One dollar, they can certainly afford it. ”

However, Strup of the Satellite Industry Association believes that the company will certainly be pouring into the industry.

Strup said: “The eventual winner will be a consumer with multiple options for broadband satellite services.”

Nokia’s decline has been 10 years, but the brand awareness is still high

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According to VentureBeat, none of the smartphones launched at this year’s World Congress on Mobile Communications (MWC) in Barcelona have yet a stunning product. As usual, various manufacturers released a variety of smart phones, Samsung once again dominate. In addition, network neutrality has been the focus of attention as Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), attended. 5G also has many early and interesting innovations, but the distance remains a reality.

However, under the flagship of Samsung and the future of 5G Dreamland, HMD Global shines this year. Known as the “Nokia Phone House,” the company introduced more than one new product and two new products, but five new Nokia branded phones. In addition to four smartphones, including the flagship Nokia 7 Plus, and a nostalgic product in the form of a redesigned Nokia 8810 “banana phone,” it is clear that the Nokia handset brand regains its attention here.

Rebirth?

If you have been following the legend of Nokia phones for the past few years, you know the background story, but we still need a brief review.

Nokia itself no longer produce mobile phones. In 2016, the Finnish company helped set up a new business called HMD Global to ensure that Nokia’s mobile phone brands will survive the licensing agreement. HMD Global mainly develops Nokia-branded smartphones and feature phones, while Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile is responsible for production tasks.

Therefore, in addition to lending the famous names of these phones, Nokia has no direct connection with the development of these phones. After all, when you have a good traditional cell phone brand and it’s accepted by billions of people, why are you using the HMD Global name on your new device?

Although HMD Global is still in its infancy, things have proceeded quite smoothly. In December last year, HMD Global launched 6 smartphones and 5 feature phones in the market during the first full year of its 10-year license agreement. Together with five other new devices announced at MWC, Nokia will soon have 16 new mobile devices available for purchase worldwide. Early sales figures are encouraging.

In December last year, Counterpoint Research analysts reported that in the third quarter of 2017, from the point of view of handset shipments, Nokia branded handsets are the eighth most popular handsets in the world and the best-selling brand in the Middle East Britain’s third best-selling brand. But it is worth noting that these data include feature phones and smart phones.

However, the same analyst reported the fourth quarter of 2017 last month, noting that Nokia smartphones have outsell HTC, Sony, Google, OnePlus, Lenovo and others. Obviously, HMD Global sold 4.4 million Nokia smartphones last quarter.

These numbers are not specific, but make people happy. HMD Global apparently wants to strike hard while MWC announces the launch of five new handsets. However, do not be over-proud, as Nokia’s recent footprint accounts for only 1% of the total smartphone market share. More importantly, we should look at the bigger picture to see how Nokia did it.

Decline

Historically, the timing of the latest release is noteworthy, with Nokia’s handset brands having been stuck in the downward direction for the last decade.

In February 2008, market research firm Gartner released a report that Nokia is the world’s largest mobile phone brand, accounting for about 40% of the previous year’s smart phone shipments. However, Apple had just released its first iPhone in mid-2007, and by the end of 2008, the first commercial Android phone was available. With the outbreak of the smartphone war, Nokia snapped up Symbian in 2008 to boost its ambitions in emerging areas.

The next thing happened very quickly. When the iPhone and Android devices start to roll out, it’s always interesting to see the stock prices of some tech companies. In the case of Nokia, its share price slipped almost vertically from October 2007 to October, more than halved. By 2011, the company has been Microsoft’s revenue pocket, the two sides pushed the third force in the field of smart phone operating system, Nokia’s share price in 2012 fell to record lows.

By 2014, Nokia’s mobile phone business was entirely owned by Microsoft, but by the second year, Microsoft had $ 7.6 billion in assets under the acquisition. In 2016, Microsoft terms of the acquisition expires, Microsoft and Nokia parted ways. It is also at this moment that Nokia realizes that it will have to start all over again because it does not have the necessary production infrastructure to manufacture the hardware on a large scale.

However, Nokia has its own brand and is a strong brand, recognized by millions of people over a given age. It does not matter who made the phone in the end, it is important to have a clear Nokia badge on the phone.

status quo

Many have written about the history of HMD Global and Nokia, a strong brand name, high-end Android phones, a handful of nostalgic products like the Nokia 3310, and the recently released 8810. We are confident in restoring the former Nokia handset brand.

But a swallow does not summer. At HMD Global, several good quarterly performances and the launch of a series of new handsets do not mean it has regained the world. But that does show the power of the brand and its appeal to consumers is still unparalleled.

The study found that the vast majority of blockchain still belong to “pseudo-decentralization

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People always talk about the beach, all your worries disappear.

But this is not entirely true of researchers at the 2018 Financial Crypto 2018 conference this week in Curaçao, an island in the Caribbean, where they discussed two of the largest crypto-currency protocols, bit Money and Ethereum, and some of their shortcomings.

On March 2, researchers at the University College London published a new essay entitled “An egalitarian social or philanthropic government: Encrypting the State of Money Management” by measuring how many developers are involved and modifying Encrypted currency code library, which further in-depth study of this topic.

According to the paper, 7% of Bitcoin Core’s software is written by the same developer, and about 20% of the files are written by the same coder.

According to Sarah Azouvi, Ph.D., Ph.D. in computer science at the University College London, co-author of the dissertation, based on the research information above, Ethereum is more centralized than Bitcoin in this regard.

This is an interesting point because it involves the current fierce debate in the Ethereum community where the two sides are tit-for tat against the EIP 867.

EIP 867 seems to have made it easier by recovering lost funds through software changes – a controversial topic that dates back to the 2016 hacking of DAO, when Ethereum Of developers decided to reverse the transaction, so as to return the stolen funds to the victims.

However, while there are often many similar discussions on GitHub, the total number of related discussion users involved is less than what Azouvi and many others expect.

She told CoinDesk:

“There are still not many people involved, and most of them make some comments everywhere, and not many are critical discussions.”

Those decision makers

However, the debate over funding losses at Ethereum is not the only reason Culexo’s participants discussed the web. Another reason highlighted in this paper is management, as most of the major code changes in Ethereum were written by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin himself.

“He stands out from everyone,” Azouvi said.

This finding is not surprising, as it has been the focus of debate for some time, and many believe Buterin has too much power over the web in a blockchain known as truly decentralized.

Even Jason Teutsch, developer of TrueBit, an Ethereum expansion agreement, jokes that even when asked about management-related issues, Buterin can even handle everything. However, on a more serious issue, he believes that the recent debate has only shown how difficult blockchain management is under normal circumstances, and generally there is no way for everyone to be satisfied.

Teutsch told CoinDesk:

“It’s a hard question, it happens to every system that needs to be managed, and it’s always upset every time things change.”

Not so unusual

However, while the management of the blockchain seems to be more central than the decentralized projects expected of people, researchers at the University College London have pointed out that this is not unusual.

For example, Ethereum and Bitcoin have similar levels of engagement with other open source projects, such as the programming languages ​​Clojure and Rust.

“Although the community is focused on decentralization, it’s no different and they all behave similarly,” she said.

In addition, the paper admits that “measuring the degree of centralization by looking at the code or looking at a particular source” is itself limited.

On this main line, IC3 researchers proposed during the conference that there are actually some technical ways to measure the degree of centralization of a cryptocurrency project.

In particular, they examined how often blocks travel across the network and how the nodes in the blockchain are geographically distributed. By identifying these two aspects, the researchers found that Ethereum’s performance is superior in both respects In bitcoin.

One listener added that from another perspective, the decentralization of the cryptocurrency economy, which is overlooked in the research of the conventions, is also an important factor.

Voting rights

However, as people become more interested in the decentralization of cryptocurrencies, one might think that the corresponding solutions are also being considered.

However, the participating researchers and developers were essentially neutral about the issues facing Ethernet Square and Bitcoin, saying they wanted to sidestep their stance on making decisions around the agreement.

“I do not want to have any position.” “I’m interested in technology solutions, but I will not favor either side,” especially when talking about the recent debate about Ethereum, Teutsch said, and he then pointed out a better vote Mechanisms are a way of settling disputes.

Azouvi seems to be ashamed of her position, saying: “We did not come up with a new system and we counted how many people were doing.”

Still, she goes on to echo Teutsch’s point of view: “Ethereum can benefit from having a more formal management model, but that’s hard to come by, even if you want a more formal decision Way, it is difficult to decide who should write, and then who should vote.

She suggested: “They can try to make sure everyone who can vote can vote.”

Despite this, Azouvi pointed out that voting opened up a whole new way:

“Voting is a problem in itself, but it makes sense.”

To become a Musk-like person, the first step is to imitate his method of learning

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Musk’s way of learning is the basis for his continuous innovation, and the application and reconstruction of knowledge is the reason why he can innovate continuously. This article is compiled from Medium, originally entitled “Want To Innovate Like Elon Musk? Know How To Learn Like Him First,” by Kunal Shandilya.

Years ago, I had developed an app in the Google Play Store, and I was able to develop products that led the way in the same category of apps, but bleak compared to products that Musk had developed.

Compared to Musk’s development process at that time, I took him a completely opposite development path. The fact also proves that how my development is unscientific. However, there are still a lot of developers like me, and they are not aware of the disadvantages of their own way of doing things because they are too busy learning to notice the inherent nature of learning and do not realize there is a better alternative The program is next to it.

When I was learning product development, I used a lazy learning method that requires learning from generic learning, an Android-specific library to learn before learning JAVA common library. Before I learned how to implement basic functions, I first learned how to call complex part.

Accompanied by functional innovation, the realization of more and more difficult, the difficulty of developing gradually increased, and sometimes I have to go to Google to search some of the basics and common sense I should have known, and thus wasting a lot of time. Reflecting deeply on this learning process, I also come to understand why the behind-the-scenes employers of several large corporations world-renowned for innovation are opposed to such learning.

As I prepare to explore a new way of learning, seeing what Musk suggests to everyone, he always suggests that learning should start from the ground up. The system of knowledge is like a tree with leaves, fruits, trunks and roots . Musk that learning should follow the law of natural growth of the tree, the first to grow roots and then grow the trunk and then extract the sprouts.

Reflect on my learning process, I was based on the needs of the application to learn, which is equivalent to I grow branches before the buds have been drawn, according to the needs of learning, learning content is narrower, it will result in basic learning is not deep enough , You will naturally need to constantly rework to learn more basics to enrich the trunk of the tree of knowledge.

According to Musk’s learning suggestions, I am in the development of APP should:

1. Learning system composition and working principle;

2. Understand the system’s hardware and software features

3. Understand the nature of programming

4 understand that there are those programming languages ​​and programming system

5. Learning algorithms, language specifications, libraries and other basic language content, such as learning JAVA language specifications, JAVA algorithms and libraries, etc.

6. Understand what kind of Android system, how to run

7. Learn JAVA based on the Android library-specific functions and components

If you look at this way of learning, do you understand why Musk will be different? It is because of his tireless continuous mining study of the essence, until he touched the bottom of the knowledge, he will give up.

This way of learning is not a simple matter. It takes a lot of time and patience to learn. Just as you need to understand the importance of Tesla, you need to know all the history of traffic development.

However, such a learning method is a one-time investment way of learning. Just as a sharpener does not mistakenly cut a woodworker, it is necessary to make its due contribution in advance. Building a knowledge tree, there must be a thick trunk to support its dense trunk, only to lay a solid foundation, the back of the study will be handy.

Innovative like Musk

This way of learning is the basis for Musk’s continuous innovation. The application and reconstruction of knowledge are the reasons why he can innovate continuously.

I wonder if you have been asked to redesign a product. In Musk’s opinion, developing a new product is as much about learning as it needs to be from the ground up. Remember that 2007 Steve Jobs insisted that you want to re-design that iPhone it? Before this one iPhone comes out, everybody does not like the physical key on the mobile phone very much, precisely because Steve Jobs insisted to redesign, so let the iPhone’s first mobile phone is so influential.

With the birth of the Tesla Semi truck, Musk announced the redesign of a new truck. This is like learning, once again from the bottom, a little accumulation, and gradually enrich the product design ideas.

Not all manufacturers have the courage and daring to do such a challenge, and it is just such a rigid inertia that leads to many of the same drawbacks of the same types of goods on the market.

It is because of Musk and Steve Jobs and others dare to empty the artboard, the courage to re-design, only now has a cool iPhone and God’s Tesla car. It is precisely this made their extraordinary.

If we also want to innovate, perhaps “to wipe the original design, restart design” is not a bad idea!

This number can predict the life cycle of iPhone X

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How long can an iPhone last? How often do people upgrade their iPads? Is it true that people treat Apple’s consumer devices as “frequently updated” or “renewed every year” as often seen on the web? We all know that the life span of a single device will naturally vary from person to person, but are the lifecycles of the Apple devices we perceive from the perimeter channels as their true lifespan?

Although Apple officials have never directly responded to this question, one of the official documents, “More Answers to Apple and Environmental Responsibilities,” states explicitly: “… We estimate the useful life of the first user, the assumptions 4 years for macOS and tvOS devices and 3 years for iOS and watchOS devices … ”

In other words, from Apple’s own estimated model point of view, the product life cycle this figure conservatively estimated at 3-4 years. But how did this figure come out, whether it followed a set of existing logic, probably only Apple himself knew.

Now every three Apple devices, two are still in use

Today, Horace Dediu, Founder and Independent Analyst from Asymco, gives us a more detailed and “plausible” solution based on current The number of active devices and accumulations of Apple devices Total sales, not only estimated what he considered more convincing user satisfaction, but also ultimately estimated the actual average lifespan of Apple devices in the user community.

In the past on the iPhone word of mouth coverage, often heard is the “customer satisfaction” or “loyalty” and other relatively vague indicators, the favorable rate of 98% of the figures are not new, but the lack of visual presentation. Horace Dediu also believes that the “customer satisfaction” number is difficult to convince. Most of the respondents think that they are often “good things,” especially when the interviewee is in a state of uncertainty. This sense of self-suggestion Particularly strong – for example, we will be out of trouble for the psychological to Taobao some of the products, drip drivers and takeaway brother readily hit a five-star praise, even if the products and services are not entirely satisfactory.

Good products speak for themselves, the value of good products not only reflected in the frequency of daily use, but also will be reflected in the duration of use, which is “the number of active devices,” the more valuable reason. If “cumulative sales” represent a company’s existing performance, then “active equipment” is more likely to reflect its development prospects.

Earlier this year in early February, Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed in the earnings conference: January 2018 Apple’s active device volume reached 1.3 billion, which is also after January 2016, Apple’s second public its own active equipment number.

Horace Dediu draws a chart based on available data, with the top curve showing the total amount of equipment sold by Apple since the second quarter of 2007, as shown by Apple’s cumulative total equipment sales as of the fourth quarter of 2017 The amount has reached 2.05 billion units. At the same time, Horace fits it to logic functions based on the number of active devices that have been disclosed at several time points, trying to plot the S-curve below to represent the amount of active devices.

As for the origin of this curve, I asked Dr. Milkshake, a Ph.D. in physics (there is a sense of killing chickens with a chopper …). The following is a more general explanation.

Logic functions were initially used as S-curves to model population growth and were later widely used for their solid theoretical foundations in social behavior. Horace Dediu chose this calculation method, also think that the logic function can well represent the growing trend of the number of active devices in Apple over the years (that is, exponential growth in the early, after reaching a certain value tends to ease), and will know a few The number of active devices in a time node is encased in this function.

He gives the formula in the original text: S ÷ (1 + EXP (1 × (to) ÷ g))

After simple processing, it is this:

Correspondingly, we can see that S in the Horace formula is L in the corresponding logical function model, which represents the saturation value of the active devices in the market. Horace predicts saturation to reach 1.8 billion by 2022;

1 / g, which corresponds to k in the logical function model, derives the slope by derivation and obtains the growth factor g = 8;

O That is, corresponding to x0 in the logical function model, the corresponding time value when S takes the middle point (900 million), that is, o = 35.

Which draws the lower curve in the figure above.

After building this function model, Horace calculates the ratio of active devices to cumulative sales devices. By the fourth quarter of 2017, that figure was around 64%, meaning that two-thirds of Apple devices are still in use today, and I find that number coincides exactly with one of the indicators released by Newzoo last year.

From Newzoo statistics last year, by the end of April 2017, 728 million of the 1.1 billion iPhone sold were still in use, at a rate of 63%. But Horace Dediu has a much broader range of data, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac, and does not refer to a specific product category.

Horace Dediu’s model visually shows the number of products sold and the number of products in service compared to other data that are not clear about statistics, so that the ratio between the number of active devices and the devices sold can be derived, in a sense It can be seen that consumers in the past buying behavior of Apple’s future development prospects.

If you keep track of this ratio, you may be able to get a more reliable than the user satisfaction index.

“It’s based on user interaction with the product, not the user-fiery three-minute heat.”

In the eyes of analysts, this data is more convincing than any satisfaction survey.

Maybe your iPhone has quietly accompanied you for more than four years

Based on the two curves in the figure above, Horace Dediu further estimates that the actual average lifespan of Apple devices in the user community is about 17 quarters. The figure below shows this visually after the addition of guides on the original graph in conclusion.

The difference between the total installed capacity and the number of active devices sold can be regarded as the number of devices that have been “retired”. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, the difference is 750 million units, which is exactly the third quarter of 2013 Of the total amount of equipment sold.

We can easily and crudely understand that all the equipment sold before the third quarter of 2013 will have their historic mission completed in the fourth quarter of 2017. 4 years and 3 months ago, it happened to be the release date of the oldest device supported by iOS system, such as iPhone 5s and iPad mini 2, all of which were launched in 2013 and are the earliest iOS devices supported by iOS 11 .

So perhaps our Apple device does not change one year or two as we did, and instead continues to shine and heat up somewhere in the world beyond the predictions given in official documents cycle.

Product life is still an issue worth exploring, especially the “active equipment volume,” Horace Dediu said it is a breakthrough to quantify Apple’s value, based on its derived “average life of the device,” allows us Better predict the future development of Apple.

To the user’s selfishness, naturally, do not want your device is prematurely eliminated. With the price of the iPhone X breaking through the million mark, purely screen changes have long failed to attract practical user groups, especially for those old iPhones that have just experienced “battery incidents” and “durable” does not seem to work either Exactly the same as “excellent”, more difficult to talk about “I am satisfied with it.” Unless it is a physical damage caused by external factors, we will be half joking half serious that his cell phone can “fight another year.”

In such a trend, a cellphone or computer can spend more time in one’s hands, or it can be sold to a second or third user after several hands-offs. If you just want to make a phone call, talk about WeChat, about a king of glory, two or three years ago, the flagship machine can still be competent, the budget of the lower population can also be turned over from the official, free fish trading and even the rental business to find the product Good color of medieval products.

But this is clearly not a business company would like to see the replacement of the old user’s desire to lead to low sales is too weak, the cost of the huge maintenance of the old equipment routine maintenance is also a thankless thing, this point in the Android phone On the performance will be more obvious. Even if it is also fighting the iPhone 5s, many hardware and software level of the lack of only allow it to run a “flawed version of iOS 11, and freshly baked yet full of taste means iPhone X, will follow the” 4 Year and three months “this life cycle?

Perhaps, only when we re-phone as a purely communication tool, it will no longer tangle the life of this matter.