Last week I mentioned the purchase of a new eBook reader from CD-R King. Since then I’ve finished four episodes of Sym-Bionic Titans, the latest digital issue of PC Magazine, and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”. I’ve also received a lot of inquiries about the reader. So here’s the low-down on CD-R King’s most interesting offer since they started selling a windmill generator.
Let’s take a look at the display. The reader has a 7-inch TFT screen, an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 800×480. The images come across as bright and crisp. It’s easy on the eyes, especially when you’re engrossed reading the latest novel.
The body is made of plastic, but it doesn’t feel like it can easily break after a day of use. The buttons are hard to press though, which can be good since you don’t want to be accidentally going to the next page of your ebook until you’re ready. But they are noisy to press.
The device has an internal 2GB flash memory and a microSD slot that can accept 256MB to 8GB cards, and it comes with a USB cable. When you plug the reader to a computer, it’s recognized as one or two external drives, depending on whether you stuck a card into the microSD slot. From there you can decide where to put your files. I just put my videos in the microSD card while all readable material gets tossed into the internal memory.
Speaking of files, the manual states that it can read PDF, EPUB, FB2, TXT and HTML. The only thing I wasn’t able to test it with are HTML files. Rendering the pages of a PDF file may either be instantaneous or will entail a couple seconds of waiting time, depending on how graphics heavy the file is. But it shows the contents exactly the way you’d see them on your computer screen. EPUB and FB2 files work almost perfectly. I noticed that EPUB files that were downloaded via torrents didn’t load at all. But if you got those files through legal means, you’d have no problems reading them. In my case, I simply downloaded Calibre and converted the EPUB to PDF files. If you bought eBooks from Amazon’s Kindle store, no problem. Use Calibre to convert it to either PDF or FB2 and you’re all set. Note that large EPUB and FB2 files take a long time to load as opposed to PDF files.
It’s possible that the text is too small to read, so the zoom feature is a big help. Pressing the zoom button lets you rotate to three settings: normal, big, bigger. If you don’t like having to pan the zoomed PDF page from right to left, you can view the file in landscape mode as well.
Other media files that the reader supports are MKV, AVI, RM, RMVB, MP4, MOV, VOB, DAT, FLV, 3GP and even H.264. The reader has a 720p player so you can play those high definition videos on it with almost no problem. Just don’t depend on the internal speakers. Best that you stick in a pair of earphones, or an external speaker if you’re watching your favorite episode with a friend. Note that the reader might not be able to play some of your video files even if the manual claims that these are supported. It didn’t play my Flip video (MP4, H.264 format). But after converting it again using a different application, I was able to play it on the reader. Note that your mileage may vary. The MKV’s audio and video didn’t sync after a while. But that happens on my laptop as well. Successfully playing the video will depend on how your file was encoded in the first place.
You can also listen to ebooks or music on this gadget! The reader comes with an FM tuner which works only when there are earphones plugged in. It can also play MP3, WMA, OGG, APE, FLAC, AAC, WAV and AC3 files. The reader can also be used to view JPG, BMP and GIF image files. Oh, and you can even turn this gadget into a voice recorder. The microphone is surprisingly sensitive to sound.
Battery life is okay. You can get six to eight hours of video viewing pleasure and up to ten hours if you’re simply reading. You get full power after an hour of charging. But you can’t view or listen and charge at the same time. The reader comes with it’s own charger. If you would like to charge via the USB cable instead, you’ll have to make sure to disconnect the hardware from your operating system. It’s not a multi-tasking gadget. You can’t make it act as a reader and charge at the same time.
Should you buy this instead of Amazon’s Kindle? Depends on your needs. While you’re able to create up to 30 bookmarks on a single eBook, the reader doesn’t have any note-taking or highlighting feature. It doesn’t have WiFi or 3G. But if you’re not interested in those things, and you want a portable video player to boot, then the CD-R King Multimedia eBook Reader is definitely a keeper.
Bright and crisp screen.
Can play almost anything.
Forgettable internal speaker.
Hard and noisy buttons.
Can’t charge and use at the same time.
PRICE: P 3,990
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