atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2240: The Aluratek Libre eReader Pro, after 1 month

...Yeah, it's been about a month. It's pretty good. My only complaint with it is over a feature I don't use anyway and consider a "bonus feature" (the MP3 player).

I've read a few novels and a few short stories on it. The screen's got good contrast; it's not a problem for me to sit and read with it, even for an extended period of time. Battery life seems reasonable.

In general it displays pictures well enough that I can use it to read manga, which I was hoping for when I ordered it. The controls are intuitive. Page turning is pretty quick.

When I ordered it, it was with the understanding that the thing came with a 2 GB SD card, but my unit did not and the list of contents in the box didn't say one should have been there. Since I'd already bought a 4 GB card it wasn't a problem.

The MP3 player can't handle multiple directories; it will play only from the first directory in which it finds MP3 files. (There are no directory navigation controls in the MP3 player I could find, and when it gets finished with the last song in the directory it either loops around to the first or stops playing, depending on settings.)

In the "I haven't bothered to find out why yet" department, there's an issue with one PDF I created, and I don't know if it's a problem with the original file, the Libre, or the PDF I created. When displayed on the Libre, it takes dialogue and strings it all together in one lump: '"Quote 1." "Quote 2," she said. "Quote 3." "Quote 4," he said. "Quote 5." And furthermore, when I got home....' But it's the only PDF I've made which does that. (It's a 700-page monster, so its size might be a factor. Or may not.)

In the "I only tried this once" department: when I first got the thing, I tried hooking it directly to the computer, and the USB link was flaky. I couldn't copy more than a few files at a time to it; I couldn't set it up to copy an entire directory of files and have it complete the copy. It would hang. It could be my computer; it could be the Libre; it could be the USB cable. I don't know. (And since the SD card reader in my computer can't handle anything larger than 2 GB SD cards, I had to use my MP3 player as an SD card reader. *sigh*) I haven't tried doing anything with this since then.

(As a side note, some weirdness has crept into the way my computer deals with USB storage devices anyway, so that may be a factor in this. I'm still thinking about the Win 7 upgrade. If Sailor V could get his spootinous gut under control long enough to come over here I'd finally get to fiddle with Win 7 on his laptop and could decide if I want to put it on this machine.)

I for damn sure still feel like I got a good deal on it. It fits handily into my sporran; the 4 GB card can hold all sorts of stuff, so if I get tired of reading one story I've got a ton of others handy. It's not as "cool" as a Kindle or iPad, but I don't give a rat's ass about that. It lacks WiFi and 3G access, but I wouldn't be able to use that anyway in most of the places I've used my Libre. (The hospital, for one, when Mom was there. Doctors offices, for another. "3G"="cellular" and they don't want you using a cell phone in those places because it's unpredictable how some medical devices will respond to the cellular signal. Such as things like pacemakers.)

(Also because a lot of people tend to scream into their cell phones: "HOW ARE YOU? OH, I'M JUST AT THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE! YEAH, I'M HAVING TROUBLE WITH MY HEMORRHOIDS AGAIN!" *sigh*)

(Yes doctors carry their cells with them all over the hospital and no one says anything to them. In the unlikely event that the doctor's cell phone fries someone's pacemaker, the hospital's insurance will cover it. If you're there to visit Aunt Tillie and your cell phone fries her roommate's pacemaker, the hospital's insurance won't cover it. It's a little of this, a little of that. Now stop bothering me with your pedantry and let me get back to posting about the damn Libre.)

Here in the Chicago area--and probably elsewhere--K-mart has the Libre on sale this week for $99. This is the first time I've seen one drop below the $100 price point. K-mart's regular price is apparently $130, which still ain't bad compared to other units. (But it's more than I paid for mine, excluding tax.)

It's a good value for the money, particularly if you don't give a rat's ass about the cachet of a name brand. I don't, which is why I use a $20 GPX MP3 player instead of an iPod. I'm an expert at finding and buying "just enough" of a device to suit my needs, and the Aluratek satisfies my desire for an eReader and does everything I wanted one for, without a premium price or features I don't need.

Your mileage may vary.

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