Tag Archive: e-reader


Micro CruzOK, so Techsnoop took the plunge and bought a tablet. Being on a budget, I choose the Velocity Micro Cruz 7″ Tablet. It was a great bargain on Black Friday. So, was it worth it?
Portability; the Micro Cruz comes with a cover, adapter and stand. A great set of accessories that make it easy to take around and use. While not the lightest it could be, it is comfortable to carry. After learning to customize it, I like it and will use happily until I can upgrade.

  • Handling; the 7″ size makes it large enough to view comfortably and just small enough to handle with one hand, barely. If I could change one thing, it would be slicing a little thinness down.
  • OS; the Micro Cruz uses modified Android 2.2 which blocks the download of apps from the Android Market. A serious handicap for the average user. However there are workarounds for the advanced tech-geek. I don’t know what caused Velocity to handicap their otherwise nice equipment with this drawback. It seriously detracts from the functionality of the device and nearly caused me to return it.
  • Uses; As an eReader, A++. Text is clear and crisp and it displays pictures well also. Photos; a great photo display, accurate color resolution.
  • Support; customer support is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
  • Battery life; Absolutely astounding. Had it on for a full day’s use of retrieving e-mail, tweeting and occasional reading and the charge lasted over 9 hours. Streaming from YouTube for over 2 hours with no problem.

Cons: slow processor, limited on-board memory, kind of heavy and thick.  Touch screen is not very responsive, takes multiple taps until you get the pressure correct. Has several glitches that occur when trying to customize.  Manual is not as thorough as it should be, but is well written and easy to follow.

In summary, if you are an advanced Geek on a budget who wants to plunge into the tablet era, go ahead.  Know that you will need to upgrade in the near future, but this is a great device to get started on.  If you are a casual user looking for a beefy eReader, this might suit you.  You’ll probably need some help from customer service to get up to speed.

Novice; unless you have a Geek friend on standby, don’t try this.  You’ll get frustrated and the money saved will not be worth it.
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Nook & FireTablets have become the new must-have accessory.  So the question becomes not if, but which tablet to choose from?

With the entry of two new contenders, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook, there are some solid lower priced alternatives.  First, what will you use your tablet for?  If you need it for heavy-duty business on the road, look for a higher end model.  These are not for heavy office app usage.

But, if you are streaming, reading, e-mailing and viewing pics, one of these could be right for you.  Priced at $199 for the Fire and $249 for the Nook, both are in the price range of a high-end smartphone.  Battery life and storage capacity are better with the Nook, so if you plan to store a lot of media on your device, the extra $50 is worth it.

For me, I hate being handcuffed to a specific service provider so the Fire won’t work as you have to get all of your content from the Amazon Cloud.  But if you are already an Amazon Prime customer, this is a fantastic deal as there are all sorts of freebies that will come with your Fire.

With the current technologies, screen resolution and readability are very close on most devices, so you can narrow your decision based on storage and use needs.  Oh, and connectivity?  Both are Wi-Fi only.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

E-Books are wonderful.  I make this statement as someone who loves books.  I love collecting them, holding them, reading them, displaying them.  Books, books, books, I have loved them my entire life.  They are my first choice for entertainment and relaxation.

When e-books first entered the scene, they were cumbersome to access and read due to the limited format (using a computer and Adobe or other reader).  Even on a laptop, kicking back in bed to read a book was kind of a drag.  I experimented with a few but went back to print.

Then came the e-readers.  Slim, light and portable, they seemed the answer to the e-book issue.  But, at $100 or more for a single function gadget, impractical.  Finally, with the addition of apps for the smartphone and tablets, I have jumped fully on board the e-book revolution.  With reservations.

Wired makes a compelling statement regarding the flaws of e-books.  There must be a way to view all e-book titles in one spot instead of opening 3 or more applications.  Also, there should be a rental option for books one does not intend to keep (like DVDs and on-line movie rentals).  And of course, there is the huge issue of pricing.  No one wants to spend $15 to $30 on an e-book unless it is a highly needed technical manual.

With the use of coupons, it is often cheaper to buy the print version of books.  It does not seem justified to charge $16 for a print book and the same amount for a book that is downloaded with none of the additional costs of the print issue.  Some type of discount must be negotiated between publishers and sellers.

If e-books become more user friendly, with the addressing of these issues, I think they will create a surge in popularity not just of e-books, but reading in general.

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