Sunday, November 28, 2010

BPN 1555 messes up e-reader primer (2)

At the beginning of this month November the Dutch branch of announced that by buying 10 electronic books you would get an e-reader for free. But the campaign did not start well. In the weekend of the launch, ordering was impossible as the price logarithm was not correct. In several instances the candidate buyer would get a different calculation and a different amount. It should be 99 euro, but I have seen at least three different and incorrect amounts, while it is a simple calculation: 10 books for the amount of 149,00 euro less 49,99 euro for the free gift (!) of the e-ereader. But on the Monday the potential buyer could place his order for 99,99 euro plus transport. Yet this was only the beginning of the mess.

As soon as the potential buyer had ordered the bundle of e-books and the e-reader, the likely delivery date of November 11 was shown. When the day was there, no package was delivered, while the delivery message had not changed nor did the buyer get a notification of delay. Some days after that there was a mail strike in The Netherlands. And eventually on November the package was delivered on November 16 (no apologies by e-mail). So at last the e-reader was there.

The package contained also the invoice, or better two invoices. A simple deduction sum showed the correct amount, but the way the two invoices were composed was different from the correct logarithm at the time of ordering. So much for the ordering.

Unwrapping the e-reader was interesting. had said nothing about the screen and the screen resolution in the technical specifications, which had made me suspicious. And in the Hiteker HDB 107 user’s manual, which was delivered with the e-reader, it said: 7 inch colour LCD screen, resolution 800x480. I think that should have been clear about the type of screen. For the brand e-readers has been so far reserved for digital paper screens, produced according to the e-Ink technology. And the resolution of the Hiteker is rather low and rather coarse in terms of present computer screen standards.

Another real e-reader feature has been the long battery life. As this is an LCD screen the battery life is low. It takes an hour to load the device using the AC adaptor and 5 hours to load it with the USB cable from a computer. It is said to have a battery life of 10 hours. Forget it. If you want to use it on a train ride from Amsterdam to Metz in France, you will be out of energy after Brussels.

Looking at the Hiteker, it is in MHO a cheap pad. The pad has a unrefined lay-out. The knobs are rudimentary and hard to press. But, it can sing and dance. You can play music, but the sound is not stereo. You can watch video. You can use it as an electronic photograph case, changing pictures after 5, 10 or 20 seconds. You can record sound. And you can use it as an e-reader, so the first screen says.

Well, as for the screen it is not an e-reader. And for its functioning, it is not an e-reader for the bundle of 10 e-books delivered with it, at least for the time being. Of the 10 e-books only three book are readable. You can see all the 10 coloured covers, but only the text of three books. For the rest of the books a system message appears Failure at opening. Here you are with an imposter of an e-reader and a bundle of 10 e-books, of which you can only read three books. In terms of the’s marketing the three readable books now costs 33,33 euro each with a free e-reader! (Happily I have a BeBook mini and can read all the 10 book on a real e-reader) you have rendered a bad service to Dutch e-reader market by delivering a fake e-reader with a bundle of e-books that can not be read on pad delivered.

30/11/2010: has forwarded a software patch in the meantime and the patch works. I can read now the other 7 books.
I ordered the books and pad on November 3, 2010. I can read the books now on December 3, 2010.

BPN 1555

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