It was introduced in and there are a few slightly different models. Manufacture was discontinued in Books for this reader are still available. See FUB for the file format. It s primarily designed as an eBook reader, but also has personal organizer functions and some simple games similar to early models of Palm Pilot. It can play audio books in Audible format and some other audio types.

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Disclaimer: This is just one person's thoughts and ramblings. No harm, infringement, etc. I represent no one but myself. Looking for a device to read on and you want to take it with you? Well, take a closer look at Franklin's eBookman. Front and back views. I first saw this device on CNet, which once aired on the Sci-Fi channel early in the morning. At that time I had been avidly reading what I could find on my PalmV.

The eBookman's larger screen yet still small form factor appealed to me. I had been looking hard at the Rocket eBook and SoftBook at the time. Aging eyes want larger text that they can read without having to "turn the page" every other sentence. Besides the price of the afore mentioned devices, at that time, I just couldn't see lugging around something of their size.

If it doesn't fit in a coat pocket I probably won't take it with me. Time passed and just as I was about to try to get a developer unit the eBookman hit the general market. Well, okay, I could as any gadget nut wants more , but I'm quite satisfied. My first unit even had the infamous battery problem change batteries, lose OS. Franklin was outstanding in replacing it.

Total operating expenses decreased by The decrease resulted from the discontinuance of any current year research and development expenditures relating to the eBookMan product line What does this mean? Note: I don't speak for Franklin or anyone else, so take what I write at your own peril. From what I gather it means for now?

I doubt it means they will not honor warranties or the current desktop and operating system will disappear any time soon. However, I have added how to download the desktop and operating system so you can back it up to the tips.

Interestingly Franklin has licensed the eBookman technology to a company in the Philippines. Read it here. As for me, I'm still quite happy with my unit and have a spare in storage. With the close-out prices available, check Costco and Office Max, you couldn't ask for a better deal now. Lots of folks, like me, got their REB units when they went on close-out sale and the original RocketBooks are still in demand. I moved them so this page would load faster and not burden those on dial-up.

First, realize my primary experience with handhelds has been with my PalmV and various other PalmOS devices my friends have. Another thing of note is I require glasses as I am near sighted can't see far away. However, it's so bad that I must be no farther away than 8" to comfortably read 10 point text without my glasses. Most hardcover books use 12 point and most paperbacks use 10 or even 8 point text.

As a reader , I think this is an outstanding device. I had been reading on my PalmV for some time before I got the eBookman. First it was just quick technical reference type documents and then it grew into stories and news. While traveling on business, especially cross-country, I could often go through several paperback books. Having them on a portable device had several advantages. However, with the Palm screen I always felt like I had to "turn the page" too often even on the smallest font.

I tried the reader CSpotRun, which allowed me to view things in landscape mode making the wide part of the screen the width instead of the height , but even though the line length and positioning was better I still had to "turn the page" often. CSpotRun also provided an auto-scroll setting, but this did not work well for me as I never could get it set to a speed I liked.

With the eBookman I am able to read comfortably for hours. Using the smallest font gave me a "page size" close to a paperback novel. The medium font is comfortable as well. Yet the largest font is almost too big in that I have to scroll more often see the pictures.

With the small font it is able to display as much text as the REB , using it's normal font see the pictures. The eBookman does provide a jog wheel, which makes it much easier to "turn the page". Also, if you are using MobiReader, you can simply tap the sides of the screen to accomplish the same thing. In another font comparison, while the REB does have nice large type it only has two settings - normal and large; granted it does have a much larger screen.

The REB also provides large buttons for "turning the page", but my jury is still out whether they are any better or not. All of this scrolling does matter, as there are several cases where you only want to hold the device in one hand.

One being when you are keeping the other on your luggage to make sure it doesn't wander off I dislike standing in a long line with nothing to do. Another case is if you are disabled and may only have the use of one hand.

For this instance the eBookman's weight is also a plus. Compared to the REB 's weight, it should be easy to hold for any length of time. I've found my wrists getting tired holding the REB after a chapter or so. As for the display of pictures, the eBookman does as well as the PalmV quality-wise. I was shocked when I first converted a document with pictures and looked at it on the REB After taking a second look, the REB 's display of pictures may be low quality but are adequate enough to deal with.

However, I'd rather have a larger file size in order to get better picture display. In fact, MobiReader is able to handle pictures rather nicely. If the picture is too large it will scale it down in the document and allow you to zoom in on it as needed.

There are examples of this and the picture quality on the picture page. If you have many contacts, especially business-type contacts, being able to filter your address book is very handy. Now you can filter by writing in the supplied FIND area - say writing an "A" will only show contacts beginning with the letter "A"; which is handy and for the basic PIM Personal Information Management user it will suffice.

However, if you are looking primarily for a PDA for business use you may want to look else where, ie a cheap PalmOS-like device, or get the eBookman only for reading. The eBookman does have other features, such as being able to play Audible. However, I don't use these applications so I don't feel I have a right to comment on them. On battery life, I feel that it ranks close to my PalmV. See my battery data below. The feature I did prefer on the PalmV was it's rechargeable battery.

For me that was easier than remembering to carry spares. The device that wins hands down here is the REB To be fair, though, one must realize the REB holds a much larger capacity battery. For backlights, the REB has a powerful one. The eBookman's backlight is comparable to the PalmV and I do find it quite comfortable to read by.

However, if you are going to do a lot of low-light reading with the eBookman I suggest investing in the AC adapter. All backlights place a heavy load on the batteries. Interestingly I have a hard time reading the REB in any lighting situation except bright sunlight without the backlight on. With the eBookman and PalmV I was able to read in even dusk-like lighting conditions. MS Reader did not make it. Neither Franklin nor Microsoft are very forthcoming as to why.

Personally I think it's Microsoft that withdrew from the agreement, but then I'm with the folks that think of them as a monopoly. This means content created in their format can be read on a variety of devices without having to make it for each specific OS. In my opinion this is how e-books should be, especially if they are ever going to catch on, and a favorite publisher of mine, Baen , does produce e-books in Mobi format.

The reader supports images, internal hyperlinks, and bookmarks. Voice Recorder - For voice memos. Address Book - For keeping addresses. Does not have categories like PalmOS's built-in one. DateBook - A datebook application for keeping appointments and such. I find it comparable to PalmOS's built-in one. Memo - For keeping memos. Does not support categories like PalmOS's built-in one. AC Adapter - As mentioned previously, if you are going to be using the backlight for long periods of time this would be a wise investment.

The alternative is to use a USB cable hooked up to a running computer. Serial is very slow and I find it almost unbearable when loading or reloading the OS. However, converting it will often compress it make it smaller.

For the average user I don't recommend this route as it's rather involved at this point.


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