More About the Smart Q7

May 20, 2009

It’s actually the Smart Q7. I won’t correct the earlier post because it’s also been typoed like that elsewhere, plus I think most search engines can still parse it correctly.

There is a short booklet included in the package. Chippy got it in Chinese. This is a link to a PDF version in English. Update: Yes, it’s for the Q5, but all the buttons are the same, so the instructions should be compatible with the Q7.

I’ve seen this for sale on U.S. ebay (US$199.00 with a whopping US$45.00 shipping charge from China), but only with Chinese-language OS. Apparently there’s an Englishized version of the OS available as a 196MB ZIP download. This is a slow download and can take over an hour.

There is also a very strange forum with cryptic posts.

I’m not sure how practical a device this is.

For one, an hp 1000 mini netbook with Linux OS can be had for as low as US$299.00. That has a far more powerful CPU, a 10″ screen, keyboard, and can also have Windows XP implanted in it. With Windows XP, one would have Flash (not available with the Q7) and can also add Adobe Digital Editions, Sony Reader, MobiPocket Reader, and more in order to access a wide variety of eBooks.

On the other hand, this might be a case of comparing A to B. Each has its functional place. But still, US$250 is a pretty hefty price for the Q7.

Then again, Chippy reminds us that it’s more capable than a higher-priced Kindle.

YMMV.

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SmartQ 7 As eBook Reader

May 20, 2009

The punchline first: This device has a domestic (China) MSRP of just US$189.00. Seven-inch color touchscreen, Linux-based OS, WiFi, battery life of 8-12 hours.

Steve Paine (aka Chippy) at UMPC Portal first made me aware of this device via Twitter about two weeks ago. I was very skeptical because the website and ordering instructions seemed sketchy. Being an adventurous lad, Chippy was undeterred and went about arranging a safe way to purchase (via Paypal, rather than the wire transfer methods touted on the website!).

Once he got it, he put it through a live two-hour-plus UStream videocast. All of which I happened to miss (damn you again, Twitter!).

Steve knows I’m interested in eBook developments, so when he saw that FBReader was installed on the SmartQ 7, he did a demonstration just for that.

Here’s the video:

He also posted several photos at Flickr, one of which I’m cloning because it’s very impressive:


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Note that it shows version 0.8.17 pre-installed. The latest version is 0.10.07 and it can do DRM-free ePub. I hope Chippy gets curious — as he usually does — and sees if it’s possible to upgrade FBReader to the latest version.


eBook Search 101

May 20, 2009

Since this seems to be a difficult subject for some to grasp, there’s actually an eBook store that attempts to do it right: eBooks About Everything.


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I can understand the need to resort to drop-down menus for newbies, but an actual separate form that delineates each publisher with a checkbox would be best. Shoppers could then look for books from multiple publishers at once. A drop-down menu limits searching to one at a time.


The eBook Free Market Of Naomi Campbell

May 20, 2009

You’ll have to watch the clip to the end …

… and even then the Naomi Campbells in pinstripes won’t get it.