Aluratek Color Ereader
#1  demingite 01-23-2011, 08:53 PM
I just spotted these on eBay and they sound fascinating. A 7" TFT color ereader with backlight and multimedia functionality (video and music). There are new ones on Ebay very cheap, but I can find very little about them, other than some reviews on the Aluratek site. Has anyone seen one of these, or actually own one?

#2  spensar 01-24-2011, 12:12 AM
I've been using one since November when Dell Canada had them on for $100. Overall, it works well. Less formats supported than the Libre Pro which I also have. Occasional hiccup with PDF, especially a picture heavy one. No problem with Epub at all. I've used Calibre to convert everything I want for the Color Libre.

The backlighting is the big feature. Out of the box, the brightness is set at 70%, which is TORCH mode. I dialed it back to 10% and it is fine on my eyes. My wife has really taken to it, and it is essentially hers now! She also has the Libre Pro and where I still prefer the non-backlit page for everday reading she is equally satisfied.

The button layout is simple and intuitive, and most functions are accessed from pull-down menus. The menus change depending on what you are doing, but make sense. eg. If reading a book, the options are different than if in a directory.

I can get a couple of days use out of the battery, if just reading. I haven't done anything scientific like measure the hours of life etc. Just remember you are powering a 7" color and lighted screen. I plug it in at night, and it isn't an issue. If you don't charge it it just shuts down after a few minutes use, until you get it juiced up again.

One thing that catches you is that it will auto adjust to landscape and portrait mode, so when you first get it you wonder what the #$(!() is going on. I read in landscape and find it a handy feature.

I organize by books by author in folders. With the Libre, the folders are shown automatically. With the color Libre, it lists all the books, and to get a listing by folder you need to go to the menu and specify "file explorer". Not a big thing, just a little quirk.

I've watched one movie while commuting, and it worked well. Photo viewing is good to, and screen is a good quality for sharpness. One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to flip from photo to photo and retain landscape mode, since that shows the photo at its largest.

For $100, a great value. Just be sure to check the formats supported as it isn't as wide as the Libre Pro.

For around the same price around here, you can also get a no name 7" color tablet computer that functions as an e-reader with software run on the tablet.

Unless you are a bit tech interested, from what I read it isn't that great as an e-reader as you are fiddling with software and don't have a dedicated page turning button. Still, an option to look at since these also have a basic wi-fi capability.

#3  demingite 01-24-2011, 10:45 AM
Sounds like a good deal. The specs on this item are all over the place when listed for sale. I've seen the screen size listed as 5" and 7" in the same advertisement! I'm also confused about the type of screen. Is this a standard LCD screen like all the other 7" tablets out there, or something different. In other words, does this work in bright light, or does is the backlight always on?

#4  Catlady 01-24-2011, 11:06 AM
B&H has the Aluratek Color for preorder at $120 here.

#5  petechan 01-24-2011, 11:36 AM
Looks like it has a time and date clock.

I am like another member in this forum, wondering whether I should get a jetbook lite while they are still available. It seems fewer places are selling the Libre and the regular jetbook at this time, and I wonder if they are being phased out. May be the last of the ebook readers available without an internal clock. I have five library books on my Libre right now, and I will be reading WAY past their lending period.

#6  GrandmaVS 01-24-2011, 12:18 PM
I bought the Aluratek 7" media player from Dell for $99. I have been using it for a month. I adjusted the brightness to 50% and it is very easy to read on. We haven't had any warm, sunny weather yet so I don't know how easy it is to read with a glare.

I also own the Libre Pro, but find myself using the 7" reader a lot more at home and the Libre Pro...which is much smaller and lighter...I keep in my purse.

I do like the Libre Pro menus and set-up better and it has a faster response time. The Libre Pro has a "recently read" book list so you can easily find books you are reading. The 7" reader only shows you the current book - if you open another book, you lose the marker for the current one. This is annoying to me as I am usually reading more than one book at a time. You also have to go to the menu to switch between the reader and SD card.

I download library books to each reader with no problem even though the library site lists Aluratek as not being compatible. The 7" reader is good for reading magazines. I find it useful for keeping my current knitting pattern available.

The Aluratek 7" reader has an external speaker, but you can barely hear it. I prefer my MP3 player for music. The sound when using ear buds is adequate for audio books on both readers. Movies on the 7" are good quality and play smoothly.

I can read on the Aluratek Pro for a couple of days without charging. The 7" media reader only lasts about 5 hours per charge. Not a problem as I keep it plugged in when not in use.

If I had to choose between the two readers, I would keep the 7". The main reason is being able to see more text on a page. I read quite fast and do a lot of page turning on the smaller reader, especially when using a large font.

#7  chas0039 01-25-2011, 06:56 PM
Quote Catlady
B&H has the Aluratek Color for preorder at $120 here.
Now in stock.

I wonder who makes these? I seem to recall someone else mentioning the auto format shift and it appears as though they don't actually make anything, so my guess is that this is someone else's unit, I would guess not Ectaco as it is not in their catalog for 2011.

Six hour battery life.... that will slow some people down. We're getting close to lap top times. You can barely make it through a long plane trip.

#8  spensar 01-30-2011, 10:07 PM
That sounds pretty heavy power usage to have that short battery life. I thought it was shorter than what I am experiencing, so I turned mine on at 1 pm this afternoon and have left it on since, and 9 hours later it is still going strong. The battery life indicator has three bars, and is down 1 right now. If reading I would have been flipping pages, but I don't think that's a big juice user.

My guess is that the big difference must be from the brightness settings, I am using 10% and GrandmaVS is set at 50%. The Libre Color does give you nice control over that, and font color/background choices. For reading, I set it up to be as close as possible to my Libre Pro and have no problem reading in the dark, even at 10%. It's a personal choice, but it's good to know if won't be near a power source for a while there is an option to extend the battery life.

Edit to update. The Libre Color was on for 11 hours when I went to bed. It was dead when I woke up in the morning, so the battery, with 10% brightness lasted somewhere between 11 and 18 hours.

#9  GrandmaVS 02-04-2011, 01:08 AM
You are right, spensar. I have turned the power to 20% and am enjoying much longer battery life. These old eyes find 0% to 10% is just too much of a strain. Thanks for the advice.

#10  GrandmaVS 02-04-2011, 02:42 PM
I updated the firmware on my 7" color Libre this morning...version 1.15...and then it wouldn't work. I couldn't get into the setup and it kept flashing on and off. I reinstalled the firmware, but it still didn't work. I ended up with a solid gray screen with nothing on it. I managed to find an earlier firmware version on my pc and and now have version G17.2.0 installed again. I was trying to upgrade the reader because the sound is so faint that I have to use ear buds to hear anything. I have notified Aluratek about the problems I encountered with the v.1.15 firmware.

When I phoned the Aluratek help desk, they tried to connect remotely to my computer and get the new firmware working. I have so much security on my computer that that didn't work - only caused some problems with my computer. They said it must be a hardware problem and I could mail it to them for repair.

I reinstalled it several times with the same result. The latest upgrade is supposed to correct the sound issue and add Chinese characters. The last upgrade I did was supposed to improve the sound, but I can't detect any difference. If anyone manages to install the v.1.15 firmware, please let us know.

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