One reader also pointed out that I'd missed a whole product category: Android smartphones. They generally have better hardware than the cheap 4" Android tablets, and there are even a few Wifi equipped units that can be found for under $100. I'm planning to pick one or 2 up after CES, but today I wanted to post about a different device.
That smartphone comment made me rethink this idea and today I have an outside the box media device. It's a game emulator from China, and while it doesn't run Android it does everything else I want include read Epub.
It's the JXD F3000, and I came across it on the blog of Jesse Anderson. He recently compared several different models, and this was the only one with any real reading ability.
The JXD F3000 is primarily a game emulator, but it is also a media player and an ebook reader. It looks like a Sony PSP clone, and it has a 4.3"(40x272) resistive touchscreen, microSD card slot, 4GB Flash storage, mike/speaker, FM Radio, and 2MP camera. It retails for $80 on Amazon, so that's pretty decent hardware specs for the price.
Here's a gallery to give you an idea what it looks like.
Audio and video format is extensive, and it also comes with no less than 11 emulators for older handhelds and consoles. It also supports 10 languages. (For full details, check out the specs at the end of this post.)
I know I'm glossing over some of the extraneous details, but to be honest I'm more interested in how it performs. Jesse reported that the F3000 got 4 and a half hours battery life. His general opinion of the device was good up to a point (when the touchscreen died). He liked the feel of the F300 more than the 3" or the 5" emulators he was comparing it to.
Screen quality was generally good, but Jesse reported that if you tilted down the screen darkened and if you tilted it up the screen brightened to the point where nothing could be seen. The viewing angle was fairly wide for a cheap device. I'd estimate it at around 70 degrees before it gets unusable.
Unfortunately, Jesse's review was cut short because the F3000 stopped responding to the touchscreen. This happened after he did the battery test, but it may or may not be related. At the very least, it's a reason to be cautious about this device.
That touchscreen problem happened before Jesse got a chance to test the ebook abilities, so that is something that concerns me. I know that the specs list Epub and PDF, but that doesn't mean they will work well. On the other hand, this device is sold via Amazon and appears to be covered by their CS policies. That means that you have pretty good coverage should anything happen in the short term.
I think it's still worth a shot.
- 4.3"(40x272) resistive touchscreen
- microSD card slot
- 4GB Flash storage
- AV out
- FM Radio
- 2MP camera
- Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese
- Audio: MP3, WMA, WAV, AMR, AAC, OGG, APE
- Video: RM, RMVB, AVI, MKV, WMV, VOB, FLV, ASF, DAT, MP4, 3GP, MPG, MPEG
- Game Emulators: CPS1/2/3, NEOGEO, CAVE, PGM, GBA, GBC, GB, Flash,SMD, SFC (SNES), NES
- Ebook: TXT, PDF, EPUB, RTF, CHM