Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Fictionwise updates ECTACO jetBook – Lite ad

by Rob - December 24th, 2009.
Filed under: ebooks.

Yesterday, in reviewing the $149.95 ECTACO jetBook – Lite (currently on sale at with a $50 store credit toward ebook purchases), I pointed out that the device does not support dictionary lookup when reading eReader-format ebooks (eReader is Fictionwise’s own format), despite the graphic to the contrary, saying, “Really, Fictionwise-folk, you must take down that picture; it is misleading advertising.”

Well, they’re clearly listening — sort of. As of Thursday, December 24, 2009, Fictionwise has updated the ad by Photoshopping the picture on their website to remove “Dictionary” from the Function menu. But it’s still misleading, because the menu in that graphic is the one you get when reading plain text books, NOT eReader books. The Fictionwise / eReader ad still includes “Find” on the menu, which is NOT available for eReader-format books.

The Fictionwise ad originally showed this menu of functions:

[1] Dictionary
[2] Bookmark List
[3] Bookmark This Page
[4] Find
[5] Jump To
[6] Settings

It’s now been Photoshopped to remove “Dictionary” and slide all the other choices up the list (leaving a blank space at the bottom):

[1] Bookmark List
[2] Bookmark This Page
[3] Find
[4] Jump To
[5] Settings

But the actual menu available when reading an eReader-format book is missing “Find”:

[1] Bookmark List
[2] Bookmark this Page
[3] Jump To
[4] Settings

There is no “Find,” and there is no “Dictionary.”

Since we’re looking at the menus available when reading an eReader-formatted book, let’s walk through them:

“Jump To” displays this dialog box:

Jump To
Please, enter page number (1 – 691)
Current page: 46

And “Settings” displays these the choices:

[1] Font Size
[2] Auto Turn Page
[3] Rotate

Choosing “Font Size” gives you six choices (measured, I think, in pixel-height not points): 12, 16, 18, 20, 24, 32.

Choosing “Auto Turn Page” gives you 7 choices: Never, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 60 seconds.

Choosing “Rotate” turns the screen to landscape mode by rotating the display 90 degrees to left (counterclockwise).

By the way, the ad also claims that the jetBook – Lite come with “Pre-loaded CIA World Factbook.” The one I received didn’t have that, or any other sample book.

Anyway … last night I started reading a plain-text version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from on my ECTACO jetBook – Lite, and I have to say I am favorably impressed by the hardware; the screen is lovely, and the ergonomics are very good, with three different ways to change pages. With a firmware upgrade to properly support eReader format, this might be a very nice ebook reader indeed.

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4 Responses to Fictionwise updates ECTACO jetBook – Lite ad

  1. Be careful if ordering from "Newegg Canada": the website doesn't warn you that shipping is from Los Angeles, and they use UPS.

    Great – I wish I had realized that before I submitted my order. Now when my Jetbook arrives I'm probably going to pay UPS an extra $30-40 in their ripoff "brokerage fees".

  2. LS650, I have a good friend who orders all the time from Newegg Canada — and has never encountered brokerage fees. Apparently they have some deal with UPS, so all should be fine.

  3. Received my Jetbook Lite yesterday and you are correct – no extra UPS charges! The total cost, with PST/GST, was $145 CND.

    I spent a few hours playing with it last night and I am generally very happy with it. For reading non-DRM stuff it is great.

    I'm a bit miffed that it appears there is no way to adjust the font size when viewing a couple of my DRM books, and the default font seems to be fairly small – maybe 12 point?

    And the only display fonts are Verdana and Arial. What – not even one serif font?

  4. Hey Rob

    There's a new firmware update for the JetBook Lite (version 0.15 dated Jan 11,2010)on the jebook website. I'm curious if they took any of your suggestions to heart. I'd still love to get a eBook reader that handles eReader books well.


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