After years of stagnation, it seems that the e-book is beginning to take some flight. Of course, not through electronic paper , reserved for the moment for prototypes as limited as Fuji Xerox or Epson . But yes with e-book readers . We are talking about rigid devices that have an electronic ink screen , as with this Papyre 6.1 that we have been testing recently.
En líneas generales, un libro electrónico puede ser un buen dispositivo para quien busque una solución de lectura de transporte cómoda y, lo más importante, que no dañe la vista. Junto con el considerable ahorro de autonomía, ésa es la gran ventaja de la tinta electrónica: visibilidad perfecta desde cualquier ángulo y sin someter nuestra vista a un parpadeo constante. Pero en el caso de este Papyre, todo esto se nos ofrece a un precio aún demasiado alto.
Y más teniendo en cuenta que el Papyre 6.1 se sitúa a la cola en cuanto a prestaciones dentro de este tipo de productos, donde encontramos opciones mucho más avanzadas como el Sony PRS-700 o el Amazon Kindle 2 (claro que este último no está disponible en España). Pero mejor veámoslo todo más detenidamente a lo largo de nuestro análisis.
El Papyre 6.1 presenta el mismo diseño de tableta de medidas manejables que sigue la mayoría de lectores de libros electrónicos. Con apenas un centímetro de grosor y poco más de 200 gramos de peso, podemos llevarlo cómodamente en cualquier mochila o cartera, e incluso puede caber en un bolsillo holgado, como el de un abrigo de invierno. Se acompaña de varias teclas de control y, lo más importante, una pantalla de 6 pulgadas (600 x 800 píxeles). Pero no es una pantalla cualquiera, al menos en comparación con otro tipo de dispositivos.
Una “pantalla impresa”
As is always the case with these computers, the Papyre 6.1 screen cannot display color or movement. It only works in black and white with still images , but it does so with an undeniable advantage for the reader lover: visibility is practically the same as on printed paper , without the need for backlighting or other characteristic LCD phenomena that diminish our vision as we fix our eyes for longer.
Of course, we are not talking about anything that is not also present in any other ebook reader . The Papyre 6.1 screen comes, so to speak, with the basics and minimally demandable . Without going any further, it can only represent the colors of the images that we enter (it accepts classic formats for photos and images such as JPEG, BMP and GIF ) in four levels of gray . Currently, we can find other models with 8 and 16 levels, although it is also true that they are more expensive.
Color is still missing from all e-book readers , but in the case of this Papyre 6.1 all four levels limit it within the limitation . In practice, we will only perceive with sufficient gradation sketches, very simple illustrations such as those that accompany some novels or very simple colored vignettes such as those of the master Forges . But yes, to display text with black characters on a light background , which is what most users of these computers are looking for, it works perfectly (as long as we do not have problems with the source file, as we will see later).
In addition, the Papyre 6.1 does not include another of the benefits that we are seeing lately in other models: the touch screen, to write freehand with a stylus and other uses. As we said above, it is a basic screen within its class , much more limited than what we can find in devices such as the IREX DR 1000S or the iLiad 2 , which in addition to these functions also include a much larger screen. Of course, these models cost more than double that of this Papyre 6.1 .
Pages and separators, but virtual
The truth is that a touch screen would have made the handling of the functions of this Papyre 6.1 much easier and more intuitive , which we basically control with the keys that you see in more detail in the image above (apart from the on, off and restart button, located on the top of the equipment, and the volume controls, which are on the right side). The most commonly used are the two arrows that allow us to jump a page forward or backward , which we can see on the left side of the screen frame. That with simple keystrokes, because if we leave them pressed we will go through the pages ten by ten .
The circular button on the right is divided into a Back button (it is not used to go to the previous page, but to exit the file or the menu we are in) and an OK button , whose mission is to display in the corner On the left of the screen an options tab, which change depending on what we are doing : within a text document, it allows us to go to the beginning or end of the document or to a specific page ; In the general menus where the list of files appears, we can reorder them in different ways or access the Settings menu , for example.
Then we have the number buttons , which first serve as shortcuts to options and documents . For example, after pressing the OK key to display the options as we see in the image above, each option is identified by a number. Logically, we would have to press the corresponding number button to enter the desired option.
If we are viewing the main menu of the Papyre 6.1 , which by default shows us the folders stored on the SD memory card , we see that each one is accompanied by a number on the left. We press the number corresponding to the specific folder and, after a couple of seconds of waiting, we will see the files it contains. Once inside, we carry out the same process to open the desired document. In the following sequence of images we show you the process, marking in yellow the number keys that we have been pressing.
In addition to this, all the number keys on the Papyre 6.1 have additional functions. If we are reading a book on your screen, we can press 1 to 5 to enter a mark on the page where we are . This works like the classic separator for paper books , although the equipment itself always memorizes the last page we saw of each document before leaving it , to load it on that page the next time we open it.
The marks would therefore be additional separators , in case we want to mark important pages for other reasons. In each book we can enter five different brands , and to access them directly, just press the 6 key and choose the one you want . To remove the marks, we would have to mark the same key with which we mark the page while we are on said marked page (sorry for the derivatio ).
The key 7 serves to directly access the index of the document (if it has one , as with the guidance of the user that Papyre 6.1 carries in its internal memory) and key 8 serves to expand the zoom (at most four increases depending on the document, placing the image in a landscape position to take better advantage of the width). Finally, the 9 and 0 keys have the same function as the arrows: to move between the pages .
As we said before, a touch screen in which you only had to click on folders and documents to open them would have been much more practical and intuitive. But after a short learning period, using the keys is easy. The loading of the pages can be somewhat slow , but it is a common problem in any ebook reader . Regarding compatibility, the Papyre 6.1 can work with common formats such as PDF, DOC or TXT .
Now, often it will not be enough to fill your memory with just any type of file. Not all PDFs and DOCs are intended for electronic ink displays , so we can find completely illegible texts due to the size of the font (even zooming in to the maximum) and, in the worst case, characters misinterpreted by the Papiyre 6.1 . Something that has happened repeatedly appear when a tick (eg, words like transgression, or gum tree you were displayed on the screen without the vowel pronounced, staying at "rebeli'n" , "'rbol" or "enc'as" ) .
Some discomforts that, in some cases, can be solved with a converter program (on this page you can download versions for Windows , Mac and Linux ). It is a software very light, fast and simple application (and of course completely free ). As we can see in the screenshot of the interface, we manually write the title of the book, search for it on the computer or on the web and choose the output format. We can modify the dimensions to which we want it to be converted, but the program has memorized measurements designed so that we can see the text on the Papyre 6.1 screen.a good size. And it does all this in a few seconds .
The problem is that, even through the converter program, we can find cases like the one in the photo above. In it we show you an image of the novel "Yo, robot" by Isaac Asimov, converted through the program. As we observed, the errors of interpretation in the letters with accents are excessive, to the point of reaching an illegible reading. And that, previously, we had introduced the novel as it was, and it looked like this:
In this specific case, the Papyre 6.1 correctly read the “raw” PDF file, but the font size was too small and we had to zoom in as much as possible, placing the text in a landscape position . With the converter program, we tried to achieve a suitable font size to read with the screen in normal position, but the remedy was worse than the disease.
To be fair, it should be noted that we have tested the device with a score of novels , both in PDF and DOC formats, and this specific case has been the only one in which the converter has played a trick on us . But it seemed fair to point this out, because in practice this implies that there will be files that we can only read through the converter and others that we can only read in their original format , with all possible size and readability problems in the latter case.
Besides the possibilities of the screen, the Papyre 6.1 can also play MP3 . For this we have a universal 3.5 mm headphone output and a side volume control , which we can see in the photo above. It plays only and exclusively MP3, no formats like AAC or WMA that we do find in other types of equipment. Something that does not seem like an inconvenience to us, since the majority standard is covered. In addition, in the product box we find earbuds and that have another volume control on the cable . A detail to be thankful for.
Very durable battery
In terms of autonomy, the great advantage of electronic ink is that it only consumes energy when we change pages , and in this case a full battery charge provides 10,000 pages . This implies, in practice, an autonomy of several months (unless we are able to read a work as long as "The Lord of the Rings" per day, and even then the Papyre 6.1 would last more than a week). But does the use of music affect the autonomy of the team? Logically, yes, but up to a point .
Fortunately, the 950 mAh battery is a very good mark for a device that is only going to display electronic text and play music. In our tests, we have spent a whole week subjecting the Papyre 6.1 to reading sessions and always playing MP3s for an hour a day. This makes a total of seven hours of intensive use, during which only one bar of those indicating the state of charge disappeared. That is, only as a music player is it capable of holding on for about 20 hours in a row , so in the end everything will depend on whether or not the user takes advantage of the headphone output and the daily hours that they usually invest in it.
Out of date connection
To add content to this Papyre 6.1 , we have various means. If we connect it to the computer using the USB cable, two external storage devices will appear . This is because this e-book reader has, on the one hand, 512 MB of internal memory (which in practice is around 450 MB ) and, on the other, a slot for SD memory cards , on the that we can insert the 2 GB card that comes inside the box, preloaded with 500 books .
The problem with this transfer medium is that, unfortunately, it is a USB 1.1 port . And it is that the Papyre 6.1 is nothing more than a version with Spanish menus of the Hanlin V3, an electronic book reader made in China , where it is common for some manufacturers to use this outdated port to save production costs. The output is a miniUSB port and in the box we have a USB 2.0 adapter cable , but the internal connection of the device is 1.1.
The result: transfer a simple song 5MB invests 10 seconds . This means that, if we wanted to use the USB cable to completely fill the card and the internal memory of this Papyre 6.1 with books and songs , and even taking into account that the 500 books and the preloaded user manual already occupy about 30 megabytes, we would have to wait almost an hour and a half for the whole process to finish . With a USB 2.0 port , which is absolutely required today that we are about to see the arrival of USB 3.0 , it would do it all in less than five minutes .
Logically, we can also insert the SD card in one of those readers that already incorporates almost every new laptop or desktop computer that comes out on the market. As compensation for the absurdity of the USB 1.1 port and the possibility that the user does not have this type of reader, the Grammata firm includes in the box of the Papyre 6.1 a card reader that connects to the USB port (this time, it is 2.0 ).
But for the 450 MB of internal memory of the Papyre 6.1 , we have no choice but to support the very low transfer rate of USB 1.1 . Thus, for those who do not have a card reader on their computer, the USB reader that comes in the box will be an essential accessory. Along with it, Grammata also includes in the box the aforementioned 2 GB card , headphones , a charger that we will use very occasionally and that uses the USB cable as an intermediary, a strap and a protective cover in book format , to which inside we can dock the device and what countswith a magnet closure system .
Who is Papyre 6.1 aimed at?
For someone who wants to try an electronic book reader for the first time , especially reading fans who want to carry their entire library read and read inside a "virtual notebook" little heavier than a mobile phone .
The Papyre 6.1 is an alternative manageable measures, basic performance and excellent autonomy . In addition, you can opt for models in black or white and it is one of the least expensive models on the market , but unfortunately that does not mean that it is cheap : it costs 300 euros .
It can improve
Forgetting about the price issue, we have to clearly emphasize that, today, including a USB 1.1 port in any type of product is an insult to the user . It would also be convenient that, for this or future versions, either the converter program or the management that the device does of the files that are inserted without converting is improved .
Then we have to talk about the outlay required for this Papyre 6.1 , which has the drawback of any ebook reader : for it to become an interesting product for the general public, it has to lower the price a lot . And the inclusion of the 2 GB card with the selection of 500 books does not justify the 300 euros . And it is that these types of cards are already sold in price, and on the Internet we have at our disposal about 300,000 ebooks in free download.
We would see with better eyes an electronic book reader that, with the price of this Papyre 6.1 , provides other features such as the touch screen, the integrated 3G connection or access to web pages and virtual book stores. But unfortunately, this is something that is only available on the Kindle 2 that we mentioned at the beginning of this review, a device that is only sold in the United States and whose connectivity is designed by the standards of the other side of the pond. Precisely, these are some of the improvements that could include a rumored new version of the Hanlin V3, but we will have to wait to know if it will arrive in Spain and at what price .
|screen||Vizplex 6 inch|
Electronic ink 600 x 800 pixels
Black and white (4 levels of gray)
|Weight and measurements||184 x 120.5 x 9.9 mm|
|Processor, RAM and operating system||200 MHz Samsung Arm9 processor|
32 MB RAM memory
|Storage||512 MB internal flash memory, expandable by SD memory card up to 8 GB (2 GB card supplied with 500 books)|
|Controls||On / off / reset button|
Side volume control
Keys for Next Page / Previous Page
Circular button OK (Options) and Reverse
Numeric keys 1 to 9 multifunction
|Connections||MiniUSB 1.1 port (for transfer with computer and battery recharging via supplied adapter cable and charger)|
Universal 3.5mm headphone output (headphones supplied)
External SD memory card slot (USB card reader supplied)
|Compatibility||Text and image files: PDF, TXT, DOC, HTML, WOL, JPEG, BMP, GIF|
Sound files: MP3.
Converter program available for free download
Operating systems: Windows, Mac and Linux
|Autonomy||950 mAh battery|
20 hours of music playback approx