Thursday, January 8, 2009

ASTAK... Epic Fail


ASTAK is finally, FINALLY taking orders for one of the versions of it's long promised EZ Readers.

Okay, technically it's not even theirs-- they "Americanized" a Hanlin V3 instead of releasing their own reader as announced a year ago (5" promised August 2008, 6" promised November 2008).

I'll be damned if I can recreate how I did this, but somehow clicking on the EZ Reader on Astak's site took me to Mobiebook where they are selling both the Astak EZ Reader and ebooks. Oh wait, here's how: instead of clicking on the EZ Reader sidebar button on Astak's main site, click on the words "take a deep breath and you can almost smell" under the News & Events/CES sidebar button. But do NOT click on the word "more" because it will blow out (at least in IE7), so make sure to click on the sentence. NOW you can click on the EZ Reader sidebar button. At this point you will either see side by side sales offers for the EZ Reader OR you will be re-directed to Mobiebook. I've gotten both. Or you could just go straight to Mobiebook and stay the hell away from Astak's screwed up site.

Holy Platters of Fail, Astak... did you test your eReader as well as you tested your website?

And from there the fail only gets worse.

Here's the front and center caveat on the Mobiebook home page that is worthy of a Jay Leno Headlines segment:
All eBooks on this website are powered by Mobipocket eBooks common library and you can read it on your PC, but not on the EZ reader. EZ reader supports NON DRM ebooks currently. We are working hard on DRM version format and EZ reader user can update firmware from this website when it is done

*blinkblink* Yes, you read that right. Buy the EZ Reader there, buy the ebooks there, but read the ebooks on your PC because they won't work on the eReader! OMGWTFBBQ?!

After a year of announcements and empty promises, THAT's what ASTAK finally offers?



JenB said...

Wow, sounds...special. I think I'll avoid this one.

I'm still pretty sure I'll end up with a Palm T|X as my e-reader.

Bev(QB) said...

I've been watching the news from CES with great interest and hope for ereader news.

Palm has abandoned PDAs and will instead concentrate on their new smartphone that uses their new OS. Problem is that it's a tiny little bugger and you have to be a Sprint customer or live where Sprint is not available in order to get it.

However, SAMSUNG has thrown their hat into the ereader ring! WOO-to-the-freakin-HOO! EReaders are becoming serious business!

JenB said...

I've been looking at used Palm T|X's on eBay. If I can buy one for less than $150, I won't care if I can't get product support for it.

I have a Palm Z22 right now, and the reading screen is roughtly 2"x2". It's basically like reading on a cell phone anyway, so the smartphone thing doesn't appeal to me.

MB (Leah) said...

Bev, I've been following you on this Astak thing and I admire your tenacity in following it.

I gotta say though that their wonky web site and the fact that they have to create DRM to work on their reader doesn't inspire too much trust.

Besides which they look like frigging idiots!

Have you decided yet what reader you are going with?

At the moment I'm very satisfied with my eBookwise and using DH's iPaq.

What I want to know is how to strip DRM'd PDF books that I downloaded from eHarlequin that I can only read on my computer. Damn, but I hate these sites that don't tell you that their PDF are DRM and that you can't do a damn thing with them except read them on your computer. I hate that crap.

*mumbles to self as I walk away pissed now.* LOL

Bev(QB) said...

Nope, I have a feeling I WON'T be buying one anytime soon. I REFUSE to buy the Sony 700 until I've played with it because the response to it has been underwhelming (to say the least). Yet everytime my daughter or I go into Borders we check their display and the 700 is STILL not working.

I've been following the CES posts at Engadget but so far there's not much coming out of there about ereaders. Even the Samsung device may or may not be an ereader (I have no idea what it's for).

So, as of right now my best hope lies in that upcoming supersized iPhone/iTouch. But that's not until later in the year. It's not eink, but with the larger display, and assuming the resolution is superior, MAYBE it won't hurt my eyes.

Mistress said...

Wow, Glad I dodged that bullet. I considered getting a Astak reader when they were getting pre release buzz. I had a change of heart after I emailed them (a month after it should've been released inquiring which store chains would carry the reader). Their Response:

"We Appreciate your interest in our product, but having to respond to emails like this just pushes back when we can have it on the market."

WTF.... so The email I sent to your sales dept is answered by your design team? Thats just Bull, what are they some cabin industry company with 2 employees,lmao. After that conceited response I filed their reader and company mentally under Fail.

Bev(QB) said...

That is a truly jaw-dropping response! I must have hit them up with questions at just the right time earlier in the year because I received a respectful response when I inquired whether they would be supporting LIT files.

Either way, it still adds up to a bunch of empty promises. I have to conclude that these people didn't have a clue what they were doing when they announced these ereaders a year ago.

What a shame.