ImCoSys imcoB6 Review

Quick review: The imcoB6 is a simple ebook reader with only the features it needs, no touchscreen, no wifi, no other fancy things. For around $50 you get the perfect tool for reading books.

The Hardware

The device measures around 171.7cm by 12.5cm, the display is 12.2*9cm. On the left and right side are two buttons each for navigating forward and backward. On the bottom are the home button, the menu button, cursor and ok buttons, the back button and the reload button.

The back side is not very interesting. The only thing there is the reset button. The only way to press it is using a needle. Everything bigger does not work.

At the top end of device are some more components located: The earphone socket, the USB socket, the power button and the power and charging indicator LED.

The big pluses here are: No touchscreen and no WLAN. The navigation buttons are much more comfortable than a touchscreen. WLAN sucks the battery empty very quickly and an ebook reader with empty battery is pretty much useless. The battery lasts for over two weeks without switching the device off.

Software

The software on the imcoB6 is pretty simple but does exactly what you expect from an ebook reader plus a few more things.

The main menu pretty much shows all there is.

Current Reading always shows the last book which had been opened with the reader. Selecting it jumps to the last page displayed. This is perfect to continue reading where you stopped last time.

Recent shows a list of books read recently. Like current reading it jumps to the last page read from the selected book. I haven’t found out how large this list can grow, so far it shows 18 entries…

Books is for navigating the Documents folder and choosing a book to read.

Image lets you browse the Pictures folder and displaying the images found there. When an image is displayed the menu offers to add it to the screensaver image list. The manual does not describe this.

Music gives access to the music player.

File Manager seems to not be especially useful to me.

Settings lets you change some important settings of the device.

Dict seems to be a dictionary, but I don’t have any data on the device and don’t know what and where I have to put it.

Notes is not useful for me without a real keyboard.

The most important part of the software is the ebook viewer. For a long time I have been using the AdobeReader. It is working fine. In the last 2 month I had it lock up about 4 or 5 times and then I had to press the reset button. Since I switched to FBReader now this problem may have gone…

Another thing is I haven’t seen a book with images inside. A PDF I tried showed only the text, no images. Maybe one of the other file formats is able to show images?

Accessing the Data from a Computer

When plugging in the USB cable two new devices show up on my laptop: sdb and sdc. The first disk is probably the SD card slot. The second device is the internal flash. The internal memory doesn’t show any partitions, I have to mount it with the following command:

mount /dev/sdc /media/imcosys

Easier is to add the following line to the fstab:

/dev/disk/by-id/usb-rockchip_rk28_sdk_demo_unknown-0:1 /media/imcosysb1 vfat user,noauto

Indian Scripts

Only latin fonts seem to be installed. To get indian scripts to be displayed correctly another font has to be installed.

A nice font is Akshar from the “Fonts Bundle” from Kamban Software. To install it download freefonts.zip and unzip it, create a directory Fonts in the root directory of the ebook reader and copy akshar.ttf into this new directory. The new font can then be chosen from Settings/Fonts. This will also change the font for the user interface and needs a reboot to take place. To be able to change the font of the reader you have to change the default reader from AdobeReader to FBReader under Settings/Preferences. Then when reading a book the font of the reader can be chosen from the menu of the reader (press the menu button).

Useful Tools

calibre is an ebook reader which comes with a lot of tools and features. It can display many file formats on a computer. And it contains the tool ebook-convert is very useful for converting between all those file formats. There is also a DeDRM plugin for calibre which lets you regain your right to keep what you bought.

Conclusion

The imcoB6 contains a very good software with all the features you need and some more. The only bad point is that I haven’t seen it show images but maybe I have to just find the right file format. The hardware is also nearly perfect. And the best is the price! All other readers I’ve seen so far have either smaller display and less flash or are much more expensive and lure you with feature creep which takes away the fun from the device.

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