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Astak Mentor eBook Reader Review

written by: BSkinner•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/20/2010
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The Astak Mentor eBook reader was raved over as a device that was going to undercut the more popular Kindle and Sony PRS. Read more to learn how the Astak Mentor fairs against these devices, particularly the new Kindle.

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    The Astak Mentor eBook Reader

    astak mentor From the early stages of design, the Astak Mentor was hyped up as a feature-rich affordable eBook reader. It was supposed to be able to compete with the leading Sony and Amazon readers in features and undercut their prices. In large part, the Astak Mentor falls short and it's a shame. Many of the features that were supposed to be included (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi) are not, and it is above the price range it was originally aiming for (under $200).

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    Display

    Rating Average

    While the 6” display size offered by the Astak Mentor is right around the standard, the 8 greyscale display is overshadowed by the 16 shade displays typical on the Kindle and the newer Sony PRS-900. The display features e-ink technology, but what reader doesn't today? All in all, the display falls a little short of the other popular readers out today.

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    Look and Feel

    Rating Average

    With a sleek streamlined design, the Astak Mentor eBook reader has a very appealing look. It is very thin and only weighs a little over 6 ounces. Just to give you a point of reference, a 300-page paperback weighs around 10 ounces (and so does the Kindle), so this eBook reader is very light. It features a very basic control wheel on the bottom of the screen. The Astak Mentor comes in both a glossy black and a clean looking white design.

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    Features and Ease of Use

    Rating Average

    Navigating the Astak Mentor is pretty simple with just a few clicks getting you where you want to go. The buttons don't provide that nice tactile feedback like many of the other readers. The mentor only has a USB2.0 connection for getting new content. It lacks the fancy 3G connection or even Wi-Fi capability.

    It supports 9 file types, all of the standards as well as ePub and PDF's which is much better than the mere 4 text types natively supported by the Kindle. That being said, the Kindle supports audiobook formats as well as MP3 files while the Astak Mentor doesn't support any of those features.

    The Astak Mentor eBook reader will last for 8000 page flips which should be quite a long time for most people. Even if it dies you can recharge it within 4 hours with the included wall charger, or you can charge it in 6 hours with the USB cord.

    The Astak Mentor also only comes with 512MB of built in memory while the Kindle has a 2GB memory. It is wise to note that the Mentor can be expanded an extra 4GB with a memory card while the Kindle cannot.

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    Conclusion

    Although the Astak Mentor eBook reader has many of the same features other eBook readers out today offer, it is missing a few of the most important ones. Without the added 3G internet option or the Wi-Fi option most consumers will just skip over this device. There are many older and cheaper devices that will do the same things that the Astak Mentor does.