Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gemei GM2000 color e-book reader first look

Chinese manufacturer Gemei recently released a color e-reader. Read the press release. The Gemei GM 200o has the following specs:
  • 7.0 inch 800x480 pixel color touch screen
  • Video (max. 1920x1080p) playback for RM, RMVB, AVI, MKV, VCD, DVD, and MOVE files
  • E-book function, including TXT, PDF, CHM, HTM, PDB, and UMD format files
  • HDMI and TV-out interfaces
  • Music player - MP3, WMA, APE and FLAC formats. Built-in 0.5W speaker, a built-in microphone allows recording.
  • FM radio.
  • Picture viewer - JPG, BMP, GIF and PNG.
  • 4GB memory, supports microSD memory card (max of 32GB)
  • A 2500mAh lithium-ion battery, rated to last for 8 hours reading time.
Of course yours truly had to get one and try it out, so enjoy the pictures:

Note, also picked up the 11-in-1 package (which includes a 2.5mm to Mini USB converter, a 2.5mm to USB converter, a 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio converter, a 3.5mm to 2.5mm audio converter, an audio spitter cable, a fish bone earphone cable winder, a strap, a AA powered emergency charger, and a SD memory card reader), thus the - unnecessary - proliferation of cables and accessories.

The included manual is in Chinese, so not much help there. However the menus are in English and the functions are very intuitive, so no problems figuring it out. Clearly the menus were written by a non-English speaker (who perhaps used Google Translate), as you run into a few weird things e.g. "It's forepart" and "It's finally" when you get to the beginning and end of a text, respectively!

The GM 2000 is a very stylish piece of hardware, with a very satisfying solidity and heft. It has a stylus slot (with a rather cheapish stylus) at the top right. On the front at the bottom it has the power button, and menu, forward, and back buttons. It has a multitude of ports at the bottom - moving from left to right you have a (second) on-off button, a headphone jack, a HDTV out jack, the microSD slot, the DC-in jack, HDMI-out port, and a mini-USB port.

Was initially baffled by the presence of a power button and on-off button. To turn the GM 2000 on you need to have the bottom on-off button set to the on position and then you need to push the power button... this powers up the device and you get the main menu. To turn it off you move the on-off button at the bottom to the off position, which powers down the device. Pushing the front Power button when the device is on does not turn it off! (it does, however, wake up the device if it has gone to power-save mode, per the values you entered via the Settings menu.) Also, strangely, the on-off button has "on" on the left and "off" on the right, not exactly standard. However these are minor cavils, overall this is a very nice product.

Below are pictures of the GM 2000 (left-to-right and top-to-bottom) with a Ectaco Jetbook lite eReader, a Sony PRS-300, and an iPad 3G.

Plug the GM 2000 into your PC via USB and it charges and shows up as a drive... When a microSD card is inserted it also "discovers" all the supported music, video, and book files.

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