Skytex Primer Review

Overview 

The Primer is the purest E-Reader we have seen with the exception of the Kindle, and the Skytex Primer includes some things that have not been streamlined in the Kindle. Its display is color, something attractive to many users, in particularly who want full PDF capabilities or who want to view the color pictures from newspapers faithfully.

It also has great text-to-speech technology — although the Kindle has this as well, the quality isn’t as high. This is what the press release from Skytex had to say.

Regarding its hardware, the Skytex Primer 7″ Color eReader and Media Player shares some similarities with the Ematic “710B eReader. These include cheap plastic casing, a numeric keypad located underneath the screen, and two awkwardly located sets of buttons on the right.

The pixel resolution of 800 X 480 gives it an antiquated display feel. In contrast, the resolution on the seven inch Nook Color is 1024 X 768. The Skytex Primer has a processor (ARM9 400MHz), which is older but is OK for downloading speed, as well as general operations.

The unit contains 2GB internal memory, enough to store up to ten thousand books plus thousands of songs. Inserting a 16GB MicroSD card into the expansion slot, allows you to store all the books, music, and video files you want and take them with you wherever you go.

They claim that the battery will last 10 hours, but really you only get 7 hours of reading and 5 hours if you play music as you read. Power will be depleted more quickly if you browse the Internet or watch videos.

EPUB, HTML, PDF, PRC and TXT format files are all supported by the Skytex Primer Color Reader and Media Player. It has 18 different languages available for display.

Positives 
The Skytex Primer 7″ Color Reader and Media Player is priced very inexpensively. Significant features are offered by this product, considering its price of $99. You can get books from any eBookstore with open format devices like the Skytex Primer. Students who wish to tape lecturers will discover a built-in recording software and microphone a bonus.

Negatives
The Skytex Primer is not for those who want a high quality product with a unique design. Skytex’s hardware appears to come from China, just like the Ematic eReader as well as many other brands of less expensivecolor eReaders.

If you compare these two devices, you will notice that the specs and features are nearly identical. The Skytex Primer battery is the cause of the biggest issue with the unit. It seems like it is never totally charged, even if it is left charging for hours. In addition, the batter life is horrible – it only provides approximately seven hours of reading per a time.

Using folders or directories may prove to be a challenge. For example, the gadget lists the music in the ebook folder, also. Improvements are urgently needed for the zooming feature. While it allows you to zoom in on a page, you must go back to the default page view if you want to turn the page.

Bottom Line
I really enjoyed this device as a $99 e-reader, and it does provide a pleasant reading experience. However, the retail price is now around $129, which is too expensive in my opinion. There was a lot of competition for TBH even when it was available at its original price.

At Meritline.com, the Primer is currently available for $119. This hardware has already been seen on the Australian market as the Big W MiGear.

Hardware and Specs 
The Skytex Primer centered on a 7” LCD screen (800×480), 400 MHz Rockchip CPU, 2GB Flash, as well as a micro SDHC card slot (which supports as much as 16GB). The Primer also has an FM Radio, microphone and a speaker too.

Two sets of page turn buttons are situated on the right side of the screen and a d-pad, number keys, as well as buttons for rotate, back, font size, and play/pause are located below the screen.

Epub, html, FB2, PDF, Mobi, and txt for ebook formats are supported by the Primer, and the specs page claims that it can also play DAT, MP3, FLV, WMA, AAC, APE, VOB, FLAC, RMVB, MP4, and 3GP. I am unable to test it, since I don’t have the majority of those formats. The Primer has about 10 hours of battery life before it needs to be recharged. For an eReader with LCD technology, this is good.

Reading Experience 
Overall, the Skytex Primer has a nice feel. I kept putting the Literati aside so I could read on the Primer instead. Even though there are prettier eReaders available, using this one was enjoyable. It lacks capabilities besides basic bookmarks and page jump, but that is not a big deal.

I discovered one unusual feature. The CPU maker (they created the firmware) stated that they Primer does not work with DRM. This feature is something they were sure they did not add. However, there is an issue with that. Adobe DE didn’t cause any issues when running on my review device. I permitted the Primer and successfully moved many DRMed ebooks onto it.

I’m pretty positive that it doesn’t utilize Adobe Reader Mobile (the reading app on Sony, Nook, etc.) though. Ebooks seem to all look similar whether they are from NookStudy, Sony EReader Library, or Nook4PC.

There are major differences, though, in how the Primer displays ebooks. Combine that with the fact that I have screwed around with my notebook PC so much (my Adobe DE install is probably ruined) and the fact that Skytex does not recognize this feature. Don’t depend on this feature, as I don’t know if yours will come with it.