The reader needs no additional software, as it appears as an external storage device when connected using the supplied USB cable to a Mac or PC. It’s easy enough to drag and drop files, though a Mac does create Trashes folders, which appear in the Cool-er’s file tree without names and are hard to remove.
Buttons are positive, but too hard to press
The reader majors on displaying epub and pdf files and handles epub particularly well, showing illustrations to texts, as well as the eight greyscales of its display allow. You can adjust text size and style, if the eBook permits it, and you can view in portrait or landscape orientation.
While it may not be the main function of the Cool-er, it would expand its uses considerably if it could read files you generate. It can read pdfs, of course, but it can’t read doc or docx. It can also show rtfs, but only, according to Interread, if you save them out of Word. We certainly couldn’t get it to read any rtf files we created with the popular bulk converter ConvertDoc – it showed them in its file tree but refused to open them.
More worryingly, it had problems with rtfs saved from Word 2007. While it displayed them, most of the carriage returns had been stripped out, making them hard to read. Graphics were removed, too.
MP3 audio is supported for music and audiobooks
There’s a mini USB socket on the bottom of the Cool-er, next to a mini audio jack. The Cool-er can play back MP3 tracks and audiobooks, though there’s no support for either AAC or WMA files. Sound reproduction is good enough for both uses and the 1GB of internal memory can be expanded by up to 4GB, using an SD card.
bought one, gave it away.
it was a good device and i had turned off the autoshutdown so that the book was left on screen so i didn't need to find and open it again.
the thing that i missed most was the lack of find. i've been reading etexts since i had a psion. on using palm, nokias and now stanza on an iphone. it needs a find. that drove me nuts so i gave it to my brother who just wants to read a few books. will have to see how he gets on with it.
The replacement Cool-er, just over two days old went grey screen last night and gave up the ghost. It's gonig back today for a refund and I'll look at a different make of reader.
I have found out that their support staff are based in Miami. So even though you are calling a UK number, no-one will pickup or answer your voicemail, or emails for that matter until around 2pm GMT. Not brilliant.
I bought my Cool-er back at the beginning of September, and as noted elsewhere found glitches with the pre-loaded firmware, primarily the lack of bookmark facility (it didn't create a list) and the need to re-open the last document read, even though the user guide stated that these should be present. But other than that I was quite happy with the product. Two weeks ago I downloaded and installed the firmware update. And that's when things started to go wrong. Fine it opened at the last page read, but it started to have the annoying habit of getting stuck in the start up cycle. The re-set button wouldn't stop this, the only thing to do so was to hook it up to my computer and put it in charge/USB mode. I contacted technical by email who queried whether I had installed the firmware update correctly. I answered their response but over a week later I've heard nothing back from them. The thing is it didn't start instantly after the installation, it took a few days for it to occur. I've since re-downloaded and re-installed the firmware. Five days later I've again got a Cool-er stuck in start up.
I took it back to Argos who offered a replacement. That was yesterday. Now i'm not able to register my new Cool-er because my email address is registered to the first one. And I've tried ringing customer support since early this morning but other than an automated answer there is no response there.
I was really impressed with the product but things of late are beginning to tarnish it's sheen. I don't want to download the latest firmware just in case that was the problem rather than the first unit itself. I'm also beginning to wish I had waited a bit longer until it had proven itself in the reliability stakes.
Decent Little Device
I got my Cool-ER back in July and thought it was a great little device for what I wanted it to do - mainly, read books! That's what it's designed for and that's what I've used it for since and it does it well, whether the book's in epub or pdf format (the only one's I've tried). The only issue I've had in this respect is when a pdf's had an image in the center of the page, the reader tends to decrease the font size so you can view the full image. You can't really fault the device for this though as all e-readers have issues with pdf's since they are a page based format.
Anyway, I was happy until about a month ago when I started the device and got what I have dubbed the greyscale rainbow of death.
It would not boot, even after an attempted firmware upgrade.
Anyway, it's been with the manufacturer since, who have informed me that they've sorted it and it's now on it's way back.
So, to sumarise, I was happy with the Cool-ER, and will be happy with the Cool-ER when it comes back to me because I don't expect it to do everything for £185. If I'd bought the iRex at £500 and it pulled this shit I'd have been going crazy, but for what it does and the document formats it supports, this little thing is all I need right now... just don't expect it to do much more than let you read a novel.