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Bruce, Caroline

First Impressions of the Book Port Plus

This is not a technology blog, this is my personal blog. However, I
thought I would try to give my first impressions of the Book Port Plus
from The American Printing House for the
Blind
.

First of all, I have to give APH credit for speedy delivery. I ordered
my unit on Tuesday afternoon, and got it here in Canada on the following
Monday afternoon. That's pretty good service, in my view.

My first impression when I picked up the unit was that, to me, it felt
fragile. This surprised me. I'd heard others saying things to the effect
that it wasn't a very rugged design, but as I'd heard the same thing
about the Victor Reader Stream, I didn't give the claim a great deal of
credence. However, on holding it, it really does seem fragile to
me. It has the feel of a remote control unit for a VCR, although it is
somewhat heavier.

The buttons themselves also have a fragile feel to me, particularly the
keypad on the bottom. I get the feeling that the buttons are always in
danger of coming off.

The fragility of the unit may well be an impression and not a fact,
protracted use will have to bear that one out.

Compared to the Stream, the BPP is a very slow unit, in my opinion. To
me, the Stream is snappy, the BPP is leisurely. The BPP has sounds for
just about everything, and only some of these beeps, musical chimes, and
so on, can be turned off.

The guidance voice on the Stream, in my opinion, has a higher fidelity,
and is thus sharper and clearer. The battery life is also considerably
better with the Stream.

Finally, the Stream supports a great deal mroe file formats than does
the BPP.

Where the BPP, like the Plextalk Pocket on which it is based, shines is
its recording facilities, to which I am very much looking forward. I
wish I'd had a unit like this when I was young. It would most certainly
have put my tape recorders to shame.

This has been a quick, non-professional summary of my first impressions
of the BPP. I will most certainly not be disposing of my Stream. As a
player, I still strongly feel it is the best on the market. To me, the
BPP is something of a disappointment, though I know we're very early on
in the unit's life.

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