The BeBook is a new generation of reader manufactured by Dutch company Endless Ideas. The initial testing was a bit tainted by the fact that there is no Wi-Fi or standing internet connection, but what the BeBook is missing in this area it more than makes up with a great design and long battery life. The newest generation ebook readers, like the BeBook, are based on electronic paper, or epaper, on which the text and pictures are displayed by electronic ink – eInk.
E-Ink is the leading supplier of electronic paper display technology. This e-Ink technology enables displays which are high contrast, thin, light weight, viewable from all angles and able to operate with dramatically less energy than more traditional LCD / TFT screens.
The coolest thing about epaper is that it does not have background lighting, so that it does not hurt your eyes, just as much as a paper book would! If you have a lot of ebooks which you currently read on your computer’s monitor, then BeBook is for you!
There are 5-6 notable ebook reader devices on the market, but all the devices currently use the same technology from the same company: E-Ink. It means that the hardware is basically the same, no matter which device you buy. The main part, the screen is the same at least. The differences are in the design and in the used software (firmware).
The display is really paper-like, there is no flashing, no background lighting, it is totally the same experience if you would read a paper book. The screen resolution is 800×600, it is large enough, you don’t recognize pixels. The letters are nice, anti-aliasing is enabled.
The device only support USB 1.1. It is fast enough to transfer ebooks, but if you have mp3 files (audio books), then it takes a while to transfer them onto BeBook, because USB 1.1 is slow.
BeBook does not have 3G like Amazon Kindle, so you cannot transfer ebooks onto it with mobile internet. Nor does it supports Wifi or Bluetooth, you have just the plain old USB cable (included with BeBook).
The most important data about BeBook hardware:
|Display||(90 × 120mm) 6 inch 600 × 800 pixels, 4 gray levels, 167 ppi|
|Full-screen Refresh Rate||0.9s|
|Battery Life||7 000 pageturns|
|Memory||512MB internal memory, SD expansion slot|
|Other Interfaces||USB 1.1, headphone|
|System Requirements||Windows, Mac or Linux, USB slot|
The official BeBook specification claims, that BeBook supports these ebook formats: pdf, mobi, prc, epub, lit, txt, fb2, doc, html, rtf, djvu, wol, ppt, mbp, chm, bmp, rar, zip (Mobipocket DRMformat is supported). In addition, the device supports these image formats: jpg, png, gif, tif. And you can even listen to mp3 files.
I tested a number of different formats on BeBook, but not all formats are perfect. I found out that BeBook can handle these formats best: RTF, PRC, HTML. In these formats you can change the font, there are many zoom levels, and the letters are anti-aliased and look great, the letter-spacing is also perfect.
The hardware of BeBook is cutting-edge technology, E-paper is relatively new, it will improve a lot in the future. The reading experience is great, it is like reading a paper book.
I like the design of BeBook, it has just enough buttons, and the layout of buttons is also suitable.
The firmware has some bugs and missing features, but as I mentioned, the firmware is always improving, and you can obtain updates for free.
Do you have any experiences with the BeBook? We would love to hear from you and get your opinion! Please see rating section below!
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