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I like my eBooks, and generally spend more time than I probably should with a notebook computer propped up on my knees reading from the screen, or using my smartphone of the day for a bit of e-reading. I'm also a big fan of paper books - I read a lot more words printed on good old treeware than I do on screen.
The upshot though, is that I am always on the look out for a good e-reader, and that means not only something that works well in itself, but that meets my need for ‘comfort computing'. It has to be something easy to hold, easy to use, and that I am prepared to carry around.
Recently I took a look at another eBook reader called the iLiad. I found it to be a relatively expensive option, a bit large for carrying around in a bag, and potentially technically demanding for some users, though I did like it in many ways.
The latest incarnation of the Cybook from Bookeen deals with the size and technical difficulty issues and is less expensive too.
The technical points are addressed in no small part by leaving things out. This is an eBook reader pure and simple (well, almost). It doesn't have a digitizer stylus like the iLiad, and so you can't make your own notes. That's fine by me, as all I want to do with it is read. Nor does it have Wi-Fi for fancy downloading of data.
Size-wise the Cybook Gen3 is ideal. It measures 188mm tall and 118mm wide and is 8.5mm thick and weighs 174g. It is too big for a pocket, but beautifully sized for the hand.
I got the Deluxe version which costs -450 (as opposed to the standard version which is -350). One of the extras you get for the additional Euros is a leather wallet. This is well made and stores the Cybook Gen3 nicely as well as having a couple of pouches for paper or what have you, and a pen holder.
But for my money the wallet adds too much bulk to what is, without it, a beautifully portable device. Give me a screen protector in preference any day.
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