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Endless Ideas BeBook eBook Reader - Endless Ideas BeBook eBook Reader

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Unlike the other eBooks on the market the BeBook only supports USB 1.1 so file transfers are rather slow. It's especially noticeable when transferring larger PDF or MP3 files to the device. If you've got a card reader you can get around the problem, but really in this day and age there's no excuse for using USB 1.1 on a device.

As well as support for the document and picture formats, the BeBook also supports MP3 files and comes with a pair of in-ear headphones that connect to a standard 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of the device. MP3 is the sole audio format supported, and the audio player is very basic - it doesn't even support ID3 tags or playlists. You do get some EQ presets (rock, jazz etc), but playback can be a bit glitchy on higher bit rate tracks. However, at least you can use the music player to listen to tracks while reading a book.

The BeBook charges via its mini USB port and there's no charger provided in the box, which is a bit of an issue if you're going to be away from a PC for a significant length of time. Battery life for eBooks are given in the number of page flips you can perform before the battery dies. This is because the devices only really draw significant amounts of power when they're refreshing the screen. From a three hour charge the BeBook is good for 8,000 page flips according to Endless Ideas. As a comparison, Sony says the PRS-505's battery lasts for around 6,800 page flips. In reality you'll get around a week's worth of relatively heavy use out of the BeBook before it needs a charge.

Verdict

The BeBook is not a bad device. It supports a broad range of formats, has a good screen and long battery life. However, the interface is a bit hit and miss and in general the device feels a tad more sluggish than other eBooks we've looked at. The biggest issue, however, is that although it costs around £30 more than Sony's PRS-505 it doesn't look anywhere near as stylish and its menu system isn't as polished. Given these issues the price difference is a pretty significant deal breaker.

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Value 7
  • Features 7
  • Design 6

Chris2510

December 31, 2008, 2:13 pm

As much as I don't like the closed systems, and other things that they do, I wish Apple would have a look at doing an ebook reader - then we may get something that would have an interface worth using... can't see it happening though.

Ricky Archer

December 31, 2008, 3:58 pm

I paid ١.59 for the 'Classics' on the iTunes app store and it works a treat, you can adjust the text size to suit and it's bright for reading in the dark. If you don't want to pay, then get eReader for free! Better still, as it's on my phone it's one less thing to carry.

Gerry009

January 2, 2009, 3:07 am

Hear, hear, I really don't see the point of all these dedicated gizmos. My smartphone does the same job and I have several hundred books (.lit format) on a mini sd chip. Likewise mp3 files, so why buy a dedicated player? It also understands what I say to it (voiceCommand.exe) so whinging about the mobile windoze interface become fairly irrelevant.





I suppose if you really want to sound like a set of castanets walking up the street then having all these gadgets in your pocket is the way to go. I'll stick to my ancient HTC Wizard which still does all I require of it.

Hamish Campbell

January 2, 2009, 12:44 pm

errrr I think the e-ink display might just be the attraction. I'm sure anyone can appreciate the difference between reading off real paper and an lcd screen, this stff addresses that

Frank 2

January 7, 2009, 12:25 pm

I bought this BeBook device and swiftly returned it to Amazon.


It crashes constantly and using SDcards is a nightmare.


In my opinion this device is for users who like to spend hours with upgrading firmware, scrolling through the BeBook forum in order to resolve the numerous errors of the BeBook reader. Taken together, this product is simply not market ready. Furthermore, the unit feels flimsy and is really way over-priced.

Ann Drummond

August 4, 2009, 7:48 am

I love my Bebook! I've had it almost a year and I'm not sure how I managed without it. I've just been overseas and I was able to load more books than I could possible read in the time I was away. I could never have packed so many books given baggage costs. The cost of ebooks is a bit pricey and hopefully in time they will come down. Anyone interested in an e-reader should take a look at the Bebook. A number of formats can be used on it, its easy to use (intuitively so) and the battery life is long so you can read many books before recharging. Also if you’re like me and live outside of the USA the kindle really isn’t an option. If you go ahead and purchase a bebook you can use my discount coupon to get a discount of 25 Euro (ann.drummond@princehenrys.org)

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