Amazon doesn't make getting by easy for its ebook reader competitors. Not only are Kindles pretty great, they're priced very aggressively too. Only a few rivals manage to creep in under the asking price of the non-touch Kindle, and the TrekStor Pyrus is one of them. You lose a bit in the process, but it's a cut above budget LCD screen ereaders if you're after a paperback-replacer.
The split-second first impression the TrekStor Pyrus leaves is not a great one. It's not a pretty device, lacking the conspicuous sense of design that the Kobo eReader Touch and Kindle offer. The worst contributors to this lacking design are the nav buttons at the bottom, and the D-pad that sits in the middle of them. There's more than a hint of stereotypical soviet function over form going on here, and that the buttons are naff-feeling flaps cut out of the front panel doesn't help.
Once you get over the lacklustre looks and wrap a paw around the Pyrus ereader, things improve. The ereader has a soft touch rubberised back that feels great under the fingers, and the page turn buttons are excellent, falling perfectly under a thumb in a manner similar to the non-touchscreen Kindles.
The page turn buttons sit right on the edge of the TrekStor, and with a concave groove they beg you to rest your finger them - and these dual page buttons are replicated on each side for left and right-handers.
However, while the ereader fits comfortably in-hand, it is significantly heavier than most. At 213g, it's a good 30-40g weightier than the Kindle and Kobo eReader Touch, while packing-in less advanced tech.
The weight here makes the Pyrus feel more like the Kindle Touch, which weighs-in at a portly 220g. Of course, while the difference may be substantial, you can easily hold any of these ereaders one-handed - it just isn't feather-light. We'll have to assume this is down to the bodywork rather than the battery - TrekStor claims it'll last one week, which is fairly average for an E-ink ereader (although obviously fabulous compared with an LCD ereader.)
Connectivity and Support
All the TrekStor Pyrus's connections are held on its bottom - a microSD slot, microUSB for charging and transferring books, and the power button. All we're missing is a 3.5mm headphone jack - which rules-out listening to audiobooks or music. Some budget ereaders offer one, but let's not forget the cheapest Kindle does not.
One of the most significant connectivity omissions is one that you can't see - the TrekStor Pyrus does not have Wi-Fi. In most ereaders this is used to access a built-in book store. Here, there is no web browser, no book store and no email client. The "Get more eBooks" option in the menu just takes you to a PDF help file that tells you how to sync with the TrekStor eReader Suite software.
Alternatively, you can simply plug the Pyrus into a computer and drag ebooks onto its 4GB of internal memory. File support is decent, with standards like EPUB, MOBI, PDB, RTF PDF and TXT all on-board. It makes for a poor PDF viewer, though - a lack of zoom options making it useless for any pages much larger than the ereader's own screen.