Review Price £59.99
TrekStor Pyrus - Screen, Interface and Verdict
The TrekStor Pyrus has a 6in 600x800 E-ink screen that's very similar to that of all the big-name ereaders. It offers the often-quoted "strain-free" read that you won't get with a backlit screen of something like an iPad.
Image quality is good, but text often seems a little less sharp, and contrast a tiny bit less, than the top performers - which could be down to the generation of panel used or the software powering the ereader. Nevertheless, a solid reading experience is on offer here.
You will need to enable page refreshes at every turn for the best results, though - a page refresh is where the screen flashes black momentarily, effectively resetting the microcapsules that make up an E-ink display. The Pyrus offers options to refresh ever three or five pages, but the ereader intermittently suffers from some of the worst on-screen residue we've seen in an E-ink reader - although oddly it seems to depend on the type of file being viewed.
Single-page refreshing is no great hardship, though, as page turns are reasonably quick for a budget ereader.
Interface and Ease of Use
The TrekStor Pyrus has a pretty stripped-back and simple interface, and as there's no touchscreen, most menu navigation is handled using the D-pad. Functionally, the software running the show is laid-out much like the Kobo eReader Touch's, with a home screen that shows the book you're reading, recent reads and any that have been added. However, there's none of the gloss seen in the Kobo. Like the body, it flat-out doesn't look impressive.
The main menu is a little better, using icons to represent the ereader's core features, and the simple library section is pleasantly pragmatic, showing titles and file types rather than getting ambitious with book cover images. Faced with a "budget" ereader, we were dreading the prospect of a slow, cumbersome experience. There is the standard E-ink lag, but performance is perfectly fine - aside from slow rendering of PDFs.
Control over the look of pages is limited. There are six font sizes - some offer many more - but no control over font style. The Pyrus also lacks an internal accelerometer, used in some ereaders to automatically re-orientate the page depending on how the device is held. However, you can manually rotate the screen, 90 degrees at a time. Other extra features include bookmarks and a search function, although favourites like a dictionary are, sadly, absent. This ereader really is frill-free.
The TrekStor Pyrus cuts out all the flash bits of ereaders - the snazzy design, the wireless connectivity, the internal speakers and headphone jack - to offer a reader with a good screen at a very low price. And it fares pretty well as a basic ereader as long as you stick to EPUBs rather than PDFs. However, now what the touchscreen, and altogether nicer, Kobo eReader Touch is available for as little as a fiver more, the Pyrus's price hasn't plummeted quite far enough to compete in the UK.
With a solid E-ink screen and great page turn buttons, the TrekStore Pyrus offers a decent basic reading experience that we'd recommend over a low-cost LCD-screen ereader any day. However, when other more feature-packed, better-looking ereaders can be had for just ten pounds more, there are better deals out there, unless you find the Pyrus being sold at a discount.
Scores In Detail
- Build Quality