The screen measures six inches corner to corner, and occupies most of the front area of the device and runs E-ink.
This is really no surprise. It is the technology used on the iLiad, by Sony in its Reader (still not available in the UK, come on Sony), and by Amazon in its forthcoming Kindle, among many other devices.
It offers greyscales only, four of them in this case, and is extremely energy efficient, only drawing power when the screen is refreshed. The battery is rated at 8,000 screen refreshes, which is quite a lot of books, and as it charges while docked it should be pretty difficult to run the battery down.
The 800 x 600 resolution is perfectly good enough, especially given the range of fonts and sizes available. If I have a complaint about the display it is that I’d have liked the screen to refresh more quickly as I moved through pages or used menus.
There are a few on-device controls. A navigation pad under the screen lets you go through pages, while a central button opens an options menu on screen which you move through using the navigation pad.
On the left edge are four buttons. One takes you back, another lets you delete a stored file, and a third pops up a menu that can vary depending on what you are up to at the time, but seems to mirror the mix of options called up by the front button, which is a bit confusing. I’ll get to the fourth button in a moment.
You get a small printed getting started guide, but the bulk of the manual is on the device itself. This is handy as a reference, but not much good when you are starting out and just want something to flick through.
Formats supported are: MobiPocket PRC, PalmDoc, HTML, TXT and PDF. Between them these cover off a huge range of eBooks, including my favourite freebie eBook resource, Project Gutenberg. Images in JPG, GIF and PNG are supported, and this is most useful for displaying graphics relating to books – cover images and the like.