Thursday, September 30, 2010

BeBook model "One"

There was story on the local paper that my local library lends out e-book readers. I immediately thought this is something worth checking out. So I went there got one. The library lends out model “One” made by Bebook, which I guess is a manufacturer from Holland. Here are some of my thoughts about the reader.

BeBook "One"
First of all I was quite delighted that I did not need to buy any books in order to try this gadget. You can download thousands of free books from BeBook’s webpages. Most of the books have been digitized under the project Gutenberg and they are in pdf-format. The selection of books covers quite a big range of languages and I was able to find some interesting books also in my mother tongue. I ended up reading two and half books. I read two classical novels and half from a book that explains the universal esoteric meaning of Kalevala and how it discusses the same themes as all other religions of the world. It ended up being such bologny that I could not finish the book.

The first thing you notice is how light the device is how similar the weight compared to a real notebook. The buttons are placed so that you can choose pretty freely so how you hold the device. You can change page holding the device only with one hand and you can do this with both left and right hand.

The e-ink display of model “One” was still quite pleasant to read even though technology in it is already two years old. The 6 inch screen gives you very book like feeling. It is fun to notice that reading a screen does not need to put stress on your eyes. This something were e-ink technology is far superior compared to the lcd-screens found on tablet computers. You were also able to zoom the text and rotate the text around on the screen.

Then a few words of the user interface of model “One”. The basic operations are quite easy to execute. You just push the number on the keyboard that corresponds to the title/action on the screen. The system is not that advanced but it works reasonably well. The user interface of devices that have a touch screen is far superior to the system found on model “One” and would be very nice to see e-ink screen with touch sensors it would be so much easier to just point at what you want.

The device has the ability to show pictures and play mp3s but I found these features a bit poorly implemented. I put some pictures on a SD card thought that the device would be able to resize and turn them the right way. I guess not. There seems to be a lot of limitations on what kind of pictures this device can show and at what resolution. The mp3-player worked out just fine but the usability was not very high. You are better of using another device for listening to music.

In conclusion I would say that using BeBooks model “One” is a positive experience and I never would have thought how easy it was to adjust reading books of a screen. This really made a believer in e-book readers.

Still I would not rely completely on e-books, because batteries do not last forever. What happens if you do not any power to charge your device? Also traditional books rarely brake down.

You can find more information about BeBook from their webpages.

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