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Bebook Neo Review
Wide range of supported formats
Almost futuristic e-reader design
Incredibly clear screen
Hard to use navigation
Hefty price for an e-reader
It seems while all other e-readers offer only one design style and cost, the BeBook is trying to be a higher level than all these – but it’s advances in style and supported formats aren’t enough to push it to the level it’s trying to achieve, with hard navigation controls and a price that is uncommon amongst e-readers.
The Dutch manufacturers Endless Ideas have crafted a stylish e-reader, one that makes the Kindle look rather ancient, but don’t judge a book by its cover, the BeBook also has a fast performance and a great amount of supported formats too. We just wonder how easy novices will handle an e-reader with a difficult navigation process and no online store.
It is quite an “out-of-the-box” design, even though it isn’t as beautiful as the iPad or a tablet, it is substantially better than most e-readers. The clean white design look makes the e-reader not look cold and evil, but more fun and welcoming.
The navigation is a feature that will take a little time to get used to and even when you’re in the zone, you will sometimes slip off on the outer ring, and this can be a huge aggravation, given how long it takes e-readers to respond.
Weight is another issue that we thought we should bring up, even though this e-reader isn’t chubby, when you pick it up, it can be a hefty object.
The screen offers a bright display; text is crisp as well, even in daylight. We found we could read our Sherlock Holmes novels in the bright sun and still not have to squint, something we were astonished by.
Ease of use
As we’ve stated previously, the navigation is a problem, the navigation-pad has an outer ring that gives you four options and a big ‘OK’ button. Even though this isn’t the hardest thing to get around, we find the Kindle and Nook to have easier navigation options.
To some, this may be a delight, to others, it may be a burden; it all depends on how you enjoy books and how you enjoy getting books. For the Kindle and Nook, you’re trapped into one store and one format – and you can purchase a wide range from there. With this e-reader, you’re allowed to download from anywhere, take the DRM and place it onto the e-reader. You can also download straight onto the e-reader from multiple stores.
This does give more options, but also makes it inconsistent and can sometimes take more time to download a book.
The touchscreen isn’t that great and even with a stylus, you still find yourself bashing the board because of the slow pace and lacklustre performance.
Due to the format being so open, you can download books from multiple stores – while this technically means this e-reader has a larger capacity for content than any other, it also means that you have to look harder to find this content.
Wi-fi should suffice for the average e-reader (person) – even though 3G is starting to come into the mix. The Wi-Fi on this device allows you to download from many book stores; you can also browse the web.
The new browsing was more of a need than a “cool feature”, without it, people would have to import from their computer via a USB connection, which we all know can be a strenuous task.
The life of e-readers is much more substantial than a tablet, and even though this e-reader has a bright screen, Wi-fi and loads of different formats to deal with, it handles them pretty well.
The average battery life, we would say, is about 2 to 3 weeks, if you use your e-reader about 1 hour every day.
512MB of flash memory is all you’re going to get out of this e-reader, but when you add the totals up, that is around 750 books, considering some may be large PDF’s too.
You can always expand the slot, if you’re that into reading.
Allowing you to openly use any type of e-reader file is a good and bad point, it allows you the choice off all different types, but it isn’t a fast or simple process.
Adding a stylus is a touching feature and adds to the simplicity of using the touch-screen, we just wish we had a more responsive and fast touch-screen to use it on.
Slow performance speeds make this e-reader a disappointment when you use Wi-fi, you’d expect an open-source (kind of) e-reader to at least have good web browsing, but it’s pathetic and slow.
We find while the design and openness are nice, we have more bad then good to say about this e-reader, and it’s for that reason we couldn’t recommend it against the new Kindle and Nook e-readers on offer.
Looking for more ebook readers reviews?
See our side-by-side comparisons and in-depth reviews
2. Kindle Touch 3G
3. Nook Color
4. Kobo Touch eReader
5. Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight
6. Sony Reader Wi-Fi
8. Bebook Neo
9. iriver Story HD
10. Kindle Keyboard