March 12, 2009

BeBook update reviewed

Engadget have picked-up at Cebit about a new release of the BeBook eBook Reader.

At that page you can also see a video of it in action, althoigh it won't show you anything very special.

General comments about this eReader:-
  • Looks to have a nice leather (looking) case!
  • Screen is a reasonably large % of the size of the device, one of my personal metrics for a reader
  • I've just realized it's almost identical to the Papyrus eBook reader, down to the button layout and user interface navigation mechanisms and suspect the Papyrus is an OEM of this device.
  • They plan to add WiFi capability as standard by including a WiFi SD card from the factory (like the EyeFi SD WiFi card popularized for digital cameras I assume) for the same price.
  • Available in Europe only, for 299 Euros.
The Engadget comments about the WiFi costing $40 are I suspect for existing users who want to upgrade to this. They can purchase on-line then get delivered and install new firmware.

This subsequent Engadget post from Cebit talks about 3G connectivity and stylus input on-screen.

Some investigation on the BeBook website reveals some additional info, about this upcoming refresh:-
  • They blast past Sony's leading battery life claims with "7,000 page turns"
  • Not sure why, but it states the price in US Dollars - at $280
  • Wireless connectivity through one ore more platforms or protocols. (3G and/or WIFI)
  • Touchscreen navigation
  • Buy your books anywhere, anytime.
  • Wireless RSS support
  • The ePub DRM standard will also be implemented within the next few months.
But it seems it won't be out until summer.   

If it does release in summer with 3G data connectivity, and access to a large on-line store (such as MobiPocket, even if it is owned by Amazon) then it will be the closest thing you can get to a Kindle in Europe.....until Amazon releases the Kindle in Europe that is.... 

Who will make it first?

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