Saturday, February 27, 2010

Jetbook-Lite eReader

Ectaco's jetBook-Lite eReader is one of the cheapest eReaders around at around$129...for which you get the eReader, a USB-to-mini-USB connector...and nothing else. So, what do you get for your money?

Specifications: 6-inch by 4.3-inch with a 5.1-inch diagonal VGA reflective monochrome TFT (non-backlit) screen, approximately 7.5 ounces, an ARM 200MHz CPU, 100 built-in MB memory with a SD 1.0 card slot which will support up to a 32GB SD card, a mini-USB slot, and powered by four (4) AA batteries which "live" in a battery compartment that bulges out of the leftside of an otherwise flat back... This actually makes for a very comfortable left-hand hold when used either in portrait or in landscape; but is not as comfortable if used right-handed.

The reader supports several file formats, including eReader (.pdb) DRM, Fictionbook (.fb2), Mobipocket (.mobi), plain text (.txt), EPUB, PDF,RTF, GIF, JPG, PNG, BMP, and HTML...

OK, as befits a 'bare bones' eReader there is no sync software, app store, special book store, etc. . When you connect it to your PC using the supplied mini-USB to USB cable the reader shows up as a drive and you can transfer files back and forth. The jetBook-Lite comes with memory almost full of a number of text books (classified into children's, detective, fiction, history, mystery, novels, poetry, etc. categories).

The bottom line after a couple of hours usage? Pro: A pretty nice eReader; comfy to use; a good screen that is easy on the eyes, and which does not have that annoying flicker when turning pages; and one that is easy to use. A good cheap eReader for anyone that eschews DRM and who does not need a system tied to a larger environment. Con: Although the cheapest eReader out there IMO it still is a little too pricey for very widespread use.... at around $50 or below you could perhaps have a couple lying around the home. While the plastic housing and buttons, etc. are actually fairly solid it still seems rather cheap and flimsy when compared to the all-metal Sony reader. This eReader is also definitely not a device for people who want one that is "auto-everything" e.g. automatic sync'ing, direct wireless download (like theKindle), iTunes-compliant, etc.

Pictures of the jetbook-Lite compared to a Sony PRS-300 Reader:

The Ectaco jetBook Universal Portable Reading Device Review
Ectaco jetBook Lite does everything it can to claim 'cheapest US e-reader' title, no matter the sacrifice
ECTACO jetBook-Lite
jetBook-Lite review by By Jerry P. Danzig (MobileRead forums)
ECTACO jetBook–Lite and eReader: SF writer Robert J. Sawyer’s mixed review

1 comment:

  1. Well, the prs300 has a much nicer look and feel, presentation, as expected since it is more expensive. However, positives for jetbook are lower price and it uses AA batteries (makes it a bit more autonomous). From a standpoint of reading ebooks they are fairly equal to me...