Bookeen, a European ereader maker have just announced the launch in November of their newest ereader, with the elegant name of the Bookeen Cybook Odyssey HD Front Light, which as its name suggests so subtly is an ereader with built in front lighting and a high definition screen.
It has reached the point in the last couple of months where it has become almost impossible to find an ereader that does not have built in front lighting. The Kindle, Nook, Kobo and loads of other lesser known makes of ereader now all boast front lighting in one form or another – curiously enough, Sony, who had front lightning on one of their models several years ago seem to have been left out of this party.. Odd really.
This must be lousy news for all those companies who make a bewildering range of clip-on reading lights for ereaders… They will now have to find another product to earn their daily bread with. Actually I am pleased about this development, as I have grown tired of the hassles with clip-on lights, as they constantly go out of adjustment as I lie in bed reading at night, so the idea of built in lighting, more or less perfectly illuminating the page, really appeals to me a lot.
Obviously this ereader’s front lighting is done with the ubiquitous LED, which as you know has a number of advantages – stays cool, uses almost no battery power, has a working life measured in 10s of thousands of hours and is cheap. Better than LCD screens, which is normally a matter of 8 or 9 hours between battery charges.
This particular ereader will have 20 lighting levels (no less!) So you should have no trouble finding a lighting level that works for you in just about any situation you find yourself in.
Now for the HD bit.
This stands for High Definition, and they use this term as the screen of this baby will have a quite high resolution (number of pixels per centimeter), which translates into well defined and sharp letters on the screen, and thus ease and comfort of reading. To be specific it will have a screen resolution of 758 x 1024, which compares favourably with most small laptop screens, but in this case, squished into a much smaller screen (15.7cms).
These are always a problem on ereaders, as they are not designed for the software that ereaders use to work with, so they are unhandy to read, and to move from page to page, do not fit comfortably onto most ereader screens and are famously awful to work with on most ereaders. Well Bookeen have dealt with this problem, or at least so they claim, and with this ereader all your PDF files will behave just like any other ebook you want to read on your ereader. Fitting the screen properly and moving from page to page without problems.. Useful for those of you who want to work with such files.
Yes, this one comes with WiFi, so you can easily search for and download ebooks on the go, or at least anywhere that you can find a WiFi hotspot… Lovely system in my view… Love being able to lie in my bed having just finished an ebook at 3 a.m, and to be able to go online, find an ebook I want, buy it and be reading it without stirring from my pillow… Bliss!
Other bits and bobs:
This ereader should support all the normal ebook formats, except the Amazon one of course, all the generally used image formats too, it has a touch screen and for those who like me prefer to use buttons to navigate around our ereaders, it also has buttons to change pages and so on as well as the touch screen. This I approve of.
What will it cost and where can you buy it?
I am afraid that Bookeen have not yet released those rather important bits of information, but as soon as they do, I shall return to this post and add that necessary info for you. So watch this space.
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Any thoughts about this latest Bookeen ereader, or ereaders with built in front lighting? Do let us know your thoughts on this please.