BeBook review

This review is from a technical perspective. I got my BeBook mostly for reading things like RFCs, rather then for reading novels. Most reviews seemed to cover what the device looks like, and where the buttons are, which wasn’t very helpful when I looked into buying one, I wanted to know how it preformed.

Let me start by explaining that this review is done with a power user in mind, the problems I point out I imagine are specific to power users, and will not effect people buying this device to read ‘proper’ ebooks. For ‘normal’ people out there that just want to read the latest Harry Potter or whatever it is ‘normal’ people read, this review isn’t for you! However, This review by the Gadget Show is probably more suited. When watching this review though, consider that the only reason Sony got more points then the BeBook was because the BeBook doesn’t yet intergrate with a ebook distributer – hopefully by the time the Sony is out, it will.

Here is a short video I made.



as a sidenote, the BeBook does not make an annoying chime when you turn it off, that was the postman trying to deliver a package!

I took the reader with me on a 3 hour train trip yesterday, and used it to read the Java NIO book. The ebook was in PDF format, and it worked as expected. The BeBook was easy to use, and it’s hard to find fault with it’s performance yesterday. I left with a full battery (still showed full bars, even though I’d used it for a couple of hours already), I left it on during the day for several hours, read about 80 pages, and the battery is still showing as full! I expect this device could be used by heavy readers for a full week of commuting without needing to charge, and even then it charges via USB, so could easily be charged from your laptop, or a portable charger such as the freeloader. In the video I said that the image scaling in PDFs wasn’t so great, but I’ve just loaded up that PDF, and it turns out that the PDF itself is pretty low quality for images. So despite what the video says, PDF scaling might be fine.

I’ve thrown emails back and forth with the Marketing Manager, who seems like a friendly guy. From my conversations with him, I feel assured the company is moving in the right direction, and is committed to providing the features required to make this device the winner out of the soon to be released Sony Reader. The problem is that the Sony is only supporting it’s own DRM format, which means you’ll have to pay whatever Sony want for books. The BeBook is open, and I believe that it will be adopting the mobi format. Whilst I haven’t tried the Sony Reader, I believe that this fact is sufficient to justify the slightly higher cost of the BeBook. I also feel that you’re more likely to get a useful response for any feature requests/bug reports that you might have with the BeBook – I can’t imagine it’s easy to communicate effectively with a company the size of Sony.

I think…. I hope…. we’re about to see ebook readers take off in a big way. Ideally, every morning I’ll unplug my reader from my PC, and it will have that days news papers on, my RSS feeds, and an periodicals. I hope publishers realise the power this technology will give them too – it doesn’t only help save the planet (less trees, less CO2 transporting dead trees, making ink, etc) – but has real commercial value for them. It will be possible to customise their publications specifically for the individual downloading it, possibly targeting adverts to specific people. Some people might fear this kind of targeted advertising, but if it reduces the cost of the publication, I’m all for it. Personally I’d rather see adverts for beer, computers, cars etc, then I would for the latest line of makeup!

To summarise, for the UK market I think there’s 3 main options for ebook readers. There’s the Iliad, which is bigger (that’s up to you to decide if it’s a good thing or not), and has a touch screen. But for £450, it wasn’t really an option for me. The Sony Reader will be retailing for £199, but has the downsides listed above. The BeBook is £229 (I can give you a discount on that, but I’m still awaiting to know exactly how much). There might be other options I’ve missed, but I did spend a while looking at the options. Overall, I’m really pleased I purchased the BeBook, traveling for so long yesterday I was pleased to trade in my book for the much lighter ebook reader.

Update: I didn’t notice this on the BeBook site, but a reader fo my blog pointed it out to me, so I thought I’d make it clear here.

From november/december 2008 Bebook will also have RSS news feeds support and Wifi.

106 thoughts on “BeBook review”

  1. FYI the new firmware for the Sony (PRS-505) which’ll be provided on the UK released models supports ePub too and reflowable PDF, so it may be worth taking that into account

  2. Thanks for the review pookey, that’s great. I’ve been toying with getting one of these, and that there is so much pre-copyright material available for these devices makes them worthwhile on their own, in my view.

    The most important thing about this product, from what I can tell, is that it is not heading down the DRM route despite the commercial pressures that encourage the likes of Sony to make, frankly, devices that operate in their best interests (not their customers).

    I think you’re right that things are going to change dramatically – as devices like these are docked and an internet connection is present, news and other timely information could be downloaded automatically. Whether people will tolerate person-specific advertising is a good question: I know I won’t, but will others generally?

    The other thing that’s interesting here is that we will be paying a price just for digital data – no physical product. I guess people have been doing this for a while now with music – but I’m rather old-school and am still attached to the idea of a tangible book or CD. If buyers feel they are getting an e-book cheaper than a paper one, they will go for it; however browsing mobipocket.com just now gave me the impression that for standard books we’d be paying much the same as we do for real books now. Will people be suspicious of this, and will this force prices to fall as PDF distribution becomes popular?

    Anyway I’ll keep an eye on this toy. One of these days I’ll be tempted…

  3. You make a good point about paying no physical item. Indeed people have been doing it with music, and I wonder if the BeBook can in a way be compared to a Walkman/CD player. 15 years ago people took pride in their CD/tape collection, and when going on the move I’m sure a few people took a handful of media with them, but.. I imagine that’s pretty bulky. These days, you can take 1000’s of songs with you on one device, you don’t get the case anymore, but you go get convenience. Of course, Sony turned the walkman into a fashion item (it’s an interesting story if ever your board, they paid people to wear it on public transport to get it to sell!) and apple did the same thing with the IPod. I don’t see any of the current ebook readers becoming fashionable, but they certainly have the convenience. I can now carry my bookcase around with me! Personally, I’d like to see books come with access to download it at no extra cost, or ebooks are say… 60% of the cost and you can ‘upgrade’ to the paper version for a charge should you want to.

    As a geek I’m proud of my bookcase, and I wouldn’t like to see it empty. But on the other hand, I don’t want to carry heavy computer books around with me.

  4. Thanks for this review, it really is very helpful. I am still waiting, did talk to Bebook and they told me they would have MOBI support, but rather wait until they do. Have been using MOBI for many years on palm and CE. Also interested int he Mentor, which should be cheaper and the company have told me will do a version that supports MOBI.

  5. I must admit, I’m tempted to upgrade from my old Sony to the new PRS-505 when it comes out over here, mostly as I’ve already got all my books converted into LRF so it’d save me hassle (calibre is a nice Sony Reader book conversion tool!). Just went to Borders today in Oxford St, the Iliad is bigger than I realised it’d be, not much point for me, I mostly read fiction on mine.

  6. I found your review really helpful, thank you. Could I ask a question please – sorry I am not terribly technical! – the description on the mybebook.com website says it has an internal memory of 512 MB. They say this is sufficient for up to about 1000 books. I noticed on that website that to download a single book seems to be nearly 1 GB. How does this work?! Surely it is not all reliant on the SD slot as that only seems to increase it up to 4Gb max? I must have misunderstood something. Thanks.

  7. Nice comment, I am almost to buy the Amazon Kindle before I search and found your blog, but I am wander is BeBook support display chinese or Japanese , this is important to me or I still only can read this kind of documents in computer or Palm.

    1. The Bebook menu screen supports Chinese and as long as your pdf files contain the fonts for the document you’re reading you’ll be fine (according to the bebook website). I’ve read Japanese books without any problems so far.

      As for other formats such as .doc, I haven’t tested any yet.

  8. I emailed Bebook about the price of the new machine due later this year.
    They expect it to be slightly higher, but not too much.
    So it should be a good bit cheaper than the Iliad. I’m happy to wait a few months for it with the added features.

  9. I also wanted to buy a Kindle but it appears not to be available in the UK
    The Bebook site suggests you can buy it but as this is only thru Paypal who appear not to accept credit cards for this item it is also impossible to buy.The only listed distributer i can find has no stock and no waiting list.
    I have to stick with paper backs for the time being

  10. I noticed that you find the .chm format reader buggy. This is a concern for me in that I read some chm.

    Do you know if they are aware of the issue and are planning on fixing it.

    What about firmware downloads?

    Thanks for the review.

    G

  11. Thanks for the review, been sitting on the fence with regards to buying one. Their (bebook) referral scheme looks quite good, rewarding both parties. But now having seen wifi is imminent not sure if I should wait for that!

  12. I imagine the device will not come with wireless, but rather the new firmware releases (released via the offical site) will support a list of MMC based wireless cards – I could be wrong about this though.

    If I am right, it means theres not point waiting for wireless to be supported, as it will work once it’s realsed 🙂

  13. Are there actually any SD WiFi cards still being made? I remember I used to have a sandisk SD/512mb ram one, but think they’re not produced anymore.

    Anyway, there’s definitely no MMC wifi cards 🙂

  14. Ian hi – I have received by Bebook today! Sadly not working too well on the old laptop! As the only other person I have come across with such a device please may I ask – if it says “Windows does not recognise your device” and “A USB device you have plugged in has malfunctioned” does this sound a bit worrying/unusual??? Help!!

  15. Firmware is made available on the BeBook website,it’s a simple case of downloading it, putting it on an D card, and rebooting whilst holding down a button. Apparently the device is almost impossible to break during firmware uploads (years ago, it used to be something that could go horribly horribly wrong – but not anymore!).

    As for CHM – it’s not so great. Having googled there appears to be ways to convert from CHM to PDF, perhaps that’s an option. CHMs are not typically used for ebooks, so I’m not sure it’s a huge priority, although I imagine it won’t be completely ignored.

    There will also be un-official firmware available for the bebook which geeks might want to use, which quite possibly will support CHM better – but that will take time. For an example of what I’m talking about google for ‘open inkpot’

  16. Hello Ian: could you please clarify for a non-technophile your comments on 14/8. If I buy now will I be able to ‘upgrade’ to wifi when available?

    Thanks

  17. I e-mailed them asking about the new bebook and according to them it will be a new device supporting wifi. Also it will have a slightly better screen and support RSS feeds. There will be a prize difference, but at this stage they couldn’t say how big. It’s supposed to be available in December.

    I would really like some more details about this new device before I decide to get the current bebook 😛

  18. This is correct – I was completly wrong about the wireless being an upgrade, it will actaully be a seperate device. This device isn’t imminent though, it’s a few months of at least I think. Personally I bought the ebook reader with the understanding that in 12 months time, I’ll probably want to replace it due to better things being out there, so I’m not that disapointed by the lack of wireless. Wireless will seriously shorten the lifetime of the battery, and other then automatic RSS updates every morning, I don’t see a huge advantage in it. Plugging in isn’t *that* hard to do!

  19. I am a 64 yr old woman who loves to read novels, regencies, detec & fantasy but finds that our small bungalow is running out of corners for paperbacks which aren’t much welcome at charity stores now… So an ereader sounded a great idea – I am prepared to save up for one but when confronted with the frase ‘bebooks doesn’t yet intergrate with a ebook distributor’ – while all you lot above seem to be filling up your readers with lots of books… I don’t know what to think. Also you all speak of various methods of incription that also throws me into panic… Its the sort of thing that will make people who use computers but don’t ‘understand’ them or the tecnicalities go for the ease of Sony tie ins. I have imported chapters from an on-line publisher (not Amazon) onto our PC but cancould the BEBOOK do that?
    Please – I need help!!!! There is a big market out there for the devise if it didn’t scare us so!
    Angela

  20. Ian,

    Great review. I am considering BeBook to read technical books, mainly PDF and CHM. Some of the PDFs contain graphics and can be 10-30MB big (especially scanned docs). Do you think the BeBook can handle these easily? (i.e. loading + paging)

    Also, is there an option to skip to a certain page number. A search option would be really nice, but I can’t see that being implemented with the handfull of buttons…

    Thanks,

    Sebastian

  21. If you don’t necessarily want the latest novels and particularly if you are on a tight budget there are thousands of free public domain novels etc. available on the Gutenberg site and others, just Google it. These are available as .txt files so should be supported by the BeBook. Hope this helps.

  22. If you want me to test a document, please do feel free to email it to me, and I’ll take photos of the rendered result.

    You can skip to a certain page in PDF, and if the PDF supports it then the table of contents can be browsed too, which allows you to easily jump to specific sections.

    Also, you can set bookmarks in a document so you can easily go to a certain page, although… I’ve never done this 🙂

    As for CHM, it really does seem quite broken to me – again, send me a sample and I’ll test.

    Hope this helps!

  23. If anyone wants another option then WH Smiths website has the Cybook Gen 3 for sale for £150, probably as a loss leader 🙂

  24. Hi Angela – I have had my bebook for a couple of weeks now and still haven’t quite got over the excitement of downloading things – I have got enough on it now to last me for years of reading! The extent and variety of classics available from mybebook.com is overwhelming, but if it is the more up to date stuff you are after I cannot answer for that as I principally got it to catch up on all the things I think I should have read and haven’t and am not much into modern stuff. All I can say is that downloading is simplicity itself and even a really long work only takes half a minute of so. It doesn’t replace the “feel” of a book and I won’t stop buying books as well but for holidays, travelling, train journeys and sheer accessibility of literature it is an awesome thing. I hope you try it and love it!

  25. Hi,
    I wonder if the bebook site mybebook.com is already shipping, because the site is still in construction. On the order page there are no technical details or any data, just “test”. What’s that supposed to mean? Did anyone order a bebook on mybebook.com? Because that is about the only page that ships to germany (my location), or is there any other page where I can order a bebook? I also found pixmania, but I read several bad reviews on this site so I don’t plan on ordering it there. Has anyone a tip for me?
    Thanks

  26. I “solved” the problem. For some reason the page isn’t displayed correctly when the wrong encoding is activated, and my location is germany. But it’s still very strange. But, never mind.

  27. Hello once again.. didn’t see that the reviewer put down his email already, sorry!…. but, feel free to put my email down as well;).. j/k.. or maybe not:)
    Thanks for the great review Pookey,

    Doug

  28. Can you display documents in 24 points.

    1. For example a Word document formated with test in 24 point.
    2. An existing mobi pocket book with DRM.

    This is needed for people that are visually impared and need large text.

    Sasha

  29. Hi, just a tip:
    you can also enter “IFA2008” as coupon code to save 25 bucks.
    Cause what everybody seems to hide here, is that when 10 people (i believe it was, or something like that) enter the email of someone else, he/she gets a bebook for free. I think that’s a little unfair, cause others pay a high price for their bebook and then others who just wrote their email down here should get a free bebook for nothing?? Really…
    Use “IFA2008” instead!!!

  30. What I like most? It’s simply for reading! (Ok, and listening to music) But not a phone, not for navigating, you don’t kill the buttons by gaming, it doesn’t make pizza, it doesn’t fly and if it’s kaput, you only can’t read. Great!

  31. I do mention it – if you notice there’s ** next to the coupon code, with an explanation at the bottom of the post. I don’t think it’s totally unfair for my to push my voucher code which benefits other customers when I’ve put the time and effort into writing a review I hope others find useful. If this review wasn’t useful to you, by all means use a different code – in fact, I’ve had my 10 so it doesn’t mean much to me really. I do find it somewhat insulting that you take this attitude though, when I’ve been frank about the use of the code, and spend time to create the review.

  32. You’re right, it might have sounded a little cocky. But I can assure you I didn’t mean you. I meant the others who just write down their emails in the comments.

  33. I just got my bebook, but some of the PDFs I have are too small to read even at the largest font size.

    Any ideas what I can do?

    Thanks in advance

  34. ladies and gentlemen,

    one more question: is Bebook now supporting Mobipocket ?

    Des anyone know where to purchase Bebook in Germany ?

    Thanks in advance!

  35. Thanks for great review. I got two questions concerning BeBook:
    1. how does the situation with national characters (not present in English language) look like? In one review I read that reader has support for other languages – I am particulary interested in Polish – but it would be nice to know from the real user.
    2. next version of BB is supposed to have RSS. But is it possible to read RSS feeds in this version transferred from Mobipocket Reader installed on PC? On Mobipocket site is stated that feeds can be read on any mobile device. Have you tried this?

  36. if you want, email me a sample doc and i’ll test it. I know it can do one of the languages of china, so I imagine it would be fine. As for RSS, that method is exactly how it works.

  37. Hello Ian,
    Thanks for such a helpful review. I was going to go for the eBookwise 1150 (formerly the Gemstar 1150), but I would have to buy adapters to enable it to work correctly in the UK. One advantage of the eBookwise 1150 model is that it has a built in dictionary; you can get definitions of any word in any book simply by tapping on the word. Does the BeBook have this facility? Thanks, Siân.

  38. excellent review. I bought the Sony 505 (trusted company) however very disapointed so much so that I took it back, will be getting this one instead, the Sony is a false economy, why pay for books when u can get thousands free! Beauty is skin deep…. The Sony 505 proves it!

  39. hi
    Greetings to you from Egypt
    In fact I am seriously thinking to buy this product
    But I have two questions
    1 – Is BeBook read the colored pdf, such as this file 2 – Do you took one BeBook free or get your money back?
    In BeBook forum, they say you are king of sales and through you were sold a 40 ..so, Do you got your money back or taken free BeBook?

  40. Hi Everyone,

    Just wanted to say the BeBook is fantastic and well worth the money. I’ve had no trouble with their customer service and as has been mentioned the team from Endless Ideas seem really happy and eager to implement ideas to make it even better.

    If you want a 25 Euro discount, feel free to enter my email address in the coupon field of the order screen……..

    [email protected]

    Cheers,
    Adam

  41. After reading your reviews I decided to purchase a bebook. I ordered one on the 20th September (2008) but it still has not arrived (I live in Australia). I have contacted the company several times and they say they will send it but after nearly 3 months it still has not arrived. Has anyone else experienced these problems?

  42. You are reading similar content to that which I wish to read. Mainly technical PDFs files that will incorporate both text and images. Why did you choose BeBook over say iRex Iliad? It certainly seems like you’re happy with yours and hence you’ve caught my interest.

  43. Do you have any screenshots showing any of the technical ebooks (java etc) that you read? I’d like to see how those format.

  44. Well I tried to purchase this using the email code above but Paypal keeps giving me an error message to try again. I tried about 5x using different emails but still wouldn’t budge. Don’t know if this is a Paypal issue or BeBook coupon issue. I ended up not buying it.

  45. Hi there Ian, and thanks for the review… it goes a long way towards me making a final descision for which ebook reader I’ll go for.
    I was wondering if you knew what the biggest size of SD card the Bebook can take? or can it take any size? (I ask this question because some other products I have bought in the past had a maximum size for SD cards that they could read)
    Thanks.

  46. Thanks for the review; I am a developer as well so the ability to render technical books in PDF is very important, and in that aspect looks like Bebook is the way to go. If I really buy it I will make sure to use your referral code 🙂

  47. Thanks for the great review. I am looking for an ebook reader since some time, and at the beginning, I thought it should be the Sony 505. But after some more reading, I saw, that the 505 wasn’t what I wanted, so I kept on searching, until I found the Bebook. Your review really helped me a lot

    However, I have one question left: I heard, that the Sony 505 is very slow, when it comes to turning a page. Afaik, it takes a few seconds to turn a page, and if there are more then 800 pages, it can take up to 10 seconds.

    So how fast is the Bebook, when it comes to turning the pages ? Especially on big ebooks ?

  48. Someone from BeBook recently contacted me asking if I’d mind putting something up about their new luxury case. I agreed to do this not because they are paying me to (which they are not), but because my review of the bebook has helped a lot of people

  49. Jochen, I have a BeBook so I can help with your question: from my experience file size does not affect the time it takes to turn pages. What may affect is how complex the page is (e.g. PDFs with complex layout, lots of images etc) but all in all the BeBook is pretty consistent, taking a second or so to render a page.

  50. Question: Can one easily get the latest novels to download for the BeBook? I want to buy one for my wife who reads a book a day on holiday and this will save on checked luggage! I am not in the market for free Agatha Christies from the 1960’s etc. Which websites sell the new releases and can the Be Book read all formats?
    Many thanks

  51. Nigel, I don’t have a Bebook yet, but I know, from all the ebook-readers, the Bebook is probably the one, that can read the most formats (that’s why I want one). On their website I found this list: pdf, mobi, prc, epub, lit, txt, fb2, doc, html, rtf, djvu, wol, ppt, mbp, chm, bmp, jpg, png, gif, tif, rar, zip, mp3

    I am also just a novice when it comes to ebooks, but as far as I know, most booksellers use formats like pfd, mobi and epub, so the Bebook can read them all. I don’t know how the Bebook handles DRM (but I hope they stop using it like they did on mp3). But I can’t recomment you a certain book store. Not unless you are searching for a german one. Sorry

  52. Thank you Jochen. Is the Sony format included in the list you gave? The reason I ask is that I undertand that Waterstones (the biggest book seller in the UK) seems to have a good list of quite up to date titles. However they have teamed up with Sony and I am concerned that although theyhave a good selection of ebooks they may all be Sony format only – so does the Be Book read the Sony format?
    Many thanks,
    igel

  53. I searched a little bit around and on Waterstones website, I found this:

    “eBooks sold on Waterstones.com are currently in the epub format, which is compatible with the Reader from Sony. Please be aware, however, that the epub format may not be compatible with the other readers available on the market.”

    So Bebook can read epub, but I don’t know if it can handle DRM. However, I also don’t know if Waterstones uses DRM (but since they are with Sony, I would guess they do)

  54. Thank you again, Jochen.
    So just to be clear, the Be Book can read the Sonny format which is Epub and this is the format that Waterstones sell. Sony “add” DRM to the ebook to stop the ebook being pirated / copied free to anther ebook reader. Does the DRM get added from the Sony ereader when you download the ebook? If this is so, then the DRM will not be on the ebook at source at Waterstone and hence will be readable by the BeBook. If however, Waterstones add the DRM for Sony, then would this actually stop the Be Book reading it? DRM is just an antipiracy addition isn’t t?
    Thanks,
    Nigel

  55. I gotta say, I don’t know much about DRM, especially when it comes to Sony. I don’t know when and how they do add DRM.

    From what I saw on Waterstones website, I guess you can use other ebook readers, as long as they can handle DRM. Maybe you should contact Waterstones. Or, you can contact the makers of the Bebook.

  56. Does anyone in the UK know if the DRM can be stripped from ebooks bought from Waterstones and WH Smith.
    I know it’s illegal to do, but thanks to the stupidity of British law, it’s not illegal to ask or show how!!

  57. BeBook have sent me exclusive pictures of the new “BeBook 2”. The new device seems to be a significant improvement over the first BeBook. For those of you who were holding off from buying ebook readers, afraid to buy first generation devices, pe

  58. Hi Jochen, I can only say that my BeBook is as fast as I could wish.The delay is not more than a half a second.

  59. Hi Ian, Thanks for the review and the othe folks comments have certainly helped explain a few things for me……..but before I buy, Have you any info about when the new wifi version will be available and how much it will cost? I emailed BeBook with this same question last Saturday but to date have not had a reply. It is Thursday afternoon (just)in Oz. I am more than happy to quote your email when I order, however, I am teetering on the edge re the new version.
    Cheers
    Roger

  60. Roger, sometime in the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2009, they will release BeBook 2. This one will have a touchscreen and wifi/3G connection. But they also announced an updated version of BeBook 1 with wifi.

    However, right now, there aren’t much details known, so I don’t know if you should wait for the BeBook 2 or get the BeBook 1 right now.

    Personally, I wait a little more, until I hear more details about BeBook 2 before I make my decision.

  61. Thanks Jochen, I think I will buy the current version and then upgrade in the future when they hopefully catch up to the Fujitsu latest technology…..They released this month but in Japan only at present, the first Colour ebook reader, touchscreen,WiFi etc.,like the Kindle 2 so I guess it will all happen eventually………Hope I live long enough!!!!!!!! Cheers Roger

  62. a colour ebook reader ? wow, that is cool. I knew, they were working on coloured e-paper, but I didn’t know that they already got so far and use it in an ebook reader.

    However, I think unless you read comics or magazines, colour may not be that important (but I could be wrong)

  63. Gret review, thanks. My mum has one of these and loves it. I’m really tempted to buy one, as I am a prolific reader and am going overseas long term. It would be nice to be able to take all my books with me in my handbag.
    For all those asking about buying novels, a couple of the websites my mum uses are http://www.booksonboard.com and http://www.ebookcrescent.com both sell books in mobipocket format as well as other formats. New releases seem to be at the same time as the hardcover/paperback release. Prices are in US$ and generally a paperback would cost approx US$6.99

  64. Just to set the record straight, the Sony’s no slower at turning pages than other eInk Readers in normal use, i.e. sub-second. To be fair, you can create books that are slower, by embedding your own fonts when creating them, but normal books are fine.

  65. Contemplating buying the bebook after a rather nasty experience with the cybook from bookeen. I was wondering if any of you have had any problems using the bebook. If yes, what sort of problems especially with freezing and all.
    Thanks

  66. I have had the BeBook crash a few times when reading a PDF, and it’s CHM support isn’t so great. It is however perfectly usable.
    I just got back from holiday, and the BeBook survived a week in the hot sun on a sandy beech – and I was very pleased to not have to carry around heavy computer books!
    The BeBook company seem to be reasonably active in terms of pushing out new software, and there’s the OpenInkPot project who also write software for it. Unfortunately I’ve not tried other ebook brands , but I do know I’m still pleased I brought my BeBook.

  67. I have had the BeBook crash a few times when reading a PDF, and it’s CHM support isn’t so great. It is however perfectly usable.
    I just got back from holiday, and the BeBook survived a week in the hot sun on a sandy beech – and I was very pleased to not have to carry around heavy computer books!
    The BeBook company seem to be reasonably active in terms of pushing out new software, and there’s the OpenInkPot project who also write software for it. Unfortunately I’ve not tried other ebook brands , but I do know I’m still pleased I brought my BeBook.

  68. It says that the bebook supports jpg images. I would like to get an ebook reader to read public domain children’s novels, and some have illustrations. Do the graphics look okay on the bebook? I know they don’t do color. I just want to know the quality of the black/white graphics.

  69. Thanks for all the info. I waded through most of the discussion but couldn’t find details on amount of external memory (SD CARD). Understanding this depends on number of address lines available, can someone tell me what the maximum internal and exteranl storage capability of the BEBOOK’s are?

    Thanks

  70. –quote–
    excellent review. I bought the Sony 505 (trusted company) however very disapointed so much so that I took it back, will be getting this one instead, the Sony is a false economy, why pay for books when u can get thousands free! Beauty is skin deep…. The Sony 505 proves it!
    –quote–

    Absolutely false statement.
    Although Sony initially aimed to the bookshop (similar to Itunes for Ipod), you CAN upload any books you want from any source, just in appropriate format – simple converters available.
    I am happy with Sony, and did not buy any book for it – all for free.

  71. Hi,

    Thanks for the nice detailed overview of BeBook. Coming from the technical background, I wonder how does BeBook display source code in pdf files?

    Joann

  72. Hi, I got my copy of BeBook today. Some of the pages have very small sized fonts. Can anyone tell me what can I do for it?? Because these fonts are so small I am not able to read it. Is it my software problem or anyone else faced this kind of problem??

  73. I’ve recently got a BeBook Mini, and thought I’d take a little time to upload some pictures and write a few words. The BeBook Mini comes in an nice blue box, as seen here: Please excuse the far from perfect pictures – I don’t own a digital camera

  74. Hi,

    Thanks for the great review. I think the bebook is the way I’ll go. Just two questions – if you don’t travel with a laptop (boy am I sooo over that!) I assume the only way to download new ebooks or newspapers/ periodicals to a bebook is from an internet cafe? Or is there some other way? (Sorry if thats a dumb question). And is there any news on how far away the wireless Bebook 2 might be? I must admit thats the only thing it doesn’t have that i would really like – otherwise it seems to be the best ereader around – particularly for us in Australia who seem to be starved of e-reader options. Thanks again, Catherine.

  75. Hi Catherine,

    Thanks for your comment. You’re right in that if you don’t have a laptop, you’ll need to pop into an internet cafe. But, because the BeBook presents itself as ‘USB Mass Storage’ , no special drivers are required, and it should ‘just work’.

    Also, it takes a SD card, and some computers can read those, so you’d not even need to plug in your BeBook. 512MB is a huge amount of storage when it comes to text though, so you should just be able to load up an entire collection of books, and not need to download any whilst on the move.

    You might want to check out the bebook mini too, have a look at my latest blog post for that.

    The BeBook 2 was launched yesterday (see my blog post about bebook 2 too! 🙂 ) I’m not sure when it’s actually going to be out for sale though….

  76. Definitely not from Amazon, they only sell e-books for the Kindle. I’m not sure about the Sony store, but I doubt it. You can buy from most of the other e-book stores on the web.

  77. i am thinking to buy this gadget for myself. does anybody knows how good is this gadget with complicated and large pdf files? i want it for medical books mainly pdf and chm formats.
    does any body know if the new version of bebook is coming soon?

  78. Hi Ian,
    We are looking at using the Bebook for pdf technical manuals. However, our manuals use hyperlinks so you can click on Spares in the Contents page and it jumps you directly to the Spares section. Do you know if Bebook supports pdf hyperlinks?
    Mike.

  79. Hi Ian,

    COuld you capture some screen shot for network diagram? especailly from Cisco book. Much Thanks!!!!

  80. Im a heavy reader and an avid techie. And I’m still looking for a better EBook Reader. The Current Ebook I have (Sony PSR-300) is being pounded with excessive use from me and my sister.

    Hopefully BeBook would be the right product for me after reading this blog

  81. Great review, it really helped me with some questions I had about the Bebook in particular. I think I will get one in the end. So I just wanted to say that this review is still helpful to people!

  82. I have been trying to find an instruction book or website for the Hanlens BEBook without success. Any help would be appreciated

  83. Quite useful review thanks! Basically I was looking for some quick solution for ePub to Sony conversion and found this post. I won’t mind using even a basic eReader but it should be having all the basic features and user friendly interface too. Any suggestion guys?

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