I’m not sure what happened to the BeBook 2; it was taken to trade shows, and I’ve seen photos of it, but it appears Endless Ideas (the company that make the BeBooks) have decided not to go down that route. Instead, it appears there’s a new device being released – BeBook have announced the BeBook Neo!
The BeBook Neo is a rebranded Onyx Boox – I imagine Endless Ideas will be putting their own modifications into the firmware to add features. Onyx make it clear they are just creating the device, and leaving others to provide the value-add by providing content, which I imagine is where BeBook fit in. The Onyx Boox was shown off at CES 2010, and does look quite impressive. I found a video of it being demonstrated. from a post on armdevices.net
The Neo has a built in web browser based on WebKit, allowing you to browse the web over the built in WiFi. The WiFi has a kill switch to cut down on power usage when it’s not in use. There is also 3G support in the device, so I expect it could be used for buying content on the move.
The screen is a 6″ display, just like the BeBook One, however this version has a WACOM display, meaning that you can draw on it with a stylus. You will not be able to use your fingers – I can only hope the box comes with at least one spare stylus!
An RSS browser is promised soon, which will be great for catching up with the latest news in the mornings on the way to work.
There is a 3.5mm headphone socket, so standard headphones can be used with it. The battery life will vary a lot based on your usage – just flipping pages you can expect 7000-8000 page turns, using the touch screen, audio or wifi will reduce this.
PDF reflow is supported, meaning that PDF documents will be re-rendered onto the screen when you zoom in to make the best usage of the screen. CHM support is claimed, although I’d be interesting to see if this is less buggy then it appeared to be in the original BeBook for me.
The processor is faster in this new reader too, although I personally never really found the speed of the original BeBook being much of an issue.
BeBook have also filmed their own videos of the Neo, and they are available on their site. This is the first of the 3 videos, which demonstrates the use of an on-screen keyboard for searching, the web browser, and scaling of content.
Have a look at my previous posts about the BeBook: