The Cybook Opus would have to be the cutest e-reader we've ever reviewed. It has a rounded, glossy case in metallic plastic in a variety of cheerful colours (even the black manages to look less sombre) and a compact size. One of the smaller e-readers on the Australian market, it measures a screen size of just 5 inches and clocks in at the lightest weight for an E Ink reader in Australia at just 150g — although it's still a little physically bigger than its closest competitor, the.
Buttons the same colour as the chassis are arranged neatly around the face: a nav pad and menu and home buttons along the bottom, and two long, thin buttons down the right-hand side of the screen for turning pages. These are actually quite nicely placed for thumb navigation, and can even be used comfortably with the left hand thanks to the Opus' accelerometer. This allows you to orient the screen by turning the device.
While a plastic chassis shaves five grams off the weight of the Sony Pocket, though, it's not without problems. It can look cheap, especially since it scratches easily: if you pop the e-reader in a bag without a case, it's going to get scratched up. It probably will anyway, but the included slipcase will protect it to an extent.
Even though it's the same price as the Sony Reader Pocket Edition, the Opus is relatively light on features. It has, as mentioned, an accelerometer so that you can easily orient the screen position to whatever is most comfortable for you, and Go To page and bookmarking functions — which is good because it has a tendency to forget which page you were on when it shuts itself down.
Aside from that, it's lacking a few things; a built-in dictionary, for one, and audio support. There is also no search, and the sort functions of the device leave a little to be desired; you can only, for example, sort books by title, not author — this can be irksome if, for example, you're reading a series.
Of lesser concern are the absence of a search function and PDF reflow.
All of these absences can be worked around, but when devices that cost the same or less can manage to include them, one is forced to wonder wherein lays the difficulty.
We were really hoping the Cybook Opus would be it: the smaller company e-reader that could take on the big guys. Unfortunately, it displays too many problems.
First, the good. For an older model (the Opus was first released in Europe in 2009), it's really quite zippy, taking very little time to either boot up, load a book or turn a page. It can certainly hold its own in terms of processing speed against newer e-reader models.