Those hungry for an electronic literary fix now have more choice than ever when it comes to choosing an ebook reader. Thewas followed last year by the and then the . Now Dutch company Endless Ideas has brought its BeBook to these shores.
Priced at around £230, the BeBook is slightly more expensive than the impressive PRS-505, but is it the better device?
Nobody wants to carry a chunky lump of a device around with them just to read some digital novels, so, thankfully, the BeBook is relatively small and compact. It's only slightly taller and wider than half an average-sized magazine and, as it tips the scales at just 220g, it's light enough to slip into a bag without feeling like you're carrying around the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Like all other ebooks on the market at the moment, the BeBook uses an e-ink display. This has a resolution of 600x800 pixels, produces sharp-looking text and can render pictures using four shades of grey. This type of display is very different to a standard LCD screen. It doesn't use a backlight and produces a very high-contrast image that's rock-steady and very easy on the eye. In fact, the BeBook's display is almost as readable as a normal book, even for very long periods of time.
The BeBook supports multiple fonts. In most formats besides PDF, you can quickly swap fonts while you're reading. You can also use three levels of zoom to increase and decrease the size of text and graphics on the page. With most, but not all, documents, the BeBook reflows the text to suit the new level of magnification.
In our experience, the BeBook is better at handling PDF files than the PRS-505 and it also supports a broader range of formats, including Mobi, PRC, ePub and LIT.
The 512MB of on-board memory may not sound like much, but, as most ebooks are quite small files, it allows you to store plenty of documents. The reader also has an SD card slot that can take cards of up to 4GB in size, so it's doubtful that you'll run out of reading material when you're on the move.