Battery life is also impressive, helped by the fact that the e-Ink screen only consumes power when it's actually refreshed -- it doesn't draw any power when showing a constant image. As such, Bookeen says that from a 5-hour charge of the battery is good for around 8,000 page turns. In day-to-day use this translates as around a week's worth of reading.
Our main gripe with the Cybook is to do with the controls. While the d-pad is relatively easy to use, it's not the most intuitive way to turn the pages of a book. We much preferred the flip bar used on the competing . Also, Bookeen has not included a way to flip forward multiple pages in one go. Instead you have to go page by page, which can be quite a slow process due to the inherent screen lag associated with the e-Ink display. It's also annoying that Bookeen has kitted the Cybook out with a non-standard 2.5mm headphone socket, rather than the more usual 3.5mm variety.
Another bugbear is the flat directory structure. When you go to the main library, all the books and documents are presented as a single folder -- you can't group together certain files into their own subfolder. The flat structure works fine when you've only got a few books loaded on the device, but when you start making use of the extra storage space provided by an SD card, it becomes quite annoying. This is because you end up having to scroll through lots of pages to find the book or documents you want to view.
The Cybook also lacks more advanced features found on devices such as the Iliad, such as support for Wi-Fi, RSS feeds and the ability to amend text using a stylus. Still, as the Iliad costs almost twice as much, we can forgive it these failings.
The Cybook is certainly not perfect. There's plenty of room for improvements when it comes to ebook navigation and the library functionality. We can forgive it some of these failings, however, as it has a significantly lower price than many of its rivals and the screen is wonderfully easy to read.
Edited by Nick Hide