Cybook Opus review: Cybook Opus

Review Sections

We also like how lightweight it is; its 150g frame is super comfortable to hold for long reading sessions, and it's shaped well for one-handed operation.

Now for the not-so-good.

The accelerometer can be a little on the over-sensitive side; for example, lying in bed on your side will set it off; and it can be tricky to figure out how to turn it off if you're not savvy with device settings. The flip side of this is that once you're comfortable with the navigation, configuring the Opus to the most comfortable orientation for you — or putting it into landscape mode for PDFs — allows you to customise your device.

We also thought the screen quality varied. While most of the time it is clear, occasionally there would be washed-out areas, and significant ghosting is visible from time to time. It's also quite dark, with a relatively low contrast. While not enough to mar the experience to a great extent, it is clear that the Vizplex E Ink screen isn't on a par with other e-readers; even the Kobo, which is touted as the affordable choice, manages a better job.

The battery life is quite good: it can last a fortnight on full charge, although you do have to remember to hit the power button when you are done reading, otherwise the battery will drain. Because of the fast start-up time, this isn't really a problem, but if the battery drains, the Opus will forget which page you were up to. This can be worked around too: there's a Go To page function that allows you to estimate where you were and go directly to that page number; or you can bookmark every time you turn the device off; or you could just be more careful with keeping it charged. This one might be tricky, though: twice the battery drained dead in sleep mode.

By far the fiddliest thing was the navigation. While not quite as bad as the Orizon— there is a dedicated menu button and back button for getting around — it's not always intuitive. However, after a few days with the device, you should find yourself confident enough to get where you need to go. No, the biggest gripe is with the library itself; alas, you can't sort your books by author or skip to a certain letter of the alphabet, so if you want to read The Zombie Survival Guide, for example, you have to scroll through your entire library to get to it.

Again, there's a work-around: open the e-reader on your computer as external storage and put your ebook files into folders. It might get a bit fiddly, but it's preferable to scrolling through 30 pages of ebooks at the Opus' refresh rate.

Conclusion

Australia has long lagged behind the rest of the world in the ebook market and it's nice to see that we're starting to catch up. If you're looking for an alternative to the big cats, however, the Opus may be an option. It's still just not as good as the Sony Reader Pocket Edition or the Kobo, never mind the Kindle, which definitely give more bang for your buck.

The Cybook Opus is available in Australia from eReadersRus.