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Interead Cool-er review: Interead Cool-er

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The Good Great screen; fast file transfers; good format support.

The Bad Sluggish performance; feels flimsy; annoying user interface.

The Bottom Line The Interead Cool-er has decent format support and a good screen, but it's outclassed in nearly every department by the Sony Reader PRS-505. As they cost roughly the same, it's hard to see why anyone would choose the Cool-er

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6.5 Overall

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The Cool-er ebook reader from UK start-up Interead is priced to compete directly with Sony's popular Reader PRS-505. The Cool-er is available for around £190 from Interead directly or from online retailers such as The question is: can the young upstart take on the might of Sony?

The Cool-er is similar in size to the PRS-505 and Bookeen's Cybook, which means it's slightly smaller than a sheet of A5 paper. As it's made of plastic, rather than the metal used on the PRS-505, it also feels remarkably light. At just 178g, it's unlikely to tip you over the hand-baggage allowance on a Ryanair or easyJet flight. The plasticky finish means it feels quite flimsy, however. We're not brimming with confidence that it'll stand up to too much abuse.

Like most other ebook readers on the market, the Cool-er uses an e-ink display. This type of high-contrast display is very different to the LCD displays used on laptops and mobile phones. For starters, it's monochrome, although it can display eight levels of grey, for showing photos and illustrations. More importantly, the image is rock-steady, so your eyes don't tire of looking at it, as they would if it was on an LCD screen. We'd go so far as to say the Cool-er's screen is on a par with the printed page in terms of readability.

The directional pad beneath the screen is the only option for navigation, so it can take a while to find your ebook if you have a large library

There's 1GB of memory on-board for storing books and documents, but you can also add additional storage via the SD card slot at the top.

As this with most ebook readers, you can change the size of the text -- there are eight different font sizes to choose from. There's also a button on the side so that you can quickly switch from portrait to landscape view.

A range of popular ebook and electronic document types are supported, including PDF, EPUB, FB2, RTF, TXT, HTML, PRC and JPG. We tried the reader with a range of formats, including TXT, PDF and JPG, and it performed without any problems.

There are thousands of free books available via Project Gutenberg, and Interead also has its own ebook store offering the latest titles, so you certainly shouldn't be stuck for things to read.

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