The Good Great screen; cheaper than its rivals; small and light.
The Bad Non-standard headphone socket; flat menu structure.
The Bottom Line The Cybook impresses with its relatively low price and great quality screen. There's room for improvement, however, as the eBook navigation and library functionality are not as good as those of its rivals
Bookeen Cybook Gen3
Like Coronation Street, books have remained remarkably untouched by the march of modern technology. There's been a spate of ebook readers hitting the market recently, however, so perhaps the humble book is ready for a 21st century upgrade. French company Bookeen certainly thinks so with this, the third generation of its Cybook ebook, which is available from Pixmania for £269.
We know what you're thinking: why on Earth would you want to read a book on a computer screen? It's enough to irritate your eyes just thinking about it. But like many of the screens on the latest ebooks, the one on the Cybook uses a technology called e-Ink, which is specially designed to be easy on your eyes. Unlike a normal computer screen, it doesn't flicker or use a backlight. Instead you get a screen that shows rock-steady, high-contrast, black-and-white images with four levels of greyscale at a resolution of up to 600x800 pixels. In fact, we'd go so far as to say that the results are as readable as a standard printed book.
The device itself is a little smaller than an A5 page and incredibly thin and light. It's certainly small enough to bung in a document holder or a rucksack without taking up too much space. Controls are relatively sparse. There's an on/off switch at the top and four buttons on the right-hand edge, but most of the menu functions are controlled via the four-way d-pad at the front.