Feeds

Next-gen e-book readers to slim down

Fatty Kindle already desperately unfashionable

The Power of One Infographic

Within weeks of Amazon's announcement that its Kindle e-book reader was supersizing to focus on documents and textbooks, two companies have announced cut-down e-book readers better suited to beach reading than perusing the Wall Street Journal.

British company C*oler Books [sic] will be launching their Cool-er reader on 27 May, while French CyBook has revealed its intention to launch the CyBook Opus in June this year, both devices offering e-ink displays but little else in packages designed to be more portable than ever.

C*oler's device is a diminutive 183 x 117mm and a shade over 10mm thick, which compares to the Kindle's current 203 x 135mm with similar thickness though both devices have the same sized screen. The Cool-er is considerably cheaper than the Kindle, though if you're in the US* you can pick up an old-model Kindle for a price comparable to the £200 C*oler is asking. The Sony Reader is marginally fatter and shorter for slightly more money (£260), but similarly bereft of features.

Cool-er readers

While Amazon's Kindle has a keyboard, speakers and a 3G telephone built into it, and even Sony's reader will happily play back MP3s, the next-generation e-book readers are just that - designed to read books and PDF documents, and do nothing else.

CyBooks' newly announced Opus boasts a higher resolution (200dpi) and one-handed operation, as well as being "pocket sized", rather than offering text-to-speech, magazine subscriptions or any of the accompanying fluff. We don't know what that's going to cost, though, nor precisely how big the containing pocket needs to be as yet.

CyBook Opus

We've said before that it makes sense to split e-book readers into larger devices aimed at document reading and smaller screens more suited to in-bed consumption, with the latter category having no need for a touch screens or keyboards. But while an enthusiast might shell out £400 for a Linux-based Wi-Fi e-ink tablet like the iRex, it remains to be seen if a holidaymaker will pay £200 to get at the core functionality. ®

*The Kindle is tied to Sprint's mobile phone network, so won't work outside the USA for the foreseeable future.

Group Test... e-book readers

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.