Bookeen Cybook Opus
Review While the Amazon Kindle’s appearance in the UK may help nudge the e-book reader closer to the mainstream, there are plenty of other devices to measure it against. Sony’s Reader variants are the best know, but Interead's oddly named Cool-er and iRex's DR1000S are also in the running. To that list we can now add Bookeen's latest, the Cybook Opus.
Bookeen's Cybook Opus: iPod inspired?
An e-book reader is only as good as the material it can hold. The Cybook Opus is compatible with both DRM and non-DRM Adobe PDF and ePUB files, DRM and non-DRM Mobipocket files, HTML, plain text, JPG, PNG and GIF file formats. The reader itself runs a Linux-derived OS.
There is a twist in the tail. You can’t have both Mobipocket and Adobe-compliant DRM files on the Opus at the same time thanks to so-called "legal reasons", so you’ll have to choose one or the other for your protected content.
The default is Adobe’s and if you want Mobipocket, Bookeen says you need to apply a firmware upgrade to the device. Firmware upgrades are only available after you register at the Bookeen website and give away your name, address and phone number. Having done this, we found a firmware upgrade for an earlier device, but not the Opus. Delving into the Bookeen blog, it became apparent that the appropriate firmware isn’t available yet. But it will be soon, says a post dated 27 August. Hmmm.
This means, for the moment, you're stuck with Adobe for DRM stuff. There are 200,000 titles available from the Bookeen's bookselling partner, BooksOnBoard.
not all PDFs are the same...
Some are properly designed from the ground up for reflow, many are not. And a good few are not even proper e-documents, they are just effectively just pictures taken by a scanner. Meaning on an e-reader PDFs may be great, poor or a bag o'shite. Not great.
Mobipocket - Jury's still out but I wouldn't be surprised if this dies as a multi-vendor format. Sony has gone e-Pub, giving that a huge boost which with Amazon's loving embrace may turn mobipocket into a kindle-only format.
And yes, these gizmos are not a like-for-like replacement of paper books or PDA/phone readers. But in their niche they are very handy. I'm going to New York so I spent last night loading 15 books onto my Sony. I don't fancy taking that many paperbacks in my hand luggage, or reading on PDA for six hours at a time.
Sony's reader software has the same limitation on support for different DRMs, and also comes with Adobe's as default - you cannot cohabit different DRM books on the same reader. Which is a bit shit to be honest.
@AC 15:49 You may have just been lucky with the types of PDF you've encountered. I have the same machine as you and the PDFs I've tried have been a very mixed bunch - some behave well but most look crap when zoomed, with line breaking all to pot and graphics illegible and ugly.
You've been robbed old son. For 220 quid (whsmith) you could've got the new Sony Touch. That is audio-enabled, allows user-generated bookmarks and notes, and is touchscreen. As for your "No ereader can read pdf unless it's small", that's nonsense too. The Sony Touch next to me will happily convert pdf to larger sized fonts without crappily zooming in on the page. I've read 15 full-length books in pdf, 3 in .txt, 4 .docs, an epub and there's no appreciable difference between the formats.
For the extra 25 quid I know what I'd rather have, and it wouldn't be some tacky plastic thing.