Feeds
80%
Bookeen Cybook Odyssey e-book reader

Bookeen Cybook Odyssey e-book reader

The one with the animated E Ink screen

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Review

Amazon's brutal drive to bring down the price of e-book readers to 89 quid has made buying one of these gadgets easy. If you're disinterested in e-book DRM formats – they're all bad, IMHO – there's little reason not to opt for this cheapest-of-the-lot model.

I'd like to be able to say the Cybook Odyssey, from French e-reader pioneer Bookeen, changes that, but despite what seems at first to be an interesting innovation – animation on an e-ink screen – it doesn't.

Bookeen Cybook Odyssey e-book reader

Don't assume that that verdict means I'm dismissing the Odyssey as an inferior product, because it most definitely isn't. It's slightly bigger, thicker and heavier than the latest Kindle, but that brings you a more solid body with a metal back and a metal-look plastic face that give the Odyssey a higher quality feel.

The back panel is rimmed with a matte plastic border and so is the 6in E Ink Pearl display. Both strips give you a little extra grip when you're holding the reader one-handed.

My only gripe with the Odyssey's ergonomic design is the power key – a tiny, spring-loaded slider on the bottom edge that needs a fingernail to push it. Bad news for folk like me who bite theirs, ahem.

Bookeen Cybook Odyssey e-book reader

I was also turned off by the Odyssey's touchscreen and accelerometers, technologies taken from the tablet world. Here, I found it too easy to catch the screen with my thumb and trigger an unwanted page turn. The Odyssey has page turn keys; as someone who holds readers in one hand, I'm happy using those.

But the touchscreen is good for keying in Wi-Fi passwords, browser URLs and bookshop searches. It's much more efficient to use than the non-touch Kindle's cursor keys, though keying in text is still a slow process.

I'd have liked to be able to turn off the touchscreen for page turns, but you can't. You can turn off the accelerometer, implemented to detect device rotations and to reformat the contents of the screen accordingly. Except even with the darn thing disabled, the screen would still slowly switch sometimes.

Bookeen Cybook Odyssey e-book reader specs

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Touch too much

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.