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

High performance access to file storage

Touch too much

The reason: there's also a rotate gesture detectable by the touchscreen, and it's easy to catch the panel in such a way that it thinks you want it to pivot the screen even when you don't. Or maybe it's just a bug, like the way an opened book sometimes displays in bold text, even though it's not set to do so.

Another touchscreen gesture is drag-to-scroll, which comes into play with the Odyssey's Settings and other menus. This is the reader's key innovation: an e-ink screen that can do animation.


Bookeen has got E Ink Pearl screens to do animation

Yes, it's a regular Pearl panel, but Bookeen boffinry allows it to update often enough to permit low-framerate animation. But that's all – don't expect to watch video on it, even if you didn't mind viewing monochrome content.

That means Bookeen has to reserve the tech for said menus, which slide after a second's lag from the moment you touch the screen; for a zooming book cover that appears every time you open a book; and for an intro graphic when you power the reader up.

Hats off to Bookeen for getting this to work, but it's a gimmick. It doesn't improve the user experience. If anything, it gets in the way.

Bookeen Cybook Odyssey screenshot Bookeen Cybook Odyssey screenshot

The Odyssey's main menu (left) and its browser in action (right)

Otherwise, the Odyssey is a very decent ePub-oriented e-book reader. It's compact and pocketable, comfortable to hold, and supports as broad an array of formats as any device can until Apple and Amazon both let other gadgets work with their DRM code.

The Odyssey's UI is attractive, though I'd like different media types to have separate sections – or at least the option to do so – and to have a basic list view of the content loaded on the device. Its web browser is serviceable, but lacks both Flash and HTML 5 support.

Verdict

RH Recommended Medal

Ignore the Cybook Odyssey's unneeded animation ability and you're still left with a decent e-book reader. Its 2GB of storage is sufficient for the library of anyone who isn't a compulsive file-hoarder, and if you are, there's a Micro SD slot to add 32GB. I found myself turning against the touchscreen, but I know a lot of e-book buffs like this feature so it's good to see here.

If you're an Amazon-phobe, this £129 reader is a worthy alternative to equally ePub-inclined PRS-T1 from Sony, but the WHSmith-sold Kobo Touch is cheaper. ®

More e-Reader Reviews

Kobo Vox Amazon
Kindle Fire
Kobo Touch Amazon
Kindle 4
Bookeen Cybook
Orizon

High performance access to file storage

80%
Bookeen Cybook Odyssey e-book reader

Bookeen Cybook Odyssey e-book reader

Compact e-book reader with ePub support and an animation-capable E Ink display.
Price: £129 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect: Pocket Android desktop
Ultrathin client with a lot of baggage. The upside? It's a rogue sysadmin's delight
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.