BeBook Ebook Reader Hands On Review

by Ebook Doctor on October 25, 2008

bebook ebook reader

bebook ebook reader

We have recently received our copy of the BeBook ebook reader, and we have been pretty impressed so far.
The Dutch based BeBook has some stiff competition in the UK, especially from the new Sony Ebook reader which is currently available from Waterstones for only £224 here.

So whats so great about the BeBook ereader? Well, from the outset, the device looks quite good, its much better looking than the Amazon Kindle, and has an impressive battery life of around 7,000 page turns, a 6 inch reflective screen mimicking paper, and a light weight of around 220g with its battery.
At the moment, BeBook are offering 150 classic books free, which come preloaded at purchase. You can then download any book listed on the website free of charge, which currently has over 20,000 classic titles available!

BeBook are really trying to go for the open source angle, and have made their ebook reader compatible with a myriad of ebook formats and any file type you can imagine, including PDF, DOC, EPUB, PPT, TXT, HTML, RTF, BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF, DJVU, FB2, WOL, CHM, RAR, ZIP, MP3 and even Microsoft LIT. It also features the longest battery life of any of the current models and has an in-built 512MB memory, which is more than enough to hold 1000 books. This means you can actually load up pretty much any ebook out there, including pirated pdf ebooks…(not that we would condone such a thing!)

In terms of anti-piracy, BeBook says that each device has a unique key, which can  be used to identify any copyright-infringing users that are using illegally obtained ebooks from torrent and usenet sites. I’m not too sure how this can work, but it sounds like a way of protecting themselves from a potential onslaught of legal cases, whether this feature really works or not.

bebook ebook reader review

bebook ebook reader review

Similar to the other leading e-ink readers on the market, it’s also easy to read in direct sunlight, but as the device is not backlit, you will need a reading light for night reading.
The BeBook also comes with a great RSS which can update aall of your favourite news feeds from your PC first thing in a morning and you can browse the news on the way to work. This beats having to go though the Metro or a broadsheet at 8am in a crowded underground. This is a real plus point that the BeBook has over Sony’s Reader, which can’t currently handle RSS feeds.

Also as of August the BeBook  supports the Mobipocket DRMformat, one of the most prolific e- book publisher formats in the world, so it promises to have plenty of titles available for it.

Pricewise, The BeBook is retailing for £199, which is £25 cheaper than the £224  Sony Ebook reader, and comes with a large library of free ebooks so will come out cheaper in the long term.

Bebook have kindly provided us with a discount code which enables you to save €25 off your purchase,  click here to get your BeBook for only £180 by quoting our voucher code:  [email protected] at checkout.

Some people might prefer the Sony Ebook reader because it’s a Sony product, but if you are keen on reading your rss feeds in the morning, and like to read your own pdf and txt ebooks, this is a great choice – Plus it comes with over 20,000 free ebooks to download from the BeBook library. So don’t delay, get one in time for Christmas!

You can find the BeBook here. And don’t forget to use our voucher code “[email protected]” to save €25 / £25.

Also check out this video of the Gadget show reviewing the Bebook ebook reader:

Edit: The video was taken before August when the device didn’t have the Mobi Pocket format compatibility. Also as of August the BeBook  supports the Mobipocket DRM format, one of the most prolific e- book publisher formats in the world, so it now has plenty of modern titles available for it.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Adam 11.06.08 at 1:26 am

Have you actually tried loading any pdf files that may be subject to copyright? Do they work? Were you able to read them?

2 Ann 12.11.08 at 12:25 am

The Bebook is definitely the way to go with e-book readers. It supports a number of formats and is easy to use.

A word of caution though for e-readers in general the screen is extremely sensitive. I’ve only had mine ~ 6 weeks and the screen has fragmented so its now unusable. I was taking good care of it too! Endless ideas says that this is not covered by the warranty despite them claiming they offer a ‘full 1 year warranty….which covers normal use’.

Hopefully someone is working on producing a more robust screen. I can’t afford to get mine repaired particularly if it is going to break even when being treated with kid gloves!

I like the concept but clearly more work needs to be done.

3 Leanne Carpenter 12.17.08 at 8:36 pm

This is a brilliant review – I’ve just bought a bebook for my husband for christmas and feel I’ve made a good choice as a result of the info here. It looks to be the best ebook reader around! Happy reading xx

4 howard riley 01.03.09 at 11:42 pm

I have a disabled daughter who finds it difficult to hold a book and turn the pages with ease.
I think that this could help in her enjoying books more ,the only problem we have in buying on buying one is shops are reluctant to open the packageing ?
So we are looking at the different models on the market via the packages.
Not very impressed at support for my daughter

5 matt hankins 01.11.09 at 11:46 am

this is a good product. I have had one for a couple of months,but bought it from,who sell it under their own brand.
Very happy with product and service.

6 Ray 03.30.09 at 12:10 pm

We are interested in purchasing an ebook , but are unable to find a supplier in Queensland Australia .
Are you able to assist , many thanks Ray

7 nathan billing 06.23.09 at 11:46 am

As a scientist i frequently download journals to read or resarch in PDF format. This is normally 8.5 x 11 inch format.

Out of the Bebook, Bookeen and Sony devices which one enables you to read these articles with the least amount of drama resizing etc??

Your tips advice would be appreciated.

8 chris 08.28.09 at 5:48 pm

This device looks great. I have the kindle 2 and I love it, but I might give this a try.

9 bret 09.22.09 at 6:45 pm

it seems to be a great product, thanks for the review.

10 Lorraine 12.04.09 at 6:16 pm

Does anyone have any more comments about Ann’s review, copied below? I find this a little worrying as I’m thinking of buying this item, however, this comment does put me off.
A word of caution though for e-readers in general the screen is extremely sensitive. I’ve only had mine ~ 6 weeks and the screen has fragmented so its now unusable.

11 Julia Royce 02.02.10 at 2:02 pm

I think you could mention how easily the screen ‘breaks’ (dreaded barcodes) and how much it costs to replace one. Mine had hardly been used before the screen broke – no knocks, bumps or drops – it was so new to me that I was taking GREAT care with it. I am just waiting until I’ve saved enough to replace the screen, and then I’ll have almost enough to buy a new e-reader. Hmmmm. Tough choice.

12 ken 06.08.10 at 11:04 am

does anyone have a response to Nathan’s question (7)? It’s precisely what’s on my mind as well.

13 Nancy 07.14.10 at 7:24 pm

I want to purchase this, but will wait till the screen is improved and the cost comes down.

14 Patricia 09.03.10 at 11:19 am

Nathan, I had a Sony PRS 505 but got totally fed up with it because of the way re-formatting in order to get a bigger text size broke up the whole presentation, and turned it into extra pages, some containing only one or two words. The resulting navigation was a nightmare where page numbers became meaningless, and sometimes sent me right back to the beginning. And this was happening with full-priced downloaded books, including best sellers.

I think the problem is the original formatting of the text, where the return key is often used to end a line instead of being reserved for paragraphs.

I would guess that the answer to your question is that if the original text has been formatted correctly, then it should re-format without problems. Embedded diagrams and graphics? No idea. My reader did not have sideways scrolling.

The e-Book Reader text-size adjustment feature is a great idea, but there is no accompanying facility for providing correct text re-formatting and page numbering. I am not inclined to buy another until the problem has been solved.

Good Luck!

15 Steve Cranston 09.19.10 at 1:55 pm

Broken screen after 6 weeks, a nightmare.
Could have bought two Kindles for the price of a Bebook.

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