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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 January 2009
First up is the font size. the largest it does is about 12 and it turns the page sideways for this size. This isn't good for people like me with eye sight problems, but all these machines no matter which make it is only goes up to size 12. But to look at the page is just like looking at a real book.

I buy a lot of ebook from fictionwise and I buy their multi format ones, as the bebook will read all the formats they sell. I admit it doesnt read the drm ones, but the drm ones I read on my laptop which is no big deal for me.

Now at the side of Sony's little machine, it seems cheaply made and not as elegant but at least you can get more than one format on it. I also love the Bebook forum, reading some threads on there helped me a lot, like how to change the font size on a pdf before uploading to your machine, as I converted a book to pdf and was shocked at how the writing was so tiny I couldn't read it....lol... so that problem was solved and I re-did it, to the size of 12 font.

The delivery from bitsub was less than 24 hours for me (WOW) I ordered Monday after 2pm and I got it 9.30 next morning. That is some service.

Yes it is like the Hanlin V3, and on the bebook forum it gives you links to the Hanlin forum for tips and tricks too.

I have it constantly on and it doesn't wear the battery down, the turning of the pages do that and it will last for 7,000 page turnings before it may need recharging. I have only had to reset once by pressing a little pin in the reset hole as it froze on a page, no biggie really.

I like it better than Sony reader for the battery alone, as you can buy these from anywhere, any Mobile Phone shop, Argos, Amazon etc. and so much cheaper than the Sony ones and easier to replace.

It is not heavy to carry around fits nice in my bag and it is not heavy for me to hold like a book can be, as I have arthritis this can be a problem at times for me, but no worries with my Bebook.

I couldn't bring myself to give it 5 stars for a few reasons and my main one is the price, I feel they aren't worth the price that any manufacturer charge for these machines and that includes Sony ones too and the other reason is, a back light should have been included on these machines. I was also disappointed that you have to charge with a computer via usb, so if you are on holiday and can't get to a comp to recharge it is either tough luck or you have to buy the power socket cable yourself, it should have been included with the kit, maybe then I might have been happier with the price. And living in the country I have to shop on line for the right connection for this and that is more expense I feel angry about.

After a week or so I came to the conclusion, 'However did I manage without this wonderful little gadget' I would be lost without it.
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on 11 January 2010
This is a nice bit of kit. I've only had mine a few weeks now, but I've had no problems with it.

Beware all the reviews here that are slagging it off: you'll see that they've over six months old; some of them a year old. Most of the problems that they complain about have been fixed in later revisions of the Bebook firmware, i.e:

* When you turn the device off and on again, it opens at the page where you were.
* When you switch from one book to another, and then back again, it always opens at the last page you were reading on that book.
* The reflow of text on PDFs has been improved, as another reviewer said. To be honest though, you'd be far better converting your PDFs to something like ePub before you transfer them over. Epub books read better and are much smaller than the eqivalent PDFs too. For the conversion and transfer management, you simply must install Calibre from [...] and not just for the Bebook, but for any eBook reader that you buy. Calibre also lets you set up newspapers to read offline. (Think AvantGo on the Palmpilot.) Best of all, the Calibre software is free, open source and runs on Linux, Mac and Windows.

Regular firmware updates is one reason that I went with Bebook, rather than the EcoReader (another rebadged Hanlin). The other main reason is, of course, the huge range of eBook formats that it will display.

A couple of admitted downers:
* The lack of a separate USB charger is a pain. However, you should be able to pick up a 3rd-party one quite cheaply. Also, you can use a Blackberry charger if you have one, or the USB-type charger that comes with latest iPods such as the Touch and the iPhone. (You just need to swap over the cable in the latter case).
* It's USB 1.1 instead of the much faster (and now standard) USB 2.0. To be honest though, the eBook files are so small that you don't actually notice this.
* It's only four shades of grey, instead of 8 or 16 shades that other readers, such as the Kindle, use. This makes no difference for reading text, but any pictures in your eBooks won't look so good.
* It's over-priced. But then, *all* eBook readers are over-priced at the moment. The exception is the Kindle, but that's because Amazon knows it will rake back its money from your buying its eBooks.
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on 23 November 2009
Just bought my BeBook a couple of weeks ago and am loving it.

Its simple and intuitive to use. Just fill up a memory card, plug in and then what you see on screen mirrors the folder layout. Then just click away, there really is no more to it than that.

Not sure what other reviewers have meant by the lack of bookmarks and also it not taking you to where you left off, it's been fine every time for me. You get 5 bookmarks per book and also each book when you open it goes straight to the page you were last at when you viewed it (with the occasional glitch but only the odd page off).

Had the odd book where the formatting makes it unreadable but there's plenty of freeware out there to convert to other formats or reformat that particular file.

It copes with almost all formats fine. I would avoid .lit files though, they take an age to change page (well about 3 seconds which feels like an age when reading), although you quickly get into the habit of pressing next page before you get to the end to counter this. Before buying I had downloaded quite a few books and magazine articles and had mistakenly opted for .lit as format of choice. In retrospect reading the forum (which is also excellent btw) would have stopped this as this is pointed out many times there, ah well live and learn.

The only down points I have is crashed on me a few times but not a huge deal and also out of its case it does feel a little flimsy. If it wasnt for these niggles, and they are no more than that, I would have given it 5 stars no question.

I bought this purely because since getting connected to the net 2 years ago (was a full on luddite prior to that and refused to buy a PC) I have almost stopped reading altogether and I thought this would be a good way of reconnecting with that. Its worked, on my 5th book in 2 weeks and my net usage has dropped right off.

Bugs and niggles aside (and its new(ish) tech so you are always going to have that) I highly recommend this bit of kit. Bit pricey though (another reason for 4 rather than 5 stars).
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on 20 August 2008
I have had my BeBook reader for a few weeks now and can honestly say that its great. It is easy to use and not too wearing on the eyes. The E ink technology is cool and very clear to read. It comes with a guide booklet which isnt the most informative or well written but I found very quickly that if you play around with it, its dead easy. I am not a technically minded person but have found it easy to download ebooks from the net and it has a SD card slot at the top so memory space isnt a problem. It certainly won't take the place of a book in my heart but it has opened my reading experience to another level.
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on 20 October 2009
BeBook-eBook ReaderI have had the Be-Book for several months, the manual was difficult to follow but persevering with the device gets you there in the end.
The most irritating fault on my unit is that it does not align the page correctly with the last few letters of each line Off the Page, this is most disconcerting when you are flipping pages reading a book. The download is a nightmare and charging from the USB a nuisance when your away.
I wish I had not bought this now and look at the Kindle & Sony with suspicion I expect them to be crumby as well!

Phil Richards
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on 21 January 2009
Not market-ready, direct comparison with Sony's PRS-505

I've been looking for an e-reader device for a long time and finally decided to buy the BeBook e-reader device. Big mistake!

Unboxing the Bebook e-reader revealed a rather flimsy and squeaky device of mediocre build-quality. Audio-jack and SD-slot were certainly not build to last.

Next, I connected the BeBook reader to my PC by USB and loaded a few PDF files onto the machine. However, as there are only 3 zoom-levels it was nearly impossible to read these texts properly. The PDF files consisted of A4 pages with 2 columns of text. As the BeBook e-reader is incapable of doing text reflow, single columns can't be viewed. I was thus stuck with extremely, unreadable, print.

After disconnecting from my PC, I noticed that all e-reader content was gone. I properly undocked the device but for some odd reason all internal memory of the e-reader was erased.
Next, I tried SD-cards. I had several on stock, ranging from Sandisk and Hama to Transcend. In the end only 1 out of 4 was recognized by the BeBook e-reader.

I tried to correct these errors by accessing the BeBook forum and soon discovered that lots of people are experiencing similar problems with this device. Taken together, if you wish to spend hours just to get the simplest of things going on your BeBook device, in that case you'll love this reader. However, if you wish to have a device that is stable and which is usable for reading books: STAY AWAY!
This BeBook reader is simply far from market-ready. Really.

I returned my BeBook reader and bought Sony's PRS-505 e-reader instead. Well, this unit is really light years ahead of BeBook. (No, I'm not affiliated with Sony).
It's really like comparing a 3000 pound Apple iBook with a no-name laptop from some discounter. Sony's metal build quality is rock solid compared to BeBook's flimsy plastic.

BeBook, never again!
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on 10 October 2010
I bought a bebook about 18 months ago and was very happy with it until the screen broke. The e-ink screen is the most sensitive component and broke quite easily. The costs of repair is prohibitive, especially when you compare the the price of a Kindle (or even a new / used Bebook). I would not chose this reader again and would advise any owners to be very careful to not knock or srop it nor to carry it in a bag where the screen might come under pressure.
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on 17 May 2010
After my Kindle arrived from amazon my husband got jealous so we decided to buy an eReader in order to have 'the best of both worlds'. After much research I bought a BeBook Neo at the beginning of March.

I was surprised how very tinny the machine felt, the noise of the clicking to change page and the fact that it did not connect to my WiFi until I discovered hidden in the box a smalll piece of paper saying that it was not compatible with WEP security. I am not sure how it can be advertised as having WiFi if certain forms of security make that unusable.

Last week on trying to tap open the book I was reading the reader froze. The next morning the image had burned into the screen. It was a nightmare to get to the reset button - which would not reset - and then to open the back to take the battery out. 24 hours later the screen burn was even worse, it was impossible to see the state of the charge.

I got a returns number from the manufacturer and returned it to them in its original box within another box. I have received an email from them this morning to tell me that they found the screen was broken and that the screen is not covered by warranty and would I like it repaired for 125. I am not sure if they mean the screen was broken as in cracked (which it wasn't)or that it was mechanically broken. I have written back to protest vehemently.

As far as I am concerned it could be thrown in the rubbish bin because I consider it to be rubbish.
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Firstly I will admit to being a lover of e-books using the E-Ink technology, especially as they are ideal for someone who travels a fair amount and reads constantly.

My first e-book was the original Sony Reader, bought and used in the US when I was there. Brilliat piece of equipment and fairly idiot proof. Limited to the US Sony store but at the time the exchange rate made that cheap enough.

Back in the UK it became impossible to use due to the credit card location so I needed a new book.

Seriously thought about the Sony PRS505 but decided to go for the BeBook as it has or appears to have a wider range of cheaper e-books than the Waterstones rip off site.

Not sure I made the right choice here to be honest. The good bit is that the e-ink screen is as easy as the Sony one to read - but that's about it.

Where the Sony is easy and bug free the BeBook (a re-badged Hanlin V3 from China regardless of the marketing) is full of irritations. When you shut down unlike the Sony you end up back at the library screen rather than where you left off, so it takes much fumbling to get back to your page. Which wouldn't be too bad if you could bookmark the page. Which despite the instructions telling you that you can, you cannot. It's obviously a common gripe becasue the BeBook forum is full of us moaning about it. Basically you have to remember your page.

But that's not a guarantee. Often I have gone back to the page number only to find that it is not the page I left off. Confusing and annoying in equal measure.

The DRM system for BeBook for commercial book malls is Mobipocket which to be fair is the most common one available. However all the commercial ebook malls are American which you can use but many books have location restrictions on them. Plus books in America tend to be more expensive than the UK. For example I just looked at a Peter F Hamilton book. $27 - around 18 quid on line or around 6 or seven quid in book format in the UK.

I find this incredibly annoying. E-books for the publisher should be a dream - minimal cost of production and no waste. Yet they are generally more expensive. It's a rip off.

Also we have a number of DRM formats. Why can't e-book retailers and manufacturers look at the history of DRM music and files. Remember your mistake in no MP3 support Sony?

Anyway back to the BeBook. Another thing that appears to be common is that every so often it freezes and you have to try three times to turn the page. Sometimes you have to reset it - fortunately not often.

So to compare. Sony PRS505 - much superior hardware device with easier and more intuitive operation. Less (but not massively so) choice of books as you are stuck with Waterstones.

BeBook. Very average build quality. Very buggy. Better - slightly e-book availabilty. More expensive than the Sony.

Both can download and read free e-books in PDF happily. This should appeal to those who like classics as most are now free on line and I will say that this has meant that I have read many books that I would not have bought. And realised that many classics are called that for a reason - often much better written and thought provoking than commercialy produced pulp. Rather ironic that the cutting edge of reading actually leads one to re-examine the old classics that you may normally ignore.

So, if I was going to buy again, between these two I would go for the Sony. It's simply a superior machine and much better made.

If I knew that the Kindle was coming to the UK, then I would buy that.

If I was loaded I'd buy the Irex Iliad - bigger format, supports most file types including most of the DRM (but not Sony) and is well made. Damned expensive though.

Having said all of the above, I do recommend a e-ink reader. They are as easy to read as a book, youcan store thousands of them without waste of space or trees and in whatever one thinks, they are the future of reading. Think of music downloads killing tape, CD, or vinyl. This will happen to hard copy books I suspect.
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on 29 December 2008
It seems to be a good piece of technology and I bought one on the strength of the reviews above. However trying to find somewhere to purchase current books to load onto the device is impossible. Anything with DRM other than the limited range on their own site won't work. That means NO to books bought on Amazon, WH Smiths, Waterstones etc... What is the point if you want to read something modern...
The Bebook USP is it will load more filetypes than any other.. It's a bit of a con really.
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