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BeBook Neo Review

December 5, 2010

BeBook Neo ReviewThe Kindle and Nook are the most popular ebook reading devices, but the BeBook Neo is also one of the best e-readers that you can get. I was given the BeBook Neo as a gift, and I was pleasantly surprised with it.

The BeBook Neo is very similar to the Kindle WiFi model and the Nook WiFi model. They are all nearly identical in terms of size and weight — about the same as a standard paperback book. The Neo has the same WiFi capability as the other two, and they all have 6 inch e-Ink screens.

The Neo has a sleek and modern design that I find very appealing. The simple white design makes it unobtrusive, so that it doesn’t feel like you’re holding some odd electronic device. Instead, it seems to just exist effortlessly.

The controls on the front remind me of the controls on an iPod, and that makes them feel intuitive to use. Flipping pages is simply a matter of clicking the “next” or “previous” button, which you can easily do with the same hand that is holding the reader.

The screen is actually a touch-screen, and it is controlled with a stylus that comes with the device. You can use the stylus to select eBooks, adjust the text size, make notes, and you can even draw on the screen. I don’t know of any other e-readers that have that kind of drawing/sketching function.

The Neo does not come with its own power cable, so it has to be charged on your computer through the USB cable. I plugged it in right after I got it out of the box, and just left it for a while to charge. The battery lasts a long time, so you won’t have to charge it very often. I have read three books on my Neo and there is no sign of battery drainage yet.

Transferring eBooks from your computer to the Neo is very easy. If the eBooks are not DRM protected, then you can load them onto the Neo just like you would any other external storage device. If you have an Adobe PDF or EPUB eBook that is protected with Adobe’s DRM system, then you can use Adobe Digital Editions to manage the transfer of the eBooks.

The only complaint that I have about reading books on the Neo is that the background of the screen is grayish, which creates less contrast between the screen and the text than I would like. However, that effect is present on all e-readers that use e-Ink, including the Kindle and Nook. I was able to help solve the issue by enlarging the text size, and I probably would have done that anyway for easier reading.

Overall, reading on the Neo is very comfortable. It really does feel similar to reading from a paper book, which is what it was engineered for.

Here are the Neo’s tech specs:

  • Screen: 6″ VizPlex true E-Ink
  • Memory: 512 MB internal flash memory, expandable up to 16GB
  • eBook Formats Supported: EPUB*, PDF*, TXT, HTML, RTF, MOBI (non DRM only), CHM, PDB (*including Adobe DRM, compatible with Adobe Digital Editions)
  • Image Formats Supported: JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF
  • Audio: MP3
  • Size: 7.7″ x 4.7″ x 0.4″
  • Weight: 10.5 oz
  • I/O: 3.5mm audio jack, USB 2.0 with OTG-support, SD slot
  • Power Supply: Li-ION battery 1600mAh

Prices: Two reliable online stores that carry the BeBook Neo are eBookMall and the main BeBook website. Current prices are $249 (excluding shipping) at mybebook.com, and for $229 with free shipping at eBookMall.com.

I would definitely recommend the BeBook Neo to anyone who is considering buying an eBook reader.

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