BeBook Club S reviewed


The BeBook Club S is a usable reader, let down by a chunky case and a lack of networking capabilities. Here is our review.

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Value for money:

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Price: $249
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The BeBook Club S is cheaper than its touchscreen-equipped sibling (the Neo), but in many ways it's a superior reader. 

For a start, it has a full 2GB of internal memory - enough to hold a decent library. It can be expanded further, thanks to a full-sized SD card slot.

The screen is better, too. A 600 x 800 E Ink Pearl panel gives good clarity and contrast, and redraw rates aren't bad: the Club S doesn't refresh quite as quickly as the latest Kindle or even the Sony Reader Wi-Fi, but it doesn't feel as laggardly as the Neo. Things are helped along by a faster processor - an 800MHz Marvell CPU.

The Club S uses the same software as the Neo, so our gripes about the interface apply here too - more responsive hardware helps, but navigating around the options and settings is tiresome. And since there's no touchscreen, you're left using the little directional pad to step around the menus.

On the bright side, most of your time with the Club S will be spent reading, and this is a fairly pleasant experience. This isn't only down to the screen, but also to the sensibly-located page-turn buttons, which fall naturally under your thumbs. You have plenty of choice when it comes to file formats, with support for the same broad range of formats as the Neo - including reflowable PDF, HTML, DOC and RTF, as well as a range of image formats. You can even play MP3 and WAV files through a 3.5mm headphone socket at the bottom.

Battery life is quoted at an impressive 20,000 page turns; but that's probably helped by the fact that the Club S lacks any sort of networking, which means you must obtain your media via a computer and transfer it manually to the reader. Even the cheaper Kindle and Kobo devices aren't limited this way. And the omission doesn't make the device any smaller or lighter: it's just as bulky as the Neo and, at 278g, almost as heavy.

Although the Club S is a perfectly usable reader - much more so than the Neo - these shortcomings set it a rung below the best of the competition.



This Review appeared in the Feb, 2012 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

Source: Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing

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