BeBook Neo reviewed


The BeBook Neo handles myriad file formats,but its bulk and slow performance leave it lagging behind. Here is our review.

Features & Design:
Value for money:
> Product website
Price: $349
> Pricing info

The BeBook Neo claims to have a touchscreen, but prod an icon and nothing happens: it responds only to the Wacom stylus, which you'll find tucked away at the top.

It's a precise way to select and access controls, and you can also create sketches and annotate documents. Lose it, though, and you'll have to fall back on the Neo's circular clicker - or fork out for a replacement. Even with the stylus, getting around the Neo is tiresome. The menu system is muddled, and the glacial 1.9-second screen refresh makes everything feel like a slog.

The experience picks up a little once you're actually into a book. The 600 x 800 E Ink Vizplex screen is a little lacking in contrast, but text is solid and sharp enough for an extended read. And the Neo does a creditable job of presenting content: it can zoom and reflow PDF, EPUB and MOBI documents, as well as regular HTML, plain text, RTF and even CHM files. That makes the Neo convenient as a repository for technical documents, and there's even support for most graphic formats, so you can use it to store diagrams and figures, too.

If you prefer to download bestsellers, you can switch on Wi-Fi, browse and purchase from online ebook stores. You should be able to purchase anything you want from these stores - but shopping is hardly pleasant, as you have to use each store's regular web interface. That's a poor fit for a screen this small and slow.

The BeBook Neo also features a built-in MP3 player with a 3.5mm audio jack socket, and an SD slot for you to expand the paltry 512MB of internal storage.

It adds up to a decent feature set, but the Neo isn't pleasant to use. The slow screen refresh quickly gets wearing, and there are more compact devices with better screens; it weighs nearly twice as much as the Sony Reader Wi-Fi too. The final disappointment is the price, which is the highest of all this month's 6in models. Unless you really need the BeBook Neo's unusually broad format support, we strongly suggest you look elsewhere.



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

Source: Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing

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