The Cybook range is a line of e-reading devices released by a French company called Bookeen. There are now three generations of the Cybook and also two more editions called the Cybook Opus and the Cybook Orizon. The Cybook range is well known for its range in choice as they are available in a range of colours and a difference in design for each edition of the range.
The Cybook have also released the world's thinnest e-reader, which has given them a unique selling point within the market, specifically for people who value the weight and size of their readers due to the fact that they may be planning to transport them regularly.
The public have responded well to the Cybook range by Bookeen with them being amongst some of the more popular readers in the market; however, they have not seem to have made as big an impact as the market leaders, Barnes and Noble, Sony and Amazon with the Nook the PRS range and the Kindle.
The user feedback on the Cybook range has been positive with very few problems reported on the readers. There have been minor software problems in some reports with the devices freezing and not loading past the start-up screen however this is a problem that is easily fixed and there are many online communities for the Cybook that support these types of minor problems.
The Cybook website also has an online support feature with FAQ's for instant help and also the option to contact them at Cybook, the FAQ's will give instant gratification to your questions but the question service will take time as somebody will have to answer the question and get back to you.
The current models of the Cybook range are on sale on their website and at various retailers and these consist of the Cybook Gen 3, the Cybook Opus and the Cybook Orizon (the latest and most recent release to the Cybook family) and there are also the 1st and 2nd Gen of the Cybook which have now been discontinued due to the current version being released.
The Cybook Orizon
The Cybook Orizon is the only reader released by Bookeen that has a touch screen interface, allowing users to interact with the reader with much more ease than some other models. The pages of the device can now be turned with a swipe of the screen. The display on the Orizon is a SiPix eInk display with 16 shade grey-scale giving the reader a clear and crisp display with detailed images on the reader.
This is their most current model and the Bookeen forway into the world of Touch screen ebook readers (like the Sony Reader 650, Kobo Touch, and Nook Simple Touch).
The battery life on the Cybook Orizon is quoted at 10,000 page turns as an eInk display only uses battery life when a page is refreshed. This is up to 10,000 pages and will depend on browsing through menu's etc.
The Cybook Orizon is the only device in the Cybook range that has Wi-Fi connectivity which allows the user to download books straight to the device, the usage of wireless connections on the device will mean the battery life is affected as it is a feature that consumes a lot of power. Battery life can be maximised by ensuring wireless connectivity is disabled when not in use.
The internal memory on the device is 2GB which should be plenty of room for storing document files as they tend to be fairly small. The Cybook Orizon also has a built in memory card slot so that the user can expand the memory, this is capable of holding up to 8GB, overall the reader should be big enough to store around 800 books.
As the Cybook Orizon has the ability to connect to the internet there is also the ability to browse the web with the software including a web browser to allow this feature. Not only this but the device is functional in 23 languages opening up the reader to a much wider market.
The device is available in either black or white depending on personal preference.
Cybook Orizon Review
The Cybook Opus
The Cybook Opus was particularly marketed as being the transportable reader out of the Cybook range with a 5" eInk screen with 4 shade grey-scale. This gives the user a clear enough text display however images on the device will not be shown in much detail. The screen will have no glare and therefore the reader will be fine to view in direct sunlight, not only this but the battery life of the device will only be consumed if a page is refreshed.
The reader has 1GB built-in memory which will be sufficient for books to be stored, if this isn't enough space then the reader also has an SD card slot so that the user can expand the memory up to 32GB, which will hold thousands of books.
The Cybook Opus has 8000 page refreshes on a single charge so the battery life is fairly strong, Bookeen have estimated this at around 2 weeks which would mean the user was reading about 500 pages a day, so depending on how accurate this is to the user, it may be more or less for some users.
One of the most unique features of the Cybook Opus is that it is available to buy in a wide range of colors giving the reader a chance to personalize their reader. Available in seven colors to be exact, pink, blue, white, black, green, orange and red.
Bookeen Cybook Opus Review
Cybook Gen 3
The Cybook Gen 3 features a 6" eInk Vizplex screen, this is the slightly older eInk display with the pearl being recently released. The display has an 8 shade grey scale; this means that there are eight shades that make up the display. The eInk display mimics the properties of paper and displays text crisp and clearly and allows the user to read in direct sunlight with there being no glare on the screen. As eInk displays work on contrast to show an image rather than being backlit the reader only uses battery when the page is refreshed, however this does mean that the reader is not visible in the dark.
The battery life on the Cybook Gen 3 is quoted at 8000 page refreshes; therefore the user can read up to 8000 pages on one single battery charge. The Cybook Gen 3 also comes with an AC adaptor so that the reader can be charged from any mains outlet, giving a faster charge time and meaning that the user does not have to switch on their computer in order to charge their device.
The Cybook Gen 3 has a button interface as there is no touch screen facility on the device. The keys on the device include a power button to simply turn the device on and off, a reset button, buttons to control music such as skipping songs or pausing, a five way navigational pad so that the user can navigate around the menus with ease, a menu button, a back button and the standard forward and back page turns. The buttons are easy to use and the interface is user friendly however you can't search for certain titles or authors as there is no text input.
The internal memory on the device is 1GB which is a fair bit of space to store eBook files however if you are storing music files also, which tend to be quite large, this space will fill up rapidly. There is also an SD card slot to allow the user to expand memory up to 32GB.
Bookeen Cybook Gen 3 Review
Cybook Gen 1
This model of the Cybook is now discontinued and was released in 2003. The Cybook (released in 1998) originally belonged to a French company called Cytale however they went bankrupt and Bookeen bought the rights to the product.
The design has altered greatly from the original. Cybook Gen 1 featured a 10" LCD screen which meant that the reader could not be read in direct sunlight as the newer models can be. The battery life on the reader was around 3-4 hours off one single charge, dramatically different to what is available now however the technology was not available then.
The memory on the Cybook Gen 1 was only 16MB, this would be enough to store around 15-16 books (working on an average of 1MB per book) this is much less than the successors of the model and makes it clear as to why the device was discontinued.
Cybook Gen 2
There is not much information on the Cybook Gen 2 however it was very similar to the 1st generation with the larger screen although some of the features on the device were much stronger the first time round. The price of the reader did not reflect the quality of the product and the majority of consumers couldn't afford the high price of the reader.
Books for the Device
As the latest model can be used in 23 languages the scope for Bookeen to become global has increased dramatically and a very useful feature that Bookeen have included on their website is a list of stores where compatible eBooks can be purchased for the Cybook range, this is split into countries to help users find the stores that will be perfect for them.
The most popular stores are the UK and USA sites as these are commonly used not only by consumer from within the said countries, but also users from other areas of the world. eBook stores listed on the site include Tesco Books, Waterstones and WHSmiths for Britain and Powell Books, BooksOnBoard, Feedbooks, eBooks.com and Fictionwise for the USA.
There is also the possibility of changing the format of a book in order for it to be supported on the Cybook, the best freeware for this currently circulating the internet is a programme called Calibre, which can easily be found on the web and downloaded. Alongside the ability to completely control an e-readers files and settings from here one of the best features of the device is the fact that the user can convert their files from format to format to allow the book to be read on their e-reading device. There are many tutorials to help you use Calibre if you are uncertain and there are many online e-reading forums where queries on the programme can be asked.
One of the best sites for buying Cybook accessories from is Amazon online as they offer a range of cases and chargers for all of the models in the series. They also stock the cases that are made by Bookeen specifically for the Cybook range. The most popular cases are the flip leather cases with Bookeen embossed in the bottom right corner on the front of the case.
These cases are available in a variety of colors and give the reader the option to slightly personalise their reader. The best feature of these cases however is the fact that they protect the reader both from cosmetic damage on the casing of the device and they also stop any damage or scratching to the screen on the reader.
Another popular accessory that is available for the Cybook range are clip on lights. As the displays on the Cybook range are all eInk, they are not backlit and therefore can only be read if there is light around. The lights are particularly useful as they simply click on to the reader and illuminate the screen so that the user can read from the device even if they are in the dark. Perfect for camping trips!
The last style of accessories available is chargers for the reader which allows the device to be charged through numerous outputs. From an AC adaptor to simply allow charging from the mains to the ability to charge in a car through a cigarette lighter, there is also a travel kit available for the Cybook range which has a range of adaptors to suit mains outlets from a series of countries, the perfect accessory for people who travel a lot.