BeBook Club S review

Upgraded e-book reader does battle with the Kindle
Photo of BeBook Club S
£115 online

E-books are in. People seem to have taken to them in a big way. And the Kindle leads the pack, with other trailing in its wake. It’s a tough world for the makers of dedicated e-book readers, as the Kindle and tablets seem to have much of the market. Which is why BeBook has updated its serviceable BeBook Club to the BeBook Club S.

All about updates
Physically there’s little to separate the BeBook Club S from its predecessor. The same chassis has been used, its white front and silver back and buttons are unaltered, including the quirky offset forward, back up and down buttons remain. We rather like them, but others may find them a bit obtuse.

In short, what’s changed here are the innards, as the makers of the BeBook Club S try to compete with the market leaders.

The ‘S’ is the key
The upgrades have been designed to make the BeBook Club S faster and slicker. The controller is faster, so that you can move through pages more quickly. Certainly page turns seem slick, and must benefit from the upgraded 800MHz processor.

The screen has higher contrast levels, though frankly it didn’t seem oodles better than others we’ve used, and there an improvement on the internal storage, from 512MB in the original to 2GB. Battery life has been improved too. The BeBook S now offers, says BeBook, twice the number of page turns of its predecessor model at 8,000.

Multi-tasking
With the ability to play music (through headphones only) and to display Word and PDF files as well as a range of image formats, the BeBook Club S is quite flexible, and we found it comfortable to use.

But that’s not enough, really. The mindshare is all the Kindle’s. The BeBook Club S would need to undercut the cheapest Kindle price of £110 considerably to gain traction – and at present, the cheapest online price we could find was a touch over this, at £115. This will need to be lowered some way, we feel.

Company: BeBook

Website: http://mybebook.com/index.html

Positives
  • Good battery life; easy to use; plays music.
Negative
  • Has a powerful opponent in the Kindle.

Verdict

Quriky but usable controls, music playing, plenty of internal memory, good file format support. These are plus points. But no Wi-Fi or 3G and a low profile mitigate against the BeBook Club S.