BeBook Live review

Budget Android tablet with some very good features
Photo of BeBook Live
£229

BeBook has made a name for itself producing e-readers, but for the first time it has branched out with an Android tablet. The BeBook Live comes at a mid-range price, with some surprisingly good specifications.

Surprisingly good spec
Considering it has a price not far over £200, the BeBook Live is a surprisingly well specified tablet. It can’t compete with the likes of the HTC Flyer or Samsung Galaxy Tab, which are its high end 7in competition, but it does have some definite plus points.

We especially like the 1GHz processor, which helps ensure the tablet zips along quite nicely. And the capacitive screen is very responsive to finger touch. We also like the presence of an HDMI port with Full HD 1080p output, and the fact that there is 4GB of built-in storage. We do wish a HDMI cable had been included in the package, though.

Where’s the catch?
Of course, some compromises have had to be made in order to hit the price. Probably the most significant of these is the fact that the screen has a resolution of just 600×800 pixels. This means web page text can appear a bit fuzzy. A higher resolution would have been more suitable for e-book reading too.

Some people will be nonplussed that there’s no SIM support – though the Wi-Fi will keep you connected when you’re in range of a network. Others will bemoan the absence of GPS. Still more will find fault with the build quality, which is not up to the standard set by HTC or Samsung. But the BeBook Live is not a flimsy object. It weighs a solid 426g (in comparison with the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s 385g and the HTC Flyer’s 420g).

But is it an e-book reader?
People will inevitably ask about the e-book reading potential of the BeBook Live. It runs Android 2.2, has a colour screen, and offers the Android Market. So you can do the things you’d expect to be able to do with an Android tablet.

In addition, it comes with a couple of e-book reader apps. FBReader is an old favourite freebie, while Aldiko is an ad-supported freebie which can handle free and paid-for e-books in EPUB, PDF and Adobe DRM. Downloading for either is easy, and the latter even has a visual bookshelf as its main screen and lots of free, out-of-copyright classics for download. It’s a pity BeBook couldn’t have included a library of such works on a microSD card, just to boost the e-book reading appeal of the BeBook Live.

Company: BeBook

Website: http://www.mybebook.com/

Positives
  • Fast processor and some decent specs for the price.
Negative
  • Low-resolution screen isn't ideal for e-books.

Verdict

The BeBook Live is a good value tablet with some strong features. It's a pity about the low screen resolution, but then again a higher resolution would have meant a higher price.