Earlier this year we looked at the Cybook Opus ereader from Bookeen. We really liked it because it was a plain and simple ebook reader with very few fancy features which draw you in but can detract from the core functions. It did a single job, and did it well.
The Cybook Opus that we reviewed has been replaced by a new model which features a few updated specifications. Those people who argue that ebook readers are still way too expensive might do well to give this one a look. Yes you can buy a lot of books for the price, but this updated edition is very well put together.
What’s new in this edition? The most visible update is that it comes in a range of different colours in addition to the white of its predecessor. There’s red, orange, grey, green, blue, black and pink. We had the green model, a nice olive colour.
The upgrades are more than just skin deep, though. The firmware has been updated to give the Cybook Opus a faster turn of speed. It starts up quickly and moves between pages more quickly than its predecessor did too. This is important as the ‘page turns’ on an ereader can be much more jarring than physically turning the pages of a paper book. The accelerometer, which turns the screen between wide and tall formats, is also faster than it was before.
There is another welcome tweak, too. The battery in the original Cybook Opus was good for 8,000 page turns. It has been extended to support 8,500 now. That’s not a huge improvement, but it might be the difference between finishing a book and not. As the Cybook Opus doesn’t play music files you will probably get close to the two weeks of battery life that is suggested for it. And you can remove the backplate and swap the battery should that ever become necessary.
The chassis and general features are the same as in the original Cybook Opus. Some will find the screen a bit small. At 5-inches it is smaller than the pages of most paperback books. The 600 x 800 pixels on offer deliver clarity for the written word, though, and the small screen is an indication of small overall size: 151 x 108 x 10mm and 150g.
This is one ereader that will fit into some larger pockets, though if you put it inside the faux leather case that is supplied with it the size does, quite obviously, grow.
The button arrangement is neat and intuitive. Two tall buttons on the right side of the screen let you move between pages, there are menu and back buttons, and a D-pad provides for directional movements.
Ease of use counts for a lot with with ereaders and we have no complaints about the Cybook Opus 2010 edition. It is a bit small for some tastes, but the new, faster software and slight battery life improvement are welcome. If you are in the market for an ereader this is definitely one for the shortlist.