Review: Bookeen Cybook Orizon

 
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Published: July 27, 2011 11:00 PM
By Florence Legrand
The latest Bookeen reader has a 6-inch multitouch touch screen, a wi-fi connection to access the online library and reads numerous formats. A little more expensive than the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader, how does it compare to the competition? Answers in this review.


Hardware and Design

The Cybook Orizon comes in a nice if contained packaging. There's no protective cover however, so you'll have to buy one separately.

As soon as you get your hands on it, it impresses with its slim line (7.6 mm), weight (just 245 g) and sober colouring: the front is black and the back glossy white. Although this e-reader, also available in white, is entirely made of plastic, it's well-finished overall and we prefer how it looks to the Kindle and some of the other recent readers.

Bookeen Cybook Orizon e-reder review

The Bookeen Cybook Orizon has a 2 GB memory and can store hundreds of digital titles. The memory can be extended to 8 GB with a MicroSD card (this format only). We would have at least liked to see a slot for an SD card, a more common format.

Bookeen Cybook Orizon e-reder review - back cover

Bookeen Cybook Orizon e-reder review - micro SD

The screen displays sixteen levels of grey and has an anti-reflective coating that does the job pretty well. We do however prefer the screens on the latest Sony (E-Ink Pearl) and Kindle (E-Ink) readers, which offer a more contrasted display and whiter whites. The Bookeen e-book reader is based on SiPix technology. The white for the page is a bit grey and this means that when ambient brightness is low, you see less clearly. This is no deal breaker, however, it's just that we've compared both technologies and noted this difference. Overall, it's comfortable to use and you can also go into night mode, for which the background is displayed in black and the letters white.

Bookeen Cybook Orizon e-reder review - white type, black background

The Bookeen Cybook Orizon is equipped with a multipoint touch screen. The touch technology does well enough for a reader; you can at least turn the pages without having to run your finger across it several times. Once again, responsiveness is on a par with what is to be expected from this type of screen: okay but not immediate.

This e-book reader is not encumbered with numerous buttons: a single physical button (if you don't count the on/off on the top edge) works in tandem with the touch commands. It's a shame that there's no direct access home button which means you have to go into the general menu and click on Home.


Navigation and Interface

As we were saying, the Orizon is responsive enough but there is a slight lag between a command and its completion, as you'll see when using the virtual keyboard, the Internet browser or the main menu. When it comes to turning pages, the refresh speed is identical to the competition, or around half a second. You have two options for accessing the main menu. You either press the middle of the physical button or touch the lower left edge of the screen (on the icon).

Bookeen Cybook Orizon e-reder review

When you tap on the bottom right corner, a window opens from which you can go straight to the page you're looking for. Touching the top of the screen takes you straight to a particular chapter.

Bookeen Cybook Orizon e-reder review - skip to page

Of course, it's possible to underline and annotate text. The size of characters can be increased or reduced (12 sizes on offer) from the screen by drawing the thumb and index together or apart. You won't get the sort of zoom responsiveness you get on a smartphone but at least you don't have to return to the menu. There are also various font options.

Bookeen Cybook Orizon e-reder review - sort by

There are also various options for organising your library by author, publisher, date and so on.

The Cybook Orizon comes in numerous formats (HTML/TXT/PDF/PNG/JPEG/GIF) or at least the most common ones on digital book download sites such as ePub (with and without DRM).
3/5 Bookeen Cybook Orizon DigitalVersus 2011-07-28 00:00:00

Pros

  • Slim design / good finish
  • Organisation options for your library
  • Easy to use
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • 150 books preloaded

Cons

  • Screen is less contrasted than e-books that use E-Ink
  • No protective cover supplied
  • No 3G unlike the Kindle
  • No direct home access button

Conclusion

The Bookeen Cybook Orizon is a good alternative. Though it doesn't have 3G connectivity, this Wi-Fi, elegant, well-finished, simple-to-use e-reader is a reliable e-book solution. However, it doesn't have the same quality display as the Sony Reader.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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