Two new ebook readers are entering this growing field. The Astak Mentor is being released by a company that normally sells security cameras. BEBOOK is coming from the Netherlands. Both look interesting but the Mentor really shines.
A lot of ereaders have been released within the past few years the iRex iLiad, the Sony Reader PR series, the Cybook, and the most notorius the Amazon Kindle. All of these readers have done fairly well so it is not that surprising that two new contenders would enter the field.
The BEBOOK from the Netherlands is a 6″ ereader that reads the standard formats: .doc, .txt, .pdf, .jpg, .htm and .rtf files. It will have 512 MB of internal memory, an SD card slot, and a USB port. Pretty typical for an ereader. It has page forward and back buttons and buttons on the bottom for various functions.
The Astak Mentor comes in three sizes, with different applications and price points. All three ereaders will have a 400 Mhz Samsung processor. The smallest unit will run LINUX OS while the two larger units will run Windows CE. The ebook formats that all read are: .txt, .pdf, .rtf, .html/chm. The screens will be four scale black and white with various resolutions. Each Mentor will also have an MP3 player and the ability to show pictures and illustrations. Each version has an SD card slot and mini USB port.
The smallest Mentor is 5″ has screen resolution of 800 X 600 pixels. The 5″ version will come with 128 MB of flash memory in addition to the 32 MB of Sdram. The 6″ Mentor has 1 GB of memory, 64 MB of Sdram, optional WiFi, and an optional touch screen. Both of these versions come framed in silver with program keys for up/down/right/left/enter, on/off, menu, music, volume control and delete.
While the largest version, the 9.7″ reader goes goes even further with flash memory of 4GB, with the 64MB Sdram, a touch screen and Wi Fi. The screen resolution is an increased 1200 x 825 pixels. This model is framed in glossy black and has four programmable keys since most of the reader is controlled through the touch screen. This is a truly superb combination.
Each one of the Mentor’s offers a different experience and different price range. The 5″ ereader will reportedly cost around $150 while the 6″ will be under $200 depending on the features chosen. The largest reader will be between $299 and $349 depending on features.
The processor used in the Mentors is twice as fast as the Cybook processor, and the memory even in the 5″ version is much greater. The Mentor will be more affordable than the Kindle ($399), Cybook ($450), and the Kindle ($399). The one ability that these three ereaders have over the Mentor is that ability to read MobiPocket format ebooks.
The introduction of the three Mentor versions, provides and excellent choice of readers to fit different reading needs as well as affordable prices to attract more buyers and promote ereading. Inspite of the competition, the Mentor should do well because of the well thought out specs and affordability.