It looks like Aluratek has quietly released their new Libre Air eBook Reader. It was first revealed back in January at CES and was supposed to hit shelves in February.
Since then it’s been all crickets from Aluratek. But now the Libre Air has suddenly made an appearance on Aluratek’s website. It is selling for $129 and is listed as in stock.
The Libre Air is an improved version of the original Libre, which is now selling for as low as $69 on Buy.com. The Libre Air adds WiFi for connecting to the Kobo ebook store and a new curved design and button layout. Like the original, it has a 5″ non-backlit screen and supports PDF, TXT, FB2, EPUB, MOBI, PRC and RTF ebook formats, including Adobe DRM.
What makes the Libre Air unique is that it uses a reflective light LCD display instead of an E Ink screen like the Kindle, Sony Readers, and most other ebook readers. Generally the downside with these types of LCD screens is that battery life is usually measured in hours instead of weeks. Aluratek’s website is rather misleading in this regard. It says the Libre Air can get up to two weeks of reading on a single charge. But if you look at the data sheet, it clearly states 20-24 hours of continuous reading with WiFI off and 2 weeks standby time.
Other features worth noting: the Libre Air comes with a collection of 100 free classic ebooks, it weighs in at just 6 ounces, there’s a built-in MP3 player, and it has a microSD card slot for cards up to 32GB.
I’ll be picking up one of these to review in the near future but need to catch up on a number of other reviews first.
It has WiFi, but does it have a web browser and is it capable of note taking and text editing? The reflective LCD screen is a good feature.
I believe if some LCD developers would give it some modifications, the reflective LCD could match or exceed the E-paper technologies, and even beat them to the store shelves with the color E-paper screen.
Another word to keep in mind is Bluetooth. Libre Air does not have it, but some other ereaders do. Bluetooth is a revolutionary way to connect as many devices as possible without incompatible plugs or wires. Bluetooth can transfer everything except electrical recharges.
There’s no mention of a web browser or text editor, but I won’t know for sure until I get my hands on one.
My 90 year old uncle would like and e-book reader like mine (Kindle 3) because of the option to make the text larger. He has very bad eyesight. The difficulty in getting him one is the very small keyboard and navigation keys. Could you recommend a more suitable reasonably priced e-book reader for him.
Perhaps a touchscreen ereader like one of the Sony Readers. The touchscreens work really well but they are more complicated to get ebooks on to, except the wireless 950, which pushes 3 bills—not exactly reasonably priced. The most reasonably priced one is the Kobo WiFi. That might be one to consider. It just the one large nav button at the bottom and it relatively simple so it is easy to learn and use.
I found out there are tiny WiFi and Bluetooth modules that plug into USB 2.0 ports, as well as USB-to-mini-usb adapters and USB splitters. Can an ereader without WiFi or Bluetooth be plugged in with those modules and given WiFi and Bluetooth function? I’m hoping that this way a cheaper ereader (maybe not an Aluratek) can connect to a Bluetooth keyboard for enhanced note taking or text editing, and to the internet to send e-mail and download e-books. Maybe even connect an ereader to a tablet.
Interesting idea, but I don’t think those will work with ereaders because they don’t use hosting ports, just for charging and transferring data. Several are starting to come with Bluetooth, but not many are putting any real focus on text editing. The Kindle has a new notepad app and is probably the best ebook reader for writing notes and perusing the internet given the keyboard.
Thanks for the distinction–charging, data transfer, hosting. 3 different USB ports. I guess an Android tablet would be better for text editing, and many of them can connect to a mini keyboard.