A new marketplace seller recently launched on Amazon called Topjoy. Among other items, they have an odd assortment of E Ink ebook readers for sale that are normally only available outside the United States, with brand names like Yarvik and Texet.
They are all listed as “used” and in very good condition but without the retail box. They range in price from $53.80 to $86.50, with free shipping from China.
I wouldn’t recommend buying any of these as anything other than an experiment.
The software is most likely very basic and no longer being improved and updated all the time like Kindles and Kobos. Then there’s the fact that none of them even specify which languages are supported.
What I find interesting about them is the wide range of different designs. I never cover Russian brands like Texet (technically teXet but I stopped abiding by ridiculous letterings when things like the enTourage eDGe and NOOK with all capitals came out).
Some are marketed as ebook reader/MP3 player combinations, including a small 4.3-inch model. Most have outdated hardware and use older E Ink screens. They all seem to have buttons, some with unique button layouts and combinations.
Probably the best of the lot is the Texet TB-116FL. It has a frontlight and a 6-inch 1024 x 758 E Ink Pearl screen, with audio support, 4GB of storage and a microSD card slot. But even still it’s pretty outdated compared to current models.
There are a couple of other Texet models available too. As it turns out, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Texet website lists about 70 different models of ebook readers that they’ve released over the years. That’s a crazy number of ereaders.
In the U.S. we have just a handful of different models to choose from at any given. It’s interesting to see how different things are in other countries. There’s a much wider range of choices and designs out there for dedicated ebook readers than most people ever realize.