Several Obscure eBook Readers Turn up on Amazon

ebook readers

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 Most have outdated hardware and use older E Ink screens.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 But even still it’s pretty outdated compared to current models.

Texet TB-116FL

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.

3 Responses to “Several Obscure eBook Readers Turn up on Amazon”

  1. Thanks Amazon, those of us in the US so appreciate how you have so dominated the US market. Why would we want to have to go to all the trouble to make an informed choice of reader. You have made it so much easier on us.

    Is that your Kindle?
    No, its my NOOK. I have never owned a Kindle, or anything from Nike, or an “i” anything.

  2. Why, do you suppose, Kobo, Energy Sistem, Onyx, & others are not distributed here in America?

    Kindle & a very outdated (and presumably soon-to-be-discontinued) Nook are the only options. That’s pretty awful

    • There used to be a lot more distributors and brands in the US several years ago, but then B&N started a price war with the Nook that caused Amazon to keep lowering the price of Kindles to a point where no other companies could even come close on price. 6-inch ebook readers used to cost $200-$300 just a few years ago. Once they dropped to under $100 everything else dried up here. Now the trend for premium ereaders is taking the price up again, like the Voyage at $200-$300. Maybe that’ll open up the door for other brands, or at least large-screen ereaders since Amazon doesn’t have any. But yeah, the lack of options in the US is quite pitiful.