The Ectaco JetBook is one of the lower priced handheld ebook readers available today. At under $180 it is in competition with the likes of the Sony Pocket eReader – PRS300BC. But is it comparable with such a big name as Sony?
What Does the Ectaco jetBook E-Reader Have?
Well firstly although Ectaco may not be the household name of Sony, they have been quietly producing quality handheld electronics (translators and dictionaries for the most part) for 20 years. They have plenty of experience producing portable reading devices and that is probably why the Ectaco jetBook is so popular with its loyal band of followers. It doesn’t have the sleek appeal of some ereaders, but it is one of the most portable, fitting easily into pockets and making a device that really is handy when on the move.
Sadly the Ectaco jetBook ereader does not support such a wide range of formats as some other readers out there. The only file types accepted by the Ectaco jetBook eReader are TXT (text files), FB2 (FictionBook), Mobipocket (.mobi), PRC, EPUB, RTF, and PDF. And it should be noted that TXT files offer the best visual. PDFs for example are better converted to .txt files for easy reading. But, that being said this is a portable device most buyers will simply want to read text on anyway. On the plus side EPUB files are supported and that means you can make the most of Google’s public library and the 500,000 free out of copyright titles to be found there.
As you might expect with an ereader from a maker of electronic dictionaries the Ectaco jetBook offers support for a wide range of languages including Albanian, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, Faeroes and Finnish. Plus their are several eDictionaries included too; English-Spanish, English-Russian, English-Polish, English-German and English explanatory dictionaries.
Bookmarks and cross referencing are possible, the font size is adjustable of course. Perhaps the biggest initial draw with any ebook reading device was its ability to help those with poor eyesight read for longer periods than with a conventional paper book.
Storage is not large with the Ectaco JetBook, as it only has 112MB of internal memory. However there is a slot for 2GB memory cards so your library can be accommodated externally.
The screen is a 5″ high resolution and is purposely not back lit to reduce eyestrain during long reading sessions. Whether you prefer this more traditional display is completely a matter of preference. Whilst many (yes us included) love E-ink screens such as the Kindle Reader and nook, there are others that find this more basic approach preferable.
Ectaco jetBook or Sony Pocket Edition?
As Handheld Ebook Readers go the Ectaco JetBook Reading Device is hardly innovative now. But that being said it does what it should, though the formats accepted really could do with being rethought. For us, for the money the Sony Pocket Edition Reader wins hands down.
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