Ectaco jetBook Lite Electronic eBook Reader

Here at the Ebook Reader Reviews site we have already had a quick look at one of the old timers within the Handheld Ebook Reader world; the Ectaco jetBook e-Reader. But it also has a baby brother, the Ectaco jetBook Lite.  So we felt it was definitely about time we took a look at this pocket sized reader and checked out how it compares with what else is available today.

Ectaco jetBook Lite Ebook Reader

Well, we will of course have a rummage through the customer reviews regarding this little gadget further on.  But first, what do we get for our money?  Well, before we begin with all the technical bits and bobs that any new buyer needs to know, let me tell you the price.  This is a budget ebook reader, coming in at a not unwelcome price of less than $150 (at the time of writing this post at least, that makes it one of the cheapest choices for anyone hoping to take advantage of the growth in electronic book availability).

So, what do you get for less than $150?  Well, firstly let me explain the basis of this site is to provide e-reader reviews and the basic specs.  We don’t go in for overwhelming you with data you don’t care about.  These are all the bits and pieces we feel it is important for you to understand before buying any electronic reading device only!

  • Pocket Sized Ebook Reader.  This is one of the smaller dedicated ebook readers out there.  It weights less than 9 ounces and incorporates a 5″ screen.  Lightweight and easy to handle, best for those that want to read on the go.
  • 5″ VGA reflective monochrome screen.  If you love e-ink look elsewhere!  With six font sizes available and the ability to switch from landscape to portrait, even those with less than perfect site should find it easy to read using the jetBook Lite.  Note, that this is another screen technology that does not require any back-lighting so it should minimise tired eyes!
  • Multiple formats supported.  Like its older brother, the jetBook Lite does not support quite so many file types as certain other reading devices. But with support for ePub, Mobi, PRC, RTF, .txt, .pdf, .fb2, .jpg, .gif, .png, and .bmp file most customers will get more choice than they really need.  After all ePub seems to be winning in the publishers battle so as long as you can read that you can buy your reading material (or download free out of copyright and library copies) pretty much anywhere.
  • Reasonable battery life.  The whole aim of the jetBook lite has been to make the original jetBook both more affordable and more efficient.  With this in mind the power system is a simple four AA battery set up.  That gives you 23 hours of continuous reading.  You can use rechargeable batteries or ordinary ones.  But, for us, this one factor though certainly a cost saver is the one serious draw-back of this particular device.  Yes it has a longer battery life than the Ectaco jetBook but it is not nearly as good as other readers with inbuilt rechargeable batteries.  But, this flexibility is one of its key draws.  I guess you do have the real advantage of being able to replace the batteries cheaply anywhere in the world!
  • Multiple Language Support.  One of the key features that set the Ectaco range apart from similarly priced ebook readers is their mult-language support.   A huge range of European languages including Albanian, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, Faeroese, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Croatian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak and Slovenian can be displayed and a German interface option comes as standard.
  • Limitless memory capacity.  With 128MB of built in memory and a slot for 2GB SD and 4GB to 16GB SDHC memory cards you can store as much as you want, of text, picture and sound files.
  • Both MAC and PC compatible. This means there is no limitation on the computer system you use to download new material.
  • Simple to Control. Controls are situated at the front and side so you can find the most comfortable position.  There is an auto page turn feature that bases itself on your average reading speed but to be honest we find this more of a hindrance than a help.

Basically what you get with the Ectaco jetBook Lite Ebook Reader is an extremely compact, simple to use e-reading device.  But one that is sadly lacking  in the style stakes.  And, though it should not be a priority we all know that beautiful design, sells gadgets just as much as (if not more than) functionality.

Ectaco jetBook Lite Reviews

Well, there are many customer reviews that you can look at. On the whole customers have awarded the jetBook Lite a not unreasonable four out of a possible five stars.  Its easy to use, cheap and ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’.  The good support of firmware updates is keeping any bugs at bay and the preloaded multi language dictionaries make it extremely popular with those studying or already speaking additional European languages.

Would we buy the Ectaco jetBook Lite Ebook Reader?  Honestly no, but not because of any real problem with the device.  It is simply that the extra language support is not something we want more than we would like it to look a bit better and have a longer running time.  For us, in the under $200 price bracket the Bookeen CyBook Opus wins hands down – sorry jetBook Lite!

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