- Easy to hold and turn pages with one hand
- 100 included classic titles
- Borders eBook store support
- No WiFi, loading content a hassle
- Relatively short battery life
- Sluggish at times
The decent reading experience the Libre offers aside, this WiFi-less eReader is overshadowed by better devices that are only slightly more expensive.
As I see it, there are three major players in the eBook reader biz: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders. What do they have in common? They are all booksellers, and eBooks, not eReaders, are the big money-makers. That is why you see Amazon and Barnes & Noble scrambling to get their reader applications on devices like the iPad, which Apple positions as a Kindle and Nook competitor.
Amazon and B&N just want to sell eBooks, and judging from conversations I’ve had around the TechnologyGuide office, many on the TG staff wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon give away or heavily subsidize the Kindle just to get it in the hands of potential eBook consumers.
Because of this, Borders is in an interesting market position. They don’t have their own branded device. Instead, the recently opened Borders eBook store works on a host of devices, including the popular Kobo eReader, Sony Touch, Sony Pocket and Aluratek Libre.
Of all the major eReaders on the market today, the Aluratek Libre is the least expensive, running only $120 through the online Borders Bookstore. Curiously, it’s also available on Aluratek’s site for $170.
Does “least expensive” also mean least capable? The Libre does not support WiFi and lacks any connectivity outside of a USB cable. Also, instead of the preferred eInk screen, it sports a five-inch monochrome LCD display.
Still, the Libre is presumably a Borders-approved eReader, and that puts it in direct competition with the Kindle and Nook. How does it compare? Read the Aluratek Libre eBook reader review to find out.
First, the Libre specs:
- eBooks: PDF (Adobe Digital Edition DRM/non-DRM), TXT, FB2, EPUB (Adobe Digital Edition DRM/non-DRM), MOBI (non-DRM only), PRC (non-DRM only) and RTF
- Images: BMP, JPG, GIF
- Music: MP3
- 256MB internal memory
- 6 x 4 x 0.35 Inches
- 7.6 Ounces
- SD compatible to 32GB
- Internal lithium-ion polymer battery
- USB Cable
- Power Charger
- Hand Strap
- Carrying Pouch
- 2GB SD Card
- 100 public domain TXT eBooks, including Romeo and Juliet, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Pride and Prejudice