I almost feel bad being too tough on the Libre. After all, it is the least expensive device available from the big-three booksellers. And despite its noticeable shortcomings it actually provides a decent reading experience. The monochrome LCD screen is easier on the eyes than a backlit LCD display (I still strongly prefer eInk to either LCD option), and the page turn slider and buttons give the Libre an edge in one-handed reading over the Nook and Kindle.
I’ll even give Aluratek a break on the dated design. This, despite the fact that after more than a week of reading on the device, I can’t find any particular use for the number pad outside of jumping to specific eBook pages and searching for words in TXT files – two minor features that don’t need a dedicated keypad that hijacks the entire right-side of the device.
Add it all up and the Libre does not offer enough to recommend it over the competition.
The Barnes & Noble Nook WiFi is $150, which is only $30 more than the Libre. Loading content onto it is a simple breeze, and the Nook runs Android OS, has both an eInk and color LCD screen and more reading features. Also, there are many Nook apps that allow content synching across most platforms.
The Nook WiFi is an incredible deal that overshadows the Libre, which is, at best, a decent backup eReader, or even a gift to a student thanks to the 100 included classic titles.
The decent reading experience the Libre offers aside, this WiFi-less eReader is overshadowed by better devices that are only slightly more expensive.
- 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