Friday, April 3, 2009

BeBook mini Review - Update 1

I've been playing with my new BeBook for a little over a week now and I think I have a pretty good handle on how it works. Here are some of my findings. Everything I talk about in this review will relate to my experiences with the BeBook and Mobipocket or PDF eBooks. These are the only formats I have at this time; I may download other formats for future review/updates.

I have been reading exclusively on my BeBook since I received it in order to give it a fair chance to “wow” me. I have to say I’m impressed. I have been recommending the BeBook as the best option for the average person since October 2008, when I saw that BeBook was supporting Mobipocket eBooks, and now I know I was recommending the right eBook Reader. I had my BeBook with me when I went to the Doctor this week. She had been admiring my
Cybook for a while but was really excited when I showed her the BeBook. The buttons are very user friendly and she went right to the <8/zoom> button to zoom the font size without my direction. She is planning to buy one for her husband who can no longer read paperback books as the print is too small. The largest font size offered on the BeBook will be perfect for him. Of course I gave her my discount code “" for a 25 Euro or $25 local currency discount. :)
Note: According to BeBook, as of February 13, 2009, "The discount for USD territories is no longer in place due to the huge price drop for the US market. The discount is still in place for the AUSD and EURO countries.” The current lower price is similar to what the price with discount would have been, $279.99 US including the leather case.
Based on a BeBook Forum dated April 3, 2009: the AUSD discount is no longer in place as they have the "lowest price in the world."


  • Over 90% of my eBooks are in Mobipocket format, so this was a HUGE consideration in choosing an eBook Reader. I started reading eBooks on a PDA so I already had a big collection of Mobipocket and a smaller collection of eReader eBooks before I even started looking at getting an eInk eBook Reader. When I first looked at eBook Readers in 2007 the only one which had Mobipocket support was the Cybook. Therefore I was very excited when BeBook started to support Mobipocket DRM, all I had to do was add my BeBook PID to my Fictionwise account and download the next eBook on my “to read” list. OK, I really downloaded *all* the eBooks on my “to read” list, but who’s counting.
  • Mobipocket - The current Mobipocket support on the BeBook is very good. Its seamless as far as I’m concerned. Download eBook, copy to Internal memory or SD card, read eBook. It looks good and is easy to customize. There are a few a few steps that have to be followed for Mobi eBooks that aren’t needed for other formats, these steps aren’t all in the manual but are easy to find on the support forum. The one I use most is: Bookmarks – click <6> Bookmark list, click, Choose <1> Add Bookmark
  • PDF - Some of the eBooks I want are only available in PDF format and the results vary on the BeBook. This isn’t the BeBooks fault though, it all depends on how the eBook was created. Any PDF which was designed to print to a A4 or Letter size page will not look good on the BeBook unless it is Zoomed to the highest level. I have a couple of kids eBooks in PDF which I would like to read on my BeBook but only very simple picture books work well, if there is a big picture with lots of small writing it doesn’t look great. If the book has 1 side picture and 1 side large printing in simple sentences it is great. My son asks me to read him “Baby Monster” all the time. He loves having his books on my eBook Reader.


  • I have come to terms with the Font Size limitations in Mobipocket eBooks. I know I harp about that a lot but I started out with eBooks on my HP iPaq so I'm use to having the smallest possible font in order to get the most words possible per page. I've also been spoiled by the, comparatively, huge number of font sizes available on the Cybook. That said, the smallest font on the BeBook is very readable and a good 'average' size.
  • I understand the need to limit the number of sizes possible on the BeBook since the font size is changed by clicking on the <8/zoom> button. Each time the button is pushed it increase the size by one, you watch the book re-paginate and then you can push the button again to go up by one more size. You can click the button 3 times to get back to the size you started at, but you do have to wait for the re-pagination to complete each time. With more than 5 font sizes this would take a very long time to go through. *Hint* I would LOVE to have 5 font size options on the BeBook! ;)
  • I would like to see at least 1 smaller font made available to the BeBook. Others I have spoken to have asked right away how big the fonts go, so obviously smaller isn't better for everyone. I have added my Calibri to the BeBook and now I get a good number of words per page in a very readable font. I love customizing my reading experience. :)
  • Obviously the PDF files do not allow for custom fonts to be used but, as with the other formats, there are 3 sizes to choose from, as stated in the manual: “Normal, Full Screen, and Double. In Double the text will be displayed in landscape format. When a text page is displayed, press 8 repeatedly to zoom in or out to the format you prefer."


  • I love the 'Keyboard Lock" option. This means I don't have to wait for the BeBook to boot up before I can read my eBooks. When I click the power button to unlock the BeBook it takes me to the screen/page I had displayed when I locked the BeBook.
  • The actual boot time for the BeBook is very reasonable and it doesn't seem to go through the 'cataloguing' of the eBooks that my Cybook does at each boot up. The BeBook does take longer to open individual eBooks than the Cybook does, probably because it doesn't catalogue them at boot. This is a trade-off that is easy to take; it's not a huge delay, perhaps 5-10 seconds to open an eBook vs. 30+ seconds to boot the Cybook.

Battery Life
  • I charged my BeBook fully 9 days ago, March 25th and after reading for *at least* 2 hrs a day it didn’t fail until April 2nd in the evening near the end of my reading session. I feel this is very good battery life. I had to keep myself from connecting the BeBook to my computer so that I could get a fair idea of how long it would last. 8 days of use, over 16 hrs reading time isn’t bad, especially when you consider that I was doing a lot of page refreshes hopping through menus as I was setting up all my custom options. :D

  • In the week that I have had the BeBook it has only frozen on me once. I really think that it was near the end of its battery life though as it kept indicating 2 batteries/3 batteries in an alternating pattern. I was also going from menus to eBook to menu to SD card to Internal Memory. Not a fair test... unless you are me and trying to see what will happen if you do "x” :D I know that for the first few charges the Cybook doesn’t show accurate battery levels, it is possible that the BeBook is the same. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
  • I have to say that I *Love* the way the BeBook actually re-boots when the reset button is pushed. It clearly shows what is happening at each stage so you aren't left with a frozen screen and an 'off' light indicating that the reset went through (thinking Cybook). This is exactly the behaviour that most people would expect to see when hitting 'reset.'

Once again, I want to thank my friends at for all the help with finding the best eBook Reader for any given time and technical help along the way. If you decide to purchase a BeBook for yourself please consider using either my coupon code "" or head over to the BeBook Wiki at and help the next person get their Free BeBook too.


  1. glad to meet you....... keep blogging to share anything..........

  2. Hi, do you know where to enter the coupon code? I check for several times, but I can't find it...I am in France and I want to buy bebook mini :) thanks!

  3. Unfortunately they recently discontinued the coupon discount. It was only intended for the BeBook "One" so the release of the BeBook Mini at a lower price has changed the market a bit for them.
    Apparently they will start a new promotional campaign within the next few months, offering another opportunity to earn free BeBooks or other rewards.