Cybook Opus – Bookeen’s 5″ Pocket eReader

Bookeen announced at IDPF’s Digital Book 2009 Conference that they will be launching the Cybook Opus (see last slide in the pdf presentation), a new pocket ebook reader with a 5″ eInk screen, in June 2009.

Its rather interesting with the following features -

  1. It fits in your pocket and is small and light (weights just 5.3 ounces).  
  2. Cybook Opus has a nice 5″ screen with 200 dpi resolution.  
  3. There’s 1 GB storage capacity.
  4. Folder management (as a Kindle 2 owner that makes me envious).
  5. You can operate it with one hand.  
  6. Includes ePub and PDF support.
  7. There are 12 different font sizes (makes me wonder what the largest size on a 5″ screen would look like).
  8. There’s a motion sensor (probably to allow landscape mode and switching views).
  9. Customizable layout (no idea what this means).

Bookeen lay out their strategy and mention several interesting things -

  1. They’ll develop various products including a larger than 10″ screen electronic textbook reader with note taking and PDF support.
  2. Expected sales in 2009 of 50K ereaders (which will be triple that of 2008).
  3. Enter US market in June 2009 (this actually confuses me as I thought they already had their products available in the US).
  4. Already cover all of Europe.
  5. Tie-ups with Virgin Group, W.H.Smith, Pixmania and several other large retailers (all UK and Europe).
  6. Their Cybook Gen 3 product has a user interface available in 12 different languages.
  7. Their current typical customer is an Avid Reader or Traveller (age over 35 years).

MobileRead managed to find a picture while Bookeen’s site has none (guess they can’t figure out what pocket they left their Opus demo model in) -

Cybook Opus 5" pocket ebook reader

Cybook Opus 5" pocket ebook reader

My Take on the Cybook Opus 

Its great to see new products coming out. The addition of the Motion Sensor and Folder Management are nice touches. Bookeen claim to have a library with 150,000 books available and they have a pretty decent retail presence (especially in UK and France).

New products and new features will give Amazon some incentive to improve Kindles faster and keep adding good features like AutoRotate. More competition hopefully also leads to some truly innovative products.

8 Responses

  1. Yes, competition is likely the only thing that will get Amazon moving faster to maintain its lead (not that I care whether Amazon maintains its lead). But the competitors have to not be greedy: For example, there’s another new e-reader (forget the name) that’s being offered at $250 dollars … but i think $200-220 would provide more traction … I think Amazon should offer a Kindle w/out wireless and, of course, at a lesser price. There are plenty of people like myself who can quickly download via wired computer and transfer books to the device. The wireless, impulse purchase is great for Amazon, of course; but as others offer excellent devices w/out the wireless fee I think those devices will be very attractive.

  2. Right! This comes on the heels (2 days) of the announcements for the Cool-er Readers in the UK that will sell for about $250, are 6 ozs (~half the weight of the Sony), have 1 gig of memory, an SD slot (4-gig) and have Adobe support for PDF files, while also handling ePub files. It autorotates, which is a good feature for pdf-readers.

    To me, they look sort of cheap, but people who hate the Kindle 2 love their looks (go figure).

    No wireless
    No inline dictionary
    No search function
    No highlighting or notes

    You mentioned in an article that analyses are being made about challenges to the Kindle based on this but now we have the Cybook Opus too.

    Both are 5 or 6″ screens, smaller, and can deal with PDFs while the K2 can’t… I do feel this added, better-looking device, will help put pressure on Amazon to do the firmware update so the K2 isn’t the little one that couldn’t, even if I prize the K2 myself for the searching capabilities, the ever-present dictionary, the wireless, the web-browsing possible and the subscriptions possible. Unlike some, I love reading periodicals on this.

    K2 owners are feeling bad though about the DX’s PDF non-capability, and it appears that licensing is the main reason … or keeping that as a differentiation between the K2 and the KDX.

    For a person like me, the Cooler-er is not really any competition at all; support for problems is unknown for each. Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/18/kindle-cooler-ereader-technology-personal-tech-kindle.html shows just how new Interread is and how the owner threw all that together in a couple of months. Reliability would be an issue for me.

    For $100 one gives up that wireless and all the interactive functions ( I do realize some don’t care about anything but pure reading — but then, $250 ??).

    That the Cybook will have folders is another challenge :-)

    Interesting to watch!

  3. Correction: “K2 owners are feeling bad though about the K2’s PDF non-capability…”

  4. The Sony reader works well, is well built and reliable. Tough to beat.

  5. I have the Sony, it failed within 2 months and I have had the run around trying to get it fixed. I loved it but hate the after sale support.

    I am considering giving up my $300.00 and moving to something like this. If they support it they will win me. Who cares about wifi. That means being tethered to Amazon. I already have 4000 ebooks to read in PDF and don’t want them restricting what format I use.

  6. I had a Opus for a bit. Loved the size…but:
    The auto rotate was too sensitive. Screen contrast is way way to dim. Background grey is too dark compared to other products. They could forget the graphics (little and big pictures) they just annoy, take up space and time.
    Other than that I loved it….is a little flimsy though…don’t drop it.

  7. Oh yes…couldn’t get the Pdfs large enough to read….very problematic….maybe just a user error.

  8. [...] loads of reviews for the leading contenders: Amazon Kindle, Sony Pocket Reader, Sony Reader Touch, Cybook Opus, iRiver Story. I also went to Waterstones and played with as many of the devices as I [...]

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