Bookeen Cybook Opus
Booken Opus

Booken Cybook Opus review: Pros, Cons & Verdict

Booken Cybook Opus review

Yes, the Bookeen Cybook Opus is definitely a good entry-level eReader for people who want to get to know the eBook reader market or for those who value portability above all.

It’s small; it’s intuitive; it gets the job done.

But at the same price (and sometimes for even less), you can get its fiercest competitor, the Sony PRS-300 Pocket edition, which has much stronger brand recognition, a better design, and a mildly better customer support department.

Tough call, but I’d go with the Sony eReader for now.

Pros:
The most portable device to date | Supports a good variety of file formats | Lots of font sizes to choose from (which is extremely important on a small eReader)

Cons:
Has only basic eReader functions (no wireless, dictionary, annotation capability) | A bit high-priced compared to its direct competitor (the Sony PRS-300 Pocket Edition) | Not a strong brand, combined with customer support complaints, smells like trouble

Best For:
Just like its competitor, the Sony PRS-300 Pocket Edition, this device is best suited for people who either want to get a feel about what the eReading market is all about or for those who want to be extra portable and have no need for reading technical documents.

Booken Cybook Opus review

How I conducted my review of the Bookeen Cybook Opus:

The Bookeen Cybook Opus is another entry-level eReader that goes head to head with the Sony-PRS-300 Pocket Edition. It’s thinner, lighter, and has more storage space. But is that much better? I went over several website reviews and checked out this “cute” new eReader myself. Here are the results.

What I thought of the Bookeen Cybook Opus:

The Bookeen Cybook Opus definitely wins when it comes to portability. It’s the most portable eReader out there. Just when we thought you couldn’t get any more Compaq than the Sony PRS-300 Pocket Edition, along came the Bookeen Cybook Opus.

It weighs 5.3 ounces (150 gr) and easily fits inside your pocket, which is great. The five inch display will let you read novels quite easily and you also have twelve adjustable font sizes, which is an extremely wide variety to choose from. But if you want to read anything other than novels, you should stay away from this one.

I love the fact that this small device seems to maximize its potential relative to its size. It has 1GB of internal memory, which can be expanded (unlike the non-expandable 512MB of the Sony PRS-300 Pocket edition). It also even has a built-in accelerometer that changes the display to landscape once you hold the Bookeen Cybook Opus in a horizontal position. I must say though that the accelerometer is a bit “over-zealous” and sometimes doesn’t really get which way you’re holding the eReader.

Another excellent feature is the fact that the Bookeen Cybook Opus supports a wide variety of file formats, including the all so important securable ePub format which is used widely by eBook sellers on the net and throughout the Goggle eBook library.

Of course, another thing that was left out to keep down the costs is wireless capabilities. The Bookeen Cybook Opus isn’t internationally compatible as it has no Wi-Fi or 3G wireless capabilities; however it is available for international shipping.

Another thing that disappointed me was that there were only 4 gray scales on the machine, which isn’t that horrible if all you do is read text, but when you come to view pictures, you’ll notice the difference.

On the issue of design, it could have been better. The Bookeen Cybook Opus gives a somewhat “cheap” feeling when holding it in your hand (something that will never happen with the Sony PRS-300). It’s also not the best looking device, but I guess that is a matter of taste.

So, when compared to the Sony PRS-300 Pocket Edition, the Bookeen Cybook Opus is definitely a worthy competitor. It’s hard to compare prices because these devices basically have the same price ($199 as of writing this review). Although in some countries, the Bookeen Cybook Opus will cost more. So, I guess it is a matter of personal preference. If you want the most portable device, the Bookeen Cybook Opus wins, but if it’s design you’re looking for (while still keeping it portable), I’d go with the Sony PRS-300 Pocket Edition. Personally, I would go with Sony, especially because of the stronger brand recognition.

Online Experts Opinion of the Bookeen Cybook Opus:

For experts’ opinion, we turned to PC World, PC Pro, Stuff.tv, Register Hardware, and five. On the bright side, experts thought this device to be the most portable and easy to carry device on the market (PC World), which has lots of storage space compared to its rival the Sony Pocket Edition (five.tv). This was basically repeated by all expert websites.

On the downside is the price issue. Most, if not all, websites agreed that such a device which doesn’t offer that much over its competitors shouldn’t be priced that much higher, especially when it’s not as well branded as its competitor. Furthermore, experts believe that the device could have done better with its menu system, which isn’t that intuitive.

What customers who bought the Bookeen Cybook Opus thought about it:

Customers who were not in favor of the Bookeen Cybook Opus said that it wasn’t built ergonomically correct considering that this device should be held in one hand. The device has a tendency to freeze at several occasions (as noted from several “Mobile Read” forum users) and the company’s customer service isn’t as responsive as you’d expect (several “Mobile Read” forum users and “Mom of many interests” – an Amazon reviewer).

Customers who loved the Bookeen Cybook Opus talked about its portable size (Bob Nelson – “Mobile Read” forum), its easy to work with interface (Ben Cantwell – “Amazon” reviewer), and its excellent display (J. Bill – “New Egg” reviewer).

The Verdict:

Yes, The Bookeen Cybook Opus is definitely a good entry level eReader for people who want to get to know the eBook reader market or for those who value portability above all. It’s small; it’s intuitive; it gets the job done. But at the same price (and sometimes for even less), you can get its fiercest competitor, the Sony PRS-300 Pocket Edition, which has much stronger brand recognition, a better design, and a mildly better customer support department. Tough call, but I’d go with the Sony eReader for now.