Elonex ebook reader review

Can Elonex and Borders sew up the UK ebook market before Amazon arrives?

Elonex ebook reader
Discount computer manufacturer Elonex enters the eBook market, partnering with Borders bookstores in the UK

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The free books that come with the eBook have obviously been taken straight from sources like Project Gutenberg and some have inexcusable formatting errors; XML tags on the first page, run-on lists of dramatis personae and foreign characters with accents transformed into symbols or Japanese characters.

Commercial ebooks are laid out like paper books, complete with acknowledgements, copyright pages, table of contents and so on.

This looks much more professional, but it does mean you have to page through them one at a time to start reading; it's faster to flip to the first page of a printed book.

You can jump through chapters via the tale of contents in the menu, but driving this via the arrow controls is slow and a little clunky, compared to swiping through pages and clicking links on the screen of an ebook reader like Stanza on an iPhone or a Windows Mobile device. And that's what the eBook has to compete with as much as the Kindle.

Lighter, cheaper and more basic than other ebook readers, at £180 the Elonex eBook is still on the pricey side for something you can get free on an iPhone or netbook.

It's not that there's anything wrong with it beyond the slow page turn, typical e-ink cycle to black and slightly clunky interface.

It's more that the whole ebook market doesn't feel ready for the mainstream market this device is aimed at. But if the books you want to read are available (and affordable) as ebooks, the Elonex eBook is a convenient way to put hundreds of them in your bag without weighing yourself down.

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Mary (Twitter, Google+, website) started her career at Future Publishing, saw the AOL meltdown first hand the first time around when she ran the AOL UK computing channel, and she's been a freelance tech writer for over a decade. She's used every version of Windows and Office released, and every smartphone too, but she's still looking for the perfect tablet. Yes, she really does have USB earrings.