A touchscreen ebook reader with support for multiple online bookstores
The Bookeen Odyssey is an ebook reader with a touchscreen and a High Speed Ink System that promises faster page updates.
It's fairly comfortable to hold, but it's a little too wide to hold and flip through pages using just one hand. Pages are turned by swiping a finger across the touchscreen. The back of the Odyssey is metal so that side should be fairly tough, but we'd still recommend getting a proper case to protect the more delicate screen.
Ebook reader screens can be slow to show new text when turning pages, but the Odyssey's screen is fast to update. The touchscreen is thankfully responsive so it is rarely frustrating to use. It's worth learning the different gestures and swipes, including the pinching motion to zoom into text. The physical menu button on the front lets you access all the various options, so you can still use them even if you forget the correct motion. A nice touch is the accelerometer so the Odyssey can switch between landscape and portrait orientations without pressing a key. This can be disabled if you want.
Wifi is built-in for buying ebooks online, although we found that most of the books on the Bookeen store were in French and the process isn't as quick and polished as it is on the Amazon Kindle. You can also buy ebooks from the Waterstones, Tesco and WHSmith online stores on your computer and then copy them to the Odyssey using a USB cable, although this is even less convenient than buying books from the Bookeen store. There is also a basic web browser should you want to check webpages on the move.
There's 2GB of internal storage which is plenty for ebooks and the microSDHC card slot can accept cards up to 32GB in size. That's probably over the top for ebooks, but the Odyssey can also play MP3 music files.
One drawback is the high price – at £130 it's more expensive than the competition. The Kindle is £89 although it doesn't have a touchscreen, while the Kobo Touch, which does, costs £100.
Read more reviews
The hardware isn't bad, but buying books isn't very convenient
Quick screen updates; responsive touchscreen controls
Clunky book purchasing; bit clumsy to use single-handed
Phone no UK number supplied
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