Announced at the end of July this year the alongside the Binatone Homesurf 705 tablet (which we reviewed earlier this month) the Binatone ReadMe Mobile is the follow up to the not so popular Binatone Classic and ReadMe Daily.
Where to Purchase:
- £129.99 (approx)
E-Readers in Category:
- None as this is unique
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
- Android 2.1
- 7 inch colour screen with qwerty keypad and touch sensitive navigation key
- 2G internal memory
- MP3 / MP4 / JPEG Playback
- Supported file types: TXT, PDF, HTML, CHM, RTF, FB2, EPUB, TCR, OPEN E-BOOK, OPEN READER and MOBI
- DRM compatible
- Screen resolution – 800 x 480 pixels
- 6 hours reading time
- Bookmark facility
- Built in speaker
- Volume control
- USB 2.0 connection
- Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
- Solid design
- Supports a variety of e-book formats
No Android Market
In The Box:
- Binatone ReadMe Mobile
- Standard UK 3 pin charger
- Mini USB lead
- In Ear Earphones
- Leather (yeah right) ‘Flip Folio Case’
After having been promised the Binatone ReadMe Mobile for some time I finally got my hands on it…weekend, rain, a steaming mug of coffee and a good …uhm…e-book – perfect conditions.
The box, with it’s old fashioned font, reaches out to a reader more then a techie. The ReadMe Mobile comes in a package with a ‘Flip Folio Case’ which turns out to be a rather elegant, if not slightly smelly, fake leather case that doubles as a stand.
The ReadMe Mobile itself is a bit heavier than expected, but easy on the eye. It appears to be sturdily manufactured and the design is unassuming. The back has a slightly structured surface, small stoppers and a stand that can be folded out.
All connectors and the slot for the SD Card are at the bottom of the device and the case, even when closed leaves enough space for wires (charger and/or headphones) to be plugged in.
The ReadMe Mobile boots up reasonably quick in just under a minute and presents you with the familiar Android 2.1 screen. Being used to touch screen devices I find myself uselessly poking at the screen a lot, but the OFN is quite intuitive after a while and the keyboard works surprisingly well for standard characters (Except for the ‘y’ key which doesn’t respond on my device). The only downside of the physical keyboard is the fact that I miss the hyphen / underscore which is not there and the on screen keyboard has to step in to sort that.
Unlocking the screen using the button on the front I’m immediately presented with the Ebook reader. The library comes with some free books to get you started and also gives access to some default catalogues for free e-book downloads. These catalogues aren’t great (why exactly does it come with a catalogue for Chinese books?) but an app to buy e-books from WHSmith is included as well.
The ReadMe Mobile also supports popular formats like PDF or HTML which are added to the library. But speaking of apps… there’s no Android market which is sort of standard for this level of device.
Ok, coffee’s ready so now on to the serious part – reading a book. The screen is easy to read even in direct light or from an angle. Reading in the dark is also possible without too much strain on the eyes. The font type and size can be changed to suit the reader. The device displays coloured images that are part of the book content as well, even though they take a bit longer to load.
The ReadMe Mobile also plays movies and music…the quality is average but not horrible.
The battery life is a real disappointment though, with it saying 6 hours and this being I brand new product I can guarantee that at most you get 4 hours if you use only the reader.
One of my my favourite features has to be the automatic page turner, you can set a timer and the page turns all by itself – you can keep reading while peeling potatoes, knitting …the possibilities are endless! The only drawback is that you cannot manually enter the time and I find the options either a bit too fast or too slow.
If I had to choose one annoying thing it is that the ReadMe Mobile does not automatically remember where you’ve left off once you finish reading and sadly you have to set manual bookmarks.
The ReadMe Mobile has definitely been designed first and foremost for reading books but the Android OS elevates it from a simple E-book reader to an all purpose device, great for casual reading anywhere (in close proximity of a power source!) and possibly a good travel companion. The ReadMe Mobile is unlikely to be a big hit though – it just doesn’t have the ‘coolness factor’. It caters for a low budget niche market somewhere between Kindle and iPad 2 – but it does hold it’s own and I’ve grown quite fond of it.