The smallest, lightest, cheapest e-reader ever

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

A new E Ink reader has been announced for Europe, boasting to be the smallest and lightest e-reader ever — and priced at just €9.90.

(Credit: txtr)

Called the Beagle, from German company Txtr, it may be making a few big claims, but it certainly looks handsome, with four different coloured backs and specs that seem, on the surface at least, to verify its boasting.

At just 140x105x4.8 millimetres, weighing 128 grams and with a five-inch 600x800p E Ink screen, it's certainly small — although, perhaps not the smallest. The Kobo Mini, which is set to take that crown, is 133.1x101.6x10.3 millimetres and 134 grams.

The Beagle also doesn't use wired charging, instead relying on AAA batteries. These add some width to the base of the e-reader, bringing it to 14 millimetres — and the Beagle website doesn't mention whether or not the 128 grams is with or without batteries. We think we have you scuttled, Txtr!

Silliness aside, it doesn't look like a bad prospect at all — especially when you consider the price. It will come in at just €9.90 (around AU$12.45) — a price that is made possible in Europe thanks to a mobile-carrier subsidy, and presumably, the device will come on some sort of plan, but we don't know what kind, since it operates via Bluetooth.

That's right — no Wi-Fi, no 3G. Books are transferred to the device using Bluetooth, via mobile phone (Android or iOS) or PC, a process that will allow the device to only hold up to five books at a time, according to The Digital Reader, despite the Beagle's reported 4GB capacity

Nevertheless, an E Ink reader at that price point could certainly revolutionise e-reading.

We have contacted the local distributor to enquire about local release information, and will update when we know more.

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sonyakay posted a comment   

Hello Michelle, has the Beagle been released in Oz yet? Seems just perfect for me. No garbage attached etc. cheers sonya


Michelle Starr posted a reply   

Hi Sonya,

It's due out sometime early this year in Europe, but the company hasn't announced whether there will be an Australian release. It might take a little while if Txtr has to find a mobile carrier for it.


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