The simple and light Aluratek Libre Pro e-reader is an invigorating experience, which as of now is available at a surprisingly low cost of around $170. It would be unfair to call the Libre Pro an attempt to re-create another in the crowded e-reader market and you will be amazed that for a competitive price it is a much better device.
Nothing is constant in the e-reader market as new versions are being released in quick succession and with improvisation taking place at an extremely fast pace. From electronic paper screens of yore to a combination of tablets with LCDs, what we have now are dual screen e-paper and LCD products. In fact, such is the frenzied pace of activity in this segment that it is now becoming difficult to characterize an e-reader itself.
As for Aluratek, the company is taking a different approach to the screen technology used – a non-backlit, 5-inch, monochrome Toshiba LCD with the intention of making the display more pleasing to the eye and giving the feeling of an electronic paper. All this while being kind to the battery.
It achieves comprehensively what it has set out to achieve in being comforting to the eyes for extended hours of reading when compared to the Barnes and Noble Nook or may be even the Amazon Kindle 2, despite the display being smaller. Unfortunately it loses out on the battery front as the Libre Pro battery life is nothing to cry hoarse about. Like it can’t withstand a continuous three-day mixed use and standby mode option and needs to be charged more often. This, when the company claims that it has enough juice to make for approximately 24 hrs of constant reading, which extends to about a month on standby mode.
The color of display gives a feel of monochrome screens of the past with a greenish-gold coloration. Despite such a look it wins hands down in being extremely comfortable to your eyes.
The Libre Pro is smooth built and with a weight of just 7 ounces, it gives a lighter feel to your hands and is also remarkably easy to use. Its soft buttons are a joy to use and is a far cry from many an e-reader, especially the Interead Cool-ER which has rugged controls that are awfully stiff.
Towards the left is an uncommon slider bar that allows you to scroll pages forward and back while on the right side of the display panel, there are a vertical set of buttons similar to the mobile key pad for making text and numeric inputs. These buttons let you choose the option you desire on screen. Its functioning is similar to the scrollwheel of the original Kindle but makes a much better and elegant alternative to the Kludgy feel of the original Kindle scrollwheel.
On the right, below the screen, you will find a navigation pad having five directions, perfectly covered by four convenient buttons for changing options (switching to a target page in the book with the use of numbers along the screen), orientation, text enlargement options, and return.
You can scroll a page forward or back with buttons on the left side, which are adequately placed to turn the pages with both the hands or with left if the device is in your left hand. Another way is to operate the buttons with right hand while you control the e-reader with its sides in your left hand.
The Libre Pro comes with an SDHC card slot which can sustain cards up to 32 GB and it can run different document formats like PDF, RTF, PRC, MOBI, FB2, Adobe ePub, and text. To get you immediately on to reading e-books, it comes pre-installed with 100 classics. You can add more either by downloading manually or purchasing from ePub-supported stores. Aluratek is associated with eBooks.com akobo that will let you have the e-boks of your choice with the minimum of fuss.
The power button, headphone jack, and the hand-strap loop are provided at the bottom of the device whereas the SD slot, mini USB port is covered with a rubberized flap which feels firm and covers the USB port.
In a nutshell, Libre Pro gives you the sense of a simple and comfortable e-reader which is a good alternative to the expensive and fancy e-readers consisting Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity.
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