Bookeen has just released a new e-reader that seemingly came out of nowhere, with no fanfare or advance hype. The Cybook Muse with Frontlight gives users the ability to read eBooks in many different formats and read in the dark. It allows you turn pages with both the touchscreen and manual buttons. Is this e-reader a valid investment?
The Cybook Muse has a 6 inch screen allowing for easy reading in all conditions, while reducing the size of the e-reader by 17% in comparison to its predecessor, the Cybook Odyssey. The resolution is 1024 x 758, and has 213 DPI, which is fairly conventional.
Underneath the hood is a 800 MHZ Freescale processor and 4 GB of internal storage. It does have support for an MicroSD card, so you can simply insert one in to store thousands of additional titles. Speaking of eBooks, there is a built in store loaded on the two e-readers, with over 100,000 books. You need to register an account with Bookeen and another one with Adobe.
The Cybook Ocean has the physical page turn keys flush with the bezel, whereas the Muse has more convention page turn keys that protrude upwards. This is appealing towards people who have used older e-readers and want to upgrade to something more modern.
Bookeen has been using the Linux operating system for their complete line of e-readers for a number of years. This e-reader is fairly basic and does not have a ton of advanced features to boggle the minds of people new to digital reading.
The homescreen comprises of the book you are currently reading with a progress bar of how much of it is remaining. Underneath that is a small carousal with all of the eBooks in your library with their cover art being displayed. If you click on any of the book covers it will automatically launch the e-reading app.
I think overall the Cybook software is fairly robust, it is super stable and never prone to crashing. One of the downsides is that there is no internet browser bundled on it, so you won’t be able to visit your favorite websites.
Bookeen handles the core e-reading experience fairly conventionally, but most of its advanced features are a bit complicated to access. If you are buying this reader to just read books and not make highlights, annotations, look words up in the dictionary or use the keyboard, you are fine! If you want to do any of these things, be prepared to jump through a ton of hoops.
You can customize your e-reading experience by hitting the home key and then selecting the settings menu. There are options to change the font size, eight different font types, line spaces or margins. This is normally the most accessed reading features and anything you augment is dynamically changed on the screen.
PDF Viewing is a solid experience on the Muse you can pinch and zoom and get a particular frame or image showing up correctly. There is also a “reflow” mode, which will strip away all of the images and CSS elements, giving you more of an eBook experience. Depending on the extensiveness of the PDF file you are viewing, reflow can be hit or miss.
If you want to find out what we thought of this e-reader and if its a viable investment, check out our unboxing and video review.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.