Dai Nippon Printing has released their first e-reader called the Honto Pocket. It has been available in Japan for the last few weeks and the company intends on making a number of e-book anthologies available to purchase by the end of January and will be opening up an online bookstore in February.
The Honto Pocket basically has no place in the modern world, it is a throwback to how e-readers were made as cheaply as possible five years ago. This little device has a five inch screen with a resolution of 800 X 600. It does not have a touchscreen, so you will have to navigate around with the D-Pad. It does not have wireless internet access and many bloggers in Japan are saying once books are loaded on it, there is no way to actually delete them. Oh, best of all, it has two AA batteries to power it.
This e-reader is available at many different bookstores in Japan. There are a few e-Books that come loaded on it, but the publisher is trying to get people to buy a few anthologies. You can buy 100 titles by Agatha Christie for ¥74,800 or 43 books featuring detective Hercule Poirot for ¥ 32,800.
In a few months the company will be launching an online bookstore, where you can purchase content to your computer and then plug the e-reader into it to sync over all of the e-books you buy. Not very intuitive.
I would not recommend this e-reader to anyone. You can buy plenty of great devices in Japan such as the Sony, Kindle or Kobo e-readers. They all have WIFI and allow you buy books right on them. The Honto Pocket is certainly budget friendly, but so was the Extaco Jetbook Mini, and that didn’t sell well.
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.