Bigme is a company that specializes in digital paper products. The entire offering is for users to make notes, annotate PDF files and freehand draw. Most of their lineup is black and white e-paper, but they also lead the charge with the most colour E INK products in the industry. They had the first commercial product with Gallery 3 and a number of units using Kaleido 3.
It was quite the shock when Bigme disclosed that they were developing a dedicated e-reader that had a singular purpose, to read ebooks and nothing else. The Bigme Read is their first in a future lineup of devices that have no note-taking functionality and is purely a consumer product. What makes the Read standout from the competition? Google Play is available to use right out of the box, so you can download any Android app that you want, such as Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook or Kobo. Borrow ebooks and audiobooks from the public library with Hoopla or Overdrive Libby. Listen to audiobooks via Bluetooth or the accompanied speaker from the likes of Audible or Spotify. Running out space with all of these apps, luckily it has an SD card.
The Bigme Read is a solid e-reader with lots of compelling things that separate it from the competition. However, it does have a few drawbacks. It does not have a 300 PPI display, so fonts will not good as good as reading on most other e-readers, such as the Kindle Paperwhite, Nook Glowlight 4 or the Kobo Libra 2. The Read also does not do a good job at reading comics, manga or webtoons. Turning the pages and displaying content is slow and sluggish. Sure, you can use some of the speed modes to increase performance, but it comes with the expense of image degradation. It also lacks physical page-turn buttons.
Who should buy the Bigme Read? Someone who doesn’t want to be locked into a specific ecosystem, but wants the freedom of choice to do business or download content from whoever you want. The company also supports their e-reader, issuing a number of firmware updates that fix bugs, introduce new features and quality of life improvements. The e-reader is also very affordable and you can order it today from the Good e-Reader Store for $149.99 and has full English support.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.