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Elonex 705EB review

Elonex's latest LCD device falls uncomfortably between ereader and tablet

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Our Verdict

For

  • 720p video via TV out
  • ePub and PDF support
  • 4GB of expandable storage
  • MP3 player and FM radio
  • Decent video

Against

  • Screen resolution is too low
  • Fonts are too big
  • Horrible buttons
  • Horrible interface
  • White one looks grubby

If it's vaguely tablet-shaped, there's a good chance that Elonex makes it: the firm makes 10-inch and 7-inch Android tablets with capacitive touchscreens, cut-price seven-inchers with resistive screens, portable media players, photo frames, weather stations and ebook readers.

In ebooks it makes two kinds of devices: e-ink readers such as the £99 621EB, and LCD ones such as the 705EB. It's the LCD one we're interested in here.

As with previous Elonex devices, you'll be able to pick up the 705EB in Waterstones, and the RRP is £129 - slightly pricey in ebook terms, at £40 more than the View Quest Bookbox and even £20 more than the Kobo eReader Touch, but cheap for a tablet. And to be honest, it's more of a tablet than it is an ebook reader.

Elonex 705eb review

The Elonex 705EB looks awfully like a seven-inch tablet, and that's essentially what it is: while Elonex is marketing the device as an ebook reader, it also doubles as an MP3 player, FM radio photo viewer and video player.

A reasonable 4GB of built-in storage is enough for thousands of books, although of course video will eat capacity fairly quickly and you might find the 16GB microSD card slot comes in handy for media.

Elonex 705eb review

Where the Elonex 705EB falls down is in its display, which delivers a resolution of 800 x 480. That's a comparatively low pixel density for a seven-inch device, which is unfortunate when reading text is the device's main purpose. It also means that it can't display the advertised 720p video in its full glory. For that, you'll need to connect the 705EB to your TV.

The matte screen means it's better in daylight than glossier models, but the display suffers from poor viewing angles. Taken together, these issues mean it's best considered as a media player that just happens to do ebooks too.

Elonex 705eb review

The Elonex 705EB is roughly the same size as the Amazon Kindle 4, pictured here side by side.