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Elonex ebook reader review

Can Elonex and Borders sew up the UK ebook market before Amazon arrives?

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Our Verdict

For

  • Slim, lightweight
  • Long battery life
  • Crisp e-ink screen

Against

  • Flimsy, long-winded interface
  • Slow power on and page refresh
  • Expensive ebooks

Plug it in to your computer and the eBook shows up as a FAT drive, but it complains if you copy too many books into the root of the drive and we couldn't create a new folder there either.

There's no problem adding more books via Adobe's Digital Editions though. This is the software you need to load up protected ebooks; you have to install Digital Editions, sign up for an Adobe ID (giving details like your address) and authorise both your PC and the eBook.

This lets you put ebooks on up to six devices and gives you a backup of purchased books if you delete them accidentally.

copy books

The Elonex eBook shows up as a 'bookshelf' in Digital Editions and you can add unprotected PDF and ePub files to the library to copy across.

When you download ebooks you buy from Borders, the link you get from the checkout is supposed to open the ebook directly in Digital Editions; we found this didn't work until we saved the licence file and associated the file type with Digital Editions by hand (a problem with Adobe's installation software rather than the Borders store).

Borders has some 45,000 ebooks, ranging from £300 encyclopaedias to £1.99 romance novels; you can get travel guides and cookbooks as well as fiction, but most titles are best sellers - if you're looking for your favourite genre authors, you probably won't find them on Borders UK yet.

dpad

You can buy ebooks from anywhere that sells them in the ePub format and load them through Digital Editions, but it's not the same integrated experience you get with Amazon and the Kindle.

eBooks can seem rather pricey; a new release will cost the same £14-16 as a hardback and older books are the same £6-8 as paperbacks. Publishers argue that the editing and production costs are still high but when you're paying £189 for your own reader, you might expect cheaper ebooks toren make up for your initial investment.