Bookeen Cybook Odyssey review
The Cybook Odyssey is Bookeen’s first touchscreen eBook reader. It looks similar to the Cybook Opus, but has fewer buttons and is slightly more compact. The reader feels sturdy, with a black, brushed metal back that easily stood up to rattling around in our backpack.
Although the Odyssey is largely dependent on its touchscreen controls, it’s not been entirely stripped of traditional buttons. There’s an on switch at the bottom and buttons set into the left and right edges of the reader that allow you to turn the page if you’d rather not touch the screen with wet or greasy hands. A single button below the screen brings up a range of touch shortcuts.
Bookeen claims that the Odyssey’s High Speed Ink System (HSIS) makes it the fastest eBook reader around. However, in our slightly unscientific side-by-side page turn swipe test, the Odyssey loaded new pages fractionally slower than our reference Sony Reader. Despite this, page turns were smooth and fast enough to ensure a comfortable reading experience. The 600x800 display is the usual E Ink V220 that you’ll find on most eBook readers, but rather than the Neonode zForce infrared touchscreen system used by rivals from Kobo, Sony and Amazon, the Odyssey instead has a capacitive touchscreen. This makes little difference in practice, except that you can’t turn pages using a stylus or when wearing gloves.
The Odyssey has just 2GB of built-in storage – that’s enough to hold around 666 eBooks at a typical size of 3MB. You might eventually need extra capacity if you also want to use the Odyssey’s built-in MP3 player to listen to your audiobook collection or play the ancillary audio files that go along with some language and reference books. The reader has a microSDHC slot for this purpose, so you can add up to 32GB of additional space. Between the memory card slot and the 3.5mm headphone output is a micro USB port that allows you to connect the reader to your PC.