The Cybook Gen3 E Ink reader is now on sale at the Bookeen Web site for US$350 with:

cybooksale–A six-inch Vizplex E Ink screen. Vizplex has more screen contrast than the older E Ink technology.

–A weight of 6.13 ounces. That’s almost three ounces lighter than the new Sony Reader PRS-505.

–Advertised battery life of 8,000 page flips between charges.

–“RSS feeds and eNews.”

–Support of not just DRMed and nonDRMed Mobipocket but also “many open formats like HTML, Txt, PRC, PalmDoc and PDF. These formats are commonly found on Internet and can be easily generated by many text editors. All these files support font resizing except PDF files which can be zoomed.” The Cybook cannot read DRMed PDF. It’s been said that Mobipocket doesn’t allow other company’s DRM-capable software on dedicated e-book readers with built-in Mobipocket. True? Meanwhile, yes, Bookeen has said it wants an .epub reader on the Cybook. Among hardware vendors, Bookeen has been one of the staunchest backers of standards.

$100 more buys you a leather cover ($39.95 separately), a 2GB storage card ($24.95), earphones ($9.95) and an extra battery ($44.95). The full specs are here. I’m under the impression that actual shipping may start November 2.

Related: The first of three parts of DearAuthor’s Christmas Buying Guide for E-Book Readers. The consumer-oriented Jane accurately observes: “Because of the hated Digital Rights Management and nearly 10 different software platforms for e-books, deciding which device to buy can be more traumatizing than braving the 5 am Walmart Black Friday crowd.” Hello, IDPF? Time to expedite work on .epub validation and an official logo so people know they’re steering clear of eBabel? If you want e-books to hit big-time retail for real, then eBabel must go.

And speaking of DRM, the scourge of consumers and consumer-aware hardware vendors: See Dr. Ellen’s Hage discussion of the law-breaking that the technology drives e-book-lovers to. When Mobi’s server went down temporarily, some legal purchasers of Mobi used DRM bypass programs to maintain access to their books. Anyone have thoughts on that, one way or another?

Update, 12:24 p.m., Oct. 29: Engadget is also excited about the promise of the Cybook and has a pointer to this TeleBlog item. Thanks, guys. May the actual hardware live up to our expectations!

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  1. look at spec sheet . Things I notice:

    a)RSS to ebook using mobipocket software
    b)play mp3 and read simultaneously!
    c)synchronization of bookmarks with mobipocket desktop
    d)some zoom capability with pdf
    e)ability to load your own ttf fonts
    f)slideshow feature
    g)jump to a specific page
    h)several sorting options
    i)pictures can become hyperlinks

    In other words, some excellent features. I’m sure some warts will be noticed in the next two weeks.

  2. Why is it though that we Europeans always get stung on the price? $350 in the U.S. – but for Europe; 350 €.

    With the current exchange rates this makes a difference of ~$150 / 105€.

  3. Two questions:

    1) Anyone got a pic of this thing displaying a 2-column scientific PDF?

    2) How does a Mac user load DRM keys for encrypted Mobipocket files? (Assuming I make the mistake of *buying* a crippled ebook in the first place, that is.)

    Enquiring minds want to know.

    — C

  4. one problem with cybook’s introduction (if you can call it that) is that review copies are not circulating before the release. Maybe mobileread’s Bob Russell is keeping something secret from us (and has a hands-on review in the wings). Otherwise, we may end up waiting about 2-3 weeks for an honest review and have to rely upon company literature and video for a sense of how it works.

  5. I looked at the YouTube vid. Very poorly made. I couldn’t tell what buttons there were or where they were. Buttons on the left side edge?! How then does a cover attach?!

  6. I’m a Mac user also Cerebus .. Bookeen replied to my question about how to manage things earlier today. The Cybook appears as a mass storage device.

    I already own an iRex iLiad and all you have to do (will be the same with the Cybook) is register a specific number at mobipocket (i use fictionwise it’s cheaper!) .. you can register i think 3 devices ..

    Hope this helps!

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