PROS / Color options and pre-loaded books enhances this eReader.
CONS / The COOL-ER has a slow response time and a clicky navigation system.
VERDICT / The COOL-ER has good readability but lacks any additional features.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
As far as eBook readers go, the COOL-ER may not have all the latest features. But its low price point, eBook store and lightweight appeal make it the perfect travel companion. If you’re looking for a good way to pack your books around, we’d recommend the COOL-ER over many other eBook devices. However, if you’re looking for something to use for more than reading your favorite books (i.e. reading newspaper and magazine subscriptions), then you probably should look elsewhere. For a side-by-side comparison and more objective reviews of other eBook Readers, visit our eBook reader page.
Readability & Display
The COOL-ER eReader is so light, you can almost forget you have it. Throw it in your bag and it doesn’t start to weigh it down like the Sony or even the Kindle can. You can take it everywhere with you and pull it out when you have a down moment. If it wasn’t for how long it takes to navigate back to the book, it would feel better than lugging around that dog-eared copy of Pride and Prejudice.
A favorite feature on the COOL-ER is the color options. It is nice to have choices and even have the ability to coordinate the color with an iPod or other device. Having the colors makes it personal. Take a page out of Apple’s book, colors work.
Design & Portability
Although the COOL-ER store is available, most of the titles we compared to the Sony store or the Kindle store were at least $2 - $3 more expensive. Still less than buying the physical book, but a little more than we would like to pay.
We liked that the COOL-ER came pre-loaded with several books in a variety of genres. Almost anyone could pull it out of the box and enjoy reading it right then without having to go through the computer the first time. But, once you do start loading books and the like it’s a simple process of dragging and dropping files. It was also nice to have Sodoku on the device. Sometimes, not often, you need a break from a book. Throwing down a game of Sodoku was a nice tangent. It was a little awkward navigating through the game with limited controls, but it worked.
The COOL-ER works best with the EPUB format. It has a difficult time supporting other file formats. PDF and TXT had awkward line breaks while the RTF files didn’t have any line breaks at all.
The COOL-ER isn’t perfect, but honestly, what can you expect with such a low price point? The response time on the page turns was no slower than some other devices we’ve reviewed, like the Astak, but it wasn’t enough to ruin the experience of reading the book. We enjoyed using the COOL-ER and we'd recommend it to anyone looking for a nice device to travel with. It’s cheap, packable (although you may want to be careful if you throw it in a suitcase, it doesn’t come with a cover, so put it in between a couple shirts to keep it from getting scratched), and will keep you entertained no matter where you go. Of course, if you're looking for the top of the line, you'll still want to check out the Kindle 3 or Kindle DX.