This product has been discontinued and is no longer available. Visit our eBook reader site for similar products.
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.
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.
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 supports MP3s so we could listen to music while reading – it helped drown out those rowdy teens on the train. But the music player does drain the battery significantly, so use it sparingly if you’re traveling.
The COOL-ER would time out and turn itself off if it wasn't used for a while. This was nice when we were reading and would throw it in a bag before turning it off. That way we didn’t end up 20 pages ahead of where we left off because buttons invariably get pushed inside my bag.
My biggest gripe with most eBook readers, and it’s no different with the COOL-ER, is that when you turn it off and then on again, it goes straight to the main menu. We want the book-like experience. We want to be able to turn it off and set it on the table or throw it in my bag but then come back to it and pick right up where we left off. Even if it does save the page we are on, we still don’t like having to navigate through the library again to find the book. It was especially hard testing this model because we had the same book in a variety of formats and we had a hard time remembering which page format we had been last reading.
The COOL-ER comes with a quick guide to get you started and a FAQ section on the website, although neither of those options are very detailed if you have serious problems with the device. Fortunately, you can contact the makers of COOL-ER via email and phone if you have questions or problems that aren't addressed in the included material.
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.
Color options and pre-loaded books enhances this eReader.
The COOL-ER has a slow response time and a clicky navigation system.
The COOL-ER has good readability but lacks any additional features.