Among dedicated eBook readers, the Ectaco jetBook Lite has a distinct claim to fame: It is the only one that runs on AA batteries. Although some readers may prefer this in terms of portability, the cost of extra batteries will become draining. This is just one of the issues that afflict this eReading device.
While most eReaders have an anti-glare, e-ink display, this one actually has an LCD screen. Subsequently, it doesn’t deliver the same high level of readability as most comparable eReaders, but it does eliminate common issues of e-ink screens. For example, it eliminates the lag, ghosting and screen darkening typical during page turns on an e-ink screen. This may lead to easier and more comfortable reading if you are prone to eyestrain.
The use of AA batteries in this device may seem convenient, but we aren’t entirely sold on this departure from a built-in, rechargeable battery. While it’s true you won’t need a power source to plug in when the device runs dry, you will need to have an extra pair of batteries on you. Furthermore, the battery pack is located on the back of the eReader and adds noticeable heft to the chassis.
Another issue we see with the jetBook Lite is its lack of internal storage. Out of the box, the device only has 100MB of storage onboard; most of the eBook readers we reviewed come with at least 2GB that can store approximately 1,000 (or more) titles. Fortunately, it is outfitted with expandable memory through an SD or SDHC card.
While there seems to be plenty that hinders the Ectaco jetBook Lite, the device isn’t completely devoid of benefits. To make reading easier and more convenient, the jetBook Lite provides bookmarks, note-taking tools and auto-page turns. It also boasts impressive multi-language support for more than 30 languages and multilingual interface options.
Since Ectaco does not have its own eBook store, you will have to download your own eBooks onto this eBook reader for PC. It does support an array of file types, including PDF, EPUB and TXT. You can even download Barnes & Noble eBooks.
The Ectaco jetBook Lite is a one-of-a-kind eBook reader, powered by AA batteries and featuring an LCD screen instead of an e-ink display. But one-of-a-kind doesn’t mean universal, and the jetBook Lite strays too far from the mainstream eReader most avid readers are seeking.
The Ectaco jetBook Lite supports eBooks in over 30 languages, and you can download Barnes & Noble eBooks.
An external memory card is required to increase the device's subpar book capacity of 100MB, and the LCD screen can affect overall readability.
The Ectaco jetBook Lite is best suited for multilingual readers seeking vast language support in an eReader.