The Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro approaches electronic reading differently than other e-readers. Color readers use LCD displays, while many monochromatic eReaders use eInk. The Aluratek Libre uses LCD, but has stayed within the black and white realm of books. The eInk display is clearer, but it is more inexpensive. Also, it has a better refresh rate than those with eInk features. If you don’t need fancy features such as wireless internet connectivity, the Aluratek Libre Pro is a solid buy at a cheap price.
The Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro has a 5” screen with 640 x 480 VGA and 16 different shades of grey. The screen isn’t backlit – like EPDs – which lets you read even outside in the sun. It also doesn’t have the flash between turns that other eInk devices have. Battery life suffers, though; you’ll only have a 24 hour charge.
The Aluratek Libre Pro Reader is 6” long and 4.25” wide. The girth is .5 inches, so it feels a little fat. The device feels light while holding it – it’s only 8 oz.
The software is easy and friendly. You can turn the page one of three ways: the buttons at the bottom of the left, bottom of the right, or you can use the slider bar on the left. There’s also an auto-page option that turns pages for you. You can resize fonts up to 6x, and you can also change the fonts from one type to another. You can also rotate the device to enjoy landscape mode. The device can use the following file types: PDF, FB2, MOBI, ePUB, TXT, PRC, RTF, BMP, JPG, GIF, and MP3.
The Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro has a black casing that resists smudges and fingerprints. The reader isn’t flimsy when holding it. The device comes with a free 2GB card and 100 free books that are already loaded. Of course it is possible to download these books from the Internet at no charge, but it’s still nice to have a collection of books from which to choose so you can begin reading whenever you wish.
Due to small screen size, the Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro isn’t an ideal PDF viewer. It also has trouble with some PDF files. You’ll experience the occasional freeze, usually when loading or showing a JPG file or when using the search feature. While The Aluratek Libre Pro Reader can bookmark, it doesn’t have annotation features. You cannot connect wirelessly, either.
You need to connect the Aluratek Reader to a computer in order to purchase books. The Kindle can download entire books in under a minute, regardless of the size. With the Aluratek Reader, the loading time depends on the file size, but it is a significant amount.
Once loaded, though, there are no lags when turning pages. The Aluratek Libre’s weakest point is its battery life. For full use, you’ll need to charge it once every two days. eInk readers can give you up to an entire month of reading on one full charge.
The Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro is surprisingly stable and capable. The Aluratek Libre Pro Reader’s low price of $99 – $189 makes is a great e-reader that you can use both in direct sunlight and in low light conditions. You can find it online at stores such as Overstock.com and Amazon.
The Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro Review
Right off the bat, let’s start by saying that the Libre Pro doesn’t offer a wireless feature that is found in others such as the Kindle and Nook. You’ll need to manually load the books instead of purchasing them directly on the reader itself. The Aluratek reader has a SD card that has 100 preloaded books for you. These consist of classics like Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, War and Peace, Wuthering Heights, etc.
I’ve owned a Kindle and the Nook, and the size of the Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro was immediately recognizable when I first held it. The display is only a single inch smaller in size. Click the above image for a bigger picture.
The Libre’s case is a charcoal plastic that resists both smudges and fingerprints. The reader feels well-made and does not bend when squeezed.
The display – which is slightly recessed – consumes most of the front, with buttons found on the sides and below the screen. There’s a slight bump on the back where the replaceable battery is located.
The main controls are found just under the screen. On the left, you will find a combination Page Next/Page Prev button; beside that are several buttons that allow you to resize, rotate the screen, and display a menu. There is also another set of Page Next/Page Prev buttons (left arrow and right arrow).
There’s a spring loaded sliding bar on the left of the Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro that will also allow you to change the page. To reach the next page, slide it down. Slide it up to go back. Your thumb stays on the bar thanks to the raised ridges. I’m not a fan of this method and I will usually use the dedicate paging buttons at the bottom.
There are 10 buttons on the other side that you can use to select items on the screen. You can also use these buttons to enter search terms.
There is a LED status light at the top, and an attached cover that safeguards USB and SD slots. The USB port is utilized for charging the device as well as for data transfer of the device itself and the inserted SD card. On Windows and Mac computers, the Libre automatically mounts as removable drives.
The software is easy to use. You’re staring at a list of pre-loaded books when you first turn the device on. In order to read a book, you can do one of two things: either press the corresponding numbered button beside it or scroll to the title you want using the Dpad and select it by depressing the OK button.
The Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro does not have an E-ink display such as those found on Kindle, Nook and Sony Readers. Aluratek refers to their display as ePaper. It makes me think of the PDA’s of yesterday. More directly, the Palm V. When I was younger, the Palm V / Vx was the best PDA because the screen was so easy to read. And – as long as you have plenty of light – the Libre is just as good. There is no backlight feature on this model. If the flashing of E-ink readers bothers you, you may like this e-reader.
You can rotate the display and select from over 5 different sizes of fonts.
Depending on the size of your e-novel, the start up loading times can vary. There’s no lag when turning the page, once the device has loaded. The e-reader was tested with the following types of files: unformatted text files, ePub files, PDF files and JPG images.
Although I did not experience any issues when viewing TXT or ePUB files, is was unable to display some PDF files. In addition, the reader froze occasionally when attempting to load or display some JPG images. I’ve also encountered freezing problems when using the search feature.
While the Libre does not offer annotation, it does have a book marking feature. It does a few things other e-readers do not do, though. It can play mp3 music files in the background while reading, and it has a feature that will turn the pages for you.
The battery life has been very impressive.