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My Lookbook e-reader has arrived

Do you recall the CVS paper work that Engadget got a couple months ago? It showed a netbook and an ereader that CVS planned to carry this Christmas season. I've been keeping an eye on CVS, and the product page went up a couple days ago. I bought one and it arrived today. BTW, I'm pretty sure it won't be carried in stores; I checked the 4 stores within driving distance and they don't have it.

You probably know that this is a Kindle clone with a 7" LCD screen, Wifi, and support for Kobo ebookstore. What you don't know is that this is a close relative of the Literati. The Lookbook is trademarked, copyrighted, and so on by Merchsource, the company behind the Sharper Image Literati.

Sidenote: I went and found the FCC paperwork. I don't know how I missed it when it was posted back in September.

I still have the white Literati, so I'll compare the 2 ereaders. The Lookbook is slightly shorter and wider than the Literati. It has the USB, power, and SD card slot on the bottom, the Literati has the SD card slot on the upper edge. The Look book has a curved silver back; the Literati's back is beveled.

For the most part they have the same keyboard, but the Lookbook has an extra button: "/". If it had a web browser, that button would come in handy.The Lookbook has page turn buttons, not swipe pads. And the keyboard on the Lookbook is very shiny (that's why the photo looks odd.)

I'm really not impressed with the build quality; it has a cheap feel to it. Look at the picture, and you'll see that the buttons don't line up. It doesn't look any better in person.

The 2 ereaders have the same library setup, ebookstore, and are running the same reading app. But they share the lack of decent annotation and formatting options, unfortunately.

One important difference is that the Lookbook doesn't have the brightness control of the Literati. It also is having trouble finding the ebooks on my SD card. No, wait, it can't find the card at all.

The support page is finally up (the site was down last I checked). They really need to rewrite the user manual; the font is ugly and it contains incorrect details.

That's all for now; I'm going to go play with it for a while.

About Nate Hoffelder (11117 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

127 Comments on My Lookbook e-reader has arrived

  1. How much is this thing suppose to cost?

  2. Nate the great // 9 October, 2010 at 9:28 pm //

    It’s listed at $149, which is not bad.

    I really like the idea. If this were an open platform, I’d be shouting it from the rooftop.

  3. I would rather spend the money on a tablet type e reader is I am going to look at an LCD screen. Maybe the Pocketbook one will be a good one. They both remind me of Augen’s The Book and that one is a piece of trash.

  4. If you bought this from CVS, what are the free e-books that come with it? I haven’t been able to find a list anywhere. Is it the same old tired classics or are there any books at all that you would otherwise have to pay money for, to get the e-book version?



  5. Nate the great // 22 November, 2010 at 3:17 pm //

    The 150 ebooks were all public domain classics. You could get them anywhere.

  6. I was just in a CVS store in Panama City,Fl and they have this ebook on sale for $99.00 – is it worth buying or should I purchase the Kindle from Amazon for $139.

  7. Nate the great // 26 November, 2010 at 4:14 pm //

    I checked, and they still haven’t fixed the problems I found when I reviewed it. Definitely PASS.

  8. I found mine for 99.00 @ Walmart just three days ago.

  9. i just bought mine today.. i couldnt find the free 150 books.. does yours have those? im thinking of returning it and just get the nook instead.. hmmm…

  10. Nate the great // 12 December, 2010 at 8:26 am //

    Mine were there. I wonder what happened to yours.

  11. I just got the Lookbook at Walmart for $100. It updated to the latest software V1.9, Dec 3rd, and works fine. There are 5 font sizes, the pages turn quickly, there are 7 levels of brightness for the backlit screen and a night setting with black BG and white letters. There are two file types .epub and .pdf. The .pdf files can be horizontal and vertical. Sized from whole page or 100% to 200%. You can scroll down with the little arrows next to the button in the lower left. I originally had a Sony PRS-300 but it needs a light for night reading and the screen is small. It has internal storage or SD card. It is wireless and works well with my router. The 150 books are more than just the free classics, although there are some of those. I download from a local library and transfer with my computer to the SD card and it works fine. Use a Kobo reader or Adobe Digital Editions. For the price it seems a good deal.

  12. We bought 4 of the Lookbooks for our grandkids for Christmas. Was this a mistake and should we return them to get the Kindle? Also, can you use Barnes & Nobles gift cards to buy downloads to the Lookbook?

  13. Nate the great // 15 December, 2010 at 7:27 am //

    It looks like they may have fixed the problems, so I don’t see why not.

    And no, you can’t read ebooks from B&N on the LookBook.

  14. I just purchased mine and the 150 free books you will have to download. Once you create an account and sign in at Kobo you can do that. There should be the 25 Titles already downloaded from the factory

  15. My husband just got me the LookBook… they have fixed the problems!! But you are right, you have to download the ebooks from kobo in order for the LookBook to be able to read them, just like with the Kindle, my sister has that one and she said she can only download the ebooks that are ment for the Kindle, the same is with the Nook from B&N…. crazy – BUT kobo, still has some pretty good ebooks and they add more weekly as the books come out!!!

  16. you have to go to the store on your ereader and it will update the ereader and then it will download your 150 free books.

  17. I just bought my lookbook and I love it. I thought about buying an expensive ereader but I changed my mind when I seen this one. All I wnated to do was to read books and I didn’t care about all the extras. I just wanted to read books. I am even thinking about buying one for my 11 year old son.

  18. Actually, you can use any ebook that’s in .epub format. There are quite a few sites on the web where you can download free books in that format.

    Unfortunately, I’m going to return the one I bought earlier today since I’ve had more than a few problems. First, in order to get RID of any of the books that are pre-installed (25 of ’em), you have to plug in the USB cable, go online, and go through a very convoluted process to remove them from the reader and move ’em back into your online “Library.” What a major pain that is!

    Speaking of the USB cable, it took six attempts before my computer could “see” the reader, and allow me to install the driver program, none of which isn’t even mentioned at all in the manual, for pity’s sake! When connected, a popup window appears that allows you to “browse” to the LookBook folder. You can then “drag” any .epub or .pdf file to the LookBook reader.

    You are instructed to click the “Eject” button before disconnecting the USB cable, but nowhere does the “Eject” button appear. Oh dear! You have to open My Computer (what a silly name!), right click on “KoboeReader” (yes, it’s mispelled), and then find the “Eject” button.

    Somewhere during all of this, it appears that the installation software for the PC and Mac versions has self-erased from the LookBook reader’s folder, so… Bah! Humbug!

    What can I say about the keyboard? If you are a pygmy and your fingertips are the size of a spaghetii noodle, you just *might* be able to use it. Forget about using it wirelessly to browse the bookstore! It’s just not worth the pain.

    As far as their prices go, they’re not unreasonable, but I can get many -if not most- of the books elsewhere for $1.95 less!

  19. Can you download free books from the Library? I really felt like I was going to get more books than I did :=( It’s for my son and he is almost 13 Do you have any suggestions?


  20. Where do you get them for 1.95 please share.. I bought this for my son and he LOVES!! reading books.. I have spent so much on bookd and the library till i’m all spent out!! PLEASE!!! tell me how we can get some cheap books downloaded to our Lookbooks :=) thanks so much!!


  21. It should be compatible with library ebooks, but you’ll need to check with your local library to make sure.

  22. Every device is not for every one. I have a LOOKBOOK and am very satisfied. The capabilities are fine for what I am looking for. If you are looking for something more internet or web savvy purchase an e-reader with those capabilities. The price is excellent, the size and view sufficient, and night time readability great. I couldn’t ask for more for this price. I love it! Don’t take my word for it buy your own and make your own decision. If you don’t like it return it!

  23. does anybody know where to get accessories for the Lookbook? I need a case and a car charger….

  24. I’m a huge reader I chew through books so fast my mom bought this for me for Christmas. I’ve had it two days and already returned it once as the back arrow dd not work. After charging the second one all night, when I tried to turn it on I got nothing. Thinking maybe it wasn’t plugged in all the way (since there is no indicator button) I plugged in and it lit ip with an all scribbled screen on black and white lines and shut off right away. I agree the it is poorly constructed and simply a pain in the neck already. I’m taking it back and paying the extra money for the next one up.

  25. I just got my LOOKBOOK for Christmas and can’t load anything onto it. I have wasted hours trying loads some books – there are no preloaded ones on it. My son came over and wasted another 2 hours – my husband has been working on it for over an hour now. There is no tech support – just a recording saying they are too busy to answer and to call back later. I think everyone is trying to get their LOOKBOOK to work and needs help. Bad sign for sure!! I am really disappointed – going to return it and get a Kindle!!

  26. To get the free books, you must create an account. When you click on the “store” tab from the main menu. Once in the online store, you will see the words: Browse, Free and More in the upper right hand corner. Click on Free. This is where your free books are stored. You can download 150 free books out of 194 choices.

  27. Can you tell me where I can get a case to fit the LookBook with the 7″ screen. The actual length of the LookBook is about 9-1/2 ” long.

  28. I, too, received a LookBook for Christmas. My daughter took the first one back the next day and exchanged it as it would do nothing after powering up. The second one is also going back as my computer and/or router will not even recognize that it is there. She is getting me a Kindle instead. What a disappointment.

  29. Does anyone know where to get a case or cover for the Kobo Lookbook wireless reader. It measures 9″X 5″ and the cases are made to fit the 7″ kobo or nook.

  30. I purchased a Lookbook for $99 at Walmart. Initially it was more than a little confusing. After I set up my Kobo account and synced it for the first time I was prompted to update the software. The unit is now glitch free and I love it. There are aspects that are definitely trial and error (such as needing to have at least one book stored on the memory card before installing it) and the manual isn’t overly helpful.
    To get free books check out the Borders site. They have over a million free books downloadable in epub or pdf format. I am a Border’s employee and I chose this model over all the models sold at Border’s (the Kobo models had a VERY high return rate). For the price, the screen size, the adjustable backlight, adjustable fonts/screen orientation, memory capabilities are an outstanding value. If you are patient and figure out the capabilities on your own, you will love the product.

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