First Impressions of the Slick ER-701

Last week I posted about a super cheap 7" ebook reader, the Slick ER-701. That post drew a fair amount of comment from owners, and they pretty much agreed that it was a great device for the under $50 market. Mine arrived today, and I second that opinion. I wasn't too sure about this ereader. It looked awfully clunky in the photos, but in person it is actually quite nice. As you can see, it has all the buttons along one long edge, which at first seems like a bad idea. But it works.

That one wide bezel might make the ER-701 look off-balanced, but the effect isn't nearly as noticeable in hand. When I'm holding this ereader, the wide bezel just works. The bezel doesn't seem so wide when it's underneath my thumb. BTW, this ereader isn't as well balanced as I like. It seems to be more heavy towards the edge away from the buttons. But it's not an issue once I put the cover on; then I can maintain a grip just fine.

Now that I've played with it for a bit, I can confirm that this is running firmware that I've seen before. I'm pretty sure that this ereader was designed by Gajah, a ebook reader developer based in Singapore. They use the same menus and reading app on all their ereaders, and that includes all the rebranded models like the ER-701.

The formatting of the ebook app was never very good, but this is still a feature rich ereader. You can rotate it so the buttons are on all 4 sides of the text while reading, but it appears the menus only use 2 of the directions.  It has a video and audio player, photo viewer, and a file manager. The backlight can be set quite dim,and it looks dark enough that I can use it for night reading.

Format support includes Epub and PDF and it does support Adobe DE DRM. It has 6 font sizes, bookmarks, and you can play background music while reading. You can also set the type and background to any of 6 different colors, so if you wanted the traditional white text on black background of night reading mode you could do it.

I have to say that this is a lot better than I was expecting. It was less than $50, so my expectations were quite low. The ER-701 far exceeded them.This is definitely one of those cheap ereaders that break the stereotype. I'm looking forward to posting a review.


  • 7" (800x480) screen
  • 1.5GB Flash Storage
  • microSD card slot
  • speaker
  • headphone jack
  • Ebook formats: Epub, PDF
  • Video & Audio formats:  not stated

About Nate Hoffelder (11466 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."

24 Comments on First Impressions of the Slick ER-701

  1. I just got mine in the mail. I ordered from Dollar General and received free UPS shipping. There was also a coupon code to get an extra 10% off making this reader $40.50. Not bad at all. Trying to wait until Christmas before I open it, but…

    • Ellen, I got my a month ago – one piece of advice, Don’t wait! Do you remember giving me advice on purchasing my Cybook Gen 1 years ago – I’m still loving it!

    • So I got this and cant seem to get any books to download to it from the kobo website. Ive done all the adobe stuff and everytime I try to sync a book to the slick it will not sync.

      • SO, here’s the deal with that, because I had the same problem and was on with support for an hour and a half figuring it out. You can only download Adobe Epub files, so after you purchase a book, you need to look for the button to the right reading something like “download the Epub version.” You need to have Adobe Digital Editions to do this. You hit save when asked, and then you can go back to your kobo desktop app and tell it to sync. This kind of sucks, because you can’t get all of the free books for free.

  2. “You can rotate it so the buttons are on all 4 sides of the text while reading, but it appears the menus only use 2 of the directions.”

    Does this mean you can flip the text so the wide bezel is on the right? My one-handed hold is with my right hand, not my left.

  3. I have a follow-up to my comments posted on the previous post on the ER-701. I’ve found a native Linux solution for the ereader. The Calibre e-book converter and library manager recognizes the ereader and is able to get ebooks from loads of ebook stores and sync them to it. I’m still having trouble with Kobo, but the benefit of all the new stores found with Calibre minimizes that problem. Definitely looking forward to reading a full review.

  4. Wow, thanks for mentioning this reader. 7″ for $50 sounds great!

  5. Re the buttons which are too flush to “feel” – get a sticker sheet at a crafts store or Walmart (the kind that has letters and numbers – you want the periods (dots)- they are about 1/8 in. in diameter and 1/16 high – put one on 1st,2nd and 4th buttons (3rd is for music and one on the PG forward. That’s all you need – anymore and things become crowded. No more looking and feeling around – perfect!

  6. I, too have this ereader. The center “OK” button on mine is a little off. It’s perhaps, tilted and not centered directly in the middle. A little wobbly, too. Is yours like that? Where should I get an exchange other than Southern Telecom?

  7. Now available in the UK at Comet onlyy 99 in the country at £49

  8. just wondering if the it works er701 has wifi?
    Some places selling it says it does and others say it doesnt

  9. Hi,

    Will you be at CES 2012? If so, please post videos and pictures as much as you can on southern telecoms booth. I want to see their ereader display mostly. Please take lots of pics and videos!!!


  10. Its decent but I sure wish it left justified paragraphs and left paragraph indents as they are supposed to be.

  11. Battery charges 7 hours and am lucky to get 2 hours before needs another recharge.
    This one is going back to someone.

  12. Does the Slick 50 e-Reader w/ 7″ Color Display – ER-701 support ePUBS with internal hyper links? If so, how do you select one link for another on the same page?

  13. I have the same problem of downloading any book or audio.
    any help?

  14. I found the online user guide
    everything works fine.

  15. Argh! got mine today. Worked well for the first hour, now keeps freezing up and the menu drop down list doesn’t show anymore 🙁

  16. i got the er-701 for christmas and only put one charge on it. worked fine and now it does not even come on at all. also i would like to know where to find a charger.

  17. Can you upload PDF’s to this device? I am looking at buying a few of these for members during meetings. I would like to upload PDF files, and that is all. Is there a USB port or how do you upload?

  18. hello,

    i bought this book (or similar) because the box say ItWorks 701, but is the same.
    anybody its made an upgrade of firmware?

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