Augen The Book eReader Shows Up Again Under a New Brand

I was on the Walmart website today while writing about their  sale on the Kindle when I came across the ereader at left. That odd looking device is the iTomic IEBR7C ereader, a cheap looking Kindle clone (you can buy it now for $40).While some might look at it and note the odd details, I quickly realized that it looks an awful lot like another ereader from a now defunct company.

It looks like Augen, a tablet company best known for releasing crappy products and then quietly going bust, is going to get a footnote for its company history. Augen never actually put this ereader on the market, but I have seen it before. I found it in the Augen booth at CES 2011. It was locked in a display case, but I'd bet that this is the same device. On a side note, it's a pity that this isn't the one running Android. Now that would have been cool.

I'm not sure that I'd recommend this ereader, even though it is cheap, but the general design is worth gawking at. It's based around a cheap 7" LCD screen, and I'm pretty sure it's running a custom version of Linux. It comes with Wifi, 2GB Flash storage, an SD card slot. Supported formats include Epub, PDF, and it can also play music and movies.

As you can tell from the picture, this is a rather odd looking design. Unlike the original The Book, this device doesn't have a  joystick (or a touchscreen, for that matter), but it does have an optical mouse. It's between the page turn buttons below the screen.This model also gained a redesigned keyboard with better use of space freed up by the joystick.

Apps include a web browser, media players, and a notepad. That's pretty much the same features as on the original The Book.

All in all, I'd have to say that this device isn't really a Kindle clone, though I do like to call it that. It more closely resembles an early BlackBerry designed to government specifications and then built by the lowest bidder.

Strange looking, isn't it? Mine arrives some time next week.

Walmart

Update: My unit arrived. After doing some digging I learned that Itomic, the company who imported this ereader, is dead. I tried to talk myself into doing a review, but with the Itomic out of the picture I don't see the point.

While the design is nicer than the original The Book, it's not a pleasant ereader to use, not by today's standards. The optical mouse is an improvement over the joystick, but this device still has the same noisy keyboard and limited annotation options of the original.

 

 

About Nate Hoffelder (11594 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."

3 Comments on Augen The Book eReader Shows Up Again Under a New Brand

  1. I do think that an optical mouse would be a serious improvement to the non-touch Kindles (keyboard or no keyboard).

  2. I also have an iTomic ereader. I git it from WalMart and paid $29.99 for it. Some of us just cannot afford higher priced ereaders. There ius web browsing but the device doesn’t have flash and the browser is not HTML5, so I am trying to figure out how to upgrade the browser.

    Yes it’s cheap and DON ‘T drop it or it will shatter into a million litle pieces. But it has great resolution.

  3. I also bought the itomic ereader and feel I’ve been screwed. I can’t get the Adobe on it and I can’t get Google to upgrade to Google Chrome so my bank won’t let me bank with an old browser. I can’t even get pics to go to pics they drop on the main screen and stay. If I spent the $29.00 I paid on a used frisbee, at least the frisbee would fly.

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