Augen “The Book” Kindle clone

Augen "The Book" Kindle clone e-Reading Hardware This is the first time I've ever seen a Kindle clone with an LCD screen.

This ereader isn't quite on the market yet, and there are very few details available. But I do have some I can share.

It has a 7" screen, 400MHz CPU, Wifi, SD card slot, and according to the flyer Augen just sent me the Book will support Adobe DRM. Video and audio support is also listed, and you can read in both landscape and portrait mode.

I'm a little concerned about the size. I have a couple 7" tablets, and they're both slightly larger than the original Kindle. This guy is going to be even bigger.  I'm afraid it will be too awkward to hold. On the other hand, it weighs less than I thought.

Specs:

  • 400MHz Arm CPU
  • Linux 2.6.4 (I would guess Ubuntu-ARM)
  • Wifi (b/g)
  • 2GB Flash
  • SD card slot (8GB)
  • web browser
  • text to speech
  • weight 0.7 lbs (~12 oz )
  • ebook format support: TXT, PDF, HTML, CHM, RTF, FB2, EPUB, PRC,
    MOBI, E-PUB
  • video & audio player

product page

get it here

Augen support forum

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

41 Comments

  1. Mark24 May, 2010

    It uses Linux 2.6.24 as OS
    Browser is Webkit

    Reply
  2. Vince Santamaria29 May, 2010

    I am very interested in this Augen e- reader since it does a lot of what of what I do on my Linux notebook. Since it is not available yet I guess I will wait for a while to make a decision.

    Reply
  3. Chuck Ermatinger3 June, 2010

    I have one big concern. I have a 7″ Windows CE 6 netbook. It frequently entirely dumps its OS install, and I have to reload it from an SD “boot disk”. I would like to buy a 10.1″ version, and am also interested in this Augen device. But I will only buy if this problem has been addressed, and this constant intervention on my part is not necessary. Also, my CE 6 netbook has no support for Flash 9 content playback. Also a big issue for me…will Augen’s The Book play Flash 9?

    Reply
    1. Nate the great3 June, 2010

      That OS problem is actually pretty common, and it’s why I won’t consider a WinCE netbook.

      But Augen’s e-reader runs Linux, not WinCE, so it doesn’t matter

      Reply
    2. Diane H6 June, 2010

      How do I create an SD “boot disk.”

      Reply
  4. C.Hendrix14 June, 2010

    I have the Augen E-Reader ordering info in the latest Heartland catalog, but I’m still waiting on a serious technical or consumer review: after a thorough test drive. Has anyone actually operated it yet?

    -CHLouisiana

    Reply
    1. Nate the great14 June, 2010

      I sent them an email a couple weeks ago, but never heard back. I’ll go bug them again.

      Reply
  5. Robert Steinert26 June, 2010

    The Heartland order clerk told me that the Augen e-reader had a USB interface and connecting cable, which I don’t see in the specs. I’ve not yet received it so I don’t know the facts. Does anyone know for sure ? Its lack is a big weakness in the i-pad.

    Reply
    1. Nate the great27 June, 2010

      I don’t know for sure, but I do expect the Book to act as a USB drive when plugged into a PC. It just makes too much sense not to do it.

      Reply
  6. Ando30 June, 2010

    Wait 2-3 weeks and it will be introduced in stores at a major national retailer in the US for about $50 less than Heartland America. I’ll let you all know when they arrive.

    Reply
  7. mark lee2 July, 2010

    distribution will be around $90.00 cost. I don’t see this being sold less than $129.00 anytime in the future.

    Reply
  8. Mitch15 July, 2010

    It’s at KMart for $99.99.

    Reply
    1. Nate the great15 July, 2010

      Can you give me a link? I can’t find it.

      Reply
    2. Theresa24 November, 2010

      Menards is having it for 69.99 after a $20 rebate.

      Reply
      1. Nate the great24 November, 2010

        For the Black Friday sale, yes.

        Reply
  9. Miguel16 July, 2010

    I have just purchased this ereader and my final veridict is that its going back to the store the very next day. As a ereader it seems it can tackle the task of displaying words on the screen but once you try and load a big file say 73mb of a pdf book and it will load one page at a time taking about 6 sec per page. As for the internet it takes so long to load any page. The only page it loaded in less than 5 sec was google.com just because of its simplicity. The screen is nice and bright but it hardly supports any picture files. Dont try mysic or movies, the infantile settup and dysplay makes it seem poking at roadkill would be more fun. Please dont waste your time buying this product I will try and put a youtube review by sunday 7/16/10 titled Augen the book review or something around those lines. Again Do not waste your time and money on this!!

    Reply
  10. Mark17 July, 2010

    This product is the worst, aside from the nice colorful screen the wifi web browser is super duper slowwwwwas well as downloading speed. Folks it’s a no go.

    Reply
  11. […] quietly appeared at Kmart this week with a retail of $89. FYI: that price is a lot cheaper than the $129 we’d seen previously. The supply seems to be rather limited, so you might want to hurry. My local store only received 2, […]

    Reply
  12. Ando19 July, 2010

    On sale at Kmart for $89.99.

    Reply
    1. Nate the great19 July, 2010

      Thanks, but I got that already.

      Reply
  13. Steve19 July, 2010

    I just got one yesterday. I suspect many will be returned to the store. I’t seems quirky and slow. The web browser function is so slow that it is basically unusable. Also since it has no config for the wireless, it will have limited ability to connect. (If your having trouble, I found you must use ‘open’ system and Wep or no security and must broadcast the SSID for the wireless to connect)
    I can see why many readers don’t have text to speech if this is as good as it gets. I’ve only looked at the included books so far and that was ok except it’s slow to load. I’m going to kick the tires for a bit but right now I’m disappointed and expect I will be spending more for something else.

    Reply
  14. FerociousBook19 July, 2010

    I pick one up at Kmart this morning. The concept is great but this thing is slow on the net. The good thing it’s Linux based. I sure an update would improve things. Also can’t rotate web pages for wide screen view. Have not tried ebooks yet but the comments on large PDF is slow. Seems like might return “The Book” unless an OS update comes out very soon to address the speed issues.

    Reply
  15. Ariel Shaw19 July, 2010

    I just got the last one from K-mart and its seems to be working fine…I think ppl are getting confused its a E-reader not a tablet PC. Its main fuction is to read books not to get online…its books that come with it seem OK but they do load kinda slow…

    Reply
  16. Steve19 July, 2010

    Without a code update to improve this device’s shortcomings, I personally don’t think it’s worth th $90 I paid. Something that bothers me is this company has a very small feel looking at their web site. There is very little support info for any of their products. They advertise an open source SDK but a support person says the device is locked and not open to mods. I don’t see an SDK available. I would question when or if an update will come. To each their own but for $60 more I can get a Nook with E-ink, a 10 day battery and decent web browsing. I think this was a great concept but not implemented well. I need to decide whether to keep it in hope of it being hacked or updated or return it.

    Reply
  17. Jason29 July, 2010

    For those hoping for a software update to speed things up, there is only so much that software can do when you’re working with a 400MHz CPU! My computer from 1999 had a 400MHz CPU, so there is a point of comparison…

    Reply
    1. Nate the great29 July, 2010

      Is there really a need to speed up this e-reader? I thought it was pretty speedy already.

      Reply
    2. Wanda5 August, 2010

      I bought the reader and found it not to keep the time and the date after is is loaded. The books pre-loaded are okay. I have found difficulty with using the wifi feature to try and buy books. The reader is not compatible with windows 7. Have not received a response from customer service with complaints about the reader regarding time and date problem as well as incompatibility with windows 7.

      Reply
  18. Mtnmedic11 August, 2010

    I picked one up for $89 at Kmart yesterday. Still playing with it. Light, easy to hold. Screen auto rotates nicely while reading. Graphics are decent. UI is simple. Input with keyboard is decent. I love prev/next/home buttons on each side of the screen. Not crazy about having the earphone jack at the bottom of any device. Page turns are speedy, which is nice. Surprised it has a decent text-to-speech capability. Unless I’m mistaken, there doesn’t seem to be a night reading mode, which would be a bummer. Wi-Fi isn’t bad at all. No issues with connecting but it does need to see an SSID to connect. Not sure what the deal is there. Currently working fine on my WPA-PSK2 secured network. Most of the functions and features are what you’d expect from any reader and I’ve no complaints. Especially for $89. The included leather cover/case is a nice little touch, even if it’s a bit cheesy. The same goes for the note-taking feature. I think the big complaint I have is it’s sluggishness when it comes to web activity. As an iPad user, I didn’t expect this reader to be a tablet or web browsing device. It’s a reader. I get that. But if you’re going to put a web browser in your device and have a feature that allows you to shop for books, make sure the device and your software can bring up those pages at decent speeds (even if that means you have to resort to using a cell phone WAP browser). A browser on a device like this or the Pandigital Novel (which I also have, and it handles the web and Wi-Fi beautifully) is meant to shop for books, quickly look up something, read the news, maybe check email, etc. on-the-fly. Nothing more, realistically. My philosophy regarding readers is that the manufacturers need to get their first generation model mostly right in several key aspects in the first place if they’re going to have any success. Updates for readers are almost nonexistent. Wi-Fi/internet connectivity is a must, nowadays. The age of the readers that get their content solely via USB is gone, thankfully. I think the whole e-ink argument is also dying out with the proliferation of color LCD screens and improving technology that allows for a better user experience with them. For reading ebooks, I think this reader will do just fine. The price point is terrific and it would make a great gift item to get someone started in ebooks, if nothing else. I will test it soon for SD card integration, PDF rendering and battery life.

    Reply
  19. Radioman5211 August, 2010

    Just picked up one at K-Mart as an open box item with a nice discount.
    Indications are that many units are coming back and rather quickly, WiFi problems are the main reason.
    I did a quick check with web connection at Mickey Dee’s and it was a bear and that into a open system. Attempted to connect to my to my home AP was a no go, needed to reduce the AP to NO security and showing the SSID, No way not even in my early days,who ever ran that….
    If AUGEN will not put out a “UPDATE” rather soon to fix the Wi-FI issues like selecting 64 or 128 and entry of SSID and do it rather QUICKLY K-Mart will have a whole bunch of RETURNS and will be a rather ticked of CUSTOMER to say the least.
    As some stated you have 90 days from date of purchase.
    Watch OUT AUGEN…. The wave is coming and your Android offering will not be look on kindly if you do not ix this one….

    Reply
  20. Radioman5212 August, 2010

    Ok spent a evening playing with AUGEN “Book” I have to say that this is bringing me ma back in time (10 years) to my days consulting with some Korean firms that needed direction in product integration, I guess that this is needed in CH land.
    It’s a SHAME to WASTE technology in such a way, this product has the technology BONES in it is running Linux now so why such a flimsy implementation of applications that are running operationally“equipped” on open porting builds. It’s strange to see this poor implementation on an excellent frame.
    I fired up my 6 year old Toshiba PDA, yes its running “Windoz” and with a few outside (yes they are dated) applications performs way better in all of the areas then this 2010 device, the only area that it was equal was in the SD WiFi lameness….
    I cannot believe that they where not even able to get the headphone jack setup correct…..
    The best thing that AUGEN can do at this time is to open up the device and let the Linux community mod it and make it the “killer” that it can be and not the sales killer that it s becoming for Augen and their distributors (K-Mart).
    PS:
    Went to two K-Marts on the way to the salt mine and found that one has (7) and the second has (9) returns from the latest K-Mart sales campaign, K-mart may decide to sell of the returns as “open box” items (I Picked up one for a nice discount) and face the second return cycle or they may just pack them up and “Shipp back to sender”
    I will hold on to this device for at least the next month or two to see if we see any movement from Augen, if not it will be going back to K-mart before the return policy expires.
    Still such a waste of good technology, it make me cry.

    Reply
  21. amber7 December, 2010

    i was just wondering if anyone can help me find out why i can’t get my augen the book to link to my computer with the usb cord

    Reply
    1. Nate the great7 December, 2010

      It should work like any other USB drive. Try going through the usual troubleshooting steps.

      Reply
    2. kathy3 January, 2011

      I can’t get mine to connect either… What is going on.

      Reply
  22. Melanie14 January, 2011

    I can’t get mine to work or my friends to work either. I’ve tried submitting support tickets, calling them at random times during the day and I get the automated line and it goes through a couple of cycles and then disconnects. I’m getting really frustrated with it!!!

    Reply
  23. Emily16 February, 2011

    Ok… I have the same problem. I have called the customer service # daily for the past 3 weeks. I finally got ahold of some lady at the corporate office, but low and behold, she was unable to help me as well. This is soooooo frusterating. I’m ready to throw it away and go buy a NOOK!

    Reply
  24. Fred Pedruchny20 February, 2011

    I received the Augen Ereader for Christmas and find it to be excellent. So simple to work with. Similar to an Ipod, but transfer of books rather than songs. The best feature is the back light. Can’t believe Kindle is so dim as not to offer a back light. Many people like to read in a dark quiet place, or during the night and not disturbing others. It has many great features font etc, and I would buy another one in an instant. If some consumers are unhappy is likey thery are not usung it for it’s prime purpose, being reading.

    Reply
  25. Winifred22 April, 2011

    Sucks. Get a Kindle.

    Reply
  26. perrodingoo31 May, 2011

    I got mine from DX (dealextreme.com), about $98. The only problem I saw was big time to load large PDF magazines, sometimes need to reboot.
    Sincerely mine eReader it’s not an original “AUGEN the book”, it is a product of Chinese company HiVision . But it not differs from the original.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/7-0-tft-lcd-linux-e-book-reader-music-video-media-player-w-wifi-tf-black-arm9-400mhz-2gb-55679

    Reply
  27. perrodingoo31 May, 2011

    Oh, sorry! It has difference in Menu icons and loading image at start up.

    Reply
  28. Abrom16 October, 2011

    I bought three of these books after review them last year, and give them as gift to my adult children, this year during family reunion I asked how they like them, all of them was very disappointed in the Augen Book, all three had put them into their boxes and forget them, noway to load new books bad fomat, pics and video sucks, sound were to hard to understand, browser and wifi don’t work very well they went on and on, until everyone at our table were uncontrollable laugh and my kids went on tryingt to patch things up but I took the books and found they were right AAFES should return anyone who purchased this junk IT IS A BRICK

    Reply

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