People and device makers these days are all possessed by an obsession with “smart” devices and the desire to stay connected. We have smart-watches, smart TVs, smart cars, smart brassieres, and even smart fridges that send spam through their unwitting owner’s networks. In a world where the trend is towards smartness it is rather odd that one of my latest technology acquisitions is a device I deliberately chose because it does not go online even though it’s a tablet.
I am an avid reader and until recently I was searching for the perfect eReader that would fit my budget which I must admit wasn’t that much. The price tag for the Gobii eReader caught my eye on Kalahari. For a mere $70 (R699) I could get a decent reader. The catch: the device does not have WiFi capabilities although there is a model which has WiFi and sells for $140 (R1399.) The lack of WiFi capabilities can make this the ideal device for your school going kids if you are worried about them accessing inappropriate content. For a serious reader like me it means I am able to concentrate on the reading without giving in to the temptations of a connected life.
This is a perfect device for no frills reading. College students can use this with e-Textbooks without being distracted by things like Whatsapp and the Facebook app- you have no idea how many people have failed because of these two. The battery life is not something you would celebrate but it will last for the good part of the day. You can also install Android apps from the Google Play store-a dictionary or thesaurus for example. The price tag of $70 ( well $72 if you include the extortionist bank charges my bank loves to charge) really sealed the deal for me.
The device supports all the usual eBook formats: HTML, ePub, PDF, FB2 and PDB. DRM forms of these formats are also supported although,sadly, Mobipocket eBooks have to be converted first.
The Bad stuff.
Kalahari advertises this as a fully functional multimedia device but I can assure you that is quite a lie. I tried watching a movie on it and the experience was far from pleasant: the picture display was not what we have gotten used to on our T.Vs and the battery died way before the credits. The inbuilt memory of 4GB seems to confirm the notion that this is an eReader and nothing more. Also you cannot read using this reader in the sun because it has an LCD display-I am told that the Kindle does not have such a limitation. Worst of all the Gobii eReader is not sexy or antithetically pleasing to look at-in fact it’s downright ugly.
This was a great buy for me and it will be if you are looking for this kind of thing. A tablet that does not connect to the internet. The price is a bargain but be warned that this is purely an eBook reader and ignore all that nonsense about music and movies that they put on the site.
Image from Class Static