Do you have $13 burning a hole in your pocket and think Amazon’s $69 bare bones Kindle is waaaaaay to expensive? Do you hate bells and whistles and the Internet? Then the German company Txtr may just have the device for you with their new Beagle e-reader – the world’s cheapest and smallest e-reader.
For $13 you get a 5-inch, 4.5-oz e-Ink device with an 800×600 screen, in your choice of five lovely back-cover colors (white, jade green, grapefruit, purple and turquoise – remind you of Apple’s iPods and old iMacs maybe?) that runs on three AAA batteries for up to a year. It has a Bluetooth radio that communicates with a Txtr app on your iOS or Android smartphone and fetches books for your reading pleasure.
What you don’t get is a touchscreen, 3G, a backlight, Wi-Fi and more than five e-books at any one time, because that’s all it holds. It also looks like the Beagle is meant to sit alongside your Android smartphone (and Beagle app) for reading purposes and you need the app to pre-render any book you want to read and then send it to the Beagle.
Txtr hasn’t announced yet when the Beagle will be available but here’s a link to their website if you want to find out more and get on their mailing list to be the first to know when and where you can find one.
You definitely get what you pay for, but to me it sounds clunky and like quite a hassle – too much so to justify the low price point. Why not save yourself some grief Charlie Brown, along with another $56, and get yourself the entry level Kindle instead?