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Aluratek Libre Air
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Summary:

Expert reviewers who took the Aluratek Libre Air (starting at $130, Amazon) for a test drive came away with mixed feelings. Certainly, the addition of a Wi-Fi reader to the Aluratek lineup is a plus, but Aluratek Libre Air reviews lack enthusiasm for the rest of the package. They like the reflective LCD screen technology, which is easily readable in the sun and presents text that looks pretty sharp. A review at Good Ereader praises the super-fast page turns, and notes there's no flicker or refresh time at all --minor distractions that are typical on devices with E Ink displays. In dim light, however, text on the display is hard to read, according to a review on Tablet PC Review, which adds that the auto rotation to landscape mode and back is a plus and the auto page turn is a superfluous frill. Other reviews, on PC World, for example, say the interface could be more intuitive. Experts particularly carp about the difficulty of interacting with the ebook store, noting the need to multi-tap numeric buttons to enter text, such as passwords, user IDs, author names, and book titles. The smaller-than-standard screen and overall small size also disappoint some reviewers.

The Libre Air uses the same reflective screen technology found in other Aluratek Libre models, as well as the Ectaco jetBook Lite. The Libre Air isn't a touchscreen device but its navigation pad can be set to respond to a swipe; one Aluratek Libre Air review cautions it may be oversensitive and initiate an action you didn't intend. The Libre Air supports many file types, including EPUB, PDF, TXT, JPG, GIF, BMP, MP3, and WMA. It features 802.11b/g/n wireless support and can connect to a PC via a USB port.

The Libre Air is a step up from the Libre Pro by virtue of its Wi-Fi connectivity, but it doesn't offer much else. Its speedy page turns are hard to beat, but competitive products are priced in the same range and offer lots more, including larger E Ink touchscreens.

by Michael Sweet (Google+ Profile) – November 5, 2013
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