Last year, WHSmith scored a hit by introducing the Kobo Touch, an aggressively priced e-book reader intended to compete with the mighty Amazon Kindle. It wasn’t the first budget ebook reader to reach UK stores, but the backing of the UK’s biggest newsagent ensured it made an impact. Read more ebook reader reviews.
The Trekstor Pyrus also seeks to make its mark on the budget end of the market, but lacks the direct support of a large retail chain. It comes with 4GB of internal storage and adds a microSD card slot for more expansion. A battery life of a week is cited.
TrekStor Pyrus: Features
As with most of these readers, the TrekStor Pyrus has bland looks. At 216g it’s heavier than the plasticky Kindle. This is mainly accounted for by the non-slip rubber cover. As with other 6in models, the Pyrus is quite broad (124mm) and not easy to hold in the palm of a hand.
The TrekStor Pyrus relies on a USB connection to transfer books and photos from a Windows PC or Mac to its internal flash. There’s no Wi-Fi support. Alternatively, you can load up a microSD card and have the Trekstor read files from there.
Items appear in the newly added menu when you next use the device. We found that only two of our PDF images we transferred via USB appeared in the Pyrus’ menu, with no sign of the five JPEGs we’d hoped to be able to view either. We had no such issue viewing the same set of images on our other e-book readers (Kobo, BeBook and Kindle 3).
Adobe DRM-protected books can be viewed on the Pyrus. An account first needs to be created on your PC where downloads are saved. You can then copy them across to the e-book reader. There is also Trekstor-specific e-book management software for Windows and Mac OS.
Both the terms and conditions and user interface are currently only provided in German. However, it includes an Adobe Digital Editions installer and then links you through to the rather clunky Eason online shop. Although the marketing materials for the TrekStor Pyrus suggest links to multiple e-book stores, this is the only directly-linked one.
Getting around the TrekStor Pyrus is straightforward. There’s a four-way navipad, a home button, and a library list view button.
The thumbnail view option selectable here displays items as generic book items until they have been opened, at which point their cover image is shown. Kindlesque elongated forward and back buttons on the sides are used for page turns. In general, the setup allows you to get around quite efficiently.
When you’re partway through a book, pressing the keyboard button brings up a search option, while the menu button takes you to bookmarks, a specific page or changes viewing options. Trekstor supports six font sizes, screen rotation from portrait to landscape and auto flip.
Slideshows of photos can be set up – the landscape viewing option comes into its own here. Text entry using the software keyboard isn’t fun, so you’ll want to keep searches to keywords only.
Occasionally, the TrekStor Pyrus locked up and we needed to reboot. We’ve found the Kindle also suffers periodic confusion of this sort. We were also disappointed to find we couldn’t browse the Pyrus while it was connected to our computer.