We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Audio Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Hanvon WISEreader N516 review

£173 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Hanvon

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Hanvon WISEreader N516 is a sturdily built 5in e-book reader that comes with its own carry case.

The Hanvon WISEreader N516 is a sturdily built 5in e-book reader that comes with its own carry case. 

Hanvon is making a virtue of the lower cost of its WISEreader models compared with the competition. This 2GB model is priced on a par with the iRiver Story. Given the £200-plus price tags on some of these devices, it's not a bad move: there's certainly plenty of interest in the idea of being able to have a library in your pocket.

The Hanvon WISEreader N516 has a 5in screen with 800x600 pixel resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio. It's a run-of-the-mill E-INK device that's lithium ion-powered and uses the usual EPUB and PDF formats. Doc, HTML, Jpeg, GIF and txt files can be displayed in either portrait or landscape fashion.

You get a 2GB Secure Digital card in the Hanvon WISEreader N516's box, but can substitute this for one of a capacity up to 32GB - a hugely unlikely scenario since each book takes up only a few megabytes and you're unlikely to want to trust a lowly, easily lost memory card with hundreds of pounds' worth of books. Of course, you can load it up with open-source, non-copyright content, but the same principle applies.

The Hanvon WISEreader N516 sports a headphone jack and supports MP3 playback - there's even a small speaker on the base - but doesn't make a good fist of it. For now, audio on the Hanvon WISEreader N516 seems rather an afterthought. What we do like about Hanvon readers is their build. The slip- and scratch-resistant rear of the Hanvon WISEreader N516 is a far cry from the easily marked Cool-ER reader and the recent trio of white devices (the Amazon Kindle, iRiver Story and BeBook Neo).

While the overall look of the Hanvon WISEreader N516 is rather unassuming, we didn't have the too-flimsy concerns we did with the Cool-ER. Nor is it heavy like the does-everything iPad. If anything, though, the WISEreader is too sensibly sized - its 5in screen is just a touch too small. It fits in a handbag or pocket with ease, but reading a novel on it is rather a chore.

Open-source books, in particular, tend to have unhelpful line breaks and inflexible formatting. On a small-sized screen you're forever pressing the page down key. To be fair the numerical keys running down the lefthand side make for easier navigation than on the navipad-only e-book readers. You can also zoom in and out of pages. A bookmark button is hidden at the bottom of the numerical stack. This useful button could have done with clearer labelling.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Hanvon WISEreader N516 Expert Verdict »

5in E-INK screen
800x600 pixel resolution
4:3 aspect ratio
EPUB, PDF, Doc, HTML, Jpeg, GIF, txt, MP3
2GB Secure Digital card (up to 32GB)
3.5mm jack
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

We weren't smitten with the Hanvon WISEreader N516, but it's a good, solid device that won't weigh you down or fall apart in your hands. We'd have liked a larger screen, but that's a quibble given the generous internal memory and inclusion of a protective case.

  • Hanvon N518 review

    Hanvon N518

    The Hanvon N518 is a touchscreen e-reader that packs a lot of function into a small space.

  • iRiver Story review

    iRiver Story

    With a full keyboard, nice design touches, and plenty of compatibility - the iRiver Story is an eBook reader to look out for.

  • Sony Reader PRS 300 Pocket Edition review

    Sony Reader PRS 300 Pocket Edition

    The Sony Reader PRS 300 Pocket Edition is one of the most affordable e-book readers around. And there is plenty to like about it.

  • BeBook Neo review

    BeBook Neo

    Clad in white plastic with a rubberised rear, the BeBook Neo is a great looking e-reader device.

  • Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) review

    Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650)

    As its name suggests, the Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-650) eBook reader comes with a touchscreen in the form of a six-inch, 16-level greyscale e-ink display. The Sony Reader's touchscreen can be manipulated with your fingertip or the included stylus, which slips snugly into the side of the device.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model