After the success of the Saga, Bookeen returns in 2019 with two new readers: the Diva and the Diva HD. It’s the latter, the Bookeen Diva HD, that I tested for you.
First of all, I would like to thank the Bookeen teams who quickly sent me a test copy of the Bookeen Diva HD ereader so that I can give you this review.
Packaging and presentation of the Diva HD reader
Unlike other brands that adopt a minimalist packaging, this Diva HD ereader has arrived in a beautiful, very strong cardboard box that protects the ereader well.
The Diva HD ereader is supplied with a micro-USB cable which allows the reader to be charged or connected to a computer.
The machine incorporates part of the stylistic codes of the previous Bookeen Saga in terms of design.
Thus, we find a little this angular aspect. Fortunately, it is fully counterbalanced by the use of a very soft plastic coating which facilitates handling and makes it very pleasant.
In hand, the reader is not as large as you might think and the handling is very good. Unlike other ereaders that use harder and smoother plastic, there is no feeling that the reading light could “slip” and fall to the ground.
The e-reader has various buttons. Those who have already seen a Bookeen Saga will be able to recognize them.
We have the Diva HD on/off button but also buttons on each edge of the screen which will be useful to operate the ereader without having to use the touch screen: switch on and adjust the lighting, access the menu, and turn the pages.
The ereader, therefore, inspires confidence and can be quickly started to start reading without delay.
Screen, touch, and lighting
The 6-inch screen is tactile and offers a beautiful resolution of 1448 x 1072 pixels. In short, Bookeen does as well as the competition, because it is impossible to have a better electronic ink screen in 6 inches in 2019.
Anti-reflection treatment is also present.
Better: the Diva HD offers lighting with a blue light filter (or rather that allows you to adjust the color temperature, to be more exact).
This technical device makes it possible to give a yellow/orange tint to the screen to avoid sending too much harmful light into your retina.
So it’s quite useful if you’re reading in the dark with no other light than your e-reader.
Bookeen also offers automatic activation of this function called NightWatch from the reader settings.
Obviously, it is possible to deactivate this setting if you are bored, but I encourage you to use it for health reasons.
To return to the screen, it displays the characters without a problem and its beautiful resolution makes reading very pleasant (it is almost impossible to see a pixel on a screen of this size unless you approach a few centimeters from the screen).
Suffice to say that with this screen, the lighting, and the NightWatch mode, the Bookeen Diva HD has everything you need to read in good conditions whatever its environment (day, night, etc.).
Wifi, USB and library
The Diva HD ereader offers two types of connection: Wifi and USB.
The USB connection allows you to connect the device to a computer (or a USB-compatible power outlet) to charge the reader.
You can also use the cable (supplied) to connect the machine to a computer for transferring books.
The Epub format is well recognized, it will suffice to deposit ebook files on the Bookeen Diva by making a copy/paste or using a library management software like Caliber.
The Wifi connection of the reader allows the reader to use the Internet.
The connection then mainly allows you to use the Bookeen Store to buy or download new books. The books are quickly downloaded and you can read them on your e-reader after a minute or two.
The Bookeen Diva HD reader allows you to read and store a large number of ebooks thanks to 16 GB of storage memory (compared to 8 GB for the competition).
So you won’t run out of space and you can download a lot of books.
Diva HD Ereader interface
I always thought that the simplicity of the Bookeen reader interface is an asset.
This new Bookeen Diva HD reader is no exception to the rule and, even if there have been modifications, it is still very easy to navigate.
There is, therefore, a new software interface that offers a new side menu very easy to use with the thumb.
Better, if you are left-handed, Bookeen has thought of you by integrating a gyroscope which allows you to hold the Diva HD reader with your left hand while enjoying the new menu.
The new software supports various file formats including Epub and PDF (see below for the full list of technical specifications for the eReader).
But what’s even more interesting is the introduction of a new LCP DRM, innovative file protection software.
Bookeen now uses the DRP LCP developed by Readium and EDRlab.
This device offers a more reader-friendly alternative than the other existing solutions: Kindle, Adobe, etc.
For the moment, we are only at the beginning, but once deployed and integrated into the reading lights, this DRM will offer interesting functions:
- it will be possible to lend ebooks to other people who can read them on their e-reader
- it will be possible to transfer ebooks from one reader brand to another (if both brands adopt the same LCP DRM)
All this remains theoretical, but the full commissioning of the functions is expected for spring 2020. We will, therefore, be quickly determined.
It should also be noted that Vivlio (ex-Tea) is also working in this direction with its DRM CARE. We will, therefore, have to see if the Vivlio and Bookeen ebooks can be compatible (which would be a real revolution in the digital reading landscape).
The interface of the home screen contains the usual elements found on all e-readers: access to the library, display of the book being read, access to the bookstore (Bookeen Store), access to parameters, etc.
The options are interesting and boil down to the essentials:
- WIFI connection
- General: update, storage space, date and time, language, old version, dictionaries, reset the device
- Brightness and display: to adjust the intensity of the lighting and the color temperature of the night reading mode (with NightWatch to filter blue light), manage the refresh, manage the rotation of the screen with the gyroscope
- Library: parental control and management of recommendations
- Tutorial: allows you to display the welcome tutorial again which explains how the reader works
- FAQ and support: links to find help on the Internet
Regarding dictionaries, the reader can use Wikipedia (French and English version) if it is connected to Wifi and, if the Internet is not available, it will be Nouveau Littré.
Reading an ebook on The Diva HD Ereader
Reading is very comfortable with this reader.
The screen displays the characters and the options are sufficient for us to find a setting with little onions:
- font setting
- change the font size
- margins around the text
- alignment (left, right, justified)
- line spacing
If we add to this the NightWatch mode for reading at night, we are spoiled and we can not fault much about this Bookeen Diva HD.
We note the arrival of reading statistics which allows us to know how much reading time remains before the end of the chapter or book.
This feature seems a little different from that of other competing e-readers (like the Kindle) and the statistics do not always work with some exotic Epub that I tested (files that I created myself from text documents for my tests).
But this is clearly an addition very well seen as this functionality is acclaimed on other machines.
Reading comments, I saw that some people thought that the reading light was too heavy.
In fact, it weighs approximately 240 grams while other e-readers weigh approximately 180 to 210 grams.
The difference is minimal and disappears when you add a protective cover.
Indeed, the Diva HD already has a “shell” integrated into the reading light. When we add a cover, we finally add a simple smart screen protector (which also turns off and on the reader) which is very light.
If we compare the weight of the ereaders with protective cover, we end up with the same (more or less).
In use, the extra 30 to 50 grams of the Bookeen Diva HD e-reader is not a handicap anyway, unless you read for hours at arm’s length, which still seems improbable.
BD and PDF reading
The ereader is compatible with the PDF format.
But, as with all e-readers, the management of this format leaves something to be desired. It is possible to read PDF files on Diva HD, but the reading experience will be less pleasant than on a tablet due to the lack of color and lower screen responsiveness on the eReader than on the tablet.
Regarding comics, it is best to read manga on the eReader (still due to the lack of color).
In this case, the display is thin enough for the pages to be easy to read.
So I don’t recommend using this eReader for reading PDF documents or comics.
Here are the complete technical characteristics of the Bookeen Diva HD ereader:
- 6-inch electronic ink E Ink screen with 1448 x 1072 pixel resolution (300 DPI)
- 16 GB of storage
- Screen with lighting and NightWatch technology to limit blue light and change the color temperature
- 1 GHz IMX6 processor
- 512 MB RAM
- Micro USB connection
- DRM compatible: Adobe and LCP
- Supported ebook file formats: ePUB, PDF, HTML, TXT, FB2
- Supported image formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, ICO, TIF, PSD
- Weight: about 240g
Conclusion of The review Bookeen Diva HD Ereader
Bookeen is one of the rare French alternatives – along with Vivlio – to want to come and compete with the big ones like Kindle or Kobo.
I am very pleasantly surprised by this reader which offers excellent handling and functionalities which are always at the service of the user – without doing too much either.
Reading is very comfortable and the reader has a design very different from other brands of readers. Personally, I appreciate this design which makes the link between digital and physical by adopting a shape that looks like a book.
With its 16 GB of storage, its blue light filter, it’s a new protection system that promises greater openness and its simplicity, the Diva HD reader will undoubtedly be a future bestseller.
Of course, we can blame the ereader for not being waterproof. But, we cannot see everything for the price offered (at least in 2019 – 2020).
The price of € 139.99 seems to be slightly high.
It is of course fully justified because of the benefits (the Kindle Paperwhite costs 10 euros cheaper, but – even if it is waterproof – displays ads, has no blue light filter and only offers 8 GB of storage ).
I think a price of € 129.99 with 8 GB instead of 16 GB seems more balanced. Yes, I know, I nitpick a little for 10 euros!
I am still skeptical about the software part and in particular the use of the new LCP DRM.
As much as it can bring nice things, as much as it can change nothing if Bookeen remains isolated on this subject… We will have to wait to learn more about it.
In short, if not perfect, this Bookeen Diva HD reader is therefore very interesting, and, in case of purchase, it is always a good choice! You can find out more by visiting the Bookeen website.
✔️ beautiful screen with NightWatch blue light filter
✔️ ease of use
✔️ 16 GB of storage
The lessers :
❗ the price maybe a little high
A final note for the test of this Bookeen Diva HD reader: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2