Bookeen Saga Ereader Review

Here is a test of one of the star e-readers of this year 2018: the Bookeen Saga and its very particular and original design.  The start of 2018 was marked by the difficulties of the Carrefour group, which forced the company to stop the sale of Nolim e-readers.

But, fortunately, the interesting design developed by Bookeen has been reborn in the form of the Bookeen Saga e-reader that I will test on this page.  This test is therefore a new version of the one devoted to the Nolim e-reader, which is almost identical.

Introduction

This test was carried out with a Nolim e-reader which is in fact a Bookeen Saga under another brand.  I tested (or rather used) this e-reader for 3 months since it became my primary reading device.

So I think I have fairly good feedback on how this machine works. For those who stumble upon this page and are wondering, the Bookeen Saga is an electronic book reading device that uses an electronic ink-based screen. The machine, therefore, makes it possible to read dematerialized books (to download) in reading conditions very similar to those of a paper book.

It is therefore a device that is primarily intended for people who like to read as well as heavy readers who consume (or wish to consume) a large number of books each year.

Presentation of the Bookeen Saga e-reader

The Bookeen Saga e-reader is supplied in a fairly prestigious and good quality box that protects your e-reader well.

The special thing about this packaging is that it is shaped like a book. A choice that corresponds very well to the spirit desired by this e-reader, and this is my interpretation, the missing link between the electronic device and the paper book.

So when you open the packaging you are surprised to find an e-reader, in the shape of a book, inside a bigger “book”.

There is also a small Bookeen Saga quick start manual as well as a USB connection cable to connect your eReader to an AC adapter or a computer to charge the machine and transfer books to it.
The small book supplied with the e-reader is very basic, but there is access in the library of the e-reader to a much more complete manual.

Once the Bookeen Saga is out of its box, you can appreciate the machine’s construction: a complete case surrounds and protects the device, which allows a good grip and avoids having to buy a protective cover.

The e-reader and its cover are fully integrated into each other and therefore form a single device: it is thus impossible to “remove” the e-reader from its case.

On the edge of the device, there is a start button. On the bottom edge, there is a plug for a micro-USB port as well as an indicator light that lets us know when the e-reader is charging (and when it is finished).

There are also buttons on each side of the screen: on the right, there is a button to access the menu and two buttons to turn the pages.

On the other side, we have a single button that allows us to adjust the screen illumination.

The Bookeen Saga e-reader, therefore, offers a 6-inch touch screen with 1024 x 758 pixels as well as front lighting.  Coming back to the eReader, I found it comfortable to pick up. I was a little surprised by its weight since it weighs 300g, which is slightly heavier than a regular e-reader that weighs between 200 and 250 grams.

But, the weight didn’t bother me, including during long 2-hour reading sessions.

For the first impression, I find this Bookeen Saga e-reader to be very convincing and its design very pleasing.

Bookeen Saga e-reader screen

After turning on the e-reader, you find yourself in front of the home screen. Despite a slightly lower definition (we already have 6-inch e-readers with more pixels), the contrast is very good and the screen is finally sufficiently precise so that we do not see any pixels in the text.

So that’s a good point that, on paper, could be awkward.

The screen is therefore precise and the lighting adds to the contrast: when pushed to the maximum, you will have a crisp white page and, at a minimum, you will be able to read quietly in complete darkness without blowing your eyes out.
So there is no problem and this 6-inch screen of the Bookeen Saga is perfectly suited to read novels. Of course, the diagonal is not enough to enjoy reading comics or documents with many graphics, but that’s not what you want from an e-reader of this size.

The Bookeen Saga being a tactile reader, one could wonder about the responsiveness of this one. In use, there is no noticeable problem and the screen responds well.

The screen refreshes quite quickly (in the standard we will say) navigating the menus or turning the pages of an ebook is not a problem at all.

You can see this comparison between the screen of a Cybook that is almost 5 years old (and still works!) And this Bookeen Saga:
The screen and its lighting are therefore very decent and they haven’t failed me. This E Ink screen is well suited for reading novels, which is what this e-reader was designed for.

Wifi, USB, and library

Quickly, this e-reader can connect to its library via the Wifi network (which must be configured beforehand).

Personally, I use it with the Caliber software which allows me to manage my digital book collection.

So I plug the Bookeen Saga into my PC (Windows 10) and I transfer and manage my ebooks to be read in this way. The Bookeen Saga is therefore perfectly compatible with the Caliber software.

If you don’t want to have to manage the book transfer yourself, you can simply purchase your books from the built-in bookstore and the e-reader will do the rest (download and then save to the e-reader library).

Nothing to complain about then, since everything is working well.

The interface of the Bookeen Saga reader

This Bookeen Saga reader obviously offers Bookeen’s software for managing options and parameters, but also for reading ebooks or the library.

If you have ever had a Bookeen e-reader, then you will be on familiar ground. For others, know that the interface is easy to access and allows you to do the essentials.

When you turn on the e-reader for the first time, or when you use the menu to access the home page, you find yourself in front of a screen made up of three parts:

current books
the latest additions to the library
access to the bookstore to download new books
First, the library provides access to your books and offers different sorting and filing options: by collections, new books, books currently being read, completed books, all books.

You can also have access to images or annotations for books but also to files directly.

It is therefore simple and effective.

Reading and management of ebooks on Bookeen Saga e-reader

Now that we’ve got the e-reader tour, we can move on to something really interesting: reading ebooks.

You might as well say it right away, as with all well-designed e-readers, reading this Bookeen Saga is a pleasure.

You quickly get comfortable with the customization options and the screen and its contrast make reading very comfortable.

The characters are precise and you can adjust them the way you want: larger or smaller, with a choice of font, margins, or more or less line spacing.

Small nice thing: you can hold the e-reader in the direction you want since a gyroscope allows the screen to always be in the correct reading direction.

And, there is one option that I like a lot: it is possible to invert the colors of the page and the text. So, to read in total darkness I choose to turn on the lighting, turn it to a minimum, and display white characters on a black background. Convenient.

As we have already seen, the e-reader has a touch screen that allows you to turn the pages (quickly). But you can also use the physical buttons that are provided for this.

The menu button allows us to access the various parameters of the book but also reading statistics.

We can therefore know how long it takes to finish reading the chapter or the book. If some people think that it is a bit “gadget” to have this type of information, I find them on the contrary very useful to know if I have time to finish the chapter before getting off the tram, the bus, or from the metro.

In short, when it comes to ebook reading, this Bookeen Saga e-reader does the job very, very well!

Reading PDF files and comics

I’m not going four ways: this eReader is not designed for reading PDF files or comics.

As for the PDF format, it is fully supported. But as soon as you have documents that are several megabytes long and contain images, reading them becomes quite tedious.

So while technically it’s largely doable, I don’t find reading PDFs comfortable. Because reading on an e-reader must be equivalent to reading a book: you open / turn on the e-reader and you read. You don’t have to worry about the zoom level and other settings.

Reading PDF files on such an e-reader, be it a Bookeen, a Kobo, or a Kindle, is therefore not recommended.

When it comes to reading comics, it’s already trickier. Because, first of all, the screen does not offer color. Then, the 6-inch screen is quite small which complicates things, especially considering the relative lack of pixels on this Bookeen Saga. So even though it might be fine for reading manga, I don’t recommend reading comics on this kind of little 6-inch e-reader.

If you really want to read digital comics, you’ll need to purchase a minimum 8-inch touchscreen tablet.

Technical information on the Bookeen Saga e-reader

Here are the characteristics of this Bookeen Saga e-reader available in France since the beginning of 2018:

  • 6 inch E Ink Carta screen,
  • 1024 x 758 pixel resolution (212 PPI)
  • Front lighting
  • Touch
  • 8 GB of storage
  • 1 GHz processor
  • Dimensions: 136 x 159 x 14.8mm
  • Supported files for books: epub, fb2, Html, txt, pdf and Adobe DRM
  • Supported files for images/photos: jpg, png, gif, BMP, ico, tiff, PSD
  • Weight: about 300 grams

The e-reader can also display web pages with a small, very simple browser. But, again, this is a troubleshooting tool that is not designed for daily or regular Internet surfing.

Conclusion

This Bookeen Saga reader is still my favorite at the moment.
Certainly, the design appealed to me, but it is also a very good reading machine, well designed, and well-balanced in terms of functionality/ease of use.

We can still blame a few small things. There is the weight which is a little more important than that of other 6 inch e-readers on the market and the coating used for the e-reader which tends to attract a lot of dust.  Other than that, this Bookeen Saga is the ideal e-reader for the reader who enjoys reading a lot.

In addition, it excels in handling the EPUB format which makes it the natural candidate if you already have many ebooks in this format.

Most :

✔️ quality/price ratio

✔️creen of good quality

✔️Ease of use and 8 GB of storage memory

✔️a cover + an e-reader in perfect harmony

The lessers :

Bad PDF handling

❗weight

Final Note: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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