The Cybook Opus (CYBPE10W ) is the lightest eReader on the market (5.3 ounces), and has a good mix of features, but is no comparison to the leading Amazon and Sony models. The Opus is Booken's smaller (5-inch vice the more standard 6-inch eReader size), more advanced version of their Cybook Gen 3 ebook reader. It certainly is small, and can easily fit in a purse or pocket, but can feel bit fragile compared to some other eReaders.
The Opus has a motion sensor to detect when you've tilted the screen, and rotate from portrait to landscape. Its screen also displays an impressive 200 dots per inch, slightly higher than the norm. There are twelve font sizes (as pictured), overkill in our opinion, but impressive nonetheless. However, for an eReader debuting in late 2009, we were disappointed it only could display 4 greyscales, not the 8 or 16 most new models feature--fine for text, but any illustrations will look primitive.
We generally like Bookeen's design for the Opus, which has a directional pad and two other buttons on the bottom. However, the Next and Back buttons are only on the right side, a serious drawback for the 10% of the population who is left-handed. The only workaround is to flip it around and read "upside down," but at least the accelerometers will shift the screen orientation for you.
The Cybook Opus ships with a fair 1GB of storage, but can use micro SD cards for up to an additional 4 GB. It also has a user replaceable battery, a rarity among eReaders, but a trend we hope will catch on. The Opus also boots in only 15 seconds, on the low side for eReaders.
There is a convenient folder filing system, useful for keeping track of dozens of titles. There is no audio support at all, which will be an issue for some. We've heard the Opus does freeze up occasionally at inopportune times. Users also complain that Bookeen's firmware updates to fix bugs are often slow in coming.
The Cybook Opus is a product of Bookeen, a French firm founded in 2003, and their founders worked on early eBook designs as early as 1998 (forever in industry terms). The design is actually manufactured by the Taiwanese firm Netronix, which also produces several other prominent eReaders.
Connecting: The Cybook Opus has little in the way of internet connectivity--you must plus in a USB cable and drag files from your computer. This is a serious flaw in our opinion, especially when the Kindle 2 costs nearly the same and comes with global internet connectivity and even basic web browsing.
Accessories: There are several accessories available for the Cybook Opus, including some beautiful, but in our opinion overpriced leather cases
with pockets ($59).
Price: The Cybook Opus list price is $250, but we've sometimes seen it as low as $220 on Amazon, which is pretty good value.