back to article HMV offers 80-quid colour e-book reader

HMV has followed John Lewis to pitch what is essentially a 5in media tablet as a colour e-book reader. His Master's Voice is now offering the View Quest BookBox for £80 online, or £99 in store. Said tablet's colour screen has a resolution of 480 x 800, but no touch capability, it seems. There's 2Gb of on-board storage, but …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I'll pass

    Cheap tablets are flooding the market right now, disguised under all sorts of brand names but never labeled with the actual manufacturer's name because that would cause you to think; "who?" or "oh that company that makes shit tablets".

    Spend the extra £30 on a kindle and you'll have a well engineered product that does what it says on the box. There's no reason to cheap out on an ebook reader when a day's minimum wage will earn you the extra it would cost to buy the genuine article.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Minimum Wage

      I don't think people on minimum wage would think, "that Kindle is only one whole days pay more, I'll buy that."

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Down


        Since when did minimum wage imply that you could live life to the full and buy anything you wanted?


        A Kindle is hardly an essential purchase. It's a luxury. Anyone thinking of buying one /ought/ to be earning enough to make it 'less than a days pay'.


        I'm not trying to knock the poor sods stuck on that paltry pay. Just trying to bring a little realism back into the discussion. If you're paid a shit wage you ought to accept that some goods and services will be out of your reach. That's life. Very few people can buy anything and everything their heart desires.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          chill dude

          I didn't say that people on minimum wage buy or should buy ebook readers, I said that the difference in price between a no-name ebook reader and a good one is roughly equivalent to 1 days minimum wage.

          It is a factually correct statement.

          If you're buying an ebook reader, you probably do earn more than the minimum, which is why I made the point in the first place - it is a trivial price difference. If you can afford £80 on a luxury, why can't you afford £110 (for something twice as good)?

          Maybe I didn't make the point as well as I should have.

  2. Jedibeeftrix

    will it play kobo ebook files?

    that might be quite tempting!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They claim it will do 720p video playback. I'd love to see how they manage that on an 800x480 display.

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: 720p

      Take a 720p video file and scale it down to 800 x 450, I should think.

      Saying you can play 720p != actually playing it at that resolution, despite the obvious assumption being that it will.

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        Think you'll find...

        ...that the advertising standards people may have a different interpretation from you, Tony.

        1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Think you'll find...

          Quite possibly - that's not for me to say.

          Feel free to grass 'em up, and we'll see.

        2. Annihilator

          ASA will be fine

          Plenty of TVs can play 1080p/i content for example, despite not having the resolution to display it. Not remember "HD Ready"?

        3. jason 7

          You can say what you like about a product.....

          ...these days and the ASA doesnt care.

          After all no one has challenged Apple to show what exactly are the 'magical ' properties their products contain.

          The ASA said stating a product as magical wasnt an issue.

  4. MaXimaN

    Rubber Style

    They spelt "rubbish" wrong.

  5. Giles Jones Gold badge


    It's a big dumbphone without the phone part. A big dumb.

    If it had an e-paper display I might have bought one tomorrow.

  6. Russ Tarbox

    Surely these retailers are missing the point.

    They're trying to sell what is effectively a cheap, no-name PMP as an eBook reader, when it only lasts 6 hours? Compared to a kindle which is built from the ground up and whose battery life can be measured in days or even weeks rather than hours, exactly what you need from a reader.

    Next they'll be strapping a battery to an iMac and calling it portable.

    1. Eponymous Cowherd

      Months, actually.

      Bought Mrs Cowherd a Kindle over a month ago. She uses it for a couple of hours a day. Hasn't seen the charger yet. Still showing over half charge.

      Agree with other comments, this is cheap attempt to jump on the e-book bandwagon with what is really a budget PMP.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also sold as Bookbox by CPC - but get an ZTC Blade phone instead

    There's a place for such reader specifications. Most people don't have six hours during their their travel to work time and working day for six hours of reading - so run it off power supply most of time at home.

    Problem is that as sold it does not have guarantee that it will be able to use all DRM-ebooks and you also need a computer to download them.

    Compared to an Orange San Francisco (ZTC Blade) moblie phone, also WVGA (800x480) capacitive OLED screen - on which Kindle DRM-ebook can be directly installed, and you don't need a separate computer to get the books from Amazon, it's extremely poor value. Use either 3G or WiFi if available, and get lots of Android features, as well as extra hardware such as sat-nav and a 3G phone, for 99GBP.

    Although compared to some e-ink ebook readers which also need a PC to download ebooks, this is fair value at current prices being charged.

  8. Ben Norris

    Not an e-book

    If it does not have an e-ink screen then it is not an e-book

  9. andy gibson

    @ AndrueC

    Sadly it will probably be available to buy from Brighthouse at 2470% APR.

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


      It will probably also be available on ebay for £49 by chrimble.

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