BeBook Mini is one of the top smaller five-inch screen eReaders in Europe (most eReaders have a standard six-inch screen, but are just that little bit too big to slip in a pocket or purse at that size, which the Mini can do). The Pocket Pro is actually a Jinke Hanlin V5 variant for sale in Europe and Australia similar to the V5 variant for the US market, the Astak EZ Reader Pocket Pro, but the Mini has better firmware in our opinion.
The BeBook Mini weighs in at a light 6 ounces. The e-ink display is rather standard, with only 8 greyscales displayable, as opposed to the 16 in the leading eReaders. The actual unit is more functional than stylish in our opinion, with 10 dual purpose number keys, next/previous buttons on the left side, a cancel/ok split button and a scroll wheel (also for next/previous) along the right edge. By having the key page turn controls on both sides, the Mini is comfortable for one hand use by both right and left handers.
There are some simple innovations in the Mini which we hope will get wider adoption among the eReader industry, like the ability to jump 10 pages at a time with a push and hold of a button. We especially like the Mini's folder system, as once your collection grows, you really need this to sort everything out (lack of such a system plagues the market leading Kindle). There is annoying beep after each buttons press, but this can be easily turned off in preferences
The Mini's battery is good for about 8,000 page flips on one charge, good by current standards. Charging the BeBook Mini takes 4 hours via AC outlet or 6 hours via USB cord. The battery is replaceable by the user, part of a welcome trend with newer eReaders. At 512MB of memory, it is on the sparse side, but you can add up to a 16GB SDHC card.
The BeBook Mini supports an impressive 23 file types, among the best of any eReader on the market--most of the ebook types, mp3 music files, and a healthy smattering of graphic types. It does especially well with PDFs, allowing reflow of the documents. One thing we are impressed with is a text-to-speech function (common at its 2009 launch only in the higher end eReaders like the Kindle), for certain types of English and Chinese files, though not for PDF and EPUB files.You can also play mp3 music files in the background, though there are no speakers, only a 3.5mm headphone jack, with ear buds included.
The BeBook Mini has among the best built-in menu language support we've seen in any ebook reader: English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Chinese, Russian, Greek, Ukraine, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Bulgarian, Estonian, Polish.
The company that produces the Mini (Hanlin V5 variant) for the Netherlands-based Endless Ideas is Tianjin Jinke Electronics Co., LTD. Jinke was founded in 1985, is a high-tech joint-owned enterprise, located in Tianjin, China. Jinke also produces the original BeBook (Hanlin V3) and will soon produce the BeBook 2.
Connecting: The BeBook Mini has no connectivity other than a USB 2.0 cable, a serious drawback when you consider leading eReaders like the Kindle 2 and Nook have cellular internet access for only a bit more money. The mini USB port itself is recessed, and you may have trouble using cables other than the one provided.
BeBook offers 150 classic titles free with purchase. We're also impressed that it's so easy to import all the RSS feeds--lack of that on the Sony models is a pain.
Accessories: The BeBook Mini ships with a USB cable, earphones, screwdriver, user manual, quickstart guide, and lanyard. There is a large range of stylish, padded cases for the BeBook Mini, for $25 each, available in black, lime green, pink, sky blue, fiery red, and classic brown.
Price: The BeBook Mini retails for a $199, relatively cheap for an eReader without internet connectivity.