Hanvon Handybook N516 is an expensive but basic ebook reader, which works fine for reading text, but lacks many capabilities of other eReaders. For instance, there is no note-taking, highlighting, underlining, dictionary, or search functions. This device also does not support some of the main ebook file formats such as mobi, epub, eReader, or any of the DRM formats. However, oddly, it does have an elementary text to speech function, something generally only higher end eReaders had in 2009.
The N516 has a power button, volume up and down, page up, page down, and 10 numbered menu keys along the left side. The reader works with menus in English, simplified Chinese, and traditional Chinese.
Onboard memory is limited at 512 MB, but the N516 can accept SD and SDHC cards to expand memory. The unit does have a basic mp3 player and headphone jack, but no speakers. We did notice from the specs that the Handybook's operating temperature only runs from 0F to 90F, whereas most eReaders function up to around 95-110F. This is probably not a a major concern, but something to keep in mind if you were using this outside in a hot environment.
The N516 is supported by version 0.2 of Openinkpot, open source firmware, which has gradually improved over time--for instance recent versions have added PDF functionality.
Hanvon (or Hanwang Technology Company as it is known in China) is a leading Chinese high tech firm, mainly known for producing graphic tablet-type applications.has been selling e-ink based eReaders since 2008, and produces a wide range of products. Their readers were originally available only in China, but have recently been exported for sale to the US and Europe. The N516 model debuted in July 2009--the hardware for this eReader is also used for the Azbooka WISEreader 516 and Woxter Scriba 150 sold in Europe, though those units have different firmware and capabilities.
Connecting: Unfortunately, the Handybook has no wireless connectivity capabilities, despite being a rather new eReader. You need to connect to your computer via a USB 2.0 cord to transfer ebooks and other files to the eReader.
It takes 2 hours to charge via AC wall socket, or 4 hours via USB.
Accessories: The unit ships with a protective case, USB cord, and a AC power adapter. We're unaware of accessories for the Hanvon N516 ebook reader.
Price: The Handybook N516 retails for ￥2,288.00 (around $330).