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Ectaco jetBook Lite does everything it can to claim 'cheapest US e-reader' title, no matter the sacrifice

Ross Miller
10.18.09
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Ectaco knows what you want, and that's an e-book reader that hits the $149 price mark, no matter what has to get cut in the process. The jetBook Lite, recently shown off at the Frankfurt Book Fair, is just such a handheld. Gone is any notion of electronic ink, opting instead for a 5-inch reflective TFT manufactured by Toshiba and usually implemented in pocket dictionaries. The other big sacrifice is an internal battery, instead going for a slot for four AA batteries that literally jut out of the back of the unit. Internal memory's just 100MB, but there is a SD slot for expansion, and there's language options for English, German, Spanish, Russian, and Polish. While the spokesperson singled out Barnes & Noble as where to buy the e-books from, we're not sure if that's an exclusivity agreement as much as it is just a suggestion. Lesen.net got some hands-on time with the device, who noted it's got some heft to it for its size, but is still quite pocketable. Still, for around $150 you can probably get yourself an older Kindle or Sony Reader instead, but don't let that stop you. See it for yourself in the video after the break.