by March 4, 2010 0 comments

Infibeam has announced a truly affordable eBook reader called the Pi. At
quite an affordable price compared to its most popular competitor, the Amazon
Kindle, the Pi stands a chance to capture a whole new class of consumer. The Pi
will work in conjunction with the Infibeam online eBook store which claims to
have over 1 lakh titles available for sale. It also supports Word, PDF and TXT

We had a chance to take a closer look at the device before it officially goes
on sale. It features a 6-inch, 800 x 600 pixel e-ink display, just like the
Kindle, but is a lot more compact because it does away with a QWERTY keypad. The
device is also very slim (10mm) and light (180 grams). The e-ink display is, as
expected, great to read books on. It can display images too, but in grayscale.
Below the display is a 5-way navigation pad and you get controls along the side
for ‘Home’, ‘Menu’ and font size.

The Pi has an internal memory of 512MB which can be expanded by upto 4GB
using a standard full size SD card. Not only does it support the popular EPUB
files, but also Microsoft Word (DOC), text files (TXT), PDF and HTML. It can
also display images in JPG, BMP and PNG formats.

Infibeam Pi

Specs: 6-inch, 800 x 600 pixel e-ink display, 512MB internal memory
expandable upto 4GB, mini USB port, 2.5mm audio output, supports Word,
PDF, TXT, HTML, JPG, BMP, PNG, MP3 file formats

Visit for more

To transfer files or to charge the device, you need only conect it to a PC
using the mini USB port. We could not find any way to transfer files from the SD
card to the internal memory. The built-in lithium-ion battery has a claimed life
of 4 to 7 days, which we feel could have been better. A higher capacity battery
wouldn’t have increased the price or weight by much, but it would have increased
the usability by a lot. And while the device does support playback of MP3 files,
it strangely has only a 2.5mm audio output. Since all after market earphones are
3.5mm, you’ll either have to use a 2.5 to 3.5mm adapter or be content with the
supplied earphones.

We tried reading a rather large PDF file on it by transferring it to the SD
card. It took a few seconds to load the page, but interestingly, the Pi applied
some sort of default formatting to display all the text in a more readble manner
(while the images were displayed separately at the beginning). However, while it
may increase readability, this sort of formatting may not always be desirable;
the very purpose of having a PDF was defeated because we could not see the PDF
page as it originally appeared.

A little bit of digging revealed a whole crop of identical devices, badged
with all sorts of different brand names. We therefore came to the conclusion
that the Pi is just a re-branded OEM product sourced from a Chinese

If you’re interested, you can now order the Pi on the Infibeam website (
for a modest Rs 9,999 (which includes all taxes, shipping and handling).

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