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India’s own e-reader

Indian company EC Media International has launched an e-book reader called the Wink XTS. Read on to know our verdict on it..

india Updated: Nov 16, 2010 14:56 IST
Avinash Bali

Indian company EC Media International has launched an e-book reader called the Wink XTS. The company will offer consumers a one-stop e-store, where users get to access to a large number of e-books available on

www.thewinkstore.com

comprising history texts and career guides to Do It Yourself (DIY) manuals.



The Wink reader is as thin as an everyday cellphone and comes with a 6-inch, electronic ink screen. Apart from its reading capabilities, the device is also capable of playing audio via its built-in speakers. Though equipped with a keypad, the buttons are too small for comfort. There are reset and power off buttons at the rear, along with a USB port for charging and transferring files to the device. A 3.5 mm headphone jack will let you connect headphones to it. The SD card slot at the top gives you the freedom to carry music and files. The rubberised back provides good grip when held.



The Wink comes with a well laid-out user interface designed to make navigating between menus easy. It’s quite self-explanatory and gives you direct access to your music, library, Wi-Fi and system settings. You also have direct access the Wink Store site via the Wink Home menu, and this is where your patience with the product is tested. Navigating from one link to another takes more than a second, so browsing for books is a real hassle. Overall, extreme sluggishness is a big bother on the Wink.



The Wink’s internet connection can only be used to browse the Wink Store, and not to browse the web at all. However, it does have an email client that allows you to sync and read your messages, though at a snail’s pace. Performance is undoubtedly bad, but the overall usability is good thanks to the E-Ink screen. Text and pictures appear crisp — this is probably the only area where the Wink really shines. There’s a bookmark key that allows you to instantly mark important pages. You can jump to any page by typing the page number into the ‘Go To’dialogue.



Taking everything into account, the Wink is a difficult product to recommend mainly due to its bad performance. Having said that, one advantage that the Wink has over Amazon’s Kindle is its ability to read EPUB files. Battery life is average — it fails to go beyond two days at a stretch. The Wink is a decent first attempt, but there are many issues that need to be ironed out.