A reader wrote in to ask our advice on whether they should buy a lesser-known eReader from a website selling directly from China and we felt the answer was worthy of sharing with everyone (you can ignore if you already have this subject covered).
Our reader wanted to know if they should consider buying an iBex tablet from a Chinese ‘sourcing’ company called ChinaGrabber. Sourcing companies essentially sell products made in China that are typically knock-offs or variations of popular items.
For starters, the iBex Flytouch 3 is an Android-based tablet computer (a la iPad or Xoom), and not strictly an eReader. Granted the $215 price tag is much cheaper than either an iPad or Motorola Xoom, but nothing in life is really that ‘cheap’ – there are always caveats. For starters, what happens if something goes wrong? Who do you call or send it back to? If you take one look at that website, all sorts of warning bells should sound. You may just be stuck with a dead piece of electronics. [I wrote a guide on safe shopping online that helps you avoid these types of issues.]
Let’s put aside the question of warranties and repair for a second and address our reader’s real concerns. They would like an eReader to replace all of those textbooks while they go to school and are concerned about the storage, in particular pointing to the Flytouch’s 8GB.
First of all, if you would simply like an eReader and are looking at this tablet as merely an eReader and not as a tablet computer, then you should look at the price tag and realize that you’re overpaying for an eReader as the top products in this category (Kindle, Nook, etc) are well under $200 now (Kindle 6″ is now $139, $114 with ads).
Second, even 1GB of storage can hold about 1000 ebooks. Perhaps textbooks may take up a bit more space, but if you had to plow through even 500 textbooks in school, you have bigger problems!
A related concern that has to be looked at on almost a case-by-case basis is whether or not the textbooks you must get are even available in eBook format.
And by the way, I’ve never heard of the iBex brand. Try doing a search for it – you won’t come up with much which is another warning sign, a non-existent or extremely small company/brand.
So our general advice is that if you’re in the market for an eReader, stick to the better-known brands. If you’re still confused about which to get, check out eReader Comparison Guide or just sign up below.