Given the number of wireless-enabled, high-aspiring ereaders we've seen promised for launch and then failing to turn up on schedule - Plastic Logic and Spring Design, we're looking at you - there are times when you wonder if you're better off with a regular ebook device that does the basics well. One such example might be the Pocketbook 360°, a non-wireless reader around the size of a CD case and half the weight of a Kindle or nook; it may not let you download ebooks while on the move, but it does apparently boast super-fast speed and usability.
Video hands-on after the cut
Roger Pelizzari has been reviewing the 360° over at Nate's Ebook News, and he's very impressed. Initial boot is a matter of 10 seconds, while ebooks open in 5 seconds. Most impressive, though, is page-turn time. The 5-inch E Ink Vizplex 600 x 800 monochrome panel flips through pages in about half a second, a rate which Roger reckons is "hardly noticeable" and twice as fast as Amazon or B&N's devices.
There's also more flexibility with the software than the big companies permit, and already there's a custom Fbreader config file out there adding page turn by accelerometer flick (something Pocketbook themselves are planning to add to an official release); you can also remap all the hardware buttons and there's a developer kit for creating other apps for the device. A wireless-enabled version, the Pocketbook 302, is on its way, but for now those readers not locked into Amazon or B&N's respective ebook stores could do a lot worse than the $239.99 Pocketbook 360°.