German firm set to release £10 eBook reader

A German firm has unveiled plans to release a £10 eBook reader to compete against - or, more likely, undercut - favourites like Amazon's Kindle.

The device, produced by Txtr, is called the Txtr Beagle and its ultra-cheap price comes down to its very basic features. Unlike other eBook readers, there is no touchscreen or rechargeable battery, instead it operates using 2 AAA batteries and a 5in E Ink-based screen with an 800 x 600 pixel resolution.

Notably, there is also no Wi-Fi capability, meaning customers will need to send books to the device via Bluetooth from their mobile phones using Txtr's free app. The app is already on Android and an iOS version is in the works.

The firm claims the gadget is the world's smallest eBook reader as it is a mere 5mm thick and weighs only 128g. According to Txtr, the Beagle also boasts of a long battery life with 12 to 15 full books per battery change due to the combination of low-power display type and lack of extra networking capabilities.

Txtr will initially launch the eBook reader in Germany by Christmas, with the hopes of rolling it out worldwide as a mobile phone accessory to be sold at point-of-sale by smartphone retailers and mobile networks.

The competitive device will pit itself against Amazon whose boss Jeff Bezos showed off the company's Kindle Paperwhite eBook reader, which boasts a much sharper screen and longer battery life, earlier this month. Already available in the US, it is expected to reach the UK later this year along with the Kindle Fire tablets.