Holidays are the best opportunity to catch up on the books we have pending, but nobody wants to carry a “mountain” in their backpack. The best option, of course, is to go e-book, with small and lightweight devices like the SPC Dickens Light.
It’s hard to talk about an e-book reader without mentioning the industry’s most popular, Amazon’s Kindle. At € 99.90 , the SPC Dickens Light takes on the entry-level Kindle squarely, but is it capable of comparing itself to such an industry titan?
Light and very fine
Weighing just 168 grams , this extremely light reader can accompany us anywhere without being a nuisance. That is the great advantage it has over other readers, including the Kindle. This reader is much easier to transport, and especially to carry in your hand; it is much thinner, to the point that it has surprised me, and holding it for several hours has not turned out to be an annoying task as can be the case with thicker and heavier devices. It is striking that this is achieved with 8 GB of internal memory, and even a microSD card slot is included in case that is not enough.
The SPC Dickens Light
The edges of the screen are also thinner, and that allows the six-inch e-ink panel to stand out more. The 1024 x 578 pixel resolution is more than suitable for all types of content, and the letters render perfectly regardless of the typeface.
The “Light” part of the name does not come because it is light, but because of the backlit screen , the feature that really makes it stand out from competitors like the Amazon Kindle, which in this price range still use headlights that do not offer the same result. When we turn on the light, we will immediately notice the improvement if we are trying to read in poorly lit areas, although it is not annoying unless we increase the intensity to the maximum. Of course, the lighting will “eat” more battery, something to consider.
With buttons, not touch screen
In return, SPC has had to make the sacrifice of the touch screen. It is something that will bother you more if you come from a Kindle and the exceptional response it has. The Dickens Light is controlled by the lower buttons, and the experience is spotty. Sometimes they respond perfectly when we turn the page, and at other times it is as if they are deaf. But especially, the biggest problem is that there are too many buttons, and their functions are confusing.
SPC Dickens Light
There are functions, such as page switching, that have two dedicated buttons for no apparent reason; while there are other buttons that fulfill various functions depending on how long you hold them down, and that is not evident or explained in the manual. Obviously this interface requires a bit more work , as do the menus.
No matter which section of the main menu you choose, they all lead to the same view of internal folders that is not friendly at all (who needs to see a system folder?); the only difference is the type of file that will appear.
Too many additions?
Because this e-book reader is not only capable of reading that, e-books. We can also play music files , and we have a 3.5mm audio output to connect our headphones. It can be fine if we really don’t have anything else to play music with, that is, we don’t have our mobile on top. It will be especially useful for enjoying audiobooks , which are becoming more and more popular.
We also have a photo viewer, something that pulls more towards the useless because, obviously, they will all come out in black and white due to the limitations of electronic ink.
The SPC Dickens Light presents some strange decisions, and others that I fully understand. Once you get used to the buttons, and set the font and size to your liking, the experience is good, or at least similar to that of other readers. If we read at night, or away from home, it is even better thanks to the backlit screen.
SPC Dickens Light
It seems that SPC has bet too much on add-ons, such as the music player, when perhaps they were not necessary; although that’s the kind of feature that “saves your life” when you least expect it. Instead, the user experience needs some customization on the part of the user.