2007-2017: The Cybook Gen3 is 10 years old!

In 2007, there were already ebook readers. Most of them were large, ridiculously heavy, with lcd screens. Bookeen’s was called the “Cyber Book” or Cybook Gen1: it weighed 1kg, had a 256 colour touchscreen, an internet connection and a battery life of about 4 hours…

October 2007: presenting the Cybook Gen3

Then in October, Bookeen released a Cybook which was a huge departure from its predecessors. The Cybook Gen3 was here, and it was revolutionary! Small, thin, feather-light (a mere 174g!), a battery that lasted weeks on a single charge, and most importantly, an e-ink screen. Ebook reading was suddenly portable! An ebook reader that fit in a pocket and weighed nothing could go anywhere (and everywhere) with you, and you could even read comfortably in full sunlight — just like a paper book.

Cybook Gen 1, 2, 3

The Cybook Gen3 was the first ebook reader with an e-ink screen I ever saw and I still remember how amazed I was the first time I got a look at it. The bare e-ink screen, with its matte, ever so slightly grainy surface, looked impossibly like a printed page that could change in the blink of an eye. It was truly magic. Better than Harry Potter’s moving photos!

I wasn’t the only one amazed. The Gen3 was a huge success from the start: no matter how many were produced, there were so many orders that there was a waiting list of several weeks to get one. By the beginning of 2008, Bookeen was selling the Cybook Gen3 for 350€/$ in more than 11 countries.

10 years later, we’ve come a long way! Digital reading has become significantly more accessible since its early days, with a standard format and more democratic pricing. But there are still Gen3’s out in the world and from time to time we’ll run into a happy Gen3 reader in a book fair or elsewhere. Sometimes people even send us photos of them on twitter or facebook and we absolutely love to see them!

In 2007, were you already reading ebooks? Did you have a Cybook Gen3?

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