Tech Check: $13 e-reader for the holidays


by Doug Delony / KHOU 11 News

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 16 at 10:43 AM

HOUSTON – While the tech world is ready for Apple to announce its rumored “mini iPad” sometime later this month, there’s something else on the way that’s bound to create some buzz this holiday season.

The Txtr Beagle is a mini e-reader that will cost only about $13, if all goes as planned.

Its makers posted a video on showing it off. If you can ignore the hokey love story, you’ll notice the video shows off the Beagle as a cool smartphone accessory with a long battery life.

The Beagle doesn’t have a touch screen or 3G data, in fact, it doesn’t even have WiFi. The Beagle communicates with your smartphone via Bluetooth to display the books you’ve purchased.

The screen is only 5 inches and is black and white, so the only color you’ll find is in the casing, as there are several hues to choose from.

The overall idea is: yeah, it’s not fancy nor will it compete with an iPad, but it’s cheap and gives you a larger screen to read your books on.

Txtr says it’s talking to AT&T and Sprint right now to hopefully help sell this thing at $13.

So how does it stack up against other tablets/e-readers?

>> iPad: 9.7” - $499 (This is a real tablet computer, with color screen)
>> Kindle Paperwhite: 6”- $120 (Great e-reader with b&w paper-like screen)
>> Nook Simple Touch: 6” B&W - $99 (Same as the Paperwhite)
>> Txtr Beagle: 5” - $13

Should you buy it as a gift?

If your loved one is a bookworm and asked for an e-reader, go with the Paperwhite or Simple Touch. If they want an iPad, definitely get them an iPad. But if you’re looking for a nice accessory that works as a stocking stuffer, go with the Beagle.

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Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out to Doug on Facebook ( or Twitter (@DougDelonyKHOU)