ViewSonic VEB 625 e-book reader Viewsonic has unveiled two electronic book readers it hopes will fare well against the likes of the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader range.

The ViewSonic VEB 620 and VEB 625 are both 6in screen e-book readers with monochrome displays. Given ViewSonic's main line of business, we're half-disappointed that they haven't gone all out for colour e-book readers.

Viewsonic has, however, included both touchscreen functionality and Wi-Fi on the VEB 625 e-book reader. The latter feature allows e-books to be downloaded straight to the device, rather than having to be sideloaded on to it from an SD card or copied across from a PC via a USB connection.

The devices also have a G-sensor that recognises whether the electronic book is being held vertically or in landscape mode and reorientates the onscreen display accordingly. This is a relatively new addition to e-book readers.

As is fairly standard, the ViewSonic VEB 620 and VEB 625 make use of E-INK's screen technology to simulate the pages of a book. The lack of backlighting required for E-INK displays means eyestrain won't arise from lengthy reading sessions. Another advantage is that such displays draw only a trickle of power, so batteries last for hundreds, even thousands, of page turns. ViewSonic says its VEB readers can last up to 8,000 page turns before a recharge is required.

Users can zoom in and adjust the size of the text to make it easier to read or, conversely, to have more information viewable onscreen at once. The ViewSonic e-book readers both come with 2GB on internal memory on which to store their digital library. This can be supplemented with Secure Digital memory cards.

Photos can be displayed on the devices, while music or audio books can be played. A 3.5mm headphone jack is provided for this purpose.

The ViewSonic VEB 620 and VEB 625 will cost £179 ex VAT (£205) and £205 ex VAT (£240) respectively.

ViewSonic VEB 625 e-book reader

ViewSonic VEB 625 e-book reader

ViewSonic's VEB 620 and VEB 625 e-book readers have a G-sensor that reorientates the text depending on how the device is being held


See also: Amazon Kindle review

See also: Sony Reader Touch Edition review

See also: iriver Story review