Interead's COOL-ER eBook Reader is an interesting e-book reader device that's stylish and practical and offers a wide range of support for both open and DRM (digital rights managed) books.

"It's about more than just a tech reader," said Phil Wood, Interead's Marketing Director, of the COOL-ER Reader.

"It's about making reading cool. [The COOL-ER Reader is] a product that a kid can use without being made fun of for reading a book."

Shall we tactfully say that the design nods towards that of a famous music player? Indeed, many people have asked us if the COOL-ER Reader is a new iPod - perhaps a comically large one. This is in itself no bad thing (albeit a tad shameless) but when you start to use the device it's clear that this isn't an Apple production.

The wheel on the lower right of the COOL-ER Reader is not a scroll-wheel. Instead it is the more traditional up, down, left, and right variety. A central button acts to select options and on the left side is a back button (along with buttons to rotate the screen, access menus, and a quick access button to music). On the right hand side of the device are volume control rand on the top is an On/Off button and an SD Card socket.

COOL-ER Reader

We found the COOL-ER Reader's practice of switching off (versus having a lock button) odd on a device that doesn't use power when in use. On the upside it has enough power for 8,000 page turns on a single charge, more than enough to keep you going through several books.

The COOL-ER Reader's SD socket is largely superfluous. The device comes with 1GB of memory and with the average book taking up less than 1MB of space you can easily fit roughly 1,000 books on the device. Not that we managed to get anywhere near that amount on it for testing.

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