The Franklin eBookMan is a dedicated eBook reader available from Franklin.
It was introduced in 1999 and there are a few slightly different models. Manufacture was discontinued in 2002. Books for this reader are still available. See FUB for the file format.
It s primarily designed as an eBook reader, but also has personal organizer functions and some simple games similar to early models of Palm Pilot. It can play audio books in Audible format and some other audio types. The 16 level grayscale LCD screen is touch sensitive and has a resolution of 200 x 240.
The difference in models related to the backlight and memory capacity (8 or 16 MB). The system came with handwriting recognition which was quite good. It connects to a PC through its full-size USB port and comes with a cradle which unfortunately does not offer recharging. Each model was powered by replaceable AAA batteries. Although early models had a problem with a capacitor, which resulted in the system losing all its data when the batteries were changed. The battery life as only a few hours.
The native eBook format that it could read had DRM which is implemented in hardware. Unusually, the OS has to be downloaded and would be registered individually to supplement the DRM.
Three models of eBookman were available:
- the 900 (8 MB memory - no backlight)
- the 901 (8 MB memory - backlight)
- the 911 (16 MB memory - backlight).
There is still an active user base including a Yahoo group.
The built in eBook reader was augmented by the release of a MobiPocket Reader which improved it use for eBooks.
 Features and Specifications
- Cradle and Desktop Manager included for USB syncing to a PC.
- File types: HTML, MP3, TXT, FUB, SEB, MOBI, PalmDOC, AA (format 2)
- Dimensions: 5.2" (13.15 cm) x 3.4" (8.6) x .7" (1.7 cm)
- Weight: 185 grams (6.5 oz)
- PDA functions: Address book, Date book, ToDo book, Memo book, calculator
- Touch screen
- built in Microphone and speaker. Headphone jack.
- voice recording
- dedicated handwriting recognition area.