SoftBook Reader

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SoftBook Reader

SoftBook Reader

  • Made by: Gemstar
  • Released: 1998
  • Predecessor: none
  • Languages Supported: English
  • File Types Supported: Internal HTML based


This large screen greyscale eBook reader was one of the very first dedicated readers ever built. It had a built in Modem and could retrieve books directly via the modem. Unlike the Rocket eBook, there is no direct note function, but you can draw your notes right over the existing text. You can even insert or delete your own pages and fill them with drawings and hand-written notes—similar to what you would do with a paper book. Its included cover holds magnetic tabs that work as on/off switches when the cover is opened or shut. And a novel bar switch turns the pages, like a book. It offers interactive features such as hyperlinks, key-word search, and annotations that provide a more effective learning and information-transfer tool than paper.

A personal publishing tool was supplied for Mac and Windows to convert Word files. It could also use OEB compliant files. Files were uploaded to the online Bookshelf for download to the unit.


  • display. 6 x 8" - 9.5 inches diagonally (about 24.1 cm), 85dpi, grayscale, backlit, and touch-sensitive LCD
  • Memory: 8 Meg expandable via SMC card.
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg)
  • Dimensions: about 8.75 x 10.5 x 1.25 inch (22 x 26.75 x 3.25 cm)
  • supports analog telephone line for local calls to download books, in USA & Canada only
  • Battery life: up to 5 hours


The SoftBook Reader was originally produced by SoftBook Press, Inc. The product was purchase by GemStar LTD in the year 2000 and re-manufactured by RCA as the REB 1200. They are no longer being manufactured.

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