10/10/2012 14:56 | By Matt Farrington-Smith, editor, MSN Tech & Gadgets

Is this the cheapest e-reader ever? txtr Beagle costs just £8

Have we found an e-reader to rival the Kindle?

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The world's cheapest e-reader

For such a bargainous price you shouldn't expect too much in the way of cutting-edge tech - but we were pleasantly surprised when we saw the pictures of the txtr Beagle.

You'll be able to customise your Beagle with a choice of four vivid back-covers - Jade Green, Grapefruit, Turquoise, and Purple.

txtr Beagle - the affordable e-reader. Image txtr

Unlike other e-readers the Beagle doesn't include a built-in battery, instead it runs on vanilla alkaline or NiMH
Rechargeable batteries. txtr claim the 2 AAA batteries will last for up to a year (that's 12-15 books with normal use - great if you're a light reader... not so great if you read more). Although there's still enough room to include 4GB of storage which lets the user cache up to 5 books at a time.

There's no Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity but it does incorporate a Bluetooth radio which you can use to transfer e-books when paired with your phone. A free txtr app is currently available for Android 4.0, and there is an iOS version in the pipeline.

The world's smallest e-reader

It lacks a fancy touchscreen and backlight but the Beagle's 5-inch display (800 x 600 pixels) should be more than
adequate - it also uses something called Vizplex E Ink to make the text pop.

The Beagle weighs just 128 grams (with batteries), or 111 grams (without batteries). It measures 140 x 105 x 4.8mm (on thin side) / 14mm (on battery side).

How much?

You can get your hands on the txtr Beagle for just €9.90 (so when converted that's £8.12 excluding any taxes).
It is not known when the Beagle will be in shops, but we'd wager some time before Christmas.

Who's behind the £8 e-reader?

They're called txtr; a Germany company made up of book enthusiasts and experienced internet specialists. They are also in the process of building the largest global eBook distribution network as a service to publishers and readers.

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