We've seen so many e-book readers of late that it's difficult to get excited about another, but Kobo's angle here might just make the Kobo eReader worth a look. Kobo's game is ecosystem, and in fact it doesn't plan on making a big splash in the actual e-reader market, since it's primarily about building branded software and delivering branded e-book stores for others, including manufacturers (like Plastic Logic
), and booksellers (like Borders
). Still, the 6-inch E Ink reader is fine hardware in its own right, with quality plastics throughout, a nice patterned rubber back, and a big friendly d-pad for paging through books. The device is actually laid out to mitigate accidental button presses -- even the menu buttons labelled on the front are actually located on the side of the device. As far as software and capabilities, the device is utterly barebones, but at least it keeps its aesthetics throughout, and everything seems responsive and intuitive. There's no 3G onboard (you sync your e-pub titles with a desktop app over USB), no specific word on storage (our guess is in the 1GB to 4GB range), and there don't seem to be any other activities available to reading books. Hopefully you're into that sort of thing, and Kobo at least pre-loaded 100 public domain titles to get you started. The unit will be sold at Borders this summer for $149, preceded by Indigo Books & Music in Canada in May.
Meanwhile, Kobo isn't neglecting its devices strategy. It already has BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, Mac, and PC (and some others we're likely forgetting), but it's also showing an iPad app that looks all ready to go. There aren't many details about it, but like all things Kobo it looks pretty single purpose and slick -- check out the screenshots below.
Editor's note: due to the horrible lighting conditions at the CTIA event we were attending, we had to photograph the device under the warm lights of a meat-cutting station, hence the incongruous backdrop of these hands-on photos.
Kobo eReader is Kobo's $149 E Ink play for Borders, we thumb through its virtual pages originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 24 Mar 2010 13:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink
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The Wall Street Journal
noted this morning that Sony's rather quietly dropped the price of its Pocket Reader
about $30 to $169. Now, it's actually what amounts to a sale -- the price cut lasts only through April 4th -- but that date, just two days after the iPad
is made available, could give us a little insight into the timing of the drop. The Wall Street Journal
also posits that this could be the first in a series of price war moves in the single purpose e-reader
market which are now facing competition from multi-purpose devices such as the aforementioned iPad and the recently announced Kindle app for tablets
Sony drops Pocket Reader price to $169... are e-readers about to get super cheap? originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Mar 2010 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink
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digg_url = 'http://digg.com/gadgets/Microsoft_Courier_existence_confirmed';
Well this is something. According to Peter Kafka at All Things D
, as well as a few tipsters, Microsoft has all but confirmed the existence (and likely actual launch) of the Courier
tablet. In a post on the site by Thomas Kohnstamm (or The JobsBloggers, hard to say) touting Microsoft innovation, this passage was originally posted:
Do you already know everything about Project Natal and the Cloud? Is Blaise Aguera y Arcas' jaw-dropping TED talk on augmented-reality Bing Maps and Photosynth last month's news? Then check out some of the online chatter surrounding new releases of Window Phone 7 series handsets, Internet Explorer 9 and the upcoming Courier digital journal."
That last bit -- you know, about the Courier -- was linked to our recent post
which revealed a handful of images, video, and possible factoids on the device. Though that bit of the writeup has been canned, you can see that the post was tagged "courier," and the original text is still hanging around RSS (as seen above). So, does this mean Microsoft is getting close to actually giving us some meat on this thing? We can't know for sure if the info above is 100 percent solid... but it's certainly telling that this device is on the lips of Microsoft employees who also happen to work on PR campaigns for the company -- and they moved quickly to get it offline. What do you guys think?
Microsoft Courier existence confirmed on the company's JobsBlog? originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Mar 2010 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink All Things D
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We realize that the e-reader market is about as crowded (not to mention overwhelming) as a Walmart on Black Friday
, but ever since the dual-screen Spring Design Alex
surfaced and we mistook it
as the Barnes & Noble Nook, we've been incredibly intrigued by it. Though its 6-inch E-Ink display and 3.5-inch Android LCD form factor may seem like a riff on the Nook, the Alex has quite a few more tricks up its sleeve, including a full Android browser and the ability to extend what appears on the LCD to the E-Ink screen. And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the unorthodox extras baked into the $399 Alex. Still, games and gimmicks only get you so far, and you're probably wondering if it has what it takes to pull up next to the majors like the Kindle or Nook and knock them from the top. We've got that answer and lots more details on what it's like to use two screens rather than one just after the break in our full review. Join us, won't you?
Continue reading Spring Design Alex review
Spring Design Alex review originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 22 Mar 2010 11:37:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink
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It must be getting close to April 3rd because the iPad news is hotting up. Today we get our first glimpse at Amazon's free Kindle app for the iPad. We've also got a Barnes & Noble iPad app
on the way, courtesy of a report in the New York Times
, that has been completely redesigned by a team of 14 developers working since January to allow for custom fonts in multiple colors and quick page turns with finger swipes. The Kindle app, meanwhile, features a redefined core screen and reading experience, slow page turns, and new ways to view your eBook library. One view, pictured above, presents your books as large icons against a silhouetted figure under a tree -- the sun changes position in accordance to the time of day. Of course, the app also gives you access to the Kindle bookstore (assuming Apple approves) and saves your reading position so that you can pick up any Kindle app (or device) and continue reading right where you left off.
Fortunately, Amazon's Kindle App will be targeting tablets beyond the iPad. We're also hearing that Skiff
is almost certainly headed to Apple's tablet, and we suspect as many competitors as possible given the plethora of devices demonstrated to us at CES
. So seriously, we ask you, in an age where content is king, are you really going to buy an eReader dedicated to a single store?
: The Barnes & Noble app, not
the Kindle app, is being worked on by a team of 14 developers.
[Thanks, Jason D.]
Kindle for iPad and tablets makes the scene originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 22 Mar 2010 02:38:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink New York Times
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Another day, another Android tablet
render. This one, the imaginatively titled WePad, is as ambitious as its name might suggest. (You know, because "we" is plural of "I"? Yeah, it's a stretch.) Dwarfing the iPad with its 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) display, a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, GMA 3150 graphics, webcam, two USB ports, flash card reader, UMTS modem, and a mooted six hours of battery life, we could see ourselves picking one up -- provided the price point is decent. But that's just the beginning! The manufacturer, Neofonie, also has designs on a WePad app store and, if all goes according to plan, this thing'll sport genuine Google Android and the Android Market. The company also mentions something called the "WeMagazine publishing ecosystem," the basis of a turn-key operation for getting your own branded device out on the e-reader market, so if you're looking to get into the biz just hit the source link to begin your adventure. As for us, we'll wait to see a final product before we jump to any conclusions.
[Thanks, Dan Z]
Neofonie announces WePad 11.6-inch Android slate originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 20 Mar 2010 21:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Liliputing
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We almost hate to throw the KIRF
moniker on a product we wouldn't mind owning, but this e-reader that popped up at the EREXPO in Shenzhen certainly bears more than a passing resemblance to the Spring Design Alex
e-reader -- and the button layout on the right is a dead ringer for the Kindle
. It's called the K9, the latest reader from Teclast
, and it follows a growing trend of Android-powered devices with a color LCD on the bottom and an E-Ink screen on top. The screens measure 3.6- and 6-inches respectively and, while we don't know anything else about it at this point, we wouldn't be surprised it inherits its father's tardiness
Keepin' it real fake: Teclast's dual-screened K9 e-reader looks like Alex and Kindle made a baby originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 19 Mar 2010 10:34:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Cloned In China
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You know who makes the E-Ink displays on the Kindle? PVI. The Taiwanese company is also the EPD provider for several other tier-1 eReader device makers including Sony. So take a good look at that color E-Ink
prototype display currently sitting in a PVI booth at a Shenzhen tradeshow 'cause that's what you'll see packed in color eReaders near the end of the year
and into 2011. PVI is showing off both 6- and 9.7-inch color prototypes set to hit the manufacturing lines in Q4 (and sampling now), just right for the Kindle 2 and Kindle DX should Amazon choose to keep things simple and just swap out the display (and a minimum of componentry) within its existing device lineup. It's worth noting that the extra layer of color filtering glass will impact battery life a bit, but certainly not enough to lose its edge on LCDs. And while PVI was demonstrating a color animation running on its new displays, they can't do video worth a damn due to the slow frame refresh. And don't expect to see the color EPDs sporting a contrast or color vibrancy anywhere close to what you'll get from a traditional LCD either. Regardless, people seem smitten by the USA Today's
use of color so we're sure these color E-Ink displays will find their niche as well.
PVI's color E-Ink displays are a perfect match for Kindles originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 19 Mar 2010 04:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink E-Ink-Info
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When chipmaker Marvell told us its technology would power $99 smartphones
, we took the company at its word. We weren't expecting a sub-$100, 10-inch tablet PC, however -- and we definitely weren't expecting Marvell itself to build it. Marketed at students looking to lighten their textbook load, the Marvell Moby will be an "always-on, high performance multimedia tablet" capable of full Flash support and 1080p HD playback -- thanks to those nifty Armada
600 series processors -- and supporting WiFi, Bluetooth, FM radio, GPS and both Android and Windows Mobile platforms for maximum flexibility. No release date has yet been announced; like the OLPC
, Marvell will introduce the Moby in pilot programs at participating at-risk schools. While it's far too early to say if the Moby will be the universal educational e-reader Marvell hopes (that depends on software
), it's certainly an intriguing device for the price, and we'll admit we're a touch jealous of those kids who'll first get to try one.
Marvell pitches $99 Moby Tablet as textbook alternative originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 19 Mar 2010 02:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink ARMdevices.net
| Marvell, Technologizer
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Well it's about time, Spring Design! After missing its February ship date
, the company is finally ready for you to whip out the plastic and pre-order its Alex -- that dual-screen, Android
-based ereader we liked so much at CES
. While you can shell out the $399 today, you'll still have to wait until mid-April for the mailman to drop off the package. We'd like to say the wait stops there, but we've also learned that early buyers won't have access to the promised Borders eBook
store until June. When we chatted with Spring Design CEO Priscilla Lu last week she confirmed that Borders will officially launch its store in the "June time frame," which will be around the very same time that the 3G version of the Alex will be ready to hit the market -- at least there's access to Google Books and an micro-SD card slot for sideloading in the meantime. With so much coming down the pike it may be worth waiting a bit more time for this one, but our own Alex arrived just last night so no matter what it'd behoove you to wait a few days for our review before you hit the source link to pre-order.
Well, this is odd. Even though this news hit the wires today, the shop page on Spring Design's website is definitely non-functional right now. Instead, you'll see a message to check back soon. We'll keep doing just that until we see signs of life... or hear otherwise.
And we're back...the pre-order page is finally up
Spring Design Alex finally up for pre-order, Borders eBook store launching in June originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 16 Mar 2010 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink
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