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New ebook readersBy Hanleigh Daniels 21 October 2009 | Categories: news
Paper is so passé, with the current ebook reader fad in the US. This is evident in the three new eBook readers being launched to compete with Amazon’s Kindle.
Barnes & Noble launched their ebook reader, the Nook, in New York yesterday. Users will be able to download their favourite selections from the Barnes & Noble store, and they can also store MP3s and photos on the device. The Nook runs on Google’s Android operating system. The device is selling for $259, the same as the Kindle Reader price Amazon announced earlier in the month. There is no word on when the Nook will be released internationally, although Barnes & Noble have said that it will be in the future.
Spring Design has revealed Alex, another ebook reader operating on Google Android, which it plans to release at the end of the year. It features full browser capabilities and has a dual screen similar to that of the Nintendo DS. The Alex also supports the addition of multimedia links to ebooks, meaning companies can add secondary material, such as notes or background information, which complements and improves the original text. Users will be able to add to their reading experience by inserting images, videos and notes as “Web grabs” or display notes and comments they create or those of secondary sources pertaining to the particular ebook product.
“This is the start of a whole new experience of reading content on ebooks, potentially igniting a whole new industry in multimedia ebook publishing for secondary authors to create supplementary content that is hyper linked to the text. We are bringing life to books with audio, video, and annotations,” said Dr. Priscilla Lu, CEO of Spring Design. “This gives readers the ability to fully leverage the resources on the Web, and the tools available in search engines to augment the reading experience.”
Details have also emerged of Plastic Logic’s eReader for business execs named Que, which uses a capacitive touch-screen in a flexible, shatterproof plastic display. Being a business device users can view Microsoft Excel and –Powerpoint documents on it as well, where most other eReaders only support Word documents. The company plans to unveil it on 7 January 2010 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
At the start of the month Sony revealed the latest edition of their Reader, boasting an interactive touch screen display that makes it possible to flip pages by sliding your finger or a stylus across the screen. You can also search terms within a document or ebook, make notes via the virtual keyboard and highlight text with the incorporated stylus pen. It will go for about $400 when it is available next month directly from www.sonystyle.com.
Locally we currently only have access to two eReaders. We got our hands on the Foxit eSlick eReader last month and review it here, it retails for R2 999. Earlier this month Amazon surprised us with the announcement that their Kindle is now available also for the SA market and can be imported for $279 or about R2 050 (which doesn’t include customs duties and import taxes).
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