Wednesday, March 17, 2010


While most are touting the Apple iTab, iSlab, iPad or whatever-the-frig they're calling that thing a game-changer, I believe the real game changer in publishing will be the advent of all these new nifty e-readers coming out.

Spring Design's Alex eReader is one of the most impressive little readers on the block. The $399 Android-powered device boasts both a 6-inch e-ink display and a 3.5-inch, 16-bit color touch-screen LCD.

It's set to ship in the middle of this month but will undoubtebly get overshadowed by the iPad.
The Alex is long and narrow, weighs 11-ounces and measures 4.7 inches wide and 8.9 inches high. It's less than a half inch thick.

Users can download Google Books and it's compatible with other bookstores that support Adobe DRM (you can read e-books in EPUB, PDF, HTML, and TXT formats).

If the Alex seems Nook-like, don't be surprised. The Spring e-reader shares similar traits to Barnes & Noble's dual-screen reader. Interestingly, Spring actually sued Barnes & Noble for similarities it saw in the Nook.

Selling points of the Alex are built-in Wi-Fi, the ability to stream video and surf the Web (on the smaller color screen) and it can utilize certain Android applications. It also comes with a 2GB removable memory card and the microSD expansion slot supports cards up to an impressive 32GB. Earphones, an AC/USB power connector, and a padded cover ship with the unit.

An impressive machine, indeed. The unit I have my eyes peeled for, though, is the HP Slate, the only real iPad competitor that I can see at this point.

Check out a commercial for the Slate, also set to debut within weeks:

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  1. Being a bit of a Luddite, I'm more interested in why they named it Alex. It's creepy on a Hal-2000 level.

  2. I'd love an eReader, but I can't afford one, let alone the eBooks to put on it. It'd be great if public libraries could "loan" books onto them too somehow, although there is a vast library of public domain books out there. New eBook prices need to come down.

    If you like eBook discussion you should listen to the Dragon Page podcast.

  3. I'm waiting for the day when they sell a cheap eBook reader in Asda for £12! :) It'll happen.

  4. It sounds almost more like a netbook than and e-book reader. Cool little gadget. It would be a handy thing to have on long trips.

  5. very cool ant. thx! re: why alex I heard that Allie was already taken by some luddite chick in joisey!


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