Friday, April 20, 2007

The era of the e-reader has begun

I've been reading about e-readers for some time.
Sony makes one and Philips, both based on e-ink (a paper-like, black and white, low-consumption display), but there are now more competitors, some really cool.
Take a look:

  • Sony's reader. Specs: 6.9” by 4.9” by 1/2 inch , rechargeable battery that powers up to 7,500 page turns, daylight readable, high contrast, high resolution, near 180º viewing angle. It's a read-only device. Plays unencrypted MP3 files. Price: 350$ circa.
  • Philips iLiad. Specs: It is a (small) tablet-pc. 8.1-inch (diagonal) Electronic Paper Display, 768 x 1024 pixels resolution, 160 DPI, 16 levels of grey-scale, Touch sensor input, Integrated Wacom Penabled sensor board, Stylus (Wacom Slim Pen). 256MB internal flash memory, built-in stereo speakers, built-in Wi-Fi 802.11B/G wireless networking.
    Optional external 10/100MB Ethernet. Intel 400MHz XScale processor with 64 MB RAM.
    Price: 650 .

  • Fujitsu FLEPia. Specs: Color e-paper display (the first!) 768x1024 (XGA), 8 to 4,096 colors, dimensions 210x304x12mm (A4) / 158x240x12mm (A5). Only for reading, no writing. MS Windows CE5.0, Intel XScale,
    connectivity by WiFi 802.11b/g. Stereo speaker built-in, lithium polymer battery with 50 hours runtime. Price: unknown.

  • Amazon 's Kindle. 6-inch 800x600 display, 256MB internal storage, two-thumb keyboard cursor bar, scroll wheel, standard mini USB port, headphone jack, SD slot, and EV-DO data. Price: (rumor has it) only 50$.

  • Philips READIUS. Prototype e-book with roll-out display (world’s first!), 320x240 resolution, 4 gray levels and 5-inches wide, with paper-like viewing contrast. The screen is made by Polymer Vision, and it is made of organic/polymer TFTs (gulp!).

Now, if you put them all together, you can have more or less a tricorder or an holographic interface... I think :}

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