Augen's oddly named "The Book" ereader has gone on sale, eschewing E Ink in favor of a color LCD display in a Kindle-style casing. Available at kmart in limited numbers for just $89, the ereader runs Linux 2.6.4 on a 400MHz ARM CPU - which means no Android, unlike the Pandigital Novel - complete with WiFi b/g, 2GB of flash memory and an SD slot content with cards up to 8GB in size.
There's also apparently a web-browser, text-to-speech engine and a media player for images, audio and video. Augen have been pretty ambitious in their ebook spec support, too; The Book will apparently display TXT, PDF, HTML, CHM, RTF, FB2, EPUB, PRC and MOBI files.
Update: The Ebook Reader picked up Augen's The Book from their local kmart and has already reviewed it; more details after the cut.
We're not expecting great things from the hardware or software, but for the price - down, apparently, from an MRSP of $99.99 - it could be something of a bargain. No sign of the Augen The Book on the kmart site, however, so you'll have to head down to your local store to see if they have any left on shelves.
Update: The Ebook Reader reckons it's a mixed bag, with poor display of PDF files but strong indoor LCD performance. No touchscreen, mind, and while there's a full QWERTY keyboard there's no facility to add text notes to ebooks. More details in their video review below.
[via The Digital Reader]