Two screens, Android OS and ebooks a-plenty: no, not Barnes & Noble's nook, but the Spring Design Alex. Promising extra flexibility than its big-name rival and an imminent partnership with Borders, the Alex nonetheless has to deliver if it's going to live up to a whopping $399 price tag. Can it hold off not only the Kindle and nook but the iPad currently looming over the ereader market? Check out the full SlashGear review after the cut.
If you eschewed Kindle, nook and iPad last month and instead slapped down your money for Spring Design's Alex dual-display ereader, then the good news is that your new toy is expected to ship out today. Up for preorder since March 16th, the $399 Alex runs Android and - unlike the nook - allows for full internet access over its WiFi connection. Spring Design have also confirmed that their international multi-language versions will be made official "shortly".
It's been a little late in coming, but - just like we told you - as of this morning Spring Design will be taking orders for their dual-display Alex ereader. Priced at $399, the Android-based Alex has a 6-inch E Ink panel up top and a 3.5-inch color touchscreen below, together with WiFi connectivity; deliveries are expected to begin on or around April 14th 2010. We caught up with Spring Design's Eric Kmeic about the upcoming first-gen Alex and the company's plans for the subsequent 3G model, complete with some iPad-style data plans.
From one delayed ebook reader to another, and it's now the turn of the Spring Design Alex to throw some grist into the rumor mill. According to our tipster the company's Android-based dual display ereader - which has an E Ink panel up top and an LCD touchscreen underneath - will go on sale at the company's site come Tuesday March 16th.
So come the first week of March, and Spring Design still has yet to reveal any signs of its dual screen Alex e-reader being available for pre-order, last seen at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. The company's website has been reading "keep checking in and by the first week of March you'll be able to preorder your Alex online".
CES 2010 proved to be the half-week that ereaders tried to dominate the stage, with E Ink devices you can buy now or imminently vying for attention with next-gen screen technologies that will be video and/or color capable together with just as frugal. One of the more distinctive models is the Spring Design Alex, a dual-screen reader with 6-inch E Ink up top and 3.5-inch capacitive LCD below. We stopped by for a chat with Albert Teng, Spring Design's co-founder and CTO, who demonstrated the Alex on video for us together with showing us why he reckons it's better than Barnes & Noble's nook.
Borders and Spring Design has announced an agreement to feature the upcoming Borders eBook store powered by Kobo on the new dual-display Alex eReader later this year. The new Borders-branded eBook store will allegedly offer more than two million titles. Guess Borders was telling the truth all along when they recently denied eBook reader plans – apparently not in-house doesn’t count.
Spring Design have announced pricing and availability details for their Alex dual-display ebook reader, and as we expected without the might of Barnes & Noble behind them it's going to come in more expensive than what you'd pay for a nook. As of February 22nd you'll be able to order an Alex - which has a 6-inch E Ink display up top, and a 3.5-inch color touchscreen beneath - from the Spring Design site, where it will be priced at $399.
Your money does get you a few extra features that B&N deny to nook owners. For instance, Spring Design are billing the Alex as the first ereader to offer internet access while you read, with the ability to instantly flip pages from the smaller browser display up to the larger e-ink panel for easier reading. They've also left access to the underlying Android OS open, which means you can check email, download third-party Android apps and do pretty much everything you'd do on an Android smartphone.
Whether or not Barnes and Noble liked it enough to copy it, Spring Design's Alex prototype dual-display ebook reader is certainly nifty enough to capture our interest. MaximumPC had a chance to go hands-on with the Alex, which has a 6-inch e-ink screen up top and a 3.5-inch color capacitive touchscreen underneath for control and navigation, as part of a Marvell demonstration for the company's new ARMADA 166E SoC.
Spring Design's Alex dual-display ebook reader was a surprise announcement earlier this week, seemingly diving into the public eye to make some headlines before Barnes and Noble's nook grabbed all the attention. The company have followed up their render with a jerky video of the device in action, demonstrating its smaller Android display and how you can shoot content from the web-browser up to the larger e-ink panel for easier reading.