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".
Those multi-language models will support Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Korean and Hebrew, while Spring Design are also preparing 3G/EVDO versions for release in June or July this year. As we heard from Spring Design's Eric Kmeic, the company is negotiating iPad-style data plans for those who want to use the WWAN connection for getting online, while simple book downloads will be included in the original purchase price.
The 3G version is expected to add roughly $80 to $100 to the $399 sticker price, making for a pretty expensive ereader; it's entirely possible that those users looking for a more general device will look to the iPad instead. The Spring Design preorder page is here, and it's available in black and white.
Spring Design Alex hands-on:
Spring Design to Ship Alex eReader Wednesday April 14
International Versions to Be Announced Shortly
FREMONT, Calif. - April 13, 2010 - Spring Design today announced that the dual screen multimedia Alex™ eReader, available online at www.springdesign.com, will begin shipping to customers as planned tomorrow, April 14.
Weighing only 11 ounces, the Android-based Alex eReader supporting eBooks in EPUB, PDF, HTML and TXT formats offers full Internet browsing using WiFi connectivity, and later this year will also feature 3G and EVDO/CDMA connectivity.
Alex offers multitasking, enabling users to enjoy music while they read, supplement their eBook on the EPD screen with video on the LCD screen, search the Web or use email so users may connect with each other in book clubs and social media.
The Alex eReader costs $399 and measures 4.7" by 8.9" and less than a half inch deep. It comes with headphones, AC connector, USB cable and protective cover. The USB 2.0 connector makes it easy to transfer photos, videos or other files to the Alex MicroSD card offering expansion of user libraries up to 32GB. Spring Design will offer periodic over the air updates for the Alex.
Spring will shortly being to announce multi-language versions of Alex for countries speaking Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Korean and Hebrew. Alex is the first eReader to offer international versions of the product through its local country partners connecting to local bookstores.
About Spring Design:
Spring Design Inc., founded in 2006, designs and delivers eReader products to the eBook market. Its Alex eReader is the first multimedia, Android-based, dual-screen eReader with a full-function browser. It offers a hyperlink publishing tool, "Link Notes", that links eBook text to related video, audio, notes or web addresses. Spring Design Inc. is located in Fremont, California with engineering offices in Taiwan and China. Spring Design's innovative patented technologies incorporate the seamless interaction of dual display and multi-online access in a single device, benefiting and leveraging the technology and resources of the Web to enhance the reading experience. For more information please see www.springdesign.com.