Sony have snubbed the current state of color e-paper technology, with Fujio Noguchi - the company's deputy president of the Digital Reading Business Division - confirming that Sony "are considering making color e-book readers, but there is no electronic paper whose quality is high enough for us." In an interview with Tech-On!, the executive downplayed the potential market impact of convergence devices - such as smartbooks or Apple's iPad - on standalone ereaders such as Sony's Reader line.
Acer's plans for 2010 include ebook readers, Google Chrome OS netbooks, an app store and - potentially - a tablet running either a Microsoft or a Google platform, according to Jim Wong, the company's president of IT Products. The executive has revealed that by the end of June, Acer will have announced its first 6-inch E Ink based ereader, around the same time that the company expects to launch an app store with titles for Android, Windows and Windows Mobile; Chrome OS support will follow on later.
It's obviously the day for wireless ebook readers, with BeBook announcing that they're taking preorders for their new BeBook Neo ereader. Packing a 6-inch E Ink panel with a Wacom touchscreen, the Neo may not have integrated 3G like some rivals we've seen, but it does get WiFi for accessing a range of third-party ebook stores.
The ASUS DR-950 ereader isn't the DR-570 OLED-lovely we've been hearing about lately, but we won't turn our nose up at a 9-inch E Ink touchscreen and integrated WiFi and HSDPA. So far it's yet to show up for playtime, but ASUS have released a few live images (including some comparison shots with the iPhone) just to prove it's more than a render.
It's taken a while but the first iRex DR800S ereaders are finally shipping out to preorder customers. Over in the MobileRead forums owner mgmueller has been sharing some first-impressions and comparison shots between the 8.1-inch iRex and the Kindle DX, as well as answering questions about the roughly €500 ($706) device.
The Entourage eDGe dual-display clamshell netbook is great, if you don't mind toting a rucksack all the time, but what if you'd prefer something a little more pocket-friendly? Tucked away at CES 2010 was Astri's E Ink ereader, an Android-based mini-me version of the eDGe with a 5-inch Wacom touchscreen epaper panel on the left and a 4.8-inch WVGA LCD touchscreen on the right.
Video demo after the cut
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.
Video hands-on after the cut
Plastic Logic's new QUE ereader raised some eyebrows at CES 2010 when the company announced their pricing: $649 for the WiFi-only 4GB model, rising to $799 for the WiFi/3G 8GB version is a whole lot of money when consumers are used to $259 Kindles and nooks. Still, when SlashGear caught up with the QUE earlier we found it a hard device not to like; check out our first-impressions and a hands-on video demo after the cut.
iriver's Story ebook reader has been floating around Korea since October last year, but it's the confirmation that it's coming to the US in 2010 that has really sparked interest. We caught up with iriver at CES 2010 to check the Story out; more live photos plus a video demo after the cut.
Video demo after the cut
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.
Looks like Qualcomm's mirasol low-power color displays have some competition, with Liquavista launching their first LiquavistaColor panels for ebook readers. The displays are capable of showing not only monochrome text but color images and video, and thanks to the reflective technology are sunlight-viewable.
Video demo after the cut