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.
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.
With numerous E-Readers on the market and many more to come at CES 2010 one in particular is trying to stand out from the crowd. Hearst Corp's Skiff digital media system and Sprint are going to be previewing their new 11.5 inch touchscreen e-reader at CES this year. Although there are many competitors, this particular reader has an ace up its sleeve: it has an 11.5 inch touchscreen microfoil display with a resolution of 1200x1600 making this the highest resolution E-Reader ever. It is also only a quarter inch thick making it the thinnest and largest E-Reader as well.
If you take a look at the current E-Book reader offerings I'm sure you will notice that almost all of them are some shade of unexciting and generally uninteresting white. White was clean and fun a few years ago but its days are over, even Apple - the company that made white electronics cool - has almost entirely abandoned it. The newest comer to the E-Reader scene, the Owen E1 adds a little bit of excitement and interest to an otherwise bland segment.
Contrary to earlier reports that retailer Borders were planning to enter the hardware ebook market with a device of their own, the company has denied that an own-brand reader is on the cards. According to Borders Chief Executive Ron Marshall, both the cost and the time involved are dissuading the firm from such a plan; "We're not a technology company" the CEO told Reuters, "We're booksellers."
The scrabble to dominate the ebook and digital content space continues, with Sony apparently clinching a deal with The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post for digital subscriptions on their Reader series of ebook devices. MarketWatch subscriptions will also be available, and Sony expect monthly pricing to be $14.99 for the WSJ, $9.99 for the Post and $10.99 for MarketWatch. However Sony played down speculation that it plans a tablet-style device, with CEO Howard Stringer suggesting that the company would play a wait-and-see game to see which way consumers jump.
The image isn't especially clear, we know, but you're looking at a WowWee Rovio robot webcam being remotely operated by a flexible E Ink controller. It's the handiwork of the ASU Flexible Display Center, who took E Ink's AM300 development kit and used it for two-way communication with the Rovio. Not only can the robot be navigated, its camera feed is shown on the E Ink panel.
Barnes & Noble have announced in-store demo unit availability for their nook ebook reader, giving those still undecided about the dual-display device an opportunity to go hands-on before dropping $259. However, as previously revealed, stock shortages means that only certain stores will have access to demo nook units; the retailer has set up a nook locator tool which allows you to search for the store nearest to you that's taking part.
It's getting increasingly crowded in the ebook reader market, and it's too early to say whether Ambiance Technologies' Digibook ADB-106 has what it takes to stand out. Going from the scant information on the spec sheet [pdf link] there's not a huge amount to see here - 6-inch 16-gray-level e-ink display with a column of shortcut buttons down the side, SD card slot and MP3 playback - but the wireless icon has us wondering whether Ambiance have squeezed in WiFi without telling us.