Spring Design

Borders to be eBook Seller for Spring Design Alex eReader

Borders to be eBook Seller for Spring Design Alex eReader

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.

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Spring Design Alex drops February 22 for $399

Spring Design Alex drops February 22 for $399

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.

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B&N nook sales injuction denied but court recognizes “genuine dispute” over design theft

B&N nook sales injuction denied but court recognizes “genuine dispute” over design theft

Barnes and Noble don't seem to need any assistance from Spring Design in holding up their nook ebook reader from hitting the market, but the latter's hope for an official injunction while their allegations of "misappropriated trade secrets" are worked out through the courts has been denied.  While the court documents agree that there is a "genuine dispute" about whether B&N used Spring Design's ideas or came up with the nook themselves, they're not willing to stop the dual-display ebook reader from going on sale while they figure it out.

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Spring Design Alex gets hands-on; shows off new Marvell ARMADA 166E ebook SoC

Spring Design Alex gets hands-on; shows off new Marvell ARMADA 166E ebook SoC

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.

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Spring Design reveal NDA details over B&N nook copy case

Spring Design reveal NDA details over B&N nook copy case

We're used to copyright and industrial espionage claims being more like cases of trademark squatting these days, so to find something ostensibly as straightforward as Barnes and Noble's alleged "copying" of Spring Design's Alex concept is almost refreshing.  The startup claims B&N led them to believe that they were interested in producing the Alex dual-display Android ebook reader, before breaking off contact and then, shortly after, announcing the nook.  Now Spring Design has shared their NDA agreements and details of the lawsuit with Engadget.

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Barnes and Noble nook stole Spring Design secrets claims ebook lawsuit

Barnes and Noble nook stole Spring Design secrets claims ebook lawsuit

Back in the run-up to Barnes and Noble's launch of their nook ebook reader, hitherto-unheard of Spring Design grabbed some headlines with their Alex dual-display ebook design.  At the time there was some speculation that the two devices were one and the same, though that turned out not to be the case; according to Spring Design and a lawsuit against B&N, however, the two do in fact share some design DNA.  Spring Design allege that B&N knowingly "misappropriated trade secrets and violated the parties' non-disclosure agreement" in designing the nook.

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Spring Design Alex Android ebook reader gets video demo

Spring Design Alex Android ebook reader gets video demo

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.

Video demo after the cut

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