Trade shows always bring out some unusual hardware, and the 1Cross B’ook is perhaps one of the odder we’ve seen from CeBIT 2010 so far this week. Borrowing from the design of both the Entourage eDGe and the Barnes & Noble nook, the dual-display clamshell ereader has a 6-inch E Ink panel on the left side and a 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen on the right; unlike the eDGe, the majority of the right side is taken up by a physical touch-sensitive keyboard and shortcut buttons.
Video demo after the cut
The B’ook – apparently pronounced “schubook” – runs a customized build of Android, and like the other devices mentioned uses the LCD for primary navigation and the E Ink screen for actual reading. Unlike the nook and eDGe, however, the 300g device also has voice call functionality: there’s a microphone below the keyboard and an earpiece above it (along with a webcam) though it’s GSM/EDGE only, and lacks 3G support. Battery life is 1-2 weeks of ebook reading alone, or 2-3 days if you start making calls.
1Cross are looking for distributors, and reckon the B’ook could come in at around $290 if it makes it to market. According to Lesen, who shot the hands-on video below, the usability experience is a mixed bag; without physical page-turn keys you’re forced to tap at the keyboard or the touchscreen (with the included stylus), while web browsing on the 480 x 320 touchscreen isn’t much fun either.