Friday, December 19, 2008

New EBook Reader Foxit eSlick

Foxit just announced a new ebook reader, the Foxit eSllick. At less than a half inch thick, it has a built-in MP3 player and it uses the same eInk technology that Amazon Kindle uses. It comes with an SD slot and a 2GB SD card. It doesn't have wifi but it comes in at $100 dollars less. It also lets you update the device via USB and supports rich PDF documents, that means that you can load your own documents painlessly (unlike the kindle that makes you jump through hoops and does not support rich documents).

It will be temporarily available for $229 (MSRP is $259). That's still more than I would like to pay. I think $99 is the ideal price point for an ebook reader. For that price, I'd like to see an FM tuner and some kind of video playback. I know the eink technology doesn't refresh fast enough for video though. Still $229 is a bit steep.

Since it supports PDF, that means that any of your business documents can be converted (software included). .doc, .ppt, open office, cad and just about any other document can be viewed on the device. PDF can be zoomed for better reading and an interesting feature is reflowing. That means that if you use a large font for easier reading, the device will flow the text so that you don't need to pan around the screen.

As a bonus, you can listen to your music while reading. I don't know anyone who doesn't already have an MP3 player or a cell phone with MP3 capabilities. Having an MP3 player in the reader is a nice touch, I guess, but I would prefer it to be MP3-less and $50 cheaper.

The OS is an embedded Linux running in 128MB of ram on an ARM 400MHz processor. The SD can take up to a 4GB card. The rechargeable lithium ion battery will last 8000 page turns. That's like reading Battlefield Earth 8 times. That's a lot of reading.

I am somewhat tempted to get this. I don't have a kindle or a sony reader and I am an avid reader. I'm also a gadget freak. Still, I can do so much to my EEE PC or my laptop with $200 and both of those are far more useful to me than an ebook reader. I'll have to think about it some more.


Technorati : , , , , , , ,