Thursday, January 07, 2010

Tablets Slate 'Lookie Likie' eBook Readers

It’s a new year and as always the Comsumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is bombarding us with new ereaders, tablets, mobiles, TVs etc.Today we see the start of the beginning or the start of the end of some ebook devices. This year will certainly be the war between the dedicated ebook device we have long stated as a transitional device and the emergence of the tablet, online reading and the cloud.

Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft announced an that Apple isn’t going to have the slate to themselves and that Microsoft are not only serious about tablet they want to be there first. They showed a yet to be released HP’s 10” touchscreen tablet running Windows 7. The claims made would appeal to all, with it being ‘almost as powerful as a PC’, ideal for web, reading and entertainment. Bing will be the default search engine while MSN will be set as the default home page.

Ballmer showed 3 modes – movie, book (running Amazon’s Kindle software) and PC. Ballmer however did not reveal any details about the specifications, pricing or launch date, but said two other 'slate PCs' from Pegatron and Archos would run Microsoft software.

The HP tablet is a basically a color e-reader runningAmazon Kindle software, with few other details besides a sub-$500 price point and an estimated arrival on the market by mid-2010. Microsoft's CEO also briefly showed off two other similar products, one from Archos (which was running a movie, hence focused on multimedia) and a larger-screen slate from Pegatron, for reading newspapers and magazines.

Another tablet is this sneak preview of the Dell Streak - a 5” touchscreen, Android based tablet offering. The question is whether it is a tablet and iTouch with its 800 x 480 resolution screen, Bluetooth, 3G, a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, a microSD card slot and Wi-Fi?.

This next video shows new Android based eBook reader, the enTourage eDGe at CES. The device combines a full-sized ebook reader screen with a second colour screen designed for the internet, to play movies, and much more. We apologise for the ad material on the video but think the content is worth a view.

So would you buy a Kindle DX, an eInk 'lookie likie', a tablet, a mobile or wait for Apple to fire its salvo later this month? Whatever its clear that eInk is looking drabber and the devices more limited by the day.

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