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Friday, October 23rd, 2009

New ebook reader shows real innovation

October 19, 2009 by Robin Parrish  
Filed under Electronics

Spring Design may have just stepped on Barnes & Nobles’ toes with the announcement of its new dual-screen ereader, Alex, which has a lot of the same features rumored to be coming to B&N’s device as soon as this Christmas. As Amazon pretends not to quake in its boots while waiting for B&N’s big unveiling event (happening tomorrow), Spring Design has shown off a prototype of its device, and it looks pretty nifty.

Alex is an Android-based ereader, with black & white e-ink on the main screen, and a secondary, full-color screen at the bottom where you can surf the Net and peruse books for downloading. The color screen is also a touchscreen, and Spring Design even describes it as “an integrated Android mobile device,” which means you can use it for all of the same apps and capabilities you get from Google’s Android mobile platform, including surfing the web.

The device will have an SD card slot, a 6″ e-ink display for book reading, a 3.5″ color LCD display, earphones, and speakers. Spring Design is working with content partners and plans to release the Alex device by the end of this year.

The device has a certain cool factor, but if Barnes & Nobles’ device is as sleek and cool as rumors indicate, Alex could quickly be overshadowed. Stay tuned tomorrow for a full breakdown of what B&N announces.

Image: Spring Design.

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