It’s easy to get carried away by the hype surrounding the new Amazon Kindle 2. This, in spite of the fact that the “upgraded” device has a comparatively small paperback sized screen with an ability to cope up with only greyscale imagery. So move over the Kindle 2 and enter the new e-reader from Fujitsu that sports a full color e-ink display and a screen size that is almost three times as big.
Fujitsu’s E-Reader is based on “FLEPia” technology from Fujitsu Frontera that incorporates the color screen with a wireless data management system. The biggest USP of the e-reader is perhaps the large size of the screen, which is almost as much as an average magazine page. This makes it far more appropriate for browsing magazine style info or e-newspapers. It is interesting to note that Mainichi Newspapers Co. Ltd is in fact conducting a trial of the e-papers to be browsed with the Fujitsu e-reader and is currently underway in a Tokyo restaurant so as to have an idea of public response and acceptance. Without an iota of doubt, Amazon device falls way behind in providing such a feature in its e-readers.
Another restaurant, The Termina Kinschicho Fujiya is providing diverse content ranging from newspapers, adverts, train timetables to weather reports to its e-readers through a dedicated BB Mobile Point wireless LAN.
If you own a huge Kindle 2 e-reader, you will miss handling a pretty sleek, narrow bezel, 12 mm deep Fujitsu’s E-reader with Wi-FI, USB2 connectivity, SD slot for memory expansion, stereophonic speakers, and complete Windows CE5. Fujitsu’s e-reader also boasts of a touch-sensitive screen that makes do with the keyboard that comes integrated in the Kindle hardware. Not only that, Fujitsu’s E-reader can go on for 50 hours use on a single charge.
However, there’s one thing that goes seriously against Fujitsu’s otherwise wonderful device – its price, which stands at a whooping $900. Compare that to the Kindle’s price tag of $360 and chances are that many of the amazing features of this device like its large screen with color e-ink display, and the whole slender-packaged design might begin to look pale. Hence what this means is that this might limit the e-reader’s scope to only commercial usage and might only be seen in restaurants or cafes. However, once the product trial is successful and the e-reader goes into mass production, will Fujitsu perhaps achieve economies of scale. For Fujitsu to make a successful entry in the burgeoning e-reader market and make it a preferred choice over print media like newspapers and magazines, the price has to really drop to make it more affordable.
Nevertheless, what definitely seems to be a distinct possibility is that the future of e-readers and E-Books is far more closer than we may have ever thought. Perhaps an all-electronic version of The New York Times is no longer within the realms of fiction. It is going to be a reality after all.
To catch the latest on this wonderful e-reader, be at the e-reader forum.