People have long been asking when the Alex E-Reader would ship since it was announced at the CES 2010. Spring Design the makers of the Android Powered Alex E-Reader says that it will ship officially April 16th of this year, just two weeks after the Apple I-PAD is released.
The Alex E-Reader will retail for $399.00 and features a touch screen full color 3.5 inch bottom screen and 6 inch E-INK main screen to do your reading on. It has a WI-FI internet connection and is able to read EPUB, PDF, HTML, and txt formats. Its Internet connection is compatible with all WiFi, 3G, EVDO/CDMA and GSM Networks.
Alex content distributors include Google Book Store and will easily read all DRM PDF Documents. They also have been busy on the international front striking deals to land regional localization in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and more!
The Alex E-Reader will come bundled with a wide selection of built in Google Android Applications such as Photo Gallery, Web Browser, Calculator and Music Player. The sound really shines on this device in stereo sound, where as most other e-readers only do MONO. The device also has a native ability to read Flash driven website content. Making the Alex a very unique and versatile electronic reader.
The one thing we really like about the Spring Designs Alex E-Reader is the ability to download PDF E-books right from the internet and save them locally to your device. Most other E-Readers only transfer books to your device if you have bought them from an application store, sync your device with your computer, or connect it to your computer with a USB cable. We also think the ability to view streaming media over the web in E-INK is a great feature as well.
Speaking of being able to connect to the internet and browse via the web, Spring Design has announced a feature called Link-Notes. This feature will allow users to click on hyper text within e-books and then visit a web-page. They announced officially that the Link-Notes feature “opens up a whole new dimension in publishing.”
As we mentioned, the bottom screen of the Alex E-Reader is a full color touch screen, that is very much akin to the Barnes and Noble Nook E-Reader. Spring Design thought it was too similar and actually sued Barnes and Noble over it last November, which delayed the Nooks product release for a few months. This put a damper on everyone who wanted to purchase Nooks for Christmas time.
Alex in the upcoming weeks will be releasing an SDK to Android Developers giving them the ability to make custom applications for their E-Reader and some will be featured right on Spring Designs website. There is no word yet if they are going to be running their own app store. We will be reporting on this further on our Good E-Reader Forum
Final Thoughts: It remains to be seen if people will just spend $100.00 more and get the Apple I-PAD. As well, many of the new E-Readers that are coming out in the next few months all feature Google Android Operating systems, but hardly any applications have been made for them yet. What we would like to see with its web browser, audio and flash content are the next generation of Choose your Own adventure online E-books or more E-Books with audio and visual content in them.
Stay tuned for further updates at your favorite Good E-Reader Blog
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.