Welcome to another edition of the Good E-Reader Week in Review, where we cover all of the top stories in the E-Reader, E-Books, Digital Publishing, Slate and Tablet PC’s!
This week, we get allot of information on the new Samsung GalaxyTab! Its been spotted out in the wild many times! We also get some sales numbers from the new Amazon Kindle for $139.00
Also, we have just released the September issue of the Good E-Reader Magazine, be sure to sign up!
The iPad is creating a revolution in the way education is imparted in almost all genres. And here is something that will make the iPad a must-have device for all students, rendering it indespensible: interactive textbooks. The iPad is already the best device you can have with you during college lectures and is more portable and compact than a laptop while also having a battery that keeps going on and on.
Now add to this the efforts of a start up company named ‘Inkling’ that intends to introduce e-textbooks meant to be used on the iPad and which promise to be a whole new experience than the conventional e-books that are nothing more than just digital versions of the the traditional paper books.
How? Inkling, which incidentally is the brainchild of an ex-Apple employee, explains this by saying their e-textbooks will be highly interactive to the extent that the reader is in a position to make the best of the iPad’s multimedia capabilities, the vibrant color screen, video and Internet connectivity along with the superbly responsive touchscreen interface.
However, there will be just four titles from McGraw-Hill that Inkling has planned to come up with in the initial stages, dealing with the subjects of biology, economics, marketing, and psychology. Prices as announced stand at $3.99 for a single chapter with the cost of the entire interactive digital textbook starting at $84.99. The e-textbooks will be made available at the iTunes App Store where there will be attractive introductory price offers valid for a limited time period during which the e-textbooks will come for $69.99 for the entire book or $2.99 for a single chapter.
The news comes on the back of another report that will be sweet honey for scholars. CourseSmart, the e-textbook provider, has come up with an iPad app that will allow the students to carry all of their textbooks on the iPad. So it comes down to carrying just the tablet to their school instead of lugging around an entire backpack filled with paper books. It can be mentioned here that CourseSmart is already into selling e-books that can be used on laptops or iPhones.
The Libretto W100 dual screened tablet may have done a world of good for Toshiba’s image in the tablet PC segment. Toshiba needed that boost after they took a beating after the JournE Touch – one of the earlier attempts by Toshiba at a tablet device when the segment itself was at its formative stages. However, a rocker of a device the Libretto W100 may be the world’s first fully functional dual screened tablet, though its high price may have put off many who would even get close to it, let alone buy one.
And now, if our tablet PC news sources can be believed, Toshiba is all set to ride into the mainstream tablet market with a device that conforms to the more conventional tablet format, thereby staking a claim of the lucrative tablet market. It’s the SmartPad tablet and they are banking on it to turn their fortunes in this segment that is currently dominated by a single player – the iPad. However, all of that is set to change as a slew of new high profile tablet PCs are slated to enter the ring with the onslaught beginning next month when the Samsung Galaxy Pad is set to be unveiled. But all of that is a different story.
Coming back to the SmartPad, the tablet will be with us as early as October and will be available in both the 7 inch and 10 inch size segments. It’s not known whether it will have Windows 7 or the popular Android OS running the show, though it seems Android has the advantage here. This is because there are all the familiar screen buttons already in place that seem to give favor to Android. Of course, another reason being that everyone is busy preparing an Android device and it seems the season belongs to Android powered tablets. In fact, there are reports in some sections that Android has been finalized as the OS for Smart Pad. An official confirmation from Toshiba is needed to set things right.
SmartQ has come up with a new tablet device and it runs on – well you might have guessed it already – the Android OS. The China based company has already a sizeable presence in the tablet segment in the domestic market and the new device is designed to bolster its presence further.
The new tablet which they have named the SmartQ V3 tablet can be seen as the continuation of the company’s V5 and the V7 range and is even considered a scaled down version of the V5.
Coming to its specs, the SmartQ V3 comes with a 4.3-inch WVGA touch screen with a 600MHz ARM11-based processor running the show from behind the scene. Coupled to the processor is a 256MB DDR2 RAM while there also is 3D graphics acceleration. The tablet is able to playback 1080p video and also includes mini-HDMI output along with USB OTG and headphone-out. The operating system, as has already been mentioned is Android, version 2.1.
SmartQ sources revealed the tablet will be entering markets sometime soon and will carry a price tag of just 650 RMB or about US$96. However, there is no news if the tablet will be made available elsewhere in the world.
While all the tech world might be hooked on to the tablet devices keenly awaiting the plethora of launches that is all set to hog the limelight during the last few months of this year, Amazon has quietly started shipping their latest Kindle e-reader. And the best thing is, they have started to make the Kindles available to its consumers a few days ahead of schedule. And that’s not all for the latest e-reader news also has it that the latest iteration of the Kindle is also the fastest selling e-reader model so far.
However there are no sales figure officially announced as yet to back the claims though there is no reason to doubt what is being claimed as well for the older Kindle 2 did have a stupendous run after its price was slashed. So the new Kindle with better and enhanced looks along with added features but at the same price is anything but sure shot recipe of success. In fact, it would have been a surprise if the new Kindle did not set the sales chart on fire is is being made out.
After Samsung, its now Acer’s turn to heat things up at the IFA event to be held in Berlin from the 3rd till 8th of September. For as per the latest e-reader news, Acer has announced they will be unveiling their LumiRead e-book reader at the premier show next week. And once that’s done, the LumiRead will be seen sharing shelf space with other gadgets from October, at least in Germany.
As for the e-reader, what is known till now is pointing to a device that has e-paper display based on the e-ink technology while screen size is limited to 6 inches with a display resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. The LumiRead e-reader does not disappoint on other aspects like its got Wi-Fi, integrated 3G modem along with affiliation with the Barnes & Noble book store which is the official content partner.
The LumiRead also boasts of access to one of the most extensive e-libraries in the German language. This apart, another unique aspect of the LumiRead is its built in ISBN barcode scanner, perhaps a first in any e-reader. What the barcode scanner is supposed to do is to enable its users to scan the barcode of all the titles that they wish to procure in future. However, its not known as of now if such a thing is an absolute necessity in an e-reader or how consumers might react to it.
However, the decent looking e-reader that the LumiRead might be but it has failed to excite many with its price tag, which at €250 or $318 can’t exactly be said as affordable or cheap. More so when the new much improved Kindle is selling for $189 for the 3G version. As a solace, though such a figure has cropped up, there are many who believe the price has to be confirmed. So perhaps there is hope the final price is a bit more easy on the pockets.
hile every other player in this segment is busy putting together a tablet device, consumer electronics major Sharp has gone one step ahead and has stated they are keen to come up with a tablet device with 3D display technology. In fact as per Sharp President Mikio Katayama, its a series of tablet devices that the company intends to launch in future with a 3D tablet being one of them. And of course, when talking about tablet PCs, how can terms like ‘Apple’ or the ‘iPad’ be left out. For Katayama has also done the customary thing of challenging Apple’s dominance in the tablet segment by announcing their tablet will take on the iPad, the highest selling tablet device as of now.
Interesting, its e-readers that Sharp had started out with stating they would coming up with smart new e-book reading devices. The statement has been modified to make the e-readers bigger in their scope and its now ‘multi functional devices’ having color touchscreens that is being talked about.
Coming back to the 3 tablet,Sharp intends to make use of the glasses-free 3D display technology similar to what they have done with portable devices such as the Nintendo 3DS. Sharp makes use of the parallax barrier approach to create the 3D effect when viewed from the front.
Remember the JooJoo tablet PC from Fusion Garage that had made quite some noise when it was launched? Well, it seems to have gone into hibernation since then, only making intermittent appearance and that too for all the wrong reasons. It was launched during the same time that the iPad came onto the scene and as was the flavor of the season, the JooJoo too had started off by donning the mantle of an iPad beater. What came out in the end is no secret as the JooJoo had almost disappeared from the market and public memory with the select few who have bought the tablet are all too keen to get past the JooJoo tablet experience as a bad dream.
However, while many had thought and predicted it was the end of the road for JooJoo, makers of the tablet though seems to have other ideas and is back in the news once again, this time after a log gap. This time Fusion Garage has come up with an update for its software that promises to set a few things right which it should have done long back. The latest 0.2.4 firmware includes features like ability to store passwords, calibrate the screen, and basic USB support.
Among its real life benefits, the JooJoo will now be able to remember passwords and recall them the next time you are required to log in. Its like you log into your email account, close the browser and relaunch it and you still are logged in. Another extremely beneficial aspect of the update is that it has brought to life the lone USB port on the JooJoo that till now was only of cosmetic value and no more. What this means is that you can now add a flash drive to the USB port and enhance the storage capacity further. Or even playback 1080p video without the tablet ever stuttering or breaking into a sweat.
We had carried the report when the last time the French Canadian company engaged in the development of the ExoPC had come up with the release date of the highly anticipated tablet. It was the 7th of September that its makers had announced the ExoPC will reach markets in U.S., Canada and France. In fact, its price too was announced as the company had stated they would make available the tablet at $599.
This time, the tablet PC is back in the news again with a fresh launch schedule and though the tablet won’t make it to the market as had been stipulated on the 7th of September, the good thing is it isn’t deviating from that by a big margin either. So as per the latest tablet PC news, the ExoPC tablet will start shipping from September 30 while pre orders for the tablet will be accepted from the 3rd of September. Its makers have also let it known the first 1,200 units of the ExoPC will be shipped starting from the 30th of the month while the tablet will start retailing in Canada from the middle of next month, though with a different name – Ciara Vibe. The tablet had first made its appearance in February and was promised would make it to the market the very next month itself. Also, it was among the many that was being touted as an iPad competitor though now that it is finally ready for a market release, it will have to face the iPad that has already entrenched itself firmly in the tablet segment.
As for its specs, all of it remains pretty much the same except the screen size that now is of 11.6 inches instead of the 8.9 inch display that it was earlier expected to come with. The display will have a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels and will based on the capacitive touchscreen technology. An 1.66GHz Intel Atom Pineview-M N450 processor form the heart of the ExoPC coupled to a 2GB of DDR2 RAM. Then there also is a Broadcom Crystal HD 1080p chipset that will accelerate H.264, VC-1, WMV and MPEG-2 video files thereby resulting in a superior multimedia experience while also being energy efficient.
Amazon is not the only company whom are selling more ebooks then hardcover books. While publishing giants Penguin recently confirmed that ebooks only account for %1 of their total market profit. Recently HarperCollins announced that this quarter then sold more ebooks then hardcovers.
The Most recent high profile launch from Penguin was the thriller by Laura Lippman, “I’d Know You Anywhere,” which hit bookstands Aug. 17. The total sales of this book in the first five days was 4,739 e-books versus 4,000 hardcover versions.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins senior vice president Frank Albanese said “What we’re seeing now is that if a book gets a good review, it gets a faster lift on the digital side than it does on the physical side because people who have e-readers can buy and read it immediately.”
The recent surge of ebook sales makes sense, given that a new hardbound cover book will cost anywhere from $25.00 to $55, while the ebook is usually around $10.00.
E-Readers make it easier then even to both connect up to a store, such as Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and iBooks via a 3G or WI-FI internet connection and can make instant purchases and read the book immediately.
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.