Welcome to another edition of the Good E-Reader Week in Review! We summarize all of the week’s most newsworthy items to give you a great condensed version of the most popular stories of the week!
In this weeks edition we look at the new Amazon Kindle Wi-FI device and more Amazon shenanigans with their most recent publishing deal. We also look at Sharp’s push to usher in a new E-Reader format and tons more! Remember if you want to read the full news article, click on the title.
Prepare to to hit the beach or curl up in a nice dark dungeon and read some soul rending tales this summer! Many new Vampire and Paranormal releases are hitting their virtual shelves this August and Good E-Reader has the veritable scoops on all the must reads.
Pionner Computers, the Australian PC maker, has added another tablet to their DreamBook ePad series of tablets. The new tablet has been named ePad B10 and joins the DreamBook ePad A10 launched earlier this year in the 10 inch category.
The ePad B10 is another one in the 10 inch category and comes with a 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 resolution LED backlit multi-touch display. The B10 offers two choices of processors – either an 1.3GHz Intel Celeron M 743 or a Core Duo 1.4GHz Intel Solo SU3500 CULV processor. Coupled to the processor is a 4GB RAM, and a rather massive 500GB HDD or 256GB SSD. For handling graphics files efficiently, the B10 also includes a dedicated Intel GMA X4500 graphics card.
Feature wise, the B10 has lots to offer, like a 1.3-megapixel webcam, an HDMI port along with 2 integrated stereo speakers. Connectivity options include WiFi and Bluetooth while there also are four USB 2.0 ports. WiMAX is an optional extra. There’s also a G-sensor built into the tablet.
Electronics major Sharp has come up with an entirely new e-Book platform and an e-Book format which they have named XMDF or ever-eXtending Mobile Document Format, something that the company has been working on since 2009. The format has been in use in millions of terminals since its inception more than a decade ago, with mobile phones forming the bulk of it. The XDMF has been a hit in Japan and the latest Next Gen XMDF that Sharp launched recently promises to take all the good things a step forward.
So what is the Next Gen XMDF all about?
The new e-book format is an attempt to integrate text, video, audio and an adjustable user interface. Or to put it in simple terms, the entire thing involves offerring any e-book to almost any gadget. The e-books can range from the simplest containing only text to the most complex e-books that may contain video or audio along with style effects and rich graphics. The idea is to make the e-books available on the widest possible range of gadgets like smartphones, tablet devices, TVs, Set Top Boxes, along with even Gaming devices. The XMDF format is already in use on many smart phones, PCs and TVs which means its transition to the next generation should be seemless and hassle free.
However, all of this also means there is the real risk of you being bombarded with video or audio clips which can be extremely annoying. And worse still, you may not have the means to get rid of those that are intruding upon you.
Hackers and jailbreakers, it’s time to rejoice. As per new rules announced by the United States government, it will no longer be considered illegal for anyone to jailbreak a device to run any third party app that the original manufacturer may have otherwise declared incompatible. Or to put it in simple terms, all those who have paid for the device (and not the manufacturer of the device) reserve the right to decide which apps they would like to have on their device. And of course, the new ruling is as much applicable to the latest craze the iPad as it is for anything else.
The new ruling will of course irk many a device manufacturer like Apple, seeing as most of them have never been known to be too fond of those who jailbreak their device. In fact, they make it a point to make their gadgets as foolproof from hacking as it can be and invest substantial resources to this effect. But jailbreakers almost always have the last laugh as they jailbreak devices with alarming regularity and with telling effects. This notwithstanding, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that’s already in place and which is cited by the gadget manufacturers as the act that renders jailbreaking illegal. Not any more as per new exemptions to the DMCA.
Real life implication of the new ruling is that jailbreakers have “earned” immunity from facing criminal charges, something that they have been yearning for all along. The law will protect them from facing prosecution. However, those who have tampered with their devices will have to forgo the warranty claims on their devices as well as from the official service providers. On the other hand, the new rules will also not bar Apple or other manufacturers from carrying out with their digital encryption or other protection methods.
The new ruling can have some far reaching effects in that the jailbreaking can now turn out to be a profession with jailbreakers charging a fee for their efforts. The law will also favor companies like Adobe and Mozilla who will now be free to develop third-party applications to be sold from unsanctioned app stores that will be compatible with jailbroken devices.
Motorola Droid Tablet PC to debut in November
Tablets are the craze right now and the de facto rule going round seems to be this: if you for a manufacturer of consumer electronic goods, then you must have a tablet device in your line-up. Motorola is too big a company and maintains too big a presence in the smartphone business to ignore that rule. The company has been high in the list among those who are rumored to be making tablet PCs and the good news is, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha has confirmed a tablet is indeed in the making.
Details of the new upcoming tablet are scarce at best and all we know right now is that it’s likely to have a 10-inch touchscreen display. Motorola has also been using the 1GHz OMAP3630 processor to power their DROID X and the soon-to-be-released DROID 2 smartphones and it’s believed they might continue with a somewhat similar setup for the tablet device as well.
However, the thing that’s almost a certainty is that its going to be the Google’s Android 3.0 Gingerbread that would be doing the OS duty. Google has already let it be known that they are focusing on the visual end of Android to make their next release more iPad-like. Ever since the iPad started to rewrite sales records, many (particularly non-Apple-fans) were looking for a device that could clip the wings of the all conquering iPad. Unfortuantely, none have proved to be worthy enough. Well, the tablet from Motorola may be the one. The reason why it’s being touted as a potential iPad killer is the Gingerbread version of Android, the operating system from Google that is pushed as one that has been built specially for mobile devices like tablet PCs.
The thing that makes the Gingerbread version of Android so special is the fact that it comes included with support for Adobe Flash 10.1 browser plug-in, something that will allow for a complete web browsing experience. Flash is so famously lacking in the iPad.
Stieg Larsson first author to sell over a million Kindle e-books
The late Swedish literary superstar Stieg Larsson has become the first author to break a million sold ebooks on the Amazon E-Book Store, exclusively for the Kindle E-Reader.
You may have heard of this author, whom had been on the New York Times bestseller list many times during his writing career. He is probably best known for the Millennium trilogy, with his novel “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which recently was a film released a few months ago. He also wrote the books – “The Girl who Played with Fire” and “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”
Although this is only sales from Amazon, Mr Larsson has sold 30 million books worldwide of his trilogy. He ranks number 1 on Amazon’s all time list of best selling authors. Incidently, number 2 is Kathryn Stockett’s novel “The Help.” If the sales trend towards a few hundred thousand of his books and ebooks being sold every day, worldwide, he could quickly become the world’s all time translated highest selling author in history.
Not many may have heard of Augen before. It surely is not amongst the most well known companies around the world though it seems they have stepped up efforts to become one. Its not too long before that they emerged in the e-reader segment and now, they have poked their nose in the perhaps even more competitive tablet PC arena. And to carry forward their dreams in the tablet PC segment, that have armed themselves with a 7 inch tablet named GenTouch78 running the Android operating system, version 2.1.
The GenTouch78 tablet’s 7 inch resistive touch screen has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels and has a 800MHz processors of an unknown make at its core. Coupled to the processor is a 256MB of DDR2 RAM while on board storage amounts to 2 GB though it can be jacked up further to 16 GB by way of SD/MMC cards, the slot for which comes as standard.
Augen has also stated the GenTouch78 has 720p video support while connectivity options with the tablet is restricted to just WiFi support. The tablet will also be able to play back multimedia files and take up the role of an e-reader as well, capable as it is to play e-book files.
Discover our favorite ebooks of 2010 from January through June–we’ve selected the top 10 must-reads of the year so far. Be sure to check out our Mystery and Paranormal previews for August as well.
It was just yesterday that we had said there is something to the mysterious disappearance of the Kindle 2. And now, before the mystery could deepen any further, here it is: a new Kindle is coming our way. Not so radically new that Amazon won’t be sticking to the same form as the old Kindle. So what’s the new bit all about? It’s in the size and weight group. The Kindle 2 has already set new benchmarks with its lightweight design and a super slim construction, but now these factors have been worked upon further and what we have in the end is a Kindle that is even more light and thin. Amazon claims that it is 21 percent smaller than the previous model while also being 15 percent lighter.
Among the other notable visible changes, the keyboard and five-way controls are now better streamlined and slightly tweaked, adding to the freshness of the design. The rocker has also been altered a bit, which has made it more compact and flush with the new Kindle. The side buttons have been given a once over and been modified lengthwise, which now emphasizes the forward paddles, while the back buttons have been given a downsize treatment.
Now coming to the other rather non visible changes: the screen is still of 6 inches and the display the same e-ink. However, the refresh rate is faster by 20 percent while display contrast is better by 50 percent, which puts it in the same league as its big brother, the Kindle DX. The internal memory has also gone up to 4GB while battery capacity has been enhanced. So what was already good and was measured in week is now even better and is measured in months. Yes, its a month of backup time that you now have with the Kindle on a single full charge (though with the wireless turned off) and which comes down to 10 days (with the wireless turned on).
LG Confirms a Tablet PC is in the works
There was always the rumors of a Tablet device being developed by the Korean electronics giant LG. Then LG doused those rumors by confirming they are indeed making a tablet that will have the Android as the operating system and that its slated for a late 2010 launch.
And now, adding further strength to the claims is the latest news of LG having stated that the upcoming tablet will form a part of the new Optimus brand that will make it to the market by the fourth quarter of 2010. And quarter 4, as we all know is when the holiday shopping season reaches frenzied proportions.
We have just heard reports that Ontario based Research in Motion has bought the domain name www.blackpad.com and this might be the last marketing key to get the Tablet PC product launch into shape.
An email was circulated to key people earlier in the week soliciting opinions related to an iPad-like device. There were tons of questions regarding specific configurations and how likely it would be that one would purchase one. They asked about 5″, 7″, and 10″ screens, wi-fi + 3g, cameras of various types, etc. They also wanted to know about various add-ons (keyboards, docks, cases, etc).
We all know that RIM is heavily getting behind OS 6.0 as the future of their touch screen ambitions. They are releasing a new smartphone via AT&T called the Blackberry Slider 9600. It will feature 4 Gigs of Internal memory and a 5 MP camera. The key to OS 6.0 is this phone, because AT&T is heavily going to be promoting the future of Blackberry as a viable contender to other operating systems. Attention Blackberry Storm users! Do not feel left out, the OS6 will be compatible on your devices.
RIM is trying very hard to prove their critics wrong, with a lackluster web browser and an outdated application store. It is obvious that they are trying to cater to the mass market with new touch screen devices. The new 9800 is the first step and (not to be left out of the Tablet PC race) they are releasing a new tablet computer. In the mass market, Blackberry has always played second fiddle to Apple and Android for operating system and it just simply lacks hardware.
That’s it for the latest Good E-Reader Weekly News! Remember we just released our Good E-Reader August Issue of our Magazine! Pick yours up today for $1.99, its 60 pages and awesome! Don’t forget to check out our E-Reader and Slate PC Forum! For all the support you need for ebooks and your e-reader.
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.