Welcome to another edition of the Good E-Reader week in Review! This week we saw more Tablet and Slate PC news more then most weeks! We saw many different new products get announced, we saw the rise of E-Readers tailored towards Kids ages 2 to 9 and some new Android Software! We also posted our July E-Book Preview, with all of the authors you know and love and some ones you have not heard of before.
As always click on the bold title of the news item to read the full article.
This month we published due to popular demand the latest eBooks to come out July 2010! We see such popular bestseller name stay authors such as Nora Roberts and the Search, due out July 6 2010, and many more.
A few hours ago the Amazon Kindle Application went live on the Android Market! This application gives you access to all of your Amazon eBook purchased you might have made with your Kindle E-Reader, or books you might have purchased via Kindle to PC or their Blackberry Application.
The Kindle app lets you do things like adjust yours font sizes, free ebook samples, and most importantly, wireless bookmark synchronization. This application will even let you adjust the background color as well as brightness, just by hitting the Menu key.
In order for this application to run correctly your Android device must have at least Android 1.6 to operate. The Application is a free download.
How big do you think a Tablet PC can get. We know of the Dell Streak that sports a puny 5 inch screen. That perhaps is the smallest size for a device to be still classified a Tablet for anything less than that, and it runs the risk of ending up being in smartphone territory. Then there are the JooJoos and the ICD Vegas at the upper end of the spectrum with screens measuring 12 inches and 15 inches respectively. Also, with a screen measuring 15 inches, the Vega from ICD is clearly the biggest tablet PC we have seen so far.
But here’s one Tablet PC that can shake things up. Welcome the new mTouch tablet from Merel Technologies. And its claim to fame, a massive 42 inch LED-lit LCD screen, that, in spite of its size, is strong enough to take up the role of a drink coaster as well. Of course for those who think its way too big, there a 32 inch sized tablet as well. But at 32 or 42 inches, the mTouch is a far cry of what we think of Tablets since these are not the portable device that Tablet have come to be known for. Instead, the mTouch can actually be termed a ‘table tablet.’
Specs wise, the mTouch has an 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor along with 4GB of DDR2 RAM. A 320GB SATA hard drive provides with enough storage space with the mTouch that includes 20 touch points on its LED-lit LCD screen. Then there’s a built-in GeForce 9300 graphics to render life like pictures on the huge screen, which essentially is a stacked multi-touch layer along with an LCD TV that makes up the display interface. The entire touch components along with the user interface and the operating system are proprietary to Merel. The display incorporates gesture recognition, object recognition, and multi-user multi-touch features so that what we have with the mTouch is a device that makes for an innovative means of interacting with media and kiosk apps.
V.Tech has just released a new E-Reader aimed at Kids! Formally known as the Flip and now known as the V-Reader, this e-reader joins the Fisherprice IXL and the Aiptek Story in the race to replace traditional books for little kids.
The E-Reader features a full color touch screen and software driven QWERTY Keyboard. The device comes with a bunch of built in eBooks such as The Little Engine that Could, Dora the Explorer, Toy Story 3 and many more. It retails for around $59.99 and each book will cost around $20.00. The Device comes with a USB cable, but not an AC Adapter. It has dedicated volume controls and a head phone jack so you do not have to hear the same book 1000 times, as your little one plays with it.
Its finally here, the new Kindle DX at a new price. However, before you begin to think of an whole new Kindle DX out to replace the current version, here it is, the new aspect is just limited to the color of the Kindle and that it now comes at a price that’s lower than the previous Kindle DX by $110.So its now $379, down from the $489 that it would have cost before, .i.e. during the pre-iPad days.
The Kindle DX will however, continue to be 3G ready and does not include any monthly bills or annual contracts. Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for the device which has started from today with the actual deliveries slated to begin from the 7th of July.
The display continues to be black and white though Amazon claims the new DX incorporates a new e-ink screen with 50 percent improved contrast. What this boils down to is clearer text and sharper images. The screen will continue to be of the same size, 9.7 inches though it now is enclosed within a eye catching dark graphite frame.
There is a rush of Tablet PC in Germany. Acceptance of orders for the Neofonie WeTab is about to begin and there is another lined up already called the 1&1 SmartPad Android tablet from the German cable Internet provider. And the good thing is, this tablet is scheduled to be launched this July itself.
The 1&1 SmartPad has a 7 inch LCD WVGA touchscreen display upfront and a 500 MHz ARM11 processor behind it. Screen resolution stands at 800 x 480 though its not known whether it will be capacitive or resistive. The SmartPad has 256 MB of DDR RAM and another 1 GB of storage capacity. There is also a 2GB SD card included in the package. The SmartPad comes integrated with 802.11 g/b/n Wi-Fi for connectivity though 3G has been made an optional extra. However, for anytime and anywhere Internet connection, a USB WWAN dongle can be made use of which stands in as a means to connect to cellular data networks.
Although it was just a few days ago that Amazon slashed the price of the Kindle 2 from $254.00 to $189.99 and just yesterday announced of an upcoming Kindle DX Graphite edition for $379.99. Today’s news has Amazon making another acquisition of a company in the form of Woot.com, in the tune of a reported $110 million dollars.
Woot is an online shopping site with a loyal base of around 2.75 million users. Its claim to fame was an online “deal of the day” concept selling one item each day for a significantly marked-down price. Items range from flat-screen TVs and PlayStation 3’s to Microsoft Zune players. The site has become so popular that it’s not uncommon for items to sell out within in minutes. To mark the acquisition of Woot, todays sold-out item of the day: the Kindle 2 for $149!
The CEO of Woot.com, Matt Rutledge, said that while Amazon did buy the company, Woot will remain and run the same way it has for years, “with a wall of ideas and a dartboard.” He continued, saying that the Woot vision will remain the same, “somehow earning a living on snarky commentary and junk.” The habitual jokers did not reveal the financial details of the purchase; however technology blog Techcrunch reported that Seattle based Amazon paid entirely in cash.
Hewlett Packard has completed acquisition of the Palm this week in a deal worth about US$1.2 billion. This also marks the culmination of the process that was first announced on the 28th of April. started HP has dropped some hints that there could be a possibility of them replacing the Windows 7 Home premium OS from Microsoft with the Palm’s WebOS in all its forthcoming tablet and slate ventures including the much talked about HP Slate device. HP had earlier shown off the Slate running Windows 7 but had failed to meet performance criterion.
Announcing the acquisition deal, Palo Alto from California based HP said, “Palm will be responsible for webOS software development and webOS-based hardware products, from a robust smartphone roadmap to future slate PCs and netbooks”.
There had been some resistance on its takeover bid by HP by some section of Palm share holders. This however was settled when HP offered the price of $5.7 per share in June and is the reason why the acquisition process was delayed from April when it had been formally announced.
The Good E-Reader July Edition of the Magazine is out! Purchase your subscription to day! At 1.99 for the first issue, its a steal! If you love our blog you will swoon for our magazine!
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.