Welcome to the Good E-Reader week in review for Tablet, Slate and E-Readers! This has been a very news worthy week with new product announcements from Amazon, Sony, Acer and many other top companies! We also give the news on some new companies and what they are doing in the realm of mobile computing! If you would like to read more on any of our news articles, please click on the title.
Amazon the world’s largest Online Retailer for Ebooks and Retail Goods are going to be stepping up their effort to introduce a New E-Reader by August of this year.
The new Kindle device will be thinner and have a more responsive screen with a sharper picture, and include a touch screen interface. Also not only will be contrast be sharper and well refined, we will also see features like faster page turns and a new web browser and Kindle Applications.
According to the recently surfaced Patent Application the new Sony Device will feature dual screens that can be used in multiple orientations, such as Reading a Book. Also it will feature an on-screen keyboard on the lower display when in notebook orientation. Flipping before the two modes is similar to the iPad, with it’s built in Accelerometer. The patent also shows that Sony is entrenching into LG’S territory with wanting to feature solar powered batteries to recharge it on the go.
The new e-reader from Acer packs a 6 inch screen that boasts of a monochrome E Ink display. Yes, the display is black and white to put it in simple terms and comes at a time when perhaps everybody is awaiting a dash of color on their e-reader screens. LumiRead also features a QWERTY keyboard a la Kindle DX which again has left many in double minds whether it’s a step in the right direction. This since the emphasis seems to be turning towards touchscreen devices with embedded on screen keyboards coming to replace real keyboards.
The rest of the specs are impressive though. Like, it’s got a 2GB flash memory that is big enough to hold 1,500 e-books. And if you think that is not big enough than there’s also a MicroSD card slot that will ensure the memory figure will go up a bit more. Out of the box, LumiRead will be Wi-Fi ready and will incorporate 3G features as well though in a future model. Apart from these, there is also a built in browser.
Kobo releases their E-Reader in New Zealand
The Latest Good E-Reader news has Whitcoulls launching its own eReader device in Auckland, New Zealand today. “This will change the way New Zealanders read forever,” the group managing director of REDgroup Retail, owner of Whitcoulls, said at the launch.
The new device – called the Kobo E-Reader – sells for $295 which is a little bit more then we were hoping that it would be, as the Kobo sells for $149.00 in the US and Canada, and $199.00 in Australia. New Zealand is the fourth country in the world in which the device has been launched after Canada, the US and Australia.
Barnes and Noble Releases new E-Reader App for the iPad
Barnes & Noble released a new E-Reader Application is available for the iPad. This is a totally free e-book reader that competes with Apple’s iBooks, Kobo Bookstore and Amazon’s Kindle apps. With this application you will have a full line of book titles that are accessible via the Barnes and Noble Nook E-Reader.
One of the great aspects of this new application is that it allows the user a ton of visual customizations: beyond the font and its size, you can also tweak the text color, the background color, the justification, and the leading–and you can save your creations as personal themes. You can also set up revolving themes, such as for night time reading.
Amazon INC and book publisher Penguin Group reached an agreement regarding the pricing of Penguin’s electronic books, the online retailer and book publisher said Wednesday.
The Seattle, Washington-based Amazon and Penguin, which is owned by media group Pearson PLC of Britain, have been locked in a bitter dispute over digital book prices which saw Penguin stop supplying Amazon with new titles last month, much to the chagrin of Kindle owners wanting to buy best sellers.
“We have an agreement with Penguin and will soon be offering their complete selection of digital books to Kindle customers,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement. Although core details are not available at this time, in terms of new E-Book Pricing.
J Allard leaves Microsoft over scraping of the Courier Slate
Chief Technical Officer of the cancelled Microsoft Courier project, and of the XBOX and Zune team J Allard is taking a leave of absence from Microsoft due to butting heads with CEO Steve Ballmer. Allard was “the champion” of the Courier, and believed wholeheartedly in its success in the market, but big boss Ballmer did not feel the same way.
The Microsoft Courier was a research and development project at the Redmond offices and many projects that make it to the late prototype stage or incubation phase usually see some kind of market release, but this is not always the case. In a meeting of the Top Brass at Microsoft, the CEO Steve Balmer passed on the Microsoft Courier. Allard is none too pleased with these developments, as he saw the Courier as the future of computing and thought Microsoft was passing on a huge opportunity to get into the Tablet and Slate PC market.
Although Apple with its iBookstore seems to have not locked up a ton of major publishers for international eBook distribution through its iBookstore, which is evident to it only having Classic Titles available. Apple appears to be making things easier for independent authors without a publisher to have their work included in the store.
If you are an author and are wondering how you can submit your books to the iBookstore, Apple has added book submissions to iTunes Connect. It is not a super straight forward system because it’s not as simple as just uploading a PDF to the site and making a ton of money.
In order to submit your prospective ebook to Apple it must be in ePub format and validate against epubcheck 1.0.5. You will also need to already have a 13-digit ISBN. You can get an ISBN number at the US ISBN Agency. Obtaining an ISBN isn’t as difficult a process you might think; it can take as little as two weeks.
Here and There
Sony has entered the Japanese market for the second time with agreements with major publishing and newspaper companies to open up a new E-Book Store. Rumours abound that Sony is working on a new localized version of one of their E-Readers in order to appeal to users in that region. The Japan market is thought to be worth around 500 million dollars and is an emerging market.
We gathered the most comprehensive list on the internet for the release schedule for Slate and Tablet PCS to be released in 2010; it is very extensive and gives you a sneak peak at over 40 different ones.
The Orphan x10 Mid APAD was announced to be released soon. It boasts a very reasonable entry level price of around $189.00.
The Dell Streak, the 5 inch snap dragon processor driven tablet/smartphone will be released via O2 in the UK on June 5 2010. It’s a great looking phone and runs Google Android 1.6, with a 2.2 upgrade occurring soon over the launch.
The Archos 7 Tablet PC is available now, and not considered to be one of those ‘iPad Killer‘ devices and is never in a direct competition with the iPad. At $199.99, it’s a full three hundred dollars less than the Apple offering and is superb in its own ways, being an exceptional media player running the Android 1.5 operating system. However, not everything about the Archos 7 Home Tablet is excellent as the device does not come with an accelerometer while its resistive touchscreen can be pretty annoying at times. Anyway, the news should bring cheer to those who have waiting for the Archos 7.
Pandigital will soon be releasing a color version of their E-Reader costing only $199.00 and will be available this June. The Google Android operating system allows this e-reader to surf the internet with a dedicated web browser, check email, listen to music and have access to many different applications available for download.
One of the first home grown Australian Tablets made by Tegatech is set for launch soon. It boasts some impressive stats such as a 10.2 inch screen. Powering the tablet will be a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 ULV Processor and has a gig of DDR2 RAM. A quite generous 160GB HDD takes care of storage concerns through the SD card slot provided can help things further should you require more memory space. And in case you are thinking it’s a slow mover, you are wrong. For the Tega is surprisingly fast and can pull off most tasks pretty quickly.
That about sums it up for the major news to debut this week of note! There is of course many other stories we did not cover, and we implore you to subscribe to our Good E-Reader Magazine or listen to our Tri-Weekly Podcasts to give you an in-depth introspective on the Slate, Tablet and E-Reader Industry.
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.