Welcome to another E-Reader and Slate PC week in review! We sum up all of the major stories of the week and give you the key aspects that you need to know.This week was dominated by Barnes and Noble with three major announcements. We also saw the Kindle hit the retail shelves in a Target near you! We also saw some interesting facts on the HP Slate and some news on some new Tablet PCs. As always, new product launches by first time entrants to the e-reader and slate PC world. If you would like to read the full story on these news items, click on the title of each article.
Barnes and Noble announced Quarter 3 launches for two follow ups to its successful “Nook” e-reader. The first mysterious new E-Reader is known as “Project Encore”, the Nook 2. The Nook 2 is Android driven and will have a real web browser to surf the internet. It will also feature WI-FI and 3G with 6 inch screen. The big rumor is that it will use Freescales new Color E-Ink technology and may finally have access to an Android Market Place.
The second device is the Nook Lite, it will be very much akin to the current Nook, with the only difference is that it will lack 3G. This will reduce the overall price of the device and make it the low end entry model. It will still retain the popular WI-FI aspect of it, so you can still connect to the internet and the E-Book store to make purchases.
B&N did its first major television advert and is following it up with an Online and Paper/Print campaign to promote its Nook E-Reader.
The Television campaign is entittled “My Story” which portrays a litterature loving female customer from childhood to adulthood and the semninal stories that fostered her love of books from tangible form to now digital format. The closing images reinforce the ability to “take your story wherever you want it to go” as the woman in the spot sits on the beach reading on NOOK’s crisp and clear E Ink screen after using the device’s fast, wireless access to find her next great read from more than a million digital titles.
The New firmware update for people who own the Nook E-Reader will give you a new web browser, to surf the internet in e-ink. The update as well will give you faster page turns and give you some new items under the color touch screen interface.
You will also be able to get access to the first games for the Nook, chess and Sudoku with three different difficulty settings.
With the first wave of games coming in, we are not far away from seeing other games and apps to be made available in future firmware updates.
Paradigm Shift Announces new E-Reader
This new E-Reader has a 5-inch TFT color LCD screen and is compatible with a wide range of e-book formats which includes e-pub, PDF, DOC, and TXT along with FB2, PDB, HTML, ANSI formats as well. There is a generous 2GB of internal flash storage which can be expanded further with help of the attached SD card slot. Then its availability in a range of attractive colors like white, blue, pink, black silver or periwinkle makes the package all the more attractive.
This Sunday makes Amazon’s first foray into the retail market with their Kindles going on sale nationwide at Target stores everywhere.
This will gives customers a shopping feature that they never had in the past, such as actually trying out the device before you buy it. It will also allow customers to buy the device and take it home the same day instead of waiting on shipping from the Amazon website. It seems as though Amazon is only selling the Kindle 2 at target for $259.00 and not its larger screen brother the Kindle DX. No Incentives such as price discounts or anything have been announced, and is not likely to be.
Recently a popular industry tech guru had a hands on with the HP Slate and he did not have favorable news. He mentions the Slate to be largely a netbook PC that has little chances of posing any threat to iPad sales that is already going through the roof. Also it seems the teaser videos have been carefully arranged and staged to give it an image of a glorious Tablet PC, which in reality it isn’t. And the single most irritant that can leave you annoyed and frustrated is the long time it takes for the OS to load. Overall performance too tends to be a bit sluggish at times which might be due to an under-powered processor. There is 1GB of RAM doing duty but it isn’t upgradeable, which means there’s no easy way of boosting performance.
Also, the screen and rear of the Slate seems to be made of plastic, which gives the feeling of being dense and tough. Then the Slate, at 0.57-inches, is also a bit thicker than the 0.5-inch thick iPad. This is on top of what is already being talked about of the Slate having a battery life that is just about half that of iPad’s 10+ hours of battery life.
‘Looking Glass’ is what the new Tablet PC from Dell is going to be known as. It shares a lot of commonality with the 5-inch Streak and among the few things that makes the Looking Glass different from the 5-inch Streak is a bigger 7-inch display and a Tegra 2 processor. Also, the new Dell Tablet will be running Android 2.1 unlike Android 2.0 that the 5-inch Streak is based on.
The Looking Glass will also have a forward facing 1.3 mega pixel camera, while also being compliant with WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and 3G connectivity options. There’s also a TV tuner module that you can opt for and will let you watch digital TV in ATSC, ATSC-MH and DVB-T, which means it is good enough to play North American or European TV channels.
The latest Good E-Reader news has the Israel’s Ministry of Communications banning import of iPads on the grounds that they are not compatible with the country’s Wi-Fi standards. They have begun to intercept imported shipments into the country leaving many people without an iPad whom paid for it. Travellers can pick the gadgets up again when they leave Israel but must pay s storage fee.
Israel uses the same standards as Europe, but these are slightly different from those prevailing in the US. European standards allow the use of additional channels in the 2.4GHz but restrict the equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) to 20 dBm (100 mW).
However, according to the Wall Street Journal, not only does the iPad have the same Wi-Fi chip as the current iPhone 3GS, an Apple spokesperson also told the WSJ that the “iPad complies with international industry standards for Wi-Fi specifications.”
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So what do you guys think about our summary of the weeks news? Did you think we missed any major stories, we’d like to hear your thoughts?
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.