Welcome to another exciting edition of this week in E-Reader and Slate PC news, brought to you by Good E-Reader! There has been lots of news this week from Amazon, RIM, and a fair number of new product announcements from Google, Acer, and Eken! We strive to give you the weekly news events that matter, about E-Readers, Ebooks and Slate/Tablet PC News.
If you would like to read the full stories click on the title of the article! We are also doing an audio version of this as well.
Research in Motion gives more details on BlackPad Slate PC
The RIM BlackPad is due out December 2010 and will be running the new OS 6.0 that Research in Motion introduced at their latest WES conference. The BlackPad will feature an 8.9 inch color display and will not have the same type of screen that is featured on its Storm line of Smart Phones. Reports also indicate that Blackberry is partnering with the Marvel technology Group to take care of its silicon needs and the Quanta Company that specialize in hardware manufacturing. Recent purchasing reports have been verified in China from Blackberry placing large screen orders.
Acer to Debut new Slate PCS and E-Readers at Computex next month
Acer has plans to debut towards the end of this month at Computex new Smartphones, E-readers, Netbooks, and Smart Monitors, cementing its 2010 line of new consumer electronic products.
The new Acer Slate is thought to be running on the Google Android operating system or Google Chrome. Also, they see to be running the ARM line of processors. The Choice of ARM is a viable alternative to many Slates to come out in the near future to the Tegra 2 Processor. The Tegra 2 processor implemented in forth coming devices such as the Notion Ink Adam, Asus Slate and others. The problem with the Tegra 2 processor speculated in the industry is those problems with Flash and the processor hampering battery life.
Amazon to debut Google Android App this summer
Android is one of the last operating systems to get a free Kindle Application to port over your existing books or to purchase new ones. Considering that Amazon is planning on going against the success of the iBookstore and ITunes the partnership with Google is only natural. Amazon already has software available for a ton of devices, such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry and others.
In order to use this new application for Android you will have to have at least Android version 1.6 or greater, as well as an SD card. Most new Android driven Smartphones are running recent versions of Google Android such as 2.1 and the new phones in the future will be running 2.2 Android smartphones that are supported according to Amazon are the, Google Nexus one, HTC EVO, HTC My Touch, Motorola Cliq, Motorola Droid and “many more Android phones,” Amazon.com stated in the announcement today.
The Kindle for Android app will allow a user to buy a book from the Kindle Store and have it delivered wirelessly, via Whispersync with the book optimized for the Android device. The software will also automatically synchronize the last page the reader has read from a book, as well as annotations, between devices. If you have an existing Amazon account with purchased books you will be able to port these books over to your Android Device, without having to purchase the book again. However, Amazon said newspapers, magazines and blogs will not be available for Android devices.
Is the Apple iPad increasing E-Book Piracy?
Popular Bit Torrent Site Torrentfreak recently investigated the number of downloaded E-Reader ebook files in conjunction with the subsequent release of the Apple iPad. The numbers were quite staggering Research shown that ebook piracy increased by a whopping 78% after the first few weeks of the iPad release
The Rise of eBook piracy is still pathetically small if you look at Music, Video Games or movie distribution. The Apple iPad even comes packaged with shrink wrapped that says ‘Don’t steal music.’ But what about Books?
The Apple iPad seems to read ePub files the best and many books are being offered by 3rd party torrent sites, but this is not surprising. Most eBooks are very restrictive and come with a staggering amount of DRM that prevents sharing or lending of the ebooks. Amazon and Sony lock you into a specific ebook format if you want to use the book, and makes sharing it with loved ones, friends, family, and a tremendously arduous endeavour.
Here is one reason to go and enrol you at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago – to become a lucky recipient of a brand new iPad. Yes that’s true. The iPad’s are being meted out to about 600 students of first year under graduate courses starting this fall in a move that’s going to cost the University no less than a whopping $250,000. This is as per a whole new initiative adopted by the premier university in an attempt to introduce exciting new technologies to students and faculties. In the past, educational institutes has doled out laptops as a means of winning over students but it seems that is passé with iPad’s being the current favourite.
However, IIT maintain their decision to dole out iPad’s as a few other schools have already started out with is not a marketing strategy or a gimmick to make their school become a favourite with students. Rather, IIT would like this to be seen as a logical move in the backdrop of the University’s renewed thrust on new emerging technology and with the university already having started out with the first courses on Mobile Application Development.
It is interesting to note that with this, IIT has joined two other universities – the Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania and George Fox University in Oregon who also have taken to providing iPad’s to freshmen. While iPad’s will be given free to students of Seton Hill University, George Fox students provide its student with the option to choose either an iPad or the MacBook.
According to a recent Press Release Barnes and Noble is joining the DIY club that will allow independent Authors to now publish books via the Barnes and Noble E-Book website. The New Service is called PubIt and will be available this summer.
Barnes and Noble the world’s largest Bookseller is joining the ranks of Amazon, who runs the Digital Text Platform or DTP.
Authors for the last few years have been able to make a living from distributing their books via Amazons online bookstore and are able to be read via their Kindle line of E-Readers, as well as Kindle applications for Android Devices, Blackberries, Iphones, and the PC.
Apple riding on the success of their iPad Slate PC and the runway hit of their new iBookstore is also now allowing self-publishers to distribute their e-books. Apple recently made a deal with Smashwords, who claims to have over 566,647,506 words published! Smashwords is an ebook publishing and distribution platform for ebook authors, publishers and readers. They offer multi-format, DRM-free ebooks, ready for immediate sampling and purchase, and readable on any e-reading device. They also help market the writer’s works and allows affiliates to also promote their service, for a percentage of each book sold.
Barnes & Noble new software PubIt has not officially given details on what the royalty rate will be on the new service, but we believe it will fall in line with the industry standard. The currently industry standard is which is around 70% of the sale.
Amazon whom is one of the leading online book sellers has been offering authors a woeful 25% of each books sales. They have since announced due to the success of Sony, and Apples iBookstore to increase the amount it offers authors to 75% of each sale, starting this June.
Nvidia Introduces Android Tablet at Google Expo
NVIDIA has teamed up with Foxconn with the intention of churning out tablet PCs that some believe can shake up the Tablet PC segment that currently has a single ruler – the iPad. Featuring an 8.9-inch capacitive multi-touch widescreen that boasts of a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels and a display of 720p HD, the sleek Tegra 2 powered tablet was there to be seen at the Google IO conference. The tablet on display was used to demonstrate the Android game Backbreaker.
The Tablet PC however is firmly in prototype territory though the little that have been known till now of the tablet is pointing to a device that will have a Tegra 2 processor with a clock speed of 1GZ at its core, which incidentally is the same that the iPad can boast of. It will be running the Android OS, though the specific version again is a mystery as of now though with the Android 2 being recently unveiled, it’s likely to be the preferred OS for the new device. The Tegra 2 chip includes a dual core Cortex A9 ARM-based processor with Nvidia graphics and is touted to be a generation ahead of the silicon that the A8 chip of the iPad is based on since the all new ARM Cortex A9 architecture is able to deliver 25 percent more power than Cortex A8 core of the iPad.
Here and There
Speaking of Google Android, Blue Sky is going to release a new Tablet PC dubbed the BL10. Apart from it being Android based, other specs revealed by the company about the Blue Sky BL10 points towards a 10.1-inch touchscreen with a display resolution of 1024 x 576 pixels. Behind the screen is a VIA WM8505 533MHz processor coupled to 128MB or 256MB of RAM. There is a 2GB NAND Flash storage with the option of upgrading it further to 32GB. The VIA processor used is known for its power efficient properties and is in stark contrast to the usual norm of making use of, say the Intel Atom processor.
Acer introduced the new Acer Aspire 1825 Tablet PC to debut at Computex. The device comes with a rather impressive configuration; an Intel Dual Core ULV SU4100 processor clocked at 1.3GHz with 2MB L2 cache, an 11.6-inch 1366×768 pixel touch screen, Windows 7 64-bit, 3GB RAM, a 250GB hard disk drive. Graphics wise, the 1825PT has an Intel GS45 Express graphics chipset.
Chinese Company Eken is going to release the Eken M003 E-Reader for $240.00. It currently runs Google Android 1.6 and has a full color 800×480 resolution 8″ LCD display. It has a 600MHz VIA processor, 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, 128MB RAM, and an SD card slot for up to 32 GB of extra memory.
Lastly, if you are looking for purchase an Apple iPad, Apple has revised its policy of Credit Card and Debit only, to also take cash now as well! A lady named Diane tried to buy an iPad but was turned away, as Apple during the initial phase of product releases limits customers to 2 iPad’s only. She changed this policy while complaining to local media. You can now buy an iPad for cash, but you must activate it, in the Apple Store. Diane? She got a free iPad for her troubles, courtesy of a Steve Jobs edict.
That sums it up for the latest news this week on E-Readers and Tablet and Slate PCS! If you would like to know the most exciting news of the month, subscribe to our Good E-Reader Magazine! We cover all of the latest stories.
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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 CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.