Toshiba has announced today they it is releasing a new e-reader in Japan that should be available in a few weeks. In conjunction with the impending new device, Toshiba is also revising its online bookstore.
The Toshiba Mono will feature a six inch display with a resolution of 1024×758 pixels. It will be powered by a Freescale i.MX508, 800MHz processor and 512 MB RAM. You will have 4 gigs of internal memory and it also has a Micro SD card slot to enhance the memory further. One of the most exciting elements is the inclusion of a 3.5 mm headphone jack to listen to audiobooks and music. According to the company, it will provide a text-to-speech functionality by utilizing “TOSHIBA Speech Synthesis” feature.
In 2010, Toshiba launched an online ebook store called the “Toshiba Book Place” powered by the Bilo E-Reading software. The Book Place offered a full-color, 3D, interactive reading experience powered by Blio, the world’s most engaging and innovative e-reading software. Toshiba Book Place brings books to life audio in multiple languages, hyperlinks, note taking and exporting, text-to-speech capabilities, and much more. The one really good hyping factor for the Book Place is that it uniquely brings to life children’s books. It also offers cookbooks and travel books. In conjunction with the new Mono e-Reader announcement, Toshiba confirmed it is changing the name of the old bookstore with Blio to BookLive! and launching a new store.
The new store will still have the old Book Place name, but ebooks purchased from Booklive will be incompatible with the new device. Digital content is coming from a new partnership with five different electronic bookstores in Japan. You will be able to download your standard ebooks and 50 different comics will be available at launch. eBooks are poised to be sold via digital coupon codes that you can redeem for specific titles.
Toshiba is also launching a series of iOS and Android apps for the new store and is jumping into the ebook world seriously this time. The company hopes to include its apps in all of the new tablets they launch going forward.
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.