India is slowly catching up with the e-reader fever and here is one more e-reader after the ‘Pi’ e-book reader from Infibeam to satiate a growing community of book lovers who seem to be just as ease or perhaps more with the electronic version of the books than their hard cover counterparts.
And it is for these people that the Bangalore based digital publishing company EC Media International have come up with a new e-book reading device which they have named the Wink. Pretty nice name for an e-reader though unfortunately the e-reader does not break any new grounds in design, features or its overall capability. In fact, it will remind one of the Kindle 2 at a time when Amazon has come up with a more advanced version of their popular e-reader and which promises to be an even better e-reader than the Kindle 2 while continuing with the same price. The Wink is also isn’t exactly cheap, since at Rs. 11,500 which translates to about 190 euro or $250, it sure is costly than the new Kindle which comes for $189.
So what is that EC Media has packed into the Wink to justify its price. Let’s find out.
To begin with, the Wink comes in a device that allows its user to listen to music, play games and browse the net, apart from of course reading e-books, all through a 6 inch e-paper display having a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels and 16 shades of gray. At its core is a 400 MHz Samsung processor while on board storage amounts to 2GBs which can be extended further to 16 GB by way of MicroSD cards.
Among its other features, there is a 3.5 mm headphone jack, a USB 2.0 port. To connect to the outside world, the e-reader has been provided with 802.11b/g WiFi and GPRS wireless features. The Wink also boasts of a good battery life that can sustain about 10,000 page turns on a single charge or 10 hours of music playback.
The Wink comes with a Linux based operating system and supports a wide range of document formats including PDF, MS Word documents, Rich Text Format (RTF), HTML and TXT. The e-reader is also compliant with image files of the type JPEG, GIF, TIF and BMP apart from being complaint with audio files like MP3 and AAC as well.
These apart, a unique aspect of the Wink is its ability to comprehend 15 Indian languages, something that’s quite essential in a country that boasts of a huge multi-lingual population. The Wink can also be used to access all the news papers, journals, magazine articles (subscription based) and thousands of e-books from the Wink stores. The Wink store is already home to more than 197,606 e-books and continues to grow with more books and other reading material from all over India and in different languages being added. EC Media has also tied up with publishing houses like Penguin, Roli, Oxford University, Harper Collins, etc. to make available their books on the Wink. EC Media has also come up with the ‘Wink Wire’ which is an e-reader newspaper for news and is a first in India.
The device would be available from September 1st from all Croma outlets in the country. EC Media has also announced there is a 3G version also in the making and will be released sometime soon. How soon, no body knows.