Hands-on With The Entourage Edge

Today Ina Fried over at cnet posted a review of a prototype of the Entourage Edge (or officially, the enTourage eDGe) – a dual screen e-reader looking to replace the 30 pounds of textbooks students currently carry around.

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Head on over for the rest of the read but to give you a little taste, here is some of what she had to say:

“The Edge’s main selling point is, of course, the fact that it has two screens to do true work on. Unlike the Nook, which uses its color screen only for navigating the eBook and as an on-screen keyboard, the Edge’s LCD can be used to run a variety of Android applications or to browse the Web.

The electronic ink side, meanwhile, can be used not only for reading books, but also for taking notes, using a stylus.

One of the Edge’s many neat tricks is letting you go back and forth between the two screens. In particular, one can draw a line over a diagram in an electronic-book and–assuming the graphics are actually stored in color–see the same image in full color on the LCD screen.

The Edge also lets users highlight or annotate text and then navigate between highlights by touching on the color screen, using automatically created bookmarks. The device works with both EPUB and PDF files and has USB ports and SD cards for moving data back and forth, as well as a built-in Wi-Fi connection. It’s also one of the first devices to sport a new chip from Marvell.

In addition to its book display abilities, the Edge also has two microphones for recording a lecture and blocking out background sounds with noise-cancellation (It doesn’t have is the ability to synchronize one’s class notes with the audio, a la Livescribe, but Atkinson said that is something that might be considered for future versions).”

“The enTourage eDGe™ is the world’s first dualbook, combining the functions of an e-reader, netbook, notepad, and audio/video recorder and player in one. It’s a comprehensive device that lets you read e-books, surf the Internet, take digital notes, send emails and instant messages, watch movies and listen to music anywhere, at any time. This is nothing you’ve ever seen before!

Get books wirelessly, move files onto your enTourage eDGe™ using an SD card or a USB flash drive. Use the mini-USB port to move files back and forth from a Windows, MAC, or Linux-based PC. And with a netbook built in, you can forget the limitations of other e-readers, the enTourage eDGe™ does it all!”

Specifications:

Dimensions: 8.25″ x 10.75″ by 1.0″ (closed)
Weight: approx. 2.75 lbs.
Internal Memory: 4 GB (3 GB for user) up to 3000 books
E-reader File Formats: ePub, PDF
LCD Touchscreen Display Size: 1024 x 600 (10.1″)
E-paper Display Size: 9.7″ e-Ink®(1200 x 825), 16 shades of gray
E-paper Input: Wacom® Penabled®
Operating System: Linux with Google® Android®
Screen Rotation: 90 and 180 degrees
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth capability, 3G (future availability)
Battery Life: 16+ hours utilizing the e-reader screen / up to 6 hours running the LCD screen
Battery Type: Lithium-ion polymer
Mobile Modem (optional): EVDO or HSDPA
External Memory: SD card slot, 2 USB ports
Audio and Microphone Jack: 3.5 mm each. Includes internal microphone and speakers.
Audio playback: MP3, WAV, 3GPP, MP4, AMR, AAC, OGG, M4A
Video playback: 3GP, MP4, Adobe Flash Lite (H.264)
Input: Stylus input on e-paper and touchscreen. Virtual keyboard. Bluetooth and USB keyboard (optional)

The device is up for pre-order on their site and is offered in a variety of colors.

[ engadget | cnet | enTourage eDGe ]

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  • swehes

    That is pretty cool. Wonder how useful it would be in a classroom setting?

  • jrun

    I’m not gonna lie, that thing would be way cool to have in a classroom setting. Imagine learning about history, while a video clip plays that describes what you just read.. Or reading about physics and then seeing a diagram of protons and neutrons forming atoms .. etc etc.

    THAT being said.. that would only work for people that want to learn.. cause on the flip side. I would set up some kind of ssh tunneling so that i could get around any kind of school proxy and browse the web, facebook etc while in class.. load up games.. and be completely distracted instead of doing work. SO.. yea, amazing potential for learning.. wish i had when i was in school. but i can definitely see it being used in distracting ways too.. :)

  • Hannes

    I now meen this in a liberal and tolerant way:
    In this video, is this person a man or a woman?
    I think a transvestite. NO problem for me at all, was just wondering – because you normaly don’t see transvetites.

    I think it is good.

  • Terran

    @hannes, was a man. got a sex change. first time i have ever seen er…. her in a video for cnet

  • Steve Hendricks

    Speaking up for the southpaw minority, I wonder if the entire device can be rotated 180 degrees so the left/right orientation works identically as shown for a right-handed person.

  • Patrick

    Has anyone seen how it will do with school books? Is it being backed by any of the book companies or what not. Being a college student, this is like a dream come true. The possibility of never having to pay $150 a text book again and dumping so much weight from my back pack is awesome. But if its not going to be supported by the major book companies and I wont be able to easily find my text books then its not worth it. Anyone know anything about that?

  • Vlad

    IMO, academic setting will be the one and only application of such heavy, ugly, and useless device. It’s not even close to convenience “normal” readers offer. Weak attempt to get goods from both worlds of ereaders and netbooks.

  • ari-free

    fortunately, millions of people go to school. Read Shakespeare (or your 1000+ Cisco certification books) on one side and look up references on the web on the other.

  • Maj

    now we get freaks who do product reviews !!! humanity is going to abyss

  • johnkzin

    I am so looking forward to this device. And I’m not an academic. I plan to use it for meetings (taking notes, tracking documents, etc.), on my commute, as my couch computer, etc. It will probably end up completely replacing my netbook … and making my need to buy an e-reader pretty much moot.

    Also, don’t forget that ereader.com has an Android app that you can install. So, hopefully, that’ll work on the eDGe as well. That gives you 3 different e-book stores to choose from (2 through ereader.com, and 1 through Entourage).

  • Mensahwatts

    Oh my wow…this really looks like the best nonandroid advice to date….very dandy

  • http://twitter.com/mulderc mulderc

    This might be the first android device i want. This could replace more then a few devices i already use such as much kindle and ipod touch.

  • ari-free

    yes this could be very good for professionals. I don’t think Apple or Microsoft is doing anything with e-ink for their rumored future tablets.

  • ari-free

    “I recently sat down to talk to a law student from Catholic University who has been using the enTourage eDGe prototype for her law studies for several months. Nicole Rementer was excited about the possibilities for the interactive dualbook, since it offers so many functions she needs for studying and for her future in law. “Lawyers have to carry and keep track of so much paper. With the enTourage eDGe, you have everything accessible that you need, and you can’t lose it. Plus Entourage Systems offers backup capability. One semester, I lost my laptop six weeks before finals and lost everything with it. Now I back everything up online. With the enTourage eDGe, it would organize not just my books, but my notes and highlights. “

    Nicole continued, “I was able to get all of my casebooks as pdfs, and keep them all together. It’s much easier to carry around one device than all those books. I used the enTourage eDGe journal function to take notes, and I had them right there in class with me. I learned to use tags to keep track of everything by subject. I’m really looking forward to buying one when they become available in February.”

    The use of electronic books will grow as professors learn how to leverage the many capabilities of e-readers, and the multi-functionality of the enTourage eDGe is a perfect fit for combining case law using text and links to other resources. Video clips and audio recordings from actual proceedings can be stored and used right on the device. Once the publishing mindset evolves from paper-oriented academic resources to the greener, more media-rich electronic publishing, there will be plenty more room in college bookstores and in students’ backpacks.

    Susan Ladwig

    Entourage Systems, Inc.”

  • Mensahwatts

    Dam spell checker thing on android phones….sometimes becomes a pain in the culo…I meant to say this might be the best nonandroid phone packed divice out there…and it looks pretty dandy

  • Haruspex

    Apparently you can use it with a Bluetooth or USB keyboard, to boot. That’s so awesome. I’m sold.

  • Ron

    I am very impressed with this new device. I am interested in hyper-linking back and forth between multiple published books and documents of my own creation whether it be a Word type doc or a handwritten notes page. Will the Edge do this today? If it does, I will be putting in my order right away.