enTourage eDGe: Dualbook Round 2


Yesterday we showed you folks the Alex Android eReader and pretty much denounced its existence as a useful device – some of you agreed and some of you disagreed. It is a Kindle-like device but instead of just having one e-Ink screen it also adds a capacitive touchscreen and allows the two screens to interact. I say meh. A far more interesting idea in my opinion is the enTourage eDGe Dualbook announced today:


It claims to combine the functionality of the following devices:

  • e-reader
  • netbook
  • notepad
  • audio/video recorder
  • audio/video player

Yes… but will it run Crysis? In all seriousness the success/failure of these products is in how well they blend portability with usability. In the case of the Alex eReader I don’t think the design performed up to par but in THIS case I can see the form factor working. You’ve got 2 screens of equal size that, when not being used, fold back into one compact container. I do have one issue though:

Having dual screens is like having dual monitors and sure, it would be useful and fun to be browsing the web or instant messaging friends while using your dualbook. But you won’t ALWAYS want to do this, especially considering the purpose for this is on-the-go portability. What if you just want to read a book? What if you just want to be surfing the web or using Android functionality? In that case, folding the enTourage eDGe open and always having 2 screens display seems like a bit much. If they could have the screens somehow fold underneath each other or even fold so far open that the backs touch and the screens are facing completely opposite sides, locking to that position, I would find the form factor much more enjoyable.

That being said I find this a much better start for dual functionality than the Alex. That doesn’t mean I don’t find fault with the enTourage eDGe but hey – when you’re trying to innovate you’re going to make mistakes and you can’t be afraid to try something crazy that might be a bit off. One place I wish they wouldn’t have done this though is the name – can we please stop using capital letters in the wrong place for the sake of being cutesy? If that was your goal you could have announced this last year as the Entouragr. Awful, really.

The enTourage eDGe is $490 and ships in February 2010. If you ante up another $40 bucks you’ll have the option of Ruby Red, Glacier White or Icy Blue encasing. Otherwise you’re stuck with Midnight Blue.

The company put up a chart comparing the Entourage Edge with the Amazon Kindle DX, IREX DR800SG and Sony Digital Reader Daily Edition. Even if you just want to compare the other 3 to eachother it is kind of useful. Of course you know which way the bias leans:



  • Dimensions: 8.25″ x 10.75″ by 1.0″ (closed)
  • Weight: 2.5 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®
  • Connectivity: 3G, WiFi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth capability
  • Battery Life: Up to 6 hours
  • 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
  • Video playback: MP4, 3GP
  • Input: Stylus input on e-paper and touchscreen. Virtual keyboard. Bluetooth keyboard (optional)

[Via CrunchGear]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. If the e-paper display could be used as a QWERTY keyboard, then perhaps this form factor could offer a promising compromise between eBook reader and netbook. However, this would be a tall implementation order for a touch screen, since most folks rest their hands on their keyboard while typing.

  2. I think the biggest question for this device is if it will have in large friendly letters on the back “DON’T PANIC”

  3. They announced this one yesterday on engadget. I went and tracked down the vendor’s site, and even sent them a bunch of questions in email.

    So far, it sounds like the e-paper can only be used with a stylus. If that’s the case, then you can’t use it as a “keyboard” for the LCD, unfortunately. That would be one of my two big changes/gripes.

    The other one: Android’s web browser only does mobile versions of Google Apps. On a phone sized screen, no problem. But on a 10″ 1024×600 screen? No, I want a full web browser, with full Google Apps, and with Flash.

    The other thing I would want is: a better VNC viewer client, that does full VNC password support when tunneling through ssh/ConnectBot.

    I also hope it has video out, and will work with USB keyboards (it has 3 USB ports, but their page only mentions Bluetooth keyboards). An internal 3G option would be cool, but I’m actually happy enough with wifi.

    Other than that, I’m actually quite excited about this one. I plan to shell out the money for it when it’s ready. Just wish it came in black :-)

    Oh, and, about your dual screen concern. The hinge looks a lot like the Nokia E90 hinge… which, as far as I recall, could bend all the way back upon itself. Maybe you can do that with this device, folding one screen back (instead of sliding it under), somehow telling the device which screen to turn off, and then use it just like a single-screen tablet. Though, that’d be a bit of a thick tablet, but still.

    Here’s hoping this one releases, and on time! If it has everything I want, I’m going to be much more interested in this than an Apple tablet … and they’ll even have beat Microsoft to market with something akin to the Courier concept.

  4. Well, judging by the picture of the device on their comparison chart, the device is already opened to 270 degrees. If it goes to 270, one would imagine that 360 is supported.

  5. good point ponman, I overlooked that.

  6. @Integgroll Well done :)

    I think this device looks very appealing. I can see your issue with having two screens available when only one is needed could be a frustration, but I also think the potential for reading an eBook while surfing the net, listening to music, etc. would be really useful.

    Imagine reading a book like War and Peace or the The Silmarillion and having a dictionary / Wikipedia / etc. open in the other screen so you can look up words you don’t understand, or locations you know nothing about? It could be very powerful.

    Also — my question is: Does the 16-shades-of-grey ePaper side run on the same processor and memory as the Android side? If so, I can foresee some serious lag, but there is the potential of interacting with the eBook side using the Android side (meaning you could likely find a way to get an on-screen keyboard to work on either the eBook side or the Android side to interact with the other, giving you an ideal dual-screen-netbook format).

    However, if the two sides are completely independent, then what are the specifications for either side? I don’t see a processor speed up there, and if both sides are independent, then can you *just* run the ePaper side and significantly increase battery life?

    Questions, questions… at the end of the day, though, I think this is a great device!

  7. After seeing the Microsoft Courier prototype, I think I’ll eventually carry something with a form factor like this instead of a phone most of the time… Maybe about half this size… Hopefully for my next purchase after the moto droid…

  8. According to the demo on their siteyou can type on the e-paper screen using the Android keyboard on the touhscreen.

    And of course you can use the android keyboard natively on the touchscreen, or an external usb keyboard on both.

  9. Shit that’s a lot of info. Almost makes me want an ebook. good job Rob!

  10. If you go their website http://www.entourageedge.com you will see images of it folded over 360 degrees to access the eBook or Netbook alone. Go to the home page and click on the “see more”.

    They even show a picture of it streaming a video lecture. Cool.

  11. I saw a prototype of this at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The screens do indeed fold back on each other which, as you mention Rob, does make it much more appealing. This is definitely a step in the right direction as far as eReaders are concerned. Being able to write on it is very cool, particularly for the future of student e-textbooks. It is a bit thick however, but I imagine that will probably change in future versions. I’d love to mess around with it more and check it out but can’t do the $490 required.

  12. Before I buy this I need some answers:

    . My most recent book purchases on my Kindle have been Brown’s The Lost Symbol and Gellman’s Angler, both just recently released and both already best sellers. Before I buy anyone else’s reader I want to know that I can buy just released books that are destined to be best sellers for less than $10 each.

    . I can get about a week of reading on my Kindle with one battery charge; the Kindle 2 can do 2 weeks. Here we’re talking about 6 hours. It would seem that I could get days instead of hours if I spend most of my time reading on the e-ink reader, but I’d think that if that’s the case the eDGe would advertise that fact. 6 hours is not enough.

    . There’s mention of an optional EVDO modem. Can I natively connect using free EVDO as I can with my Kindle (30 second book downloads) or are additional costs involved?

    . Is dictionary on the fly available as there is on the Kindle (a much appreciated feature).

    . How good is the operating system as built in (if it works in a manner similar to my my Samsung Omnia internet cell phone, forget it).

    Hopefully beta models of this will be made available to independent reviewers before this gadget actually hits the market.

  13. Those of us who brave it and buy the first version ought to get a friendly upgrade after the bugs are worked out and physical adjustments have been implemented. Will the 3G facet allow the device to be used as a cell phone?
    Would one be able to run Microsoft “One-Note” on it?
    How about all those nifty “Apps” available for the Iphone, would they run on it?

  14. Having two screens while reading is a killer feature (at least for me it is). But I don’t want to read two screens like a book.

    My biggest objection to ebook readers for reading non-fiction books with illustrations, diagrams or code is that I need to keep a copy of the illustration visible while turning the pages of the book. You cannot do this with a regular ebook, but this device can do it and from the videos it looks dead simple.

    That plus the ability to annotate an ebook makes this a compelling ebook reader for non-fiction books.

    Plus, most technical books weigh in at about the same size and weight as this guy so its bulk is not such a big objection. I can see having a smaller, lighter, thinner ebook reader for reading fiction or newspapers but for non-fiction this guy looks great.

  15. Looks as if this review was written without ever looking at the company’s web site. Almost all the “concerns” expressed – such as not being able to fold over completely are dispelled in text, images and video on their website.

  16. I agree, Steve.
    After reading this, it’s obvious phandroid should stick to reviewing Android PHONES and leave the other android devices alone, as it is clearly out of their capacity. At least Rob’s who can’t do basic research or make simple observations. This article is grossly inaccurate and should be removed or updated.
    Further more, someone writing for a site called phandroid should be saying, “can we please stop using capital letters in the wrong place for the sake of being cutesy? If that was your goal you could have announced this last year as the Entouragr. Awful, really.” Would that make you the kettle or the pot?

  17. In the video it shows the device folded 360 degrees, is that what you guys referring too ?
    It looks pretty good so far, I would like for Cnet or one of the other popular electronic reviewers take a shot at this to see what they think.

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