Alex eReader On Video


There has been a BUNCH of eReader news this past week with a handful of new devices being announced. Unfortunately for the Alex eReader made by Spring Design, I wasn’t too gentle with the criticism. After watching the video below I’m not a converted fanboy or anything, but perhaps it isn’t as bad as I initially thought:

The video was taken with a mobile phone and all that means is… live with it! The Alex definitely DOES a lot but it just seems clunky and awkward to stack the screens, easy-way-out kinda thing. I’d much rather see a slide-out or flip out screen for the Android portion of the device but hey – to each their own.

Besides the hardware design the capability is kind of cool. You can browse the web, find an article/literature you want from pretty much anywhere including online newspapers and Google books, press a hardware button between the two screens and it “prints” it to the e-Ink screen. It looks like it displays images and HEY, they even e-Inked Wikipedia!

I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. Not my cup of tea and by all means not perfect, but I’m much more fond of it then I was initially and perhaps this will grow on you enough to pick one up. But with all the other options… ?

[technokitty16 via Giz]

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. Looking at the recently-announced crop of dual-screen, LCD+ePaper devices, I think I’d take this one over a Nook because a) it doesn’t hide the fact that it’s an Android device, and b) more apps are likely to run on this display than that of the Nook…assuming the Nook can even do so at all! That said, the Nook is supported by a much larger company and will likely enjoy a much larger breadth of distribution…

  2. First, I’m not in the intended audience for either this, nor the Nook. While I’m all for having an e-reader, my main interest is in having a general purpose (Android or Ubuntu or Maemo or Mer or desktop OS X) tablet in the mid-range size (bigger than a pocketable, smaller than a laptop).

    So, that said, the only thing I find interesting about the Alex is that it’s also usable as a phone. Not a phone you’d hold up to your face, but I don’t do that with my actual cell phone, either. It’s usable as a phone via headsets. (and, consequently, I don’t find the Nook to be interesting at all)

    The Android e-reader I do find compelling is the Entourage eDGe … because it clearly satisfies both the “e-reader” and “general purpose tablet” aspects of a device. And it has the right screen size (for both screens).

    Here’s what I think comes up short on the Alex:
    1) Screen size — at least 8″, preferrably 10″.
    2) the LCD isn’t really a usable screen size to me. What I’d find interesting (on any of the 3 Android e-readers) is a pixelqi type display (LCD and e-ink in one display). A 10″ touchscreen based on pixelqi would be quite interesting in an Android tablet.
    3) Haven’t heard if it’ll work with USB keyboards and/or mice.
    4) video out (#3 and #4 go back to my actual interest — I want both USB host/otg _and_ VGA or DVI-I, so that I can use this device on a KVM, as a semi-general purpose tablet and user machine)

    And, of course, there’s no word on which app store it’ll use, and whether or not regular/standard Android apps will run on the e-ink display (or only on the LCD). If it can use the general App store, that’d be outstanding. ConnectBot, Google Reader, etc.

  3. It reminds me of a PADD from Star Trek.

  4. I’m in love with this thing. I recently bought Sony PRS-600 for my wife, but I need something with backlight for myself, and this device is all I need. Plus my favorite Android! Can’t wait…

  5. As long as the bigger screen can’t be folded or rolled up behind the smaller screen, I’m not really interested…

  6. johnkzin, trust me (I’ve been reading ebooks on my PDA’s and phones for 9 years already), you don’t want a reader that weights 2 pounds. It’s like trying to read an encyclopedia continuously holding it in your hands. There are better ways to work out.

  7. I think something like this would be great if the e-ink screen took up the entire front of the device then you could open it up and inside there was a full qwerty keyboard on the bottom half and a normal Android resolution good-sized screen on the top. You might loose some of the convenience of just sending stuff to the other screen because you’d have to close the device to look at the other side.. but you get a larger area to view the e-ink screen and you get a more functional Android device. That would be pretty nice.

  8. you dumb asses nook got suid by alex for 3 mill because of stolen desien and alex came first for android based in the world becuse it was out 3 months before nook was out.

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