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Android Books Handhelds Hardware

More On enTourage's Dual-screen E-Book Reader 82

Posted by timothy
from the want-it-right-now dept.
Barence writes with some more information on a device mentioned in passing earlier today: "The enTourage eDGe eBook reader was the highlight of the CES Unveiled event, which gives journalists a sneak preview of what’s set to appear this year’s show. It has a 9.7in e-paper display on one side and a 10.1in LCD screen on the other, both of which are touchscreens, allowing you to annotate eBooks with handwritten notes or scan through web pages with the flick of a finger on the LCD screen. In a brief hands-on demonstration, the eDGe showed several clever touches, such as allowing you to perform a Google search on the term using the built-in web browser, and then link the search results to the eBook page, which is a great research tool for students reading academic texts. It's an Android device, too."
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More On enTourage's Dual-screen E-Book Reader

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  • The highlight? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @06:51PM (#30676266)
    Who defines what the highlight is? I've never been to anything CES and don't know a ton about it (aside from reading about it every year), so I don't know if maybe they actually do pick one item as a highlight... or this it the highlight according to the submitter :)
  • by jmcbain (1233044) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @07:11PM (#30676438)
    I am seriously dating myself here. I've always wanted the computer [tumblr.com] book [tumblr.com] used by Penny from the Inspector Gadget cartoon. I always thought that was the ideal form factor for a PDA/computer. The closest thing I ever found was the HP-28 calculator [wikipedia.org], but that's been out of production for over a decade. Now finally! we are getting it.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by nomadic (141991)
      I am seriously dating myself here.

      As you're on slashdot, I doubt anyone else would. Drum roll, please.
    • That's not too much of a date. I liked that cartoon. :)
    • I am seriously dating myself here. I've always wanted the computer [tumblr.com] book [tumblr.com] used by Penny from the Inspector Gadget cartoon. I always thought that was the ideal form factor for a PDA/computer. The closest thing I ever found was the HP-28 calculator [wikipedia.org], but that's been out of production for over a decade. Now finally! we are getting it.

      Dating yourself as what, over 25?

    • I agree with a book being the ideal form factor. It's easier to hold a book with one hand than a laptop.
      One version could even provide a real keyboard split in two on the bottom of each side, no stylus typing or touchscreens needed.

      The scifi anime series Ergo Proxy also features a book style handheld wiith the ability to flip and rotate holographic(?) pages. Best version I've seen so far.
  • by d474 (695126) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @07:11PM (#30676444)
    ...it is a very ugly piece of hardware. The silver plastic looks cheap, and the wide frame surrounding the screens is a major step backwards in display design. I would be shocked if this ugly mid-90's looking DS tablet sells well at all.

    Design is important in hardware sales because it creates the emotional response in the potential customer. Even if logic dictates that this is a "good" piece of hardware, emotion will over rule it by saying, "yeah, but it's kind of ugly, so it can't be that good...". And emotion is always what wins over the masses.
    • ...it is a very ugly piece of hardware.

      It looks like two Newtons stuck together.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by icegreentea (974342)
      One thing about the wide frames is that it makes it easier to hold without touching the screen. Which kinda seems important when you're dealing with touchscreens.
      • True. Although, software can help solve that problem. Also, with something as large as a tablet, width and height are generally not as important as they are for a pocketable device, so bigger bezels make even more sense.

      • by d474 (695126)
        Yes, but they are called "touch screens" so why should it be an issue to touch it if you are holding it? There is no reason why they couldn't program in the "gesture" of holding the book so that the screen doesn't respond to a holding gesture.
    • You know, I looked at the article and looked at the device and thought it looked very nice, not ugly, not cheap or any of the things you described. I think the iTouch is fine to look at and functions well, the Kindle looks a bit less 'cool' but darn that thing works like a charm. If it functions as described it seems pretty darn great to me and the looks are good as well. I'm reminded of the US Air Force A-10 plane, called the 'Warthog' by some, Tank Killer by others. Definitely not sleek, definitely not a
    • I think you are missing the link between function and aesthetics in design. People often favor a design with good aesthetics, not just because of some over-ruling emotion response, but because it's often a reflection of good functional design. It shows that someone has spent a lot of time and energy thinking about the product, and that they understand certain design principles. This doesn't mean that good looking designs are always functional, of course, but they aren't on the opposite sides of a spectrum l

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      I think the concept is awesome, but that was the first thing I thought too: damn that thing is ugly!

      I don't care so much about that though, they could just use white plastic instead of grey and all of the sudden it is pretty, or black shiny plastic and suddenly it is "slick" looking. Not that big of a hurdle really. Straighter edges maybe, they dont' need to do much to make it a lot more attractive.

      My concerns were more about the apparent bulk of the thing. A full 10" LCD is cool, but can I separate the

    • by am 2k (217885)

      Well, I thought the same about the first Kindle (actually, in my opinion the first Kindle is even worse than this gadget), and it did sell well enough, as far as I've heard...

    • by delinear (991444)
      Even if it only encourages the more design-oriented companies that are working on these to incorporate some of the more useful features, it will have been a win (maybe not for the company, but for consumers). I'd like to have design AND functionality out of the box for once, instead of being forced to choose.
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @07:12PM (#30676452)
    Might sell; will probably be too pricey to be successful. I have one question: with a touchscreen on each side, how does it keep from scratching one screen up while you are using the other? Also, although I'm sure an eInk display is a big win in terms of power consumption, I'm still not convinced it is that much more readable than a color LCD. Resolution is good, contrast not so much... maybe I'm just bothered by the slow page update time.
    • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @07:30PM (#30676710) Homepage Journal

      "maybe I'm just bothered by the slow page update time."

      It's faster thena human turing a page. It's just that you have learned to ignore the effects of page turning. It's like reading with sonmeone else and watching them turn the page. If you arn't used to it, it will seem slow.

      ebooks are about being digital books, not about competing with a laptop.

      Say what you want, eBooks are easier to use like a regular book then any laptop.

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        I don't want to use an eBook like a regular book. I want to scroll through text instead of paging (paper books tend to page break in awkward places, like right in the middle of a word), and I want to search though text to find specific phrases. Preferably the eBook should combine the advantages of paper with the advantages of a laptop, and let me choose between the functional equivalent of the two when there is a conflict. If done right, a touchscreen should be a big win over a mouse for navigation (worse r
      • by Fëanáro (130986)

        It's faster thena human turing a page.

        Only if you are turning pages one at a time.

        If you want to check what was written a few pages back, or want to skip ahead, or just flip through the book, an ereader is still terribly slow.

        Granted you get the ability to search for strings in exchange, but still, this is what I miss most

        • I have to agree with you. There are times when I was a kid playing D&D where I would forget a rule and need to look it up... I found the rule because I remember that the thing I was looking for was "between this section and this section" ... I would remember the sections not by title, but by pictures, or the "shape of the paragraph" (if that makes any sense).

          I cant grep through a digital book looking for something that I forget the word for.

        • I see that not so much as a problem for actual literature (in which I usually don't have to search back), but more of a problem with scientific texts.
          In these books I tend to go forward and back a lot more checking references.

          So unless someone comes up with a quick way of scrolling I wouldn't use ebook readers for anything other than normal story books.
        • by Zerth (26112)

          Several ereaders have "jump to page X" or "jump to X%" features.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @07:49PM (#30676888)

      I'm sure an eInk display is a big win in terms of power consumption, I'm still not convinced it is that much more readable than a color LCD.

      Try both at the beach and get back to us. Emissive displays just don't make sense in well-lit areas - why waste battery power trying to out-shine the sun?

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        A valid point -- my smartphone display is virtually unreadable in direct sunlight. I guess I must spend most of my time in the dark! Combining both in a single device might just be a "best of both worlds" solution -- provided it doesn't make it too expensive.
      • actually... reading eink in bright sunlight isn't terrific either.

        During the summer I went to the beach with my PRS 505. Whenever I flipped the page, the "ink" was very washed out. I noticed that if a shadow was on the reader the ink was better. I eventually got into a rhythm where I would flip the page in the shadow, then read in full sunlight.

  • by hwyhobo (1420503) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @07:26PM (#30676656)

    The TFA didn't point to the full-spec page:

    enTourage eDGe [entourageedge.com]

    Battery should last 16 hours using E-reader alone. Not exactly a record breaker, but usable. The right side is a complete netbook attached to the E-reader. Not a bad combination for travelers. I kind of like the idea, whether this particular implementation is perfect or not. For what it offers, the price is not bad, either.

    Just fixed the f****** capitalization of it, fer crying out loud. Is the intended market teenage mallrats?

    • by dangitman (862676)

      Just fixed the f****** capitalization of it,

      ProTip: When you use it as a wildcard, you only need one asterisk. And what do the Flemish have to do with this device, anyway?

  • I'm sure this device has a lot going for it, but for my reading enjoyment, I'm still waiting for devices with better screens from qualcomm/mirasol or pixel qi. In nicer packages, I hope. I don't need two flawed screens hinged together, I need a single screen that's more functional than e-ink.

  • As much as I like the innovation to that goes into such ideas, I can't help but think of this as a hack to try and get the best of both worlds. I think it's poor design. Not to mention the problems with dual screen interfaces.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If those super-thin transparent OLED displays ever take off, we'll be able to just lay those over an e-Paper display. (Yes, I say this every time one of these stories comes up. So far, nobody has built even a prototype... that I know of, anyway)

      • That might be a bit better but it still means you have put two screens in a device just because neither display is ideal. Space taken up by the other display, the housing, and the hinge mechanics is space that you could use for a higher capacity battery to compensate for the higher drain of an LCD or OLED display. Yes, then you no longer get the readability benefits and the battery life still won't be as good, but are those issues really that important? For a dedicated eBook reader, I'd say so, but not for

  • I love my Kindle, and often find that critics of the device who claim that it has no benefit beyond a laptop or a paperback are simply not familiar enough with the device. Having said that, I'm not sure what the benefits of this thing (excuse me: tHIs THinG) are, over and above a separate netbook and e-reader. I can see some minor synergies, such as TFA's reference to sending search results to the e-ink half of the device, but is that really worth the extra weight and complexity? Of course, I don't thin

    • by delinear (991444)
      Actually I think this would be a nice device for reading news and magazine articles - e-ink is great for flat text and battery life but it's nice occasionally to see full colour images or even video. Would also be useful for text books with diagrams etc, but as I said before, they really need to thin it down a lot more to make it practical, otherwise you may as well carry two devices around.
    • Having said that, I'm not sure what the benefits of this thing (excuse me: tHIs THinG) are, over and above a separate netbook and e-reader.

      Price for the combined display sizes. Overall weight for the combined display sizes.

      tHIs THinG may be perfect for a niche of readers, but I don't see this device going anywhere. That's too bad, because I want a much more diverse field of e-readers out there, in order to encourage publishers to settle on a uniform format.

      There's quite a lot of diversity in e-readers (and

  • What's the point in investing in an ebook reader if your locked in?

    I want a central copy registry where I have legal registration for copies I own and am guaranteed indefinite ownership and am guaranteed the right to transfer my ownership for individual items.. And I want to be able to lend items to people. Same as a physical book.

    I want it an outside legal trust independent of any publisher with both the monetary backing to last over a hundred years and an endorsement by the US Senate and the EU and audi

    • What's the point in investing in an ebook reader if your locked in?

      All ebook readers I know of will read DRM-free formats fine, and very many publishers publish DRM-free ebooks. Many eBook readers, particularly those that runs an eBook store for books that they don't produce also support one or more forms of DRM. But there is enough DRM free content available in major formats that, to me at least, it doesn't make sense to use the existence of DRM-laden eBooks that might be at risk if a vendor stopped suppor

  • In the current market, hardware-only e-book makers like this have no chance at all. Amazon has their e-book library [amazon.com], B&N has one [barnesandnoble.com], Sony has one [sony.com]... the proliferation of e-libraries isn't a problem in itself, except each is tied to the same brand of hardware, and nothing else. With iTunes and iPhone apps, Apple has pushed media lock-in further than I ever thought would be successful. I congratulate their shareholders, but I still think it's a terrible idea. It's like we're reverting from the era of the
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @08:19PM (#30677150) Homepage

      not really. I have several thousand PDF files I'd kill to carry around. 300 from the Crestron library on their own. I dont want to read some silly escapism story, I want a functional display to view important Docs and texts. If I could find a good one that actually did really good PDF rendering and had upgradeable storage (The sony reader FAILS with it's paltry non upgradeable storage) and I dont want to pay for a 3G connection that I will not use.

      Give me a non DRM, non crappy eink reader with a 8.5X11 display. I'll be all over it as well as millions of other professionals and students.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by RattFink (93631)

        The sony reader FAILS with it's paltry non upgradeable storage

        Sony has 3 models out all but one (the cheapest) support Memory Stick and SD cards.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        (The sony reader FAILS with it's paltry non upgradeable storage)

        You mean the Sony Readers that have both SD card and Memory Stick Pro slots? Yeah, I hate that you can't put additional memory cards into those slots......
      • "non DRM" -- I thought all ereaders can read non-DRM formats anyway, is there one that can't?

        • Will those DRM enabled reader communicate with any computer transfering data on any direction without requiring administrative access for installing weard drivers? And will they work on Linux, BSD, and etc?

          There is a lot you lose by having the option of accessing DRMed media, take you head out of the sand.

      • by ubrgeek (679399)
        Lumpy - Agree with you 100%. In fact, the lack of color PDF support is the only thing I dislike about my Kindle - and I'm definately a Kindle fanboy. While there are good apps for the iPhone (I can't speak to other devices. I only have the iPhone and the Kindle) to view PDFs in color, they require scrolling from side-to-side to see the whole page. And with PDFs on things like Web design (or color theory) it's really not useful to view them on the Kindle. Regardless of being a Mac fanboy, I'd look seriously
  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @08:55PM (#30677462)
    The problem with linking a google search to a page of an academic text is that the web is dynamic. Today's search hits won't be around tomorrow, or might be edited, have a changed layout etc, whereas an academic text is timeless. As a student, you're much better off going to the library to look up the references directly rather than relying on web clippings as if they were real notes.
    • by kalbzayn (927509)
      Our library lets us check out ebooks for free from My Media Mall (http://www.mymediamall.net/) using my library card. I just found out about it the other day and haven't had a chance to try it yet but I know a lot of public libraries have similar arrangements. Call your local librarian and ask them if they have something similar.
    • and .... *drum roll please*... we have google scholar to help.

  • I don't particularly read books. But, my girlfriend reads often. She goes to the library, checks the book out, reads it, and takes it back. She never buys a book especially fiction. I see a lot of companies developing e-readers like this one. With all these e-reader coming out, I thinking this must be the future; but, what happens to the library? How does my girlfriend check out an e-book?
    • by great om (18682)

      my library (the new york public library) has thousands of ebooks. Most are currently in PDF format, but ePub is becoming very common (the PDFs are ok to use, the epubs are just like the purchased books from the Sony store). My wife uses her the nypl.org website to download them to her sony reader. They do not work (as far as I am aware) on the kindle, but are supposed to work in the nook as well. Its super convenient. The books expire in something like 20-21 days. The biggest snafu is that they only

  • 9.7in e-paper display on one side and a 10.1in LCD screen on the other...

    That strange rumble you just heard was the sound of a million obsessive-compulsive, anal-retentive, symmetry-loving neatniks simultaneously cursing upon reading those specs.

  • Behold! My 3 screens ebook!!! lolbbq, before you know it, you'd be holding a 143 screen ebook containing all 143 pages of Technology for Dummies.

  • If nothing else, maybe these new devices will put some pressure on Amazon to do one or more of:

    1.) Add PDF annotation and/or zoom support. These are important for those with lots of PDF documents/articles to read.

    2.) Add a touch screen (helps with selecting text and general navigation)

    3.) Lower the $489 price (looks rather silly if this device can offer a second LCD screen and both be touch screens at the same price point, though the Kindle has cell access)

  • I saw this video on TED a couple of weeks ago (I don't visit TED regularly). My guess is that it would have been presented in TED India conference, which was months ago. Is slashdot getting sluggish?
    • by brajbir (1109999)
      Posted it on the wrong news item. WAs meant for the news item on dragonflies crossing oceans... Please ignore
  • by vanyel (28049) * on Thursday January 07, 2010 @03:19PM (#30686184) Journal

    One of the nuisances of reading a paper book is holding the thing open, now we get that inconvenience in an ebook too!

    I'll stick with one page thanks.

  • swEeT jEsuS mAKe thE namIng iNsanIty sToP!

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