Print 43 comment(s) - last by afkrotch.. on Mar 19 at 5:01 PM

Fujitsu's FLEPia eBook reader, only half an inch thick, comes with an XGA color screen, expandable memory, BlueTooth, a full install of Windows, and a 40 hour battery life. It's available, only in Japan, for a staggering $1,010 US, but given its features seems like to be a hit even at this price.  (Source: Engadget)
Fujitsu new eBook reader is easy on the eyes and hard on the wallet

Last month Amazon announced that it was taking preorders of its Kindle 2 eBook reader, the follow-up to its original eBook reader than burned up sales charts.  The new reader, available for $359, came with 2 GB of memory -- enough to store 1,500 books -- and a 25 percent longer battery life.

Still, as impressive as the Kindle 2 is, it is easily outdone by Fujitsu's FLEPia.  FLEPia, first announced in 2007, is based on a color eBook reader concept first built at Fujitsu in 2006.  Out in only a couple weeks -- but only in Japan -- the reader features an eye-catching 8-inch XGA screen capable of displaying 260,000 colors. 

It also has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and up to 4GB of storage via SD card to boot.  Lack of expandable/swappable storage was one major complaint about the Kindle. The tablet is also only half an inch thick, runs for 40 hours on a charge, and can be commanded by either touch screen or button input.

The device features a full install of Windows CE 5.0, in addition to a standard eBook display.  With the slow refresh times of E-Ink (1.8 seconds per full wipe), using the OS may be a bit impractical.  Still, it adds even more to the already impressive package.

The downside -- and there's only really one -- is the price.  The FLEPia will break the bank at 99,750 Yen (about $1,010 US).

The unit ships across Japan on April 10.  No plans to release the unit in the U.S. have been announced.

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By ZachDontScare on 3/18/2009 2:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
Thats exactly the kind of thing I've been waiting for. A decent, *open*, ebook reader w/ an underlying OS that can run other programs. This would be very cool for remote desktop'ing, too.

Hopefully they can get this thing down below $500. I imagine they can, once production ramps up.

RE: Nice!
By Moishe on 3/18/2009 2:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
Remoting? Did you even read the article? The thing has a screen refresh of 1.8s per wipe. Useless for anything but reading.

RE: Nice!
By DanoruX on 3/18/2009 3:43:02 PM , Rating: 1
Have you ever remoted before? You only get 0.5fps over the net anyway!

RE: Nice!
By Moishe on 3/18/2009 4:04:40 PM , Rating: 2
I use RPD all the time and I get far more than .5 fps. I've not used it on dial-up.

1 frame in 1.8 seconds with a continual refresh would be extremely painful to deal with and the battery life would drop dramatically.

RE: Nice!
By callmeroy on 3/18/2009 4:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto i don't know what the one guy is talking about, naturally it all varies on the speed of your connection, but at work all we do is remote support -- RDP is used by us CONSTANTLY for server and client support issues. There's some clients that have good enough bandwidth I actually get about 30 fps in RDP - its smooth as being there in person. Other clients are much slower, but even the slowest has been at least 5 fps (except when the connection is going down but - c'mon that's kind of common sense).

RE: Nice!
By bupkus on 3/18/2009 3:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
For me it's all about the price. I'd love to own one of these or even the Kindle 2.

RE: Nice!
By quiksilvr on 3/18/2009 3:01:33 PM , Rating: 1
You know, you can just get a netbook for $300 and it has infinitely more capabilities.

RE: Nice!
By h0kiez on 3/18/2009 3:49:33 PM , Rating: 2
And a 40 hour battery life. Oh...wait.

RE: Nice!
By quiksilvr on 3/18/2009 3:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
Besides an international airplane flight, are you reading in a place without a plug for more than 6 hours? And yes, there are netbooks with 6+ hours battery life, especially if the only thing you are doing is reading and not web browsing and whatnot:

RE: Nice!
By Moishe on 3/18/2009 4:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
The 40 hour life is probably estimated for average reading speeds. 200 WPM average with ~250-350 words on a page is a page turn in 60-70 seconds, not continual. You're dropping the battery life from ~40 hrs to probably no more than a few hours... quite possibly comparable to a laptop.

ebook reader
By 2bdetermine on 3/18/2009 2:11:42 PM , Rating: 2
Color Kindle coming REAL soon or may Kindle R.I.P.

RE: ebook reader
By bupkus on 3/18/2009 2:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
I wanted to get a Kindle 2 but even its price seemed a bit high.
What advantage does this device have over a netbook?

RE: ebook reader
By 2bdetermine on 3/18/2009 3:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
"What advantage does this device have over a netbook?"

You can use it to RESUSCITATE Netbook on a long flight.

RE: ebook reader
By bupkus on 3/18/2009 5:15:37 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get it.

RE: ebook reader
By 2bdetermine on 3/18/2009 11:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
"I don't get it."

That was a joke. What I meant was you can use fujitsu 40 hour battery life ebook to recharge the dying netbook on a long flight.

RE: ebook reader
By lightfoot on 3/18/2009 5:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
What advantage does this device have over a netbook?

Maybe that it's optimized for reading books?

RE: ebook reader
By lightfoot on 3/18/2009 6:15:01 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry for replying to my own comment, but the advantages are many...
1. eInk is virtually identical to reading a printed page - totally unlike reading a backlit LCD screen.
2. Battery life on the Kindle 2 is roughly 2 weeks (reduced to 72 hours with 3G Wireless turned on)
3. It is a small form factor that is optimized for reading. (just try holding your netbook like a novel and see if you can easily read from it.)

The only negative is the price. If reading isn't your thing it probably isn't worth it. The Kindle 2 is a full featured eBook reader. A Netbook is a gimped Notebook computer. Both devices can read an eBook, but one does it phenomenally well because it is a specialized device, the other is a general purpose device that can technically do the same function if not as practically.

People buy netbooks to surf the net and check email. If that's what you want, buy a netbook. If you want a device for reading novels, get an eBook reader.

RE: ebook reader
By Alpha4 on 3/18/2009 3:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
Color Kindle coming REAL soon or may Kindle R.I.P.
More like "Colour Kindle coming soon or may Kindle Drop In Price"

RE: ebook reader
By BarkHumbug on 3/19/2009 9:42:23 AM , Rating: 1
LOL, you got voted down because you wanted the Kindle to be cheaper, that's Priceless! ;)

Overpriced piece of useless hardware
By n0nsense on 3/18/09, Rating: 0
RE: Overpriced piece of useless hardware
By Ptosio on 3/18/2009 3:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
Don't you all get the difference between ebook reader and a netbook? In other words: have you ever tried to read a novel from a computer screen?

Go figure:

By consumerwhore on 3/18/2009 4:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you here, I'm dumbfounded as to the number of DailyTech readers that don't know the difference between an ebook and a computer.

RE: Overpriced piece of useless hardware
By 2bdetermine on 3/18/2009 4:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
"Overpriced piece of useless hardware"

Have you ever thought this device could sparks a whole host of electronic printing business or even save printing business (eg. newspaper, magazine etc.).

RE: Overpriced piece of useless hardware
By n0nsense on 3/18/2009 4:48:50 PM , Rating: 2
The difference is exactly as i said,
Computer can do the job of ebook, but ebook can't.
Or in other words, mobile device should be able to do as much as possible in order to reduce the number of devices to possible minimum (1 is perfect).
You can start arguing about experience ...
From my short computer experience (~20years) of which at least half (the later) I mostly read and write documents (long ones), i'm totally comfortable reading books on regular flat panels.
I do prefer paper books though. They can't be replaced by laptop or ebook.

By lightfoot on 3/18/2009 5:55:21 PM , Rating: 2
I do prefer paper books though. They can't be replaced by laptop or ebook.

Then it's obvious that you haven't used (or probably even seen) an eBook reader like the Kindle.

RE: Overpriced piece of useless hardware
By afkrotch on 3/18/2009 8:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
Guessing you've never used an ebook. They are fabulous. Ability to carry tons of books in a small form. For me, it's manga. I'm able to carry over 200 volumes in a single memory stick. Yes, it's possible to actually read them all in a single flight.

Also you have the ability to zoom in and out. No need for reading glasses. Just increase the font size.

I already replaced all my books with .PDFs for the ebook.

By n0nsense on 3/19/2009 2:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
I never owned an ebook, since i can't find justification for this kind of device. I played with them on few occasions and came to conclusion that at home i can read normal paper book and on the go i can use my Tablet/PDA. I carry one almost all the time for other things. On the last trip (Thailand) i took only phone which can only provide music player, movie player, even ebook reader + calls, radio, gps and internet. it has only 8GB + SD and pared with 32GB disk on key can store more then enough.
I finished 5 paper books in 4 weeks and never carried more then one. Book shops everywhere.
Have you ever tried tablet ?
yes it more expensive and you should not by one for book reading.
But if you follow the link in my first post you'll find perfect media/web/ebook device for just 299USD. same form factor as this upcoming device but with much more capabilities. It has ebook reading software, but can handle any text format. The only difference is the panel type. The downside is so small and advantages so big, that only people that only read books on the go may think about this device. Other reasons for buying such device are probably of "I can buy it" kind.

No Thanks
By callmeroy on 3/18/2009 4:23:36 PM , Rating: 5
You folks are either rich, insane or very very very very into the "must have the latest tech toy so I can brag about it" crowd.

$1 grand for a ebook reader? You won't be able to do much with it -- it doesn't have the processing power for anything that complex.

also black and white is actually easier on the eyes for long term reading --- color displays will make you more prone to get a headache and induce eye strain faster than black and white will at the same font or resolution.

I think Kindles are insane too for the price.

Its all novelty crap being bought by folks who just HAVE to have new toys.

Well the majority anyway, I can see a valid reason for someone who travels a lot and is a very avid reader why they'd like a Kindle.

both units are too expensive for what they offer.

But that's just my humble opinion.

I'll stick with buying paper backs for now.

RE: No Thanks
By afkrotch on 3/18/2009 8:12:23 PM , Rating: 2
I think they're looking at this for more than just black and white books. Like color magazines.

I use the Sony eReader. I use it 5 days out of the week. Throw manga on and take it with me to work. Also make four international flights across the Atlantic or Pacific each year.

If National Geographic put out a color ebook version of their magazine, I'd be all over this color ebook. Save me a lot of money and space too.

RE: No Thanks
By wordsworm on 3/19/2009 1:09:12 AM , Rating: 2
You know what I think is insane? People who pay $5000 for a computer just so they can play Crysis at the highest settings possible, and do so every year so that they can have the latest and greatest at all times.

Or, people who buy a car every year or two.

Now, I took a look for Milton's Paradise Lost on Amazon and it sells for $10-20. I'm into the classics - maybe you're not. In any case, after you buy about 30-40 books for $10 each, you're at $300-400. Want to bring your library with you on your flight? Well, now you can.

I understand why you wouldn't want to pay $300-1010 for an ebook reader. Neither do I. But, for those who have money to burn, it's pretty easy to see why they pay for these devices.

RE: No Thanks
By afkrotch on 3/19/2009 1:23:50 PM , Rating: 2
Sony gives you 100 free classical books with a purchase of an ebook. I only grabbed "Taming of the Shrew" and "War and Peace". Maybe I'll grab a few more later. I also got some torrents of all my Tom Clancy books. I usually rebuy those books every couple years, as I read them over and over again. They get tore up. No need to worry about that anymore.

Think I'm on my 5th copy of Rainbow Six and 3rd copy of Red Storm Rising. Not sure which copy of Jurassic Park I'm on. Been reading that one over and over again since the movie first released.

Alright, alright, so I get it
By joex444 on 3/18/2009 6:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
So I understand that using an LCD screen to read books is not pleasurable and that eBook readers are specifically designed to do this like a regular book, and all that.

But before you go defending it saying it isn't an overpriced piece of technology that can't do what netbooks do for less, think about this:

The Kindle2 is $360. This is $1010. If you want an eBook reader to read books, is color really that important you'd spend an extra $650 to get it?

And if you now think the Kindle2 is such a great value, I have to wonder how often you read. I'll admit, I read a book every couple of years, outside of the assigned texts. (If you count assigned texts, then its probably around 10-12 books per year, but try learning Differential Equations from an eBook... its just much easier to use a real book for this).

But the price comes back. Its $360. Granted, Kindle books are usually cheaper than hardcover. Almost all Kindle books are $9.99. And many aren't in paperback yet, which means the only other way to buy them is a hardcover. Prices do vary, but on average I believe a hardcover is around $21. You save $11 each book. Not bad. But this means you need to buy 32 before the Kindle pays for itself; the 33rd book is when it becomes cheaper to have bought the Kindle. But if you mostly read books published years ago, the paperbacks are available for around $10 or even less. You actually lose money buying the Kindle version. It doesn't take long to find this out, I spent 4 seconds on Amazon and found a paperback fiction for $9.55 whose Kindle equivelant was offered at $9.99. What's the point?

So depends. If you read a lot of new books, I could see a Kindle saving you money after about 33 books. If you mostly read older books and don't stay up to date with book releases, then I think paperback is the more economical choice (as much as I personally despise paperbacks in favor of hardcover). And lastly, I'm not sure I want textbooks in digital format. With hard sciences and math where you tend to flip through a lot to find some equation that you know generally where it is but not exactly, I think an actual book is much easier than using an eBook. For a Literature class, I could see this being a lot more convenient than carry books around.

RE: Alright, alright, so I get it
By lightfoot on 3/18/2009 7:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
By the same logic, do you realize how many pieces of mail you'd have to send to justify the cost of a Netbook? At $299 you'd have to send nearly 712 First Class letters for eMail ever to be worth it. Yes you'd be saving money by the time you sent the 713 e-mail, but who is ever going to do that?? If you want to save money you should just send postcards. That eMail stuff will never take off.

Don't just think of the Kindle and other eBook readers as just a reader - think of them as the whole damn library.

RE: Alright, alright, so I get it
By afkrotch on 3/18/2009 8:19:39 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget magazines, newspapers, etc that are available for the Kindle. Some ppl might not read a book often, but ppl do seem to read mags, newspapers, etc a lot.

The Kindle subscriptions are cheaper, plus it's a lot easier to deal with. Look how big a freaking newspaper is.

The problem is there's not enough mag/newspaper companies making Kindle ebook subscriptions.

That is cool!!
By Moishe on 3/18/2009 1:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care about the fact that it runs WinCE because of the slow refresh, but having a nice tablet, color, expandable with SD, etc.... Very nice piece of hardware. We just need a lower price.

RE: That is cool!!
By afkrotch on 3/19/2009 5:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think the WinCE would be somewhat beneficial. Get into a hotspot and check your email. Don't need a high refresh rate for websurfing either.

Now would suck if the website has some kind of animated gif on it.

The Kindle will still dominate
By Alpha4 on 3/18/2009 3:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think the novelty of having a black & white display will appeal to many of the traditionalists that might do a lot of reading in the first place.

As well, the Fujitsu reader appears to be bulkier in that photo, though I haven't compared the official metrics.
Speaking of which, that image will make an excellent addition to

RE: The Kindle will still dominate
By afkrotch on 3/18/2009 8:21:36 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, the thing looks pretty big. I prefer it to be smaller and fit in a cargo pocket.

By Cullinaire on 3/18/2009 6:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
I just love all these people whining about how overpriced brand new tech is...and to think they've been around technology for a while you'd think they'd understand!

RE: Haha
By Cullinaire on 3/18/2009 6:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
No, I can't afford any of it either. But I don't spend time wondering why the sky is blue!

Right away...
By Raidin on 3/18/2009 3:24:03 PM , Rating: 2
The first thing I saw when I opened this article is "Grand Open!!"

Good to know
By laok on 3/18/2009 9:51:38 PM , Rating: 2
Nice to see something in color. But I am only willing to pay about $100 for such a gadget (either BW or color one); when the competition will drive the price down to that point? Or the eInk patent holder(s) will never allow that?

By icanhascpu on 3/18/2009 10:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
1000$ for a ebook reader.

I hope they misstyped and put in one too many zeros there. Those yen are crazy like that.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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