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.