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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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RE: ebook reader
By lightfoot on 3/18/2009 5:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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.


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