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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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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.


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