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Reader lacks Li-ion batteries and 3G/WiFi connectivity, but has all the basics, slick form factor

An e-reader for $13 USD?  Say it ain't so.

This one falls under the almost too good to be true category, but it turns out it's real, thanks to a German company called "Txtr", which doubles as an e-book vendor.  

Dubbed the "txtr beagle", the company brags the e-reader is the world's thinnest and lightest e-reader device, weighing a mere 0.282 lb (128 grams) and measuring a mere 0.197 in. (5 mm) thick.  The 5-inch (diagonal) footprint packs a 800x600 eight-level grayscale E-INK display, similar to the displays in older Kindles.

The device has no expandable memory, but has 4 GB worth of NAND flash storage -- enough for 5 cached books.  Common formats such as epub and pdf are supported.

So far the device is exclusively for owners of Android smartphones (which, to be fair, there's plenty of).  This restriction is due to how e-books are pushed to the device.  As it lacks any sort of port, e-books trickle to the device via Bluetooth pairing with a special txtr app, which is currently Android-exclusive.


If that works for you, the device is available in four colorful body options:
  • Jade Green
  • Grapefruit
  • Purple
  • Turquoise
Txtr Beagle

The only other downside to the $13 USD device is that it has no built-in charger/battery pack.  However, thanks to hibernation technology txtr promises the reader's 2 AAA batteries are good for either a year of standby or 12-15 books.

For comparison's sake Amazon.com, Inc.'s (AMZN) cheapest ad-supported Kindle e-reader is $69 USD.  A critical caveat?  As well-priced as the txtr beagle may be, it does not appear to be currently available -- the device's homepage suggests interested customers sign up for an email list.  Whether this can prove a "Kindle-killer" could boil down to how quickly txtr can bring actual physical product to market.

Source: txtr beagle



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4GB of spcae and only 5 books?
By HrilL on 10/11/2012 12:27:06 PM , Rating: 5
This has to be a mistake. A normal ebook is 10-50MB of data. Even with an OS on there it should have more than 3GB of Free space. It likely would hold 60 or so 50MB ebooks...




RE: 4GB of spcae and only 5 books?
By Etsp on 10/11/2012 1:51:34 PM , Rating: 2
I've heard that to save on processing power on the device itself, the app used to sync converts the books into an image-based format and sends that, ballooning the size of an individual ebook.


By Don Tonino on 10/12/2012 2:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
That would mean transferring ~800 MB a book, according to what stated in the article.

Considering the cheapness of the hardware, I suspect that the device will have Bluetooth version 2.0 at most, meaning a maximum data rata of 2.1 Mbit/s - that means an upload time of at least 50 minutes for every book.

Good luck with that, and with the battery drain on both phone and ereader.


"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke














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