Print 17 comment(s) - last by flubaluba.. on Oct 13 at 12:58 PM

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, 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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Throw away....
By siliconvideo on 10/11/2012 12:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
At $13 I'd consider this a throw away book or 5 books. I'd pay $30 to 5 Clancy books pre-loaded into this. You could even save cost by removing the blue tooth interface.

Now we have to do the comparison if it is better on the environment to produce 5 paperback books or one disposable electronic book holding all 5 paperbacks.

RE: Throw away....
By GotThumbs on 10/11/12, Rating: -1
RE: Throw away....
By Reclaimer77 on 10/11/2012 1:24:07 PM , Rating: 2
Wow what's with all the indignation? I didn't interpret his post as to mean literally "throw away". You're totally going overboard dude.

RE: Throw away....
By siliconvideo on 10/11/2012 1:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
I think I touched a nerve. My point was that a single paperback book now cost above $10 (ignoring hardbacks) and to me its a one time use item. I either pass it on or put on my shelve to collect dust. I'd rather pay $30 for 5 books versus $50+ for paperbacks. In the end I would treat it the same way I'd treat a paperback book, pass it on or put it on the shelf to collect dust.

Another point is that many people only value items based on their cost. I'd treat a junker car much worse then a BMW. I'd have no qualms about sending the junker to the junk yard (trashing it) while I'd take much better care of the BMW. I would not spend money to repair a junker while I would with a BMW. It's human nature.

It comes down to $13 is a value that people won't care about as much, throwing it away and buying another one might be acceptable to them.

As far as America's/worlds problems, I agree, that's why I brought up the point. All new technologies must be examined including human nature to see what's locally/globally best.

RE: Throw away....
By inperfectdarkness on 10/12/2012 2:52:35 AM , Rating: 2
you must not live in europe. bmw's are throwaway cars.

RE: Throw away....
By ImEmmittSmith on 10/11/2012 4:02:52 PM , Rating: 1
You could easily recycle/share or possible push a reset button and have the memory cleared for another 5 books. Seems there would probably be a way to discard a book and load another. Because it is so cheap, just put on the shelf for reading later. Lots of options when the technology is this cheap. Landfill?!! Don't think so!

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