What took so long?
Samsung - usually one of the first companies to jump on new sectors - has finally used CES to announce its first eBook readers. Yep, not one, but two comprising the six inch 'E6' and 10 inch 'E101'.
How will they differentiate themselves? The key message Samsung is looking to push is both models' handwriting capabilities with a built in electromagnetic resonance (EMR) stylus able to write onto the screen allowing users to make their own notes/drawings directly onto content or on a blank page. I found it to be responsive and the feature could prove particularly handy for students.
Samsung didn't elaborate upon whether it is using the e-ink standard in the screens or whether it is its own proprietary technology, but like most eBook readers they are not backlit to improve reading in directly sunlight and battery life (Samsung quotes up to two weeks of use from a four hour charge). In addition you'll find WiFi (b/g) and Bluetooth 2.0 built in.
Content? Samsung's primary partner will be Google which means users will have direct access to Google Books, the search giant's massive collection of free out of copyright content. That said, in increasingly typical Samsung style it didn't give any details about some other key aspects: namely weight, full battery life from a full charge and what other eBook formats it will support. I'll update this information as soon as we have it, so you may want to hold fire until then.
That said, you may need this time to save up for the larger E101 since this comes in at a hefty $699 (£435), though the E6 is a more affordable (£247). Availability? 'Early 2010'.