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Capactive & Dual Screen eBook Readers Unveiled

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Got your heart/wallet set on an internationally available Amazon Kindle? Stop the press!

Throwing your decision making process back to square one today are Plastic Logic and Spring Design, which have both announced hugely exciting new eBook readers. How does capacitive screen technology, a Google Android platform and dual screens sound?

Sadly, you'll need to buy both to find out, so we'll deal with them on their own terms. Capacitive to begin with and Plastic Logic claims it has mastered this with the 'Que' (pronounced 'queue') which becomes the first eBook reader to feature the tech. It is achieved via the addition of a touchscreen layer and - from the evidence in the video - operation appears far more responsive than existing touchscreen eBook readers such as the Sony PRS 600 Touch Edition. On top of this you'll find integrated 3G, WiFi and a battery life of "days not hours" all crammed into dimensions of 280 x 63 x 6mm. Full format support wasn't divulged but PDF, Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents will be covered and we'll hear more at CES in January next year.
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As for Android and dual screens, this is spectacularly tackled by Spring Design's 'Alex' which combines a 3.5in colour LCD and 6in mono e-ink screen with Google's mobile OS platform. The theory is it can work as both an eBook and viable web surfing/image viewer - functionality it backs up with 3G, WiFi and touchscreen technology.

"This is the start of a whole new experience of reading content on e-books, potentially igniting a whole new industry in multimedia e-book publishing for secondary authors to create supplementary content that is hyper linked to the text" said Spring Design CEO Priscilla Lu. "We are bringing life to books with audio, video, and annotations. This gives readers the ability to fully leverage the resources on the Web, and the tools available in search engines to augment the reading experience."

Spring claims it is currently in discussion with content partners and aims to release Alex before the end of the year. Colour me sceptical (especially when it comes to a viable price and battery life), but you can't fault the ambition...

Links:
Que Reader
Alex Press Release

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