Tag Archives: EReader

$150 7″ Augen Gentouch Android Tablet appears at Walmart

Another day, another competitor in the oh so crowded world of tablets and eReaders. This time, it sells at Walmart for $149, store only for now. I don’t understand what is with these weird distribution channels – Pandigital Novel 7 to sell at Bed Bath & Beyond, Augen Gentouch at Walmart…Anyway, the good news is that the new tablet is based on Android 2.1 so you can tinker with it if you want, and install additional applications. The bad news is that the touchscreen is resistive technology and as a result, it sucks. I was able to play a little bit at the local KMart store and this are some quick thoughts: Text is hard to input via the on-screen keyboard, and the screen is non-responsive, pretty much like the Pandigital Novel 7 is. So, from this point of view, it is a good thing Augen includes a stylus in the package, but it feels like 2005. The Gentouch also comes with Android Market (Pandigital Novel 7 doesn’t), but I wasn’t able to test it in the store. Skype and Google Maps are also included, together with several others. During the short time I had, I wasn’t able to turn on the portrait mode, not sure if this is because I just couldn’t figure out how or they will add the feature in a future firmware release. All in all, the same feeling I had for the Pandigital Novel 7 – firmware not fully baked and cheap. If you want to use it as an eReader, you better get the new Amazon Kindle 3 that has a version including 3G for life. If you like tinkering, it is a nice little Android machine and you’ll probably be OK. Expect a lot of firmware fixes soon.

Check after the break for technical specs.

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Amazon releases a new Kindle eBook reader – 3rd generation is here

In a move expected by everybody, especially since the new generation of electronic paper with improved contrast was released, Amazon launched their new Kindle that takes advantage of it: The new Kindle 3rd generation is smaller, lighter and faster than the current generation and comes in two colors, white and graphite (like the new DX). The release date is August 27, I pre-ordered it so expect a review as soon as I have the unit in my hands.

Like the Nook 3G and Wifi, Amazon has the new Kindle in two versions as well: WiFi only to be sold for $139 and the 3G+WiFi version for the same price as the current model, $189. the screen size is 6″ exactly as Nook and current Kindle (although I would like a 7″ version – one can hope). The exact difference is 20% shorter refresh time, 15% lower weight and about 21% smaller than the current unit as well. A really good news is that the internal memory is 4GB now versus 2GB current version (although still no SD or microSD slot)  and extended battery life (that is if the battery won’t be completely depleted overnight by indexing your books – yep, it happened to me). And yes, of course, better contrast due to the new generation of electronic paper. Who needs a Pandigital Novel 7 anymore?

Hit after the break for the Amazon announcement. Read More…

Nook Review – 3G and WiFi, firmware 1.4 rooted version

The subject of this somewhat late review is Barnes and Noble’s answer to Amazon’s Kindle eReader, the Nook. After B&N slashes Nook’s prices to a level it became a compulsory purchase if you are a book lover, so I decided to take the plunge and buy one. I purchased the 3G version but the review will apply to both versions since the only internal difference is the presence of a 3G modem in the 3G version of the Nook and the back cover color (gray for Nook 3G, white for Nook WiFi). The reason the review is somewhat late is because I like to test my new gadgets for a couple of weeks before I review them in order to get a better feel about their usability and ergonomics. Also, the present review will apply to the rooted version of the Nook and I’ll explain in detail the differences between the rooted and the official version. The reviewed firmware version is 1.4.

1. Unpacking

The Nook version I purchased arrived Read More…

Deal of the Day – Refurbished Kindle 2 for only $109

Update: Out of stock already!

Boy I’m talking way too much these days about readers, readers and more readers. This is probably the best price ever for the latest Amazon Kindle model – shipped directly from Amazon’s Warehouse, you can score the new Kindle eReader for only $109 with free shipping and no taxes in most states. Now, there is for sure no more reason to postpone your eBook investment…think about it, $109 with Global 3G access for life and space for 1500 books!!!!

Deal of the Day – Pandigital Novel 7 color multimedia ereader for $127 after rebate

Today’s deal of the day comes from an unusual source when you think of technology, Bed Bath and Beyond 😀 and is entirely my wife’s contribution. She was reading the above mentioned store’s circular and noticed the Pandigital Novel 7 color multimedia eReader for a rather low price of $169 and an extra 20$ rebate. Since we also have lying around one of those ubiquitous 20% off single item coupon cards that they keep mailing, we went to the store so see if they have any in stock. They did and, after the coupon was applied the total came to be $147. Send the rebate and you will receive $20 back for the grand total of $127 for an Android power tablet. Follow us for the next several days for a full review of the unit (and see how it compares with B&N’s Nook that I will also review shortly).

Pandigital Novel 7 color multimedia ereader gets a firmware update

In our last article about Pandigital Novel 7, we reached to some not too rosy conclusions about its firmware quality and usability, lack of touchscreen response and slow page turns. It looks like Pandigital had reached the same conclusions and they are trying to fix the device. The latest firmware is available and the improvements are all across the board resulting in a more responsive touchscreen and a more stable WiFi connection. Page turns are still slower than Nook or Kindle for example but the accelerometer works now so you can use it in both portrait and landscape mode. You can download the new update here (version S10_07_04K _PD_INX7E_ENG_6410POP) and you’ll also find detailed instructions. You’ll need to have a SD card available.

Kindle 1 gets its own patent, is Nook in trouble?

Today, Amazon finally got a patent (number 7,748,634) for its first Kindle design. Beside pointing out the lack of efficiency of the US Patent and Trademark Office that needs 4 years to award a patent (and in many cases even longer), what is striking in the original patent application is the mention of a dual display system, one eInk, one LCD that Amazon did not implement, but the ideea was deemed worthy by, you guessed, Barnes and Noble with their beautiful Nook. And, as a side joke, we can’t help wonder if this is why Microsoft canned Courier ;).

Here is the relevant paragraph from the patent application:

A handheld electronic device comprising: a housing; an electronic paper display disposed in the housing and having a first surface area; and a liquid crystal display (LCD) disposed in the housing proximate the electronic paper display, the LCD having a second surface area that is smaller than the first surface area of the electronic paper display.

Now, whether Amazon would decide to sue B&N for the design and patent infringement is everyone’s guess, but B&N is also in a dispute with Spring Design over the design. Since both Amazon and Spring Design cannot claim dibs for the design at the same time, the whole situation is rather interesting and we’ll be happy to watch it unfold. If you want to read the whole patent, here is the link. Enjoy!