Samsung Plays E-Reader Card With SNE-50K

We're a little rusty on our "old sayings," but we're pretty sure one of them goes: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." With seemingly everyone jumping into the E-reader game these days, we guess it was just a matter of time before the consumer electronics giant known as Samsung jumped into the ring. Following the likes of Amazon, Plastic Logic and BeBook, Samsung Electronics has now announced an E-Book Reader of its own over in South Korea.

Initially, at least, the reader will be sold exclusively in the company's home nation, with content provided by a local bookstore chain. The SNE-50K will be priced at around 339,000 won in South Korea, which equates to right around $270 in US dollars. The device is equipped with a 5" touchscreen that not only lets users read books, but also doodle, store memos and jot down notes. It comes with 512MB of storage (which is more than Sony's 'Reader' and less than Amazon's Kindle), weighs just 6.5 oz. and measures just 9mm thick.

The company is still working on versions suitable for release in other countries, with company executives hoping to showcase global versions at CES in early 2010. Meanwhile, South Koreans can expect content to be sourced from Kyobo Bookstore Company, and at launch, around 2500 books (mainly South Korean titles) are being made available. Unfortunately, the unit doesn't support wireless downloads via WWAN nor Wi-Fi; instead, you'll need to connect it to a network-connected PC each time you want to add content. A pain in the neck, for sure. Though, we do appreciate the device's ability to open Office documents and PDF files, but we can't imagine it being a hit in America without some sort of wireless connectivity. After all--you've got to swing a pretty feature-filled stick to compete with the market leading Kindle in this neck of the woods.

rapid1 5 years ago

I have been watching the E-reader market for some time. I am actually very glad to see one of the industry giants step into this market. As I believe this is a world changer that's been brewing a good while. Although it has a ways to go I still believe it to be so.

You have to realize this setting to see what the potential is. I guess the most rateable thing would be a student profile. Imagine a child or a college student carrying all there books this way. With the enhancements that are showing up like extra memory for notes daykeeper like schedule's etc. Then think about magazines, retail books, newspapers etc making themselves widely available.

When you add things like 4G coverage that is beginning to be rolled out country wide and world wide you have a start. Then you add something to the package like the Nvidia ION platform, or the dual processor atom (netbook/laptop technologies), and you get a wider picture of what I'm talking about.

Combining these technological fields you get an all around device that could and would most likely be used by a very large percentage of society. I know it sounds like somewhat of a reach, but you have to look at where these (technical fields) are headed. The development of color E-ink is almost complete, Net-books and laptops are getting smaller and thinner as well as more energy conservant, then you add a smart-phone to it and these fields all become one.

In the end you have an all points capable information carrier, that is also a communication device, scheduler, color reading device, and portable computer. So it or these all become a device everyone uses for everything everyday. You could sink it with your wireless home/work network, and have an all around device that is or becomes a necessity in modern society. There are also other pluses like the non usage of paper, and therefore conservation. Also the fields of battery research, and the minimization of components, which are all currently going on all cylinders would impact something like this as well.

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