Spring Design Officially Unveils Alex Dual-Screen eReader

We've heard about this one before, but now Spring Design has officially taken the wraps off of the Alex dual-screen e-reader. Based on the Android operating system, the Alex lets users search the Internet on the lower 3.5-inch color browser LCD screen while also displaying books, periodicals, and even personal documents on the paper-like 6-inch EPD screen. For connectivity, Alex uses Wi-Fi, 3G, EVDO/CDMA, and GSM. Alex will be available starting February 22 for $399.

Spring Design Unveils Alex Dual Screen Android-Based eReader at CES 2010

First eReader with Internet Browsing While Reading

FREMONT, Calif. -- Spring Design http://www.springdesign.com will take the wraps off the Alex™, the only dual-screen Google Android-based eReader to fully integrate web browsing and reading, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January 7-10, 2010.

“We designed Alex to expand the users’ reading enjoyment, enriching the content whether it is reading for pleasure, education or business, and enhancing the capabilities with access to the growing suite of Android applications”

The debut of the Alex will take place at the press-only Lunch at Piero’s media and innovator event January 7 and 8 where the company will demonstrate Alex’s full browser capabilities and patented dual screen interaction technology, the Duet Navigator™ that enables Alex users to search the Internet on the 3.5” color browser LCD screen while displaying books, periodicals and even personal, educational and corporate documents on the Alex’s paper-like 6” EPD screen. The Alex browser and virtual keyboard provide handy access to email, calculator and will accommodate a growing number of programs from the Google Android community.

Alex’s network connections with Wi-Fi, 3G, EVDO/CDMA and GSM, makes it the first truly mobile wireless e-reader device that gives users access to the Internet and their own personalized library on the go, whenever and wherever they need it.

Alex can be purchased for $399.00 starting February 22, 2010 on the www.springdesign.com site with other availability to be announced.

Spring Design created the Alex as an open systems device with the ability to download any book or document that conforms to the Adobe ePUB/PDF/DRM standard or .txt or HTML format. Alex’s fully functional browser gives users the flexibility to explore the Internet to access text, music, video, and images to enrich their reading experience, or annotate text with comments, multimedia or user-selected hyperlinks to other web sites and resources found online or stored by the user on the Alex eReader removable microSD card.

“We designed Alex to expand the users’ reading enjoyment, enriching the content whether it is reading for pleasure, education or business, and enhancing the capabilities with access to the growing suite of Android applications,” said Spring Design Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Eric Kmiec. “We believe Alex enables readers to transcend the printed page to an interactive multi-media reading experience; letting children browse classic picture books with music to serious students who can view videos of science experiments online on the LCD screen while reading textbooks on the EPD screen.”
Via:  Business Wire
ClemSnide 4 years ago

So it's a nook, only $140 more? OK. I'll be taking a look at that unit, and if there are any retail stores carrying the Alex around Philadelphia, I'll see what's different about it.

gibbersome 4 years ago

It does have a lot more connection options and the botton screen looks bigger....but yeah, a $400 nook pretty much. But the nook came later.

Spring filed a lawsuit against Barnes and Noble earlier last year.

Also Spring's reader can use books on the Google Books database. And since its Android, it will run pretty much whatever its hardware can handle, including music, email, browsers. Basically how the nook should have been. But you'll be paying a $140 premium for it.

ClemSnide 4 years ago

But the B&N device is Android-based-- how much you can customize it, though, is something I haven't looked into.

I did take a peek at a demo unit and saw the maximum typeface size on the nook. Yuck. On a scale of small to large, it's nook - Kindle - Sony Reader; and even the last isn't that great.

You would think that a platform touted for its flexibility would be able to enlarge text so that aging eyes could read it! But, I've whinged about this before, so sha'n't now.

gibbersome 4 years ago

That's surprising, I didn't know it didn't have functionality to enlarge text.

Amazon has the Kindle DX that has a larger screen and functionality for larger text, unfortunately, it's $400+.

ClemSnide 4 years ago

Unfortunately also, my trust in the Kindle is zero since their remote deletion fiasco. And caving in to the audiobook publishers didn't help, nor does their refusal to allow the unit to speak menu items.

The real problem isn't that the text is not enlargeable (it is, on all the readers), it's that the choices are too limited. Take a look at Internet Explorer. It has four font size choices, and even what they call "extra large" is unreadably small for me. There's obviously no good reason for it-- Firefox allows extreme control over that aspect of browsing, so obviously it was their choice not to adapt to low-vision users. The Kindle is the same way.

I'm not an expert on the ebook reader software, but I know a thing or two about programming, and usually the choice for options like this are made in two ways: Copying someone else's established standard, or having the engineer in charge glance at it and say "14 point is good enough. I can read it just fine."

Soupstyle 4 years ago

I don't know how useful those small 2nd menu type screens are if they increase the prices so much (~$100).

Sorry to be off topic, but Clem, how do you feel about the newer US paper money designs? I used to work at the BEP and they were in a big lawsuit that they finally lost while I was there which was dealing with the blind and visually impaired. They were even considering trying to find a suitable money reader to supply people.

gibbersome 4 years ago

Oh perhaps a conscious marketing decision. Otherwise they would not be able to sell the DX for as high a premium as they do.

A tablet would solve all such minor niggles. Do we really need e-readers anymore?

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