Much of the e-reader chatter of late has focused around the Kindle
and how it will compare to the iPad
, but there'll soon be another hat in the ring. Last October we discussed
the Entourage Edge and its nifty dual-screen design; we now know that the tablet-sized e-reader/netbook (Entourage is calling it a Dualbook) will retail for $490. That's quite a bit more than the basic Kindle, which now retails for $259, but it's a match for the $489 Kindle DX. Instead of trying to beat Amazon at its own game, Entourage is trying something altogether different, using a form factor that's more instinctive to anyone who reads on a regular basis. The unit can be placed on a surface or held novel-style; the reader display is on the left while the LCD is on the right. The two screens interface together—it's possible to take notes and make comments on the LCD that tie directly to text currently displayed in E-ink.
The Entourage Edge: It folds up like woah.
- Internal Memory: 4 GB (3 GB for user) up to 3000 books
- E-reader File Formats: ePub, PDF
- LCD Touchscreen Display Size: 1024 x 600 (10.1")
- E-paper Display Size: 9.7" e-Ink®(1200 x 825), 8 shades of gray
- E-paper Input: Wacom® Penabled®
- Operating System: Linux with Google® Android®
- Screen Rotation: 90 and 180 degrees
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth capability
- Battery Life: 16+ hours utilizing the e-reader screen / up to 6 hours running the LCD screen
- Battery Type: Lithium-ion polymer
- External Memory: SD card slot, 2 USB ports
- Audio and Microphone Jack: 3.5 mm each. Includes internal microphone and speakers.
- Audio playback: MP3, WAV, 3GPP, MP4, AAC, OGG, M4A
- Video playback: 3GP, MP4, Adobe Flash Lite (H.264)
- Input: Stylus input on e-paper and touchscreen. Virtual keyboard. USB keyboard (optional)
Content can be dragged from the LCD and the E-ink display and back again. With the Edge, Entourage is clearly hoping to out-flank Amazon (and to a lesser extent, Barnes & Noble) with a "Everything Kindle DX can do + netbook" approach at the same price point. It's a decent plan for the new competitor but the Edge won't just be facing the Kindle. Ironically, even as it competes with the bookseller, it'll be facing down a common threat in the form of the iPad.