New eBook Reader Undercuts Kindle, Sony Reader

Forget about scouring the Web looking for a good deal on a Kindle or Sony Reader. Instead, Foxit Software would rather that you consider its latest device, the eSlick. Not only will the eSlick sell for less than the Kindle or Sony Reader at $259, but it also offers a decent feature set as well. What’s more, if you jump on the eSlick bandwagon early, you can pick it up for a pre-order price of $229.

The unit is about the size of a medium paperback, though it’s thinner at just 0.4 inches. It has a 6-inch, 600-by-800-pixel electronic paper screen. Coincidentally, the screen is made by the same company that makes the Kindle's, making it just as easy on the eyes with a grayscale reflective screen.  You can resize the text as you like. When you do, the device will reflow your document, rather than just magnifying what’s currently displayed.

The eSlick will be available in black, gray, or white, and comes with 128MB of internal memory and a 2GB SD card. According to Foxit, you should be able to get about 8,000 page turns between recharges. You can charge the device via USB or through an included AC adapter. The device can read PDFs and text files, and you can convert any printable document for viewing on the device. You can also play MP3s on the eSlick, thanks in part to the headphones port and included headphones.

Foxit is considering adding wireless, a better screen, and perhaps content syncing abilities similar to AvantGo at some point in the future, though these capabilities aren’t available today. Although the eSlick doesn’t have the same wireless connectivity that you might see on other eBook readers, it’s still a compelling device, giving the money you’ll save. Case in point: Not only is the device less expensive up front, but it also doesn’t have the monthly fees that you’ll see with Kindle, for example. With Kindle, automatic newspaper delivery costs at least $10 per month per newspaper, and blogs cost $1 to $2 per month for each blog. That can add up fast. Of course, your time is worth something too, so it’s a trade off.

If you’re not the type that needs to sync newspapers or blogs on the go, and are looking for a simple way to carry books and other electronic documents, then eSlick might be something to add to your Christmas wish list.

Tags:  ebook, Kindle, Foxit