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.