If AT&T's Samsung Infuse with its 4.5" display is blurring the lines between a phone and a tablet, then is a 5" e-Reader too tiny to be a viable mobile digital reading device? Aluratek is about to find out with today's launch of two e-Readers, the 5" Libre Air and 7" Libre Touch.
The Libre Air is a mini e-Reader that seems more suitable for reading novels and text-only publications. It is Wi-Fi-enabled and comes equipped with a LCD, non-backlit display that is "soft on the eyes and reduces glare in the sunlight", plus its "'e-paper' technology eliminates flickering during page turns, according for its press release. Through the Kobo.com store, the user will be able to access over 2.3 million titles; offline, the Libre Air already offers 100 classic books from Beowulf to War and Peace pre-installed on the device. The upside to the Libre Air's small form factor (4 x 6 x 0.375 inch) and lack of a color display is that its battery will last 20 hours before the next charge. For those who like to listen to music while they read, there is also a MP3 player that supports these audio file formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, OGG. Although I question the value of having a photo album function on a colorless display, the feature certainly exists, along with a SD card slot for up to a 32 GB card that will hold approximately 50,000 e-books.
Just as its name suggest, the Libre Touch features a full color LCD touchscreen which means it can better render photo- or graphic- intensive e-books than the Air. Unlike the Air, not only does the built-in Wi-Fi allow the user to access titles from Kobo.com, this device can also play videos, music, view photos as well as check email. It is silly that this multimedia-friendly device's SD card slot only accepts up to a 16 GB card, which is half the size of the Air's, and the Air has no other multimedia functionality except for a MP3 player. But Libre Touch users will be happy to know the 7" model is also preloaded with 100 literary classics like those on the Air so they too can get reading right away.
The Libre Air will retail for $119 while the Libre Touch is available for $149. Both are currently available for purchase at www.Aluratek.com.