Can Cool-er e-reader undercut Amazon Kindle sales?

Interead's CEO and founder Neil Jones has been moving and shaking the past few months, preparing his upstart U.K.

Interead's CEO and founder Neil Jones has been moving and shaking the past few months, preparing his upstart U.K.-based company to launch a new lightweight e-book reader, the woefully-hyphenated Cool-er, that would sharply undercut the $359 price of Amazon's Kindle 2 with a $250 price tag.

Whoops, looks like a few British bloggers pulled the trigger before the big reveal.

Now that the horse has been let out of the barn, so to speak, here are the facts: the new Cool-er digital reader comes in eight colors and weighs half as much as the competition. It's planned to be available May 29th, and Interead, whose e-book store will tie into the device, is taking pre-orders.

Here are the specs:

  • Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.6 x .43 inches (HWD)
  • Weight: 6.2 ounces
  • Screen Size: 6 inches
  • DPI: 170 pixels per inch
  • Levels of Greyscale: 8
  • Type: E Ink Vizplex
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Manufacturer: PVI
  • Operating System: Linux
  • Storage: 1GB
  • Memory: 128
  • Processor: Samsung S3C2440 ARM 400MHz
  • Battery: Li-Polymer battery (1000 mAh)
  • Battery Life (single charge): 8000 pages
  • Memory Expansion: SD (up to 4GB)
  • Wireless: No
  • Formats: JPEG, PDF, EPUB, TXT, MP3 (2.5mm headphone jack with a 3.5mm converter included for standard headphones)
  • Languages: 8
  • Bookstore (Titles): Over 750,000

The Cool-er is compatible with Mac and Windows PC, and while it's sure to fight a heck of an uphill battle against the massively popular Kindle -- from overseas, no less -- it is designed to be more open with its formats, a criticism of the Kindle, and should compete more directly with Sony's e-reader offerings, particularly on Interead's home continent.

Jones has promised to send me a Cool-er to review hands-on, and I plan on doing so for this blog shortly. Stay tuned.