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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.
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Written by Andrew Nusca on

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-hyphenatedCool-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.

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