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Innovation

Spring Design launches pre-order store for Alex ebook reader

The unique Alex ebook reader and web browsing device is now available for pre-order for $399. The device was delayed a bit from its initial anticipated launch, but should be shipping soon.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on

One of the ebook readers I checked out at CES 2010 and one that has a lot of people interested is the Alex from Spring Design. We just received a press release stating that the dual screen ereader will be available online for pre-order starting today for $399 (store not open quite yet). Devices will ship to US buyers by mid-April. The Alex is an Android-based ebook reader that supports EPUB, PDF, HTML, and TXT formats and has a large bottom color display that functions much like a Google Android internet tablet. With Alex's full Internet browsing using WiFi connectivity, users can read and download books, access online audio and video content including YouTube videos, communicate using Gmail and chat and use a number Google Android applications.

The top is a typical 6 inch eInk display while the bottom is a 3.5 inch color capacitive display with virtual keyboard. I played with the Alex at CES and have to say the device was much more responsive than I thought it would be and has real potential for those looking for more than just an ebook reader.

One features I didn't hear much about before that is mentioned in the press release is Spring Design LinkNotes. Here is how they are described:

Authors may insert hyperlinks in their books that show up on the eInk reading screen indicating that there is linked-in web-based content available. Users can click on hyperlinks in eBooks, corporate documents, or periodicals that lead to relevant web-based information or to multimedia content stored on the Alex eReader that will enrich their reading experience. Spring Design anticipates that this feature will be highly valuable in the education market where professors will be able to provide their own study notes, video illustrations, and audio enhancements to augment already-published textbooks.

The Alex weighs 11 ounces and measures in at 4.7 x 8.9 inches and less than a half inch thick. A microSD card slot, supporting up to 32GB, is provided for content storage. WiFi and USB connectivity options are present for connectivity.

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