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Image Gallery: First look at the Alex dual screen eReader

One of the electronic book readers I saw at CES 2010 that piqued my interest was the Spring Design Alex eReader since it had a full 6 inch eInk display on the top and a full 3.5 inch capacitive touch color display on the bottom with Google Android powering the device. The Barnes & Noble Nook is also powered by Android with both an eInk and color display, but a much more limited color display. I spent last weekend with the Alex eReader and found several things to like about it, but there are a couple other aspects that will prevent me from buying one for myself at this time.

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Topic: Hardware
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1 of 45 Matthew Miller/ZDNet

One of the electronic book readers I saw at CES 2010 in January that piqued my interest was the Spring Design Alex eReader since it had a full 6 inch eInk display on the top and a full 3.5 inch capacitive touch color display on the bottom with Google Android powering the device. The Barnes & Noble Nook is also powered by Android with both an eInk and color display, but a much more limited color display. I spent last weekend with the Alex eReader and found several things to like about it, but there are a couple other aspects that will prevent me from buying one for myself at this time. Check out my hands-on video and detailed thoughts and experiences with the device on my ZDNet Mobile Gadgeteer blog post.

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The box contents and main features of the Alex appear on the back of the box.

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Inside the outside cover you can find the black solid box containing the Alex.

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The Alex eReader is secure in a bed of foam to protect it in the retail box.

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The cable, charger, case, and Quick Start Guide are below the Alex.

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Spring Design includes a decent slip case for you to protect your Alex.

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Here you can see the closed up slip case.

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The Alex has two screens to give you a reading and Google Android experience.

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There is a 6 inch eInk display on the upper part of the front.

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A full color 3.5 inch color display is found on the bottom of the front.

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The back contains the microSD card slot and stereo speakers.

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You can easily slide the microSD card in and out of the Alex eReader.

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The stereo speakers sound pretty good and the best of any ebook reader.

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The 2.5mm headset jack, charging indicator light, and miniUSB port are found on the top of the Alex.

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The previous page and back/Home button are on the left side of the 3.5 inch color display.

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The next page/menu and power buttons are found on the right side of the color display.

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This cool button lets you sync your lower and upper displays so you can view the same content on both screens.

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There is a microphone on the upper right of the front, adjacent to the Alex label.

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The text size, power indicator, and time are found on the lower right of the eInk display.

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The page location information is found on the lower left.

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As you can see the displays are in sync so you can read in either display.

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The eInk display looks good with five available fonts for your to choose from.

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I am a big fan of reading ebooks on an eInk display.

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The connection status, battery status, and time are found in the upper right of the color display.

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The Alex eReader fits well in your hand, even though it is long.

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Three ebook readers side-by-side.

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The back view shows the sizes of the ebook readers from a different view.

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The Nook on the Alex on the Sony Reader.

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As you can see the Alex is quite a bit longer than the other two ebook readers.

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The 3.5 inch Home screen shows the Google Android experience on the Alex.

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The BookStore utility is a page of shortcuts for the different web pages where you can download ebooks.

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This is a typical view of the library on the Alex.

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Here you can see the different titles in the library of the Alex.

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This is the screen on the lower color display for the Reader utility. There are several functions and options available while reading ebooks.

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Annotations are a big part of the Alex.

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There are different ways you can create content to add to your ebook.

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Voice memos are supported with the integrated upper microphone.

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Highlights can be added to your ebook for later viewing.

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You can add text notes to your ebooks too.

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Hyperlinks are also a type of annotation that can be added to your ebooks.

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Highlights appear in yellow on the lower display.

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You can read on the lower display as well as on the eInk display.

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You can tap and hold the right button to access the menu.

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