More eBook Readers
There are a growing number of regional ebook readers from smaller companies on the market. Some are only available in certain countries and most are similar versions of other ereaders in different markets.
Some of these lesser-known devices provide consumers with more options, and open up the potential and competition for advanced technology and more quality reading devices to choose from in the near future.
EZ Reader Pocket PRO
Astak EZ Readers are the American versions of the HanLin ebook readers. Like the BeBook, they have the same hardware as the HanLin models, but with different variations of firmware installed.
There are currently two versions of EZ Readers available, a 6-inch model and a new 5-inch Pocket PRO (pictured right). The Pocket PRO sells for $199-$219, and the 6-inch EZ Reader sells for $239.
Both devices work with Adobe Digital Editions for DRM-protected PDF files. They also support a wide range of DRM-free formats: PDF, TXT, PDB, DOC, HTML, FB2, LIT, MP3, EPUB, PRC, WOL, CHM, PPT, TIF, PNG, GIF, RAR, ZIP, DJVU, JPG, BMP.
The Pocket PRO comes with 512 MB of internal memory and has an SD card slot. It offers a text-to-speech feature, weighs 6 ounces, and comes in six different colors.
Libre eBook Reader Pro
The Aluratek Libre is based on a popular line of Chinese ebook reading devices that go by the name of DR. Yi.
The Libre is an LCD-based ereader that has a 5-inch epaper screen that looks like real paper and isn't backlit. The main difference between LCD and E Ink ereaders is battery life. The Libre's battery will last about 24 continuous hours and 30 days on standby, whereas an E Ink device will last about 2 weeks of regular use.
The Libre supports Adobe PDF and EPUB, along with TXT, FB2, MOBI, PRC and RTF. For images BMP, JPG, GIF, and animated GIF picture format. It also supports MP3s for audio playback.
The Libre eBook Reader Pro sells from Amazon for about $119. Available in two colors, black or white, it comes with a 2GB SD Card, 100 free PD ebooks, earphones, USB cable, power charger, hand strap, and carrying pouch.
Elonex eBook Reader
The Elonex 511EB eBook is an example of a rebranded Hanvon N520, and is available exclusively in the UK.
The Elonex 511EB sells for just £129 from Waterstone's, and it comes with a 4GB microSD card. User reviews are favorable: 4.3 stars out of 5, with 31 reviews.
Elonex is an IT solutions provider and supplier of consumer electronics, most notably their popular line of netbook computers. They recently stepped into the ebook reader industry with their own version of ereader.
It works in conjunction with Adobe Digital Editions and supports DRM-protected PDF and EPUB ebooks, along with HTML, HTXT, DOC, TXT, and JPG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, GIF images; audio WAV, WMA, MP3.
Cool-er eBook Readers
The Cool-er is a rebranded version of the Netronix EB-600. Released in July 2009, the Cool-er is new to the ereader crowd and is made by a UK-based company called Interead, and is sold to many countries.
Cool-er is an ereader with the design of an iPod. It comes in eight different colors and is highly portable at 174 grams. It supports eight languages and the following format types: PDF, EPUB, FB2, RTF, TXT, HTML, PRC, JPG, MP3.
It works with Adobe Digital Editions and supports DRM-protected PDF and EPUB ebooks. Cool-er has their own online store with about 750,000 ebooks, but check the prices first, because many are higher than other EPUB stores. Cool-er also offers 1 million free public domain ebooks through a partnership with Google.
Here's a YouTube Video for more information.
Foxit eSlick eBook Reader
The Foxit eSlick is also a different version of the Taiwanese Netronix EB-600. The Foxit Corporation is a well-known PDF solution provider. They have a popular PDF program called Foxit Reader, along with a number of other PDF related tools.
Here's a quote from the Foxit website that explains what they do:
"Foxit is dedicated to providing high-quality products for PDF file printing, PDF displaying, PDF graphic designing, and PDF text processing."
Thus, the Foxit eSlick's primary format type is PDF. It also supports unencrypted TXT and MP3 files. The eSlick comes with a version of their PDF application and a conversion program that can convert printable documents into PDF files.
Fujitsu is the first company to market a color ebook reader. The FLEPia is available exclusively in Japan, and isn't expected to reach wider markets any time soon.
The FLEPia's color electronic paper requires more battery power, draining a charge much faster than traditional e-ink devices, and it takes several seconds to redraw a page, all depending on the amount of color resolution you wish to achieve.
While not available on this side of the planet, the FLEPia provides a glimpse at a possible future for ereaders and color electronic paper.
Click here to watch a video demo and to read more about the Fujitsu FLEPia.