Category Archives: E Book Reader

Kobo’s waterproof Aura H20 eReader might launch on September 1

Big boys like Sony may be getting out of the ebook reader business, but Kobo appears to be digging in its heels and staying put. We’ve been hearing rumors that the company plans to launch a new eReader called the Aura H20 that’s built to stand up to the elements and boasts a better screen than its competitors – and the latest is that it might drop in the USA on September 1 and could cost US $179. Scroll down to find out more about this upcoming eReader.

Kobo Aura H20 eReader
image via allesebook.de

Waterproof, but that’s not all she wrote

To recap, the 7” x 5.1” x 0.4”, 8.2-ounce Aura H20 is an eReader that’s been amped up to endear it to people on the go. Earlier rumors touted IP67 certification – meaning that with its USB port cover fastened, the unit can survive being submerged in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes – and it’s also dust-proof as well.

But that’s far from all of it. We also heard that the Aura H20 boasts a 6.8-inch Ink Carta display – if you haven’t heard of those yet, these are brand spanking new 1430 x 1080 pixel displays that can also boast high screen refresh rates, higher than other E Ink displays used by other gadgets. (And yes, the screen is illuminated.)

As for battery life, if you can limit your usage of the unit to about 30 minutes a day, you should be able to eke out two months of life on just one charge. This is especially impressive considering the brighter and sharper screen, and will be a definite boon for those without the time and/or inclination to constantly charge their devices.

How does it stack up against the competition?

We have to admit that the Kobo Aura H20 is a tad pricey – it’s more expensive than two of its main competitors, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and the NOOK Glowlight. But that said, its more rugged case and sharper display might just convince those of you in the market for eReaders that it’s a better buy than those two competing tablets, or other units (or even devices), for that matter.

source [Alles eBook (German site)]

via [Liliputing]

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Sony ebook reader bites the dust

A couple months after selling its PC division to Japan Industrial Partners, struggling electronics giant Sony has just announced that it will no longer be making ebook readers, not even models to be sold in Japan. Scroll down for more details about this sad development!

Sony Reader PRS-T2 Sony ebook reader
image via goodereader.com

Fare thee well, Sony ebook reader

To be sure, this isn’t going to be a sudden withdrawal from the market. The current generation model, the Sony Reader PRS-T3, will continue to be sold to those who still want a Sony ebook reader, until supplies for it dry up. (The device, says our source, was launched in Europe over the fall, but it was never shipped in the States.) There are no updates as of yet about the Digital Paper DPTS-1, Sony’s 13.3” ebook reader.

Additionally, the writing was on the wall. Sony pulled out of the ebook market in February 2014 in the US and Canada, shutting down the branch of its Sony Reader Store that serviced both countries and replacing the ebookstore and reading app with a partnership with Kobo. It fled the market in Europe and Australia soon after as well. Now the industry is poised to view Sony’s ultimate withdrawal from ebooks as a whole.

A pioneer throws in the towel

As our source says, Sony was responsible in no small part for the creation of the ebooks industry. It worked with companies E-ink and Japan’s Toppan Printing Co. to develop the first iteration of the E-ink screen that went into its first reader, the Sony Librie, in 2004 – the very same screen that was used in other key products, from the Sony Reader and others besides.

Sony innovations also figured in future devices and informed the development of yet others, from the Epub ebook format to the integration of a touchscreen and frontlight with an E-ink screen in 2008’s PRS-700, to the 7-inch PRS-900, which met user needs for a midsize e-reader almost half a decade before Kobo did.

Sony, however, also made costly errors, including dragging its feet on redesigning the Sony Reader Store and associated PC software (which were still not as user friendly as they needed to be as late as 2012) and on adding an ebookstore to its ebook readers.

Goodbye, then, to the Sony ebook reader (a prolonged farewell, since a couple of models are still on sale, but anyway) – and thanks for a decade’s worth of memories.

sources [The Digital Reader, Lesen.net]

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Amazon releases firmware v5.4.5 for the Kindle Paperwhite 2

Ahoy there, Kindle Paperwhite 2 users – Amazon announced an update for your Kindles a couple days back – v5.4.5, to be exact. You owe it to yourselves (or at least to your Kindles) to read on and find out more about this update! Scroll down to do just that.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-book reader

The new features in a nutshell!

In addition to the usual and expected slew of “general improvements” to the operating system and device, v5.4.5 adds a bunch of nice new features for you folks, as follows.

  1. Sync to the most recent page read. Any books users are currently reading on their Kindle Paperwhite devices will now sync to the most recent page read across all Kindle devices. Not only that, but they will also sync to other reading apps also registered with Amazon accounts. This way, if you’re also reading something on a Kindle app running on an iOS or Android device, it’ll also get to sync in the same way. That said, however, users will still be able to manually sync their Paperwhite units to access the furthest page read.
  1. Those who have bought physical books from Amazon can browse a sample of these books on their Paperwhite units while waiting for their physical book order to ship. If you’ve purchased a book (an actual one, not an ebook) via Amazon and you’re champing at the bit to read it, thanks to this update, you can actually start reading said book right away! All you need to do is download a sample of the book and add it to your Kindle library. v5.4.5 will make this sample available for download in the Cloud tab of users’ Kindle Paperwhite units. What’s more, other previous samples you’ve gotten through buying physical books can also be accessed the same way.
  1. Last but not least, users can also preview a PDF in the Kindle Paperwhite’s pan-and-zoom mode. Users will see a little preview window located in the margin of the screen.

Sounds good? Why not download the new v5.4.5 update and touch up that Kindle Paperwhite so you can start enjoying these cool new features?

source [Amazon]

via [The Ebook Reader]

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New Onyx Boox T68 Lynx eReader now available on Amazon

If you’re after a new eReader, we’ve got some good news for you. One of the more promising units in recent months, the formerly Europe-only Onyx Boox T68 (also apparently known as “Lynx”), is now available on Amazon.com, and for quite a reasonable price considering what you get. Arta Tech, Onyx’s retail partner in Poland, is now selling this new eReader on Amazon for the benefit of would-be Stateside users.

Could this unit be a keeper? We think it’s definitely got potential. Read on to find out more about the Boox T68.

Onyx Boox T68 Lynx Android eReader

The Onyx Boox T68 Lynx is a promising ereader

The Boox T68 isn’t going to turn the heads of those hankering for top-end tablets, but its stats aren’t exactly chopped liver – most especially for an eReader. Just like the Kobo Aura HD range-topping eReader, it’s got a 6.8-inch frontlit Pearl E-ink screen that boasts a 1440 x 1080 resolution, making it the sharpest screen available on any commercially available eReader that uses an E-ink screen.

The T68’s other stats are decent for an eReader – it’s got a 1 GHz Freescale CPU and 512 MB of RAM. It comes with just 4 GB of internal storage, but its microSD slot ensures that users don’t have to put up with that. It also comes with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a headphone jack, if all that floats your boat.

But this might just be the eReader that appeals to a broader audience – if said audience would be more receptive to Android, that is, and would be hankering for devices that can do a bit more than a standard eReader is capable of doing. The Boox T68 runs Android 4.0, and users might be delighted, because they get the option to download and install apps from Google Play.

Price and availability

Like we said, you can now get the Onyx Boox T68 from Amazon.com – and oh, it’s going to cost you  US $199. Not at all a bad deal, given that The Digital Reader’s Nate Hoffelder got his for US $250 (he had his order shipped to him from Europe, which is why it cost significantly more). And since Amazon’s taking care of selling you the gadget, shipping won’t cost you anything with Amazon Prime. Such a deal, yeah?

source [ The Digital Reader ]

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Spanish tech firm Szenio launches no-frills 1600DC e-reader

With all the attention paid to the smartphone and tablet space – and the marketing and product blitz that’s been going on as companies jostle for buyers – it’s nice to see that the e-reader market hasn’t been completely quiet as of late.

Spanish smartphone and tablet maker Szenio isn’t satisfied with its current slate of offerings. Some days ago, as detailed by The Digital Reader, the firm launched its first e-book reader, the 1600DC, a 6-inch device that costs 69 Euros, only a little shy of that of competing devices such as the Kindle in Spain.

Szenio 1600DC e-reader

Dipping its toes into the e-reader water?

The Digital Reader is of the opinion that this preliminary effort is a fairly low-bar one, and this does seem to be the case. The 1600DC is on the plain side style-wise; its design isn’t anything to write home about, so to speak (as many other tech experts have said, there really isn’t too much one can do given the e-reader/tablet/slate form factor, but still).

Specs-wise, the 1600DC doesn’t stand out either. It runs a version of Linux on a 600MHz CPU that has 128MB RAM. It only has 2GB of internal Flash storage, but its microSD card slot ameliorates this. Its low-resolution touchscreen, with a resolution of 600×800, might give some prospective buyers pause, especially those new to the segment and who may be after something in the vein of high-res and even Retina displays. There’s also Wi-Fi, if that counts, but there’s no mention of any ability to play music whatsoever.

Then again, given what the 1600DC will most likely be used for – it supports a wide range of e-book formats, including PDF, Epub, FB2 and CHM, and it is also able to read .txt, .html and .rtf files too – these “low-brow” specs can redound to greater efficiency and really long battery life.

How much and when can it be bought?

The 1600DC is already available for just 69 Euros, as mentioned above (although other sources such as Zonamovilidad say that it costs 79 Euros). If you’re interested in getting one, it’s available in major retail outlets in Spain like Carrefour, E-leclerk, The Phone House and Eroski.

[Via The Digital Reader]

[Source: Szenio]

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Kobo Aura eBook Reader out on September 16

Yep, you read that right: the Toronto-based eBook reader maker has something new up its sleeve, the Kobo Aura. According to reports, this eReader will be a 6-inch slate that’s quite similar to Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Kobo Aura eBook Reader

Kobo Aura eBook Reader: Specs and More

This upcoming eReader will feature a 6-inch high resolution Pearl E Ink ClarityScreen with a 1024 x 768 pixel resolution and 16 level grey scale. Like the Paperwhite, the Kobo Aura has a built in front-light called the ComfortLight, so it’s easier on the eyes than your average eBook reader. It weighs in at 174 g (6 ounces) and measures up at 150 x 114 x 8.1 mm (5.9 x 4.5 x 0.32 in) so it is quite comfortable to hold even for extended periods and it is very portable as well. Specs-wise, it packs a 1 GHz Freescale i.M507 processor and 4 GB of built-in storage. For eBook hoarders out there, you can rest in the fact that the Aura does have a microSD card slot that can support up to 32 GB of additional storage and therefore you can, quite literally, take all of your digital books with you. The Aura eBook reader also features a microUSB port and Wi-Fi connectivity.

If you have owned an eBook reader before, then you’d know that their batteries typically last forever – and the Kobo Aura is no different. It boasts of a battery that can last for 2 months (with 30 minutes of reading time per day and with the Wi-Fi off).

Pricing and Availability

According to reports, the Kobo Aura will hit the shelves in September 16, and will sport a US $150 price tag. In comparison, the Kindle Paperwhite With Special Offers is available for $119 while the Without Special Offers version has a $139 price tag. The Aura and the Paperwhite have pretty much the same specs, though the former does have more storage space than the latter. Your choice between the two can boil down to a matter of preference, though the price tag on both can be a factor as well.

Would you get the Kobo Aura? Or would you rather get a full blown tablet PC? Sound off in the comments below.

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B&N: The Nook tablet line is not dead

Last June, Barnes & Noble announced that it’ll extend its Nook tablet line Father’s Day Sale prices until further notice, and of course, that bit of news was met with a few raised eyebrows. Later on, we learned that major bookseller has been suffering from sluggish sales and therefore lower overall revenues. Furthermore, they announced that they’re dropping the Android tablet business, though they will continue to introduce new ebook readers.

Well, a new announcement indicates that Barnes & Noble is doing a 180 from that previous statement.

Barnes & Noble’s Nook HD+ Tablet PC

Barnes & Noble to continue with Nook tablet line

According to the earlier announcement, B&N may decide to continue the Nook line, though the slates won’t be made in-house. The plan is, they’ll partner up with manufacturers and have them develop the Android tablets. In the new announcement, new B&N CEO Mike Huseby says that people misunderstood what they meant back in June. They clarified that the Nook tablet line will be manufactured by somebody else, but it’ll be conceptualized and designed in-house.

Confused? Well, it’ll basically be like Google’s partnership model. They choose a partner, develop the tablet in-house, and then have somebody else manufacture it for them. How is that different from the original plan? In the first plan, B&N will be letting go of the Android business altogether and will probably just sell tablets with their apps preloaded.

Additionally, the company announced that one member of the Nook device line will be refreshed and launched before the holiday season this year, but they didn’t indicate which one or if it’ll be an e-book reader or a tablet PC.

Additional Notes

Overall, B&N makes above average tablet PCs, two examples of which are the Nook HD and Nook HD+. Both pack TI OMAP processors with great resolution displays and customized versions of the Android operating system. Price cuts were made on both models last June, giving them bargain basement prices. Certainly, the slashed prices made for great value – the 7-inch 8 GB Nook HD retailed for US $129, while the 16 GB model sold for US $149. The 9-inch 16 GB Nook HD+ had a $149 price tag while the 32 GB version was down to $179.

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Rumor: Kobo Arc 10 HD Tablet

The rumors were sparked when a mysterious tablet called “KOBO Arc 10 HD” suddenly showed up on the official website of GLBenchmarks. It was curious, indeed, considering that there were no prior announcements to any such product. Just what does this apparently new Kobo tablet have to offer?

Kobo Arc Android Tablet PC

Kobo Arc 10 HD: Keeping up with the competition

It appears that mobile gadgets manufacturer Kobo is not done trying to get some squeeze out of the ebook tablet market largely dominated by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Rumors are rife that the company is preparing to launch a brand new reader that will be every inch a step up from its most recent release that was the 7 inch Arc. Supposedly, it will size in at 10 inches with a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution display. It will pack a 1.8 GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 ARM Cortex-A15 quad-core processor and will be running on Android 4.2.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to know that Kobo has consistently priced their products competitively, making sure to have their tablets as accessible to consumers as possible. The 7 inch Arc, for example, was priced at US $200 when it first came out in 2012. Seeing as how it delivered a fairly decent display, with fast CPU and easy access to the Google Play Store, it is safe to say that by and large, it stood for a pretty good deal.

Now, should this Kobo Arc 10 HD be more than just gossip, then fans should definitely have something even more fantastic to look forward to. The specs that were “accidentally” published on the GLBenchmarks website easily shows how this tablet could carry some of the finer specs ever to be seen in the next wave of reading tablets.

Pricing and Availability, maybe

While Kobo may just be biding their time until they officially announce their first 10-inch tablet to the market, speculations are meanwhile running rampant that a fair price tag for this product should be somewhere near the US $500, but nothing higher.

So far, everything’s looking peach about Kobo Arc 10 HD. The only downside to all of this is that it is still but a rumor at this point. Whether or not the manufacturer will actually pursue its release in the market is yet to be known, although right off the bat, based on that quick glimpse at the product, it sure would be a bad idea for them not to.

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Barnes & Noble Nook HD: The Media Tablet

We’ve seen a couple of pretty decent tablet PCs from Barnes & Noble, and today we’re going to take a closer look at the Nook HD. What’s so interesting about the successor to the Nook Tablet?

Nook HD e-Book Reader and Tablet PC

Nook HD: A Look Inside

Okay, for one thing, the baby is marketed as an e-book reader and media player. According to CNET’s review, this is actually a “media tablet for non-techies.” The Nook HD packs a dual-core 1.3 GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor, a POWERVR SGX544 GPU, 1 GB of RAM, and two internal storage variants, 8 GB and 16 GB. Its 7-inch backlit capacitive multi-touch screen can output a 1440 x 900 pixel resolution at 243 ppi. Like its predecessor, it runs with a customized version of Android, though it has version 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It has access to the Google Play Store though so you won’t be hard pressed for apps.

Additional features include a microSD card slot that supports up to 32 GB of additional storage – which is a blessing because the user available storage for the 8 GB variant is 5 GB while the 16 GB version only has 13 GB. The Nook HD’s battery life is pretty impressive at 10.5 hours for plain e-book reading and 9 hours of video playback.

Would you want this tablet PC?

Well, at US $199 for the 8 GB version and US $229 for the 16 GB version, the Nook HD is pretty affordable. It also has a sharp screen and expandable memory which makes it one of the better 7-inch tablets in the market. If you’re one to look for other features though, like NFC, cameras, micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports, GPS, and gyroscope, then this won’t cut it for you. If you’re one who’s only in it for the reading e-books, surfing the internet, watching movies, listening to music and audio books, and doing other typical tablet-y things, then you should probably include the Nook HD to your comparison list.

For those who may want more out of their fondleslabs though, then you may want to check out the other contenders in the ‘small tablet’ division, including the Google Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire HD, the iPad Mini, and others. Or hey, you can even check out the Nook HD’s bigger brother, the Nook HD+.

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Amazon’s New E-book Reader: The Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon’s e-book reader brand, Kindle, sure has come a long way. No longer is it just an e-book reader, it has evolved and transformed itself into a full-fledged tablet PC. It’s an inevitable turn on their part. After all, they need to make the transition unless they want to be eaten up alive by the competition.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-book reader

The E-book Reader Gets an Upgrade

And speaking of competition, it’s fierce, and it’s definitely not slowing down for anyone who can’t keep up with the pace. Apple, for one, has finally decided to come out with a miniature version of their iPad, predictably called the iPad Mini. Google, meanwhile, is stepping up their game in the tablet PC frontier with the Nexus 7. As for Kindle, well, they’ve already stocked up on their Fire iterations, recently coming out with its HD version as well.

However, that is not the only one they are coming out with. There’s also Paperwhite Reader, which was announced last fall. This iteration of the Kindle is said to be probably the best yet there is. To ensure maximum reading enjoyment, the unit carries at a mega-lightweight 213 grams (0.47 pounds), at 6.7 x 4.6 x 0.36 (16.9 cm x 11.7 cm x 0.91 cm). To those keenly following the Kindle family, it is noticeably a bit thinner than its predecessor, Kindle Touch.

No Audio Jack

If you think, though, that this carries all those other nifty mobile gadget add-ons, you’re pretty wrong. This, in fact, falls in line with the more traditional e-book reader. It does have Wi-Fi, but that’s about it. What makes this a success is that it guarantees pure, unadulterated reading fun and entertainment, minus all the distractions offered by, well, most of technology nowadays.  Should there be a downside to this purist reader, however, is that it does not have an audio jack. That may be a bit of a downer for those who would like to prefer audio books.

Nonetheless, the Kindle Paperwhite should make for a very good option, if the user would like a no-frills e-book reader.

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