ePub News

More details on txtr's $13 Beagle e-reader

A couple of weeks ago txtr unveiled their Beagle e-reader - a 5" E Ink device that is powered from two AAA batteries and connects to their Android e-reader software via Bluetooth. txtr said they want to partner with network operators to subsidize the device and their planned price is €9.90 (about $13). Their PR wasn't very clear, and now we have some more info from txtr's Chief Commercial Officer, Thomas Leliveld.

txtr Beagle photo

So first of all, it turns out that the txtr eBook platform uses PDF and ePub formats on the smartphone itself, which renders the pages into bitmaps and sends these to the beagle (via Bluetooth). This means that the beagle is really a very "dumb" terminal for the software. According to txtr this makes a lot of sense - everybody has a smartphone already which is great as an eBook platform. Making the e-reader itself simple allows them to reduce the price and complexity. The beagle can store several books (it's not as if you need to be connected to the phone while reading).

The Wexler Flex One - the first e-reader to use LG's flexible E Ink panels?

Back in March LG Display announced that it is already producing XGA (1024x768) flexible plastic-based E Ink panels for a Chinese ODM. Now we hear that Wexler is that ODM, and the upcoming reader will be called the Flex One. And as was expected, the device itself isn't flexible or bendable: but however it is very durable, thin and light.

Wexler Flex One photo

The Flex One features LG's 6" XGA monochrome panel, non-touch. The reader sports 8 Gb of memory, ePub and PDF support and a mini-USB port (no wireless it seems). Apparently the refresh rate is very high, and the battery is good for about two weeks of reading.

Acer's LumiRead e-book store is powered by Txtr

Germany's Txtr says that they are providing all e-reading content on Acer's LumiRead store. This store is used by Acer's Iconia Tab A500 tablet - and will be used in further devices by Acer. Txtr is in charge of operating the e-book store. Txtr's boom catalog has over 400,000 commercial books (in 'western' languages) and supports e-pub and PDF file formats. 

txtr abandoned e-reader prototypetxtr abandoned e-reader prototype

Just a few days ago we reported that 3M invested in txtr. txtr also developed an e-reader device but abandoned that project towards the end of 2010.

Sharp to release their Galapagos e-readesr in the US in 2011 with 3G and ePub support

Sharp's Galapagos tablet/e-readers are already shipping in Japan, and now it seems that the company have planes to release them in the US in 2010. The US models will come with 3G (in Japan they only have Wi-Fi) and ePub support (in Japan it's XMDF).

Sharp Galapagos photo

via DeviceMag

Barnes & Noble launches the PubIt! self-publishing e-book portal

Barnes & Noble has launched their PubIt! self-publishing portal. PubIt! allows independent writers to produce ePub-based e-books, that can be used on many e-readers (not just the Nook). B&N gets 35% of the list price (for books less then $9.99, and 60% for more expensive books).

via Engadget

Google to launch an e-book shop by July

Google say they'll launch an e-book shop (called Google Editions) by July 2010. The shop will enable search across many third-party sites, and they promise that resellers will collect the "majority" of the revenue. Books bought in the store will work on many devices (the format isn't known, but it'll probably be ePub).

via Electronista

Bookeen release an upgraded, cheaper Opus Color e-reader

Bookeen's Opus e-reader is a small e-reader with a 5" (800x600) E Ink display with an integrated accelerometer. Bookeen has released a new version today, called the Opus Color. It comes in 7 different colors, has a new reading software (called Boo), and it's faster to run (they say it turns on instantly). Like the original Opus, the Color supports ePUB and PDF file formats, has 1GB memory and a microSD card slot.

Bookeen cybook Opus new colors photo

Bookeen also lowered the price from 215$ to $199.

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