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e-Reader Options Multiply

11/08/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK — Tree-hugging consumers are
getting more options to satisfy their on-the-go
e-reading appetites with the launch of multiple
new e-readers, tablets and e-reader apps for
tablets and smartphones.

Barnes & Noble announced late-November
availability of its first color-screen e-reader, and
Entourage said it plans by January to ship its
Edge dual-screen tablet/e-reader. For its part,
Pandigital expanded its Novel line of e-readers
with its first model using ePaper technology.

On top of that, Amazon announced plans this
year for a Kindle e-reader app
for Windows Phone 7 smartphones,
and Creative Technology
unveiled its first color
tablets, all with Kindle e-reader
app.

At Barnes & Noble, the
book retailer is positioning its
first color e-reader as combining
the performance of a full-featured Android
2.0-based wireless tablet and the “reader-centricity
of a dedicated e-reader,” CEO William Lynch
said. The company also described the $249 Wi-
Fi-equipped Color Nook as a “reader’s tablet,” due in large part to a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen
with multiple technologies to enhance reading, including
a proprietary LG technology said to maximize
the readability of the backlit screen while minimizing
glare. The screen also features 170-degree viewing
angle and 1,024 by 600 resolution, which delivers
more pixels per inch than the larger iPad.

The Color Nook is due in late November in Barnes
& Noble, Best Buy, Walmart and Books-A-Million.

For its part, Entourage said it expects to ship its
Pocket Edge dual-screen tablet/e-reader by January.
The Edge opens up like a book to display a screen on
each side. The left-hand display is a 6-inch black-andwhite
E Ink panel for reading e-books, while the right
side features a 7-inch color touchscreen for accessing
the web and other applications. The Wi-Fi-equipped
device already appeared, however, on the Home Shopping
Network at $399.

For its first non-color e-reader, Pandigital uses a
6-inch 16-level grayscale electrophoretic ePaper
display. Its Linux-based Novel Personal e-reader is
priced at a suggested $199 with integrated Barnes
& Noble eBookstore and is available at national
retailers. Features
include Wi-Fi, web
browser, e-mail app
and appointment calendar,
as well as the
ability to store audio,
video and photos.

Meantime, portable
media player (PMP) marketer Creative Technology
is positioning its first tablets as home and
portable entertainment devices with upgraded audio
performance for use with Bluetooth speakers
and Bluetooth headphones. Four Wi-Fi-equipped
Android 2.1 tablets, dubbed ZiiO Pure Wireless Entertainment
Tablets, also support a Kindle e-reader
app. They’ll be available beginning early December
in 7- and 10-inch versions at suggested retails from
$249 to $319.

Creative’s tablets will be accompanied by three
other Android 2.1 devices, called Zen Touch 2 Wireless
Entertainment Devices, with 3.2-inch touchscreens
and Kindle app support. Their retails range
from $189 to $209.

All seven Creative devices will download Android
apps from Creative’s Zii Store.