Mclean, Va. - Entourage, the company planning to introduce a $490 combination e-reader/netbook at International CES in January, announced today the opening of an e-book store to complement the device.
The e-book store at www.entourage.com will include more than 1 million free e-books in the public domain (digitized by Google) and hundreds of thousands of trade and professional e-book titles from Ingram Digital, plus thousands of consumer books, newspapers and periodicals from Libre Digital.
The e-reader, called the Edge by Entourage Systems, will be sold through retailers and is aimed at students and anyone who must carry around a lot of documents, said Doug Atkinson marketing and business development VP for Entourage.
First announced in late October, the Edge runs on the Android operating system. It opens like a book with a 9.7-inch monochrome E-Ink screen on one side for e-reading and a 10.1-inch color LCD touchscreen on the opposing side for netbook functions, including email and instant messaging, Web browsing, video and audio. It provides access to EPUB and PDF books and magazines.
The device offers Wi-Fi access out of the box with a 3G wireless option, whose details will be announced at CES.
Users can read e-books on one side and take notes, highlight text or draw diagrams on the margins on the E-Ink screen, and those annotations will remain on the e-book page when you return to it. Also, users can link video or Web pages to the e-book text so that teachers, for example, may create new multimedia materials for students who also have an Edge device.
Students can also highlight a chart on the e-book side and it will appear in color on the netbook side.
Analysts claimed winning over the student market is critical for e-readers to reach mass-market status.
Entourage said it opted for the dual-screen e-reader/netbook approach "because we were trying to understand how someone learns and works. The user typically has many things going on at once," said Atkinson.
He explained, "If I found a Web page, I can attach it to the document, I can attach a movie, an audio link ... And the next time I go back to that text, those links will appear. If you want to make a multimedia book with our device, you can do that."