Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Eken M003, another new e-reader, this one in color

In sometimes keeping up with news of the Kindle's competition in the Kindle world, here's Goodereader's story on the Eken M003 e-reader, which has an 8" LCD color display with rather low image resolution and also smaller internal storage space than usual.

  As a result they'll be offering this for about $240 in the U.S. apparently.   It's already been released in China.  The device does have an SD slot with the capability to hold 32K of books on an SD card.

  I'm not at all sure people want color without good resolution and with what looks like low contrast (similar to the older Flepias) or an e-book reader without an e-bookstore, but while it doesn't have direct cellular wireless downloads as the Kindle and new Sony do, it does offer WiFi Network access capability (home, office, hotspots).

I don't know what to think of the photo as the unit looks squat but I notice the hands look flattened as well, so that may be an error in maintaining the proper aspect ratio of the photograph when re-sizing it.
'  It currently runs Google Android 1.6 and has a full color 800×480 resolution 8″ LCD display.  It has a 600MHz VIA processor, 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, 128MB RAM, and an SD card slot for up to 32 GB of extra memory.

Other features include support for MSN, Google Talk, an audio input and output, two stereo speakers, and comes pre-installed with the Google Chrome lite browser. '
The photo shows the Chrome Lite web browser running on it.

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  1. Since this has Android 1.6, will it run the Kindle for Android app?

  2. Looks like an ipad clone!

  3. Andrea,
    That's a good question, and I guess it depends on what they enable. Barnes & Noble have limited the Nook in that direction and is slowly opening it up more.

  4. Anonymous, it won't have the quality of screen that makes the iPad so effective visually and will be similarly a bit unreadable out in direct sunlight.

    But it'll be interesting to watch this.

    No mention is made of reading features (search, dictionary, annotations, etc.)

  5. It seems like this would need full-fledged android app support to justify the price. $240 and the LCD screen make a lot of sense for a low-budget iPad-type device, but the price is too close the a real Kindle to make much sense as a dedicated e-reader, since it doesn't even have an e-ink screen.

  6. Devices like this, if they are well designed (we don't know yet), can appeal to the very many who haven't been interested in an e-ink device for reading because they demand color in their lives and/or who may not read for hours at a time and won't need the less-fatiguing aspects of an e-ink screen.

  7. Brought 2 back after a trip to China. Don't pay anymore than $150usd that appears to be the going price delivered.

    Resolution is very good but the processor is slow while the WiFi is very good. Memory is 128meg, with 2 gigs of nand. It does support Micro SD cards upto 16gig. This is not an Ipad killer by any means. Fit and finish is typical Chinese prototype version 2, so while it's not bad compared to the apple or kindle is is crude.

    Get the notebook case for it the screen is VERY fragile not harden like the Ipad. If they can refine this and keep the price about $150 then Gen 4 or 5 will be a nice little unit

    I did try some ebook and it was very readable but I could find no apps to use kindle books.

  8. Anonymous, back from China -
    Thanks for the report. I guess it doesn't look as squat in shape? Must be the image someone did. While the processor seems slow, what is the quality of the color for you?

    You must have liked it quite a bit to get two of them. Does it currently have reading that's only in Chinese - I imagine it's bilingual?
    Is the bezel that big?


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