Long-Awaited 'Alex' Android eReader Ready For Pre-Orders

Mar 17, 2010 by Ted Goodman weblog
The Alex Reader. © Spring Design

(PhysOrg.com) -- You can preorder the first Alex Reader today... finally! Alex, the first Google Android-powered eReader will ship to preorders in mid-April, five months after its announcement made a huge splash last October. That announcement by Alex's designer, Spring Design, raised hopes that Alex might be available before Christmas ’09, but it won’t even fall into its first customer's hands by Easter, 2010.

The timing is poor; Apple’s iPad is coming out on April 3, and that competitor will take at least some wind out of the sails of Alex. But if Alex comes close to delivering on its promises, it will be worth the wait.

The Duet Navigator allows simultaneous web support on your topic... while you read. © Spring Design

Alex is the first Android-based e-book with full browser capability and a Duet Navigator™ that enables you to read electronic books on the upper screen - a monochrome 6” display (EPD) - and enhance your knowledge of your subject matter with Google’s Web Grabs, related articles, photos, and videos, on the lower 3.5”color LCD screen. The Navigator even allows you to save Web Grabs to view at your leisure on the monochrome screen. How handy is that for researchers, students, authors, reporters, and just folks who enjoy being erudite?

Alex has annotating features. ©Spring Design

And, if you don’t want to be that smart, you can browse your favorite music and listen to it while you read. Or not read at all, and use the 16-bit color LCD touch-screen to search the Web for whatever you want. Alex not only provides full Internet browsing, but email, calculator, and a media player you can run on the LCD display. And, as Android expands its capabilities, Alex will be privy to additional applications.

Alex has full search, email, photo, and streaming video capabilities. ©Spring Design

You can download Google Books, which includes umpteen (Google won’t say how many) books, magazines, and newspapers, as well as Alex partner bookstores, like Borders.

Alex supports Wi-Fi and 3G, and comes with a (one charge lasts for up to 2 weeks), a 2GB removable memory card, an AC/USB power connector, and a padded protective cover. Alex’s expansion slot supports cards up to 32GB of data.

Alex is available in Black and White. ©Spring Design

The price is at the higher end of the eReaders. But at $399, the Alex is still $100 less than the iPad, its closest competitor.

Preorder at Spring Design.

Explore further: Google debuts $105 Android One smartphone in India

More information: Spring Design

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User comments : 3

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NeilFarbstein
Mar 18, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
shadfurman
5 / 5 (1) Mar 18, 2010
Perhaps you should clarify, in the synopsis at the top is says "Alex, the first Google Android-powered eReader", which isn't true, the Nook runs Android. It clarifies in the article, "Alex is the first Android-based e-book with full browser capability" but the synopsis is still misleading.
NeilFarbstein
1 / 5 (2) Mar 18, 2010
Perhaps you should clarify, in the synopsis at the top is says "Alex, the first Google Android-powered eReader", which isn't true, the Nook runs Android. It clarifies in the article, "Alex is the first Android-based e-book with full browser capability" but the synopsis is still misleading.
I say the projections are illusory, alex is dead on arrival.
denijane
not rated yet Apr 01, 2010
The second screen (the color one) looks a little bit distracting to me. If the e-readers are looking to imitate the feeling of reading a book, then they shouldn't have flashing color screens stealing the attention. It makes more sense to make the whole screen color-ready and the user to be able to switch between color-mode and energy-economical book-mode.