Monday, October 05, 2009

Foxit eBook reader

I have seen the future of eBooks.

It's the Foxit eSlick Reader. Unlike the Kindle, Sony and other eBook readers which use document formats that lock you down to a single source, this one reads PDFs. While Adobe originally created PDF as a proprietary format, they released it as an open standard on July 1, 2008.

While Kindle and its kin are well made devices, the reliance on a single entity is problematic: should the company decide to discontinue the device and end support for the document format, you're screwed.

With the eSlick Reader, even if Foxit stops making the unit, you'll be able to continue to get new books, as well as read the books on any other device (including your computer) that reads PDFs.

Quoting from the overview page, The eSlick Reader has an internal memory of 512MB and comes with a 2 GB SD card (supports up to 4 GB). Resolution is 600 x 800 pixel. As with almost every other device out there, it also plays MP3s (great for audio books). It also comes with PDF creation software, so you can roll your own. In case you're interested, it runs on Linux.

While you can buy these online at the Foxit website (MSRP: $259) I noticed Fry's is also selling them.

This looks like a pretty cool device. It would certainly be a great replacement for the tons of bulky tech manuals I've got hanging around in my office.  One suggest: more memory. 4 GB will get eaten up quickly, especially if you like your tunes. With the availability of 64 GB SD chips, this is a silly limitation.

Now I know what I want for Christmas.


I noticed Fry's was running a sale last week on another eBook reader that has similar functionality.  This one is made by Astak. The 5 inch EZReader is listed on the Astak site for $199 but Fry's had them for $149 after rebate (I hate rebates, by the way). Pre-rebate price is $179. Still a good price!

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