Second Gen of E-Book Readers Swoops in on the Wings of the iRex Reader 1000

Hard on the heels of the announced unveiling of Plastic Logic’s unnamed tablet reader, Andy Greenberg of Forbes reports the imminent launch of iRex Technologies’ iRex Reader 1000. What does it look like? The image at the right is all that anyone gets to see until Monday September 22nd.

With Sony and Amazon developing next-generation e-books, the race for the hearts, minds and wallets of the consumer is on, and tablet-sized screens will definitely be a critical factor. Forbes will win handily in that aspect, as Plastic Logic won’t get its product out till late spring at the very earliest. But who will win the contest on the basis of quality is anybody’s guess. In any case both business and student users will be the beneficiaries, and though this blogger has restrained his temptation to buy a tablet up to now, it’s more than likely he will succumb when all the entries are available.

One thing that will affect my decision is the price: the projected price for the basic iRex 1000 will be about $650 but add-ons will increase the cost, bringing it to about twice the price of Kindle and Sony. On the other hand, that’s about half the price of a tablet PC. And iRex may deliver twice the value.

According to Greenberg,

The iRex Reader 1000 offers a 10.2-inch diagonal E-Inkscreen, far larger than Kindle’s 6-inch screen or even iRex’s own 8.1-inch diagonal iLiad, its last e-book model. That stretched display is designed to work with any file format, be it an e-book, a full-sized PDF, a Word document or HTML. Like earlier iRex devices, it sports a stylus and touch screen for taking notes and marking documents.

Some other issues inhibiting consumers are lack of color and no video, says Greenberg. So, even business men and women who can afford it (assuming they can even afford lead pencils in the current economy) might want to sit out the dance until those features are in place. That will happen in the next four years.

-Richard Curtis

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