Fujitsu has launched FLEPia – “color e-paper mobile terminal”. It features:
- 8″ 1024×768 e-Ink resistive touchscreen that can display either 260,000, 4,096 or 64 colors. Depending on the number of colors page update time ranges from 1.8 to 8 seconds.
- 158 x 240 x 12 mm size and 350g weight. This makes it larger and heavier compared to Amazon Kindle 2 (135 x 203 x 9 mm and 289g). I would imagine that version with 12″ screen would be even heavier.
- SD slot that can accommodate up to 4GB of flash memory
- Connectivity is represented by 802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth 2.0 and USB
- It runs Microsoft Windows CE5.0 on XScale RISC CPU
- Battery life is 40 hours or 2,400 page turns which is impressive for a device with these capabilities.
- eBook formats supported are: BunkoViewer XMDF and T-Time .book. Both are eBook formats widely used on mobile phones in Japan. Since device runs a generic Windows CE5.0 OS I can speculate that it would be possible to broaden format selection by installing additional applications
- Price tag is ¥100,000 ($940)
While I didn’t have the opportunity to play around with this device I’ll speculate a little bit…
Although some news sites might call this device a “Kindle Killer”, it’s obviously not that. First of all it’s geared heavily towards Japanese market and Japanese users. Secondly, it is not hooked to Kindle Book Store which is crucial to Kindle‘s success. My personal belief is that Kindle would have been successful even without eInk technology though maybe slightly less. And thirdly even 8″ version costs around $1,000 which is to high for “eBook reader for the masses”
It is good to see this device comercially released though because it would allow for further development of color eInk technology and eventually prices will come down and we’ll see more devices featuring it…