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image So when will we see $99.95 E Ink machines? The current shortage of E Ink displays—probably the reason for the Kindle crunch—won’t last forever.

Meanwhile, the more manufacturers in the game, the better in terms of spurring demand. That’s the key to lowering prices in the long run, even if PVI may be reluctant to invest more than such-and-such amount in the manufacturing of the current generation of displays.

Netronix, owned partly by PVI, is the latest out the gate. It’s unveiled 9.7- and 6-inch E Ink-based readers, the latter  of which, the EB-100, is a Linux machine similar to the Cybook Gen3. But the 9.7 model, the EB-300, comes with a twist, the use of the Windows CE operating system in an E Ink gizmo.

Software and format possibilities

imageDoes the CE mean that Mobipocket and eReader could follow—either via software bundling or your own installations—so we could read DRM-hobbled bestsellers on that 1200X825-pixel, 170-dpi screen? And how about uBook, which runs on at least some CE machines? Currently announced formats include TXT, PDF (probably just nonencrypted), RTF, HTML, BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, MP3, AAC, and WiFi and Bluetooth are available. Oh, and the EB-300 offers True Type—meaning, I’d hope, some nice heavy bold fonts to make it easier to read off the E Ink screen in dim light.

Mysteries

Price? Dates of availability in States and other parts of the world? Mysteries, still. You can pick up more details from Alex at MobileRead and a PDFed Netronix spec sheet for the larger machine. Wait. I’ll repro the specs here along with some accompanying ballyhoo from the company.

Introduction

Hold a mobile library in your palm and bring it everywhere! EB300 is a thin and light electronic book. With an anti-glare 9.7″ big screen, EB300 gives you the best view of e-papers. The power saving design allows you to read up to 5000 continuous page in a single charge. What’s more, EB300 embeds with a 3.5mm earphone jack; you can listen to music while reading e-books.

Key features

Turn page — forward/backward/auto(default 10seconds)

Jump to page

Progress bar — display position in the book

Font increasing — increase font size

Bookmark — add bookmark to a page

Zoom — zoom in/out page

Slideshow — Start/Stop slideshow image files

Auto shut-off — on/off(default 10 minutes)

Play MP3 — playback MP3 files

802.11b/g Wi-Fi

Bluetooth

Touch Screen

Delete File

WinCE 5.0 OS with splash screen on boot

Language support : English, Chinese (Big5/GB), Japan,

Dutch, Spanish, French

Embed 3.5 mm headphone jack

Support 2 * USB 2.0 ports (one port with power charge

function)

Support 2 * sliders

Accessories: 1 * battery charger, 1 * stylus, User

Manual

Product specifications

Screen

9.7″ EInk paper

Resolution

1200 x 825 pixels, 170dpi, B&W, 4 grayscale

Support Format

E-Book formats — TXT, PDF, RTF, HTML/CHM

Image formats — BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG

Sound format — MP3, AAC

Font format – TTF

Input

Touch screen (to be used with stylus and finger)

4 functional buttons programmable

Storage

SD card expansion (up to 2GByte)

SDRAM

64MByte

Flash

NAND 4Gbit

Battery

Lithium-ion Battery 3.7V 2100 mAh

(up to 5000 continuous page turns)

DC IN Jack (USB)

LED Display

Power/Alarm (Green), Charger status (Red)

4 LED for page turn

Dimensions

255 (H) x 195 (W) x 14 (D) mm

Temperature

Operating: 0° ~ 40°C (32° ~ 104°F)

Storage: –20° ~ 60°C (-4° ~ 140°F)

Certification

FCC Class B, CE Mark

Power Supply

Switching power adapter 5V, 1A

/////////////////////////////

Other info from Netronix…some facts overlapping…

Interface

2 x USB ports (one with power charge function)

1 x 3.5mm stereo earphone connector

Power on/off, up/down/right/left/enter, menu, music, up page, delete, volume up/down, reset

2 x sliders

Screen

9.7″ EInk paper

Resolution

1200 x 825 pixels, 170 dpi, B&W, 4 grayscale

Memory Size

4Gbit NAND type Flash

Storage

SD card (expandable up to 2GByte)

SDRAM

64MB

Dimensions

255mm(H )x 195mm(W) x 14mm(D)

Power supply

+5V/1A Switching Power Adapter

Certification

FCC Class B , CE Class B

E B – 3 0 0

■ Read in the dark without damage your eyesight

(not TFT back lit mode)

[Yes, like Alex at MR, I'm curious about the above. - D.R.]

■ User-friendly interface

■ Bookmarking, slideshow, and zoom

■ Thin and light; easy to carry

■ 802.11g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Touch Screen

■ Accessories: Battery charger, Stylus, and User Manual

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