1For ebook readers who feel like taking an opposite direction from the phablet, the Alcatel Xess could be the device for you. Announced in 2015 but only just now finding its way to market, the 17-inch Alcatel Xess is, Alcatel boasts, “A Tablet So Different We Can’t Call it a Tablet.”

Of course, the main unique selling point for the Alcatel Xess is “the large 17.3-inch interactive touchscreen.” But there are a couple of tweaks that support this big feature, particularly the “built-in stand, stylus and slide-out carrying handle,” according to Alcatel. “The stand enables users freedom of choice in positioning Xess: flat for gaming and family fun; 30 degrees for drawing and sketching; 50 degrees for cooking and 75 degrees for watching videos. Accessories like the Smart Dock and wall mount allow even more viewing possibilities.”

How is all this for e-reading? For a device the size of some desktop monitors, the Xess is obviously well equipped to support comfortable usage on desk or wall. That could enable teaching or lecturing uses, obviously, as well as a fairly limited set of personal reading applications, like recipes in the kitchen. With Android’s robust voice interaction support, you may be able to envisage a few more uses too.

One caveat about the Alcatel Xess: Android can already project to HDMI-enabled big screens through the ChromeCast, for a nominal extra cost. If there is no extra value for you in a big touchscreen, only a big display, perhaps you should skip the Xess and go with a smaller device plus ChromeCast. But for those who do see value here, the Xess is available, for $499.


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