Hands on video of the Astri dual screen reader

Update: The Astri rep just told me that I had pricing details wrong. I've removed the information.

I spent some time with the Astri rep last night, and he had Astri's new My Internet Device to show off. I have a number of photos and (at the end of this post) a new hands on video.

I've covered the Astri MyID before (here & here), but this is the first time that I've had a chance to hold it in my hands. The unit I saw was one of their prototypes, and production is going to start next quarter.

The MyID prototype is a pocketable version of the Entourage Edge. It has a 5" E-Ink screen and a 4.8" LCD touchscreen. There is a jog dial  in between the two screens; it's used for switching between the several ebooks you can have open. Loading isn't that fast, but this is a software problem so it should be possible to speed it up. There is a nubbin joystick below the LCD screen, and the usual Home, back, menu, buttons around it.

It's running Android, and for the most part it's still using the stock menus. (Hopefully Astri is going to replace the stock onscreen keyboard; it's not very good.)  It has Flash support, and runs full screen video at 30fps on the LCD screen (800x480).

Right now it's using FBReader, and Astri is willing to use any DRM system specified by their business partner.  An important detail about the prototype: Astri is ready to adapt the design to any screen size. They picked this size because their test audience was primary school students. I got into an interesting discussion with the rep about whether a 7" screen might be better (that's what I want).

The reader software doesn't have as many features as the Entourage Edge. Right now it just has the basic ebook reading functions. I'm told that the production version will have a more finished firmware and will be more capable. Even so, there are signs that Astri did think about how to coordinate the 2 screens. Ebooks only open on the epaper screen, but the TOC opens on the LCD screen. There is also a second TOC for images, video, and audio ckips in the ebook which also opens on the LCD screen.

I like the design. I was able to look at it and simply know how to navigate. This may not sound interesting to you, but it's a sign that they really put some thought into the design. The touchscreen is fingertip friendly, and I'm pretty sure that one handed operation is possible.

I also like how you can have 6 ebooks open at once, and then used the jog dial to switch between them.

About Nate Hoffelder (11473 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on Hands on video of the Astri dual screen reader

  1. Question:
    What are the hardware specs of the android site of the MyID ?
    Thank you in advance.

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