It has been 5 days since I reported that the Elonex 710EB was up for preorder, and a number of new details have emerged. At the time I posted, the product page on Amazon.co.uk had few technical details. Gizmag followed up on this, and the answers they got are worrisome:
When contacted, Elonex said that the final technical specifications are still in a state of flux prior to an end of the month UK availability slot but the 710EB eBook is known to sport a 7-inch LED backlit LCD touchscreen display at 800 x 480 resolution. The current configuration shows an M10 processor with integrated graphics processor, 802.11b/g wireless connectivity and micro-USB and HDMI wired connectivity.
The 7.67 x 4.72 x 0.66 inch 710EB eBook's easy to use touch controlled interface runs on the Android operating system with proprietary Elonex overlay. At the time of writing there's 128MB of system memory and a gigabyte of onboard storage which is expandable via microSD slot...
The fact that the technical specs are still undecided bothers me because I can only see 2 reasons for it, and neither are good. Elonex might not know what the specs are because they could be poorly organized. This does not bode well for technical support or warranty service.
But there is another explanation, and this one should scare you off the 710EB. Elonex might not know what the tech specs are because they haven't bought the 710EB yet. Confused? Let me explain.
There are 2 ways to make a gadget. The first is to pay someone to make your design, and the second is to buy someone else's design and slap your logo on it. Elonex are using the second option, and there's nothing wrong with that.
The problem here is that Elonex hasn't actually bought the design yet. If they had, they would know the specs. I'm afraid that buying an early 710EB will be something of a crapshoot. You don't really know what you're going to get.