A few days ago I posted on a multi-device pilot program going on in Russian schools. They’re testing 4 different gadgets over in Russia with the goal of picking one and issuing it to all students. I wrote that post just because I thought it was neat (and because no one else could), but I also wrote it just to see what response it would generate.
Within a couple hours a reader told me that I had missed another pilot program. That fifth pilot isn’t being run by the Russian Ministry of Education, and that’s why I didn’t hear of it. But the Entourage Edge is being sold in Russia, and it’s going for 22,000 rubles (~$710 USD).
I had to get help on this, so I reached out to Igorsk (I know him via MobileRead). He turned up a couple articles, background info, and this:
As you can see, 4 of the gadgets above match what I showed you earlier this week, and the fifth is the Entourage Edge. I have more detail than this, but I like the graphic. It pulls together all 5 gadgets.
He’s Dead, Jim
Given how long ago it died, I should probably offer some background detail. Entourage launched the Edge dual screen tablet in Fall 2009, and it was the hit of CES 2010. It has a 9.7″ E-ink screen and a 10.1″ LCD screen. Both sides had touchscreens and it had Wifi, Bluetooth, and ran its own custom reading app on top of Android v1.6.
Entourage released a second model in late 2010 called the Pocket Edge, with a 6″ E-ink screen and a 7″ LCD screen.
I was surprised to read that the Entourage Edge was still being sold in Russia because the company had ceased operations in early 2011. At least, that’s what I thought. You might not have noticed the demise of Entourage, but I’m sure you noticed that the Pocket Edge kept going on clearance. The price eventually dropped to $80 as the warehouse was cleared out.
But there was one detail from the death of Entourage that I should have noticed, but I don’t think anyone did. Only the Pocket Edge went on clearance. The larger Entourage Edge didn’t, which should have raised a red flag. Where did those units go if they’re not on clearance? (Russia, obviously, but we didn’t know that at the time.)
I had good contacts with Entourage before it died and I got to watch the company shrink. I was passed from one email to another as people left. There were a couple issues I wish I had raised at the time, but I didn’t want to bother the remaining staff while they’re struggling to stay the remaining staff. I was happy just to get the Edge support forums copied over to MobileRead before they were deleted.
But now we know the Edge is still being sold by Akademkniga/Uchebni, a subsidiary of the academic publisher
There’s even a bunchaton of news stories about the Edge and how it’s being used in some schools (including current articles). It’s selling for 22,000 rubles, which is about $710 USD. If Entourage had been able to sell it for that price here in the US I think they would still be around.
I’m still looking into this myself, and I will update with more info if I find anything interesting. There’s probably enough material here for a whole other post on how well the Edge is doing in Russian schools.