I got an email this morning from Icarus, a Dutch ereader company. They’ve just unveiled the Excel, which they will be selling soon for 350 euros.
The Excel is based on a 9.7″ Pearl E-ink screen, and it has Wifi, a Wacom touchscreen, 4GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, and it has extensive support for ebook formats and annotation tools. It’s running a custom Linux build on an 800MHz Freescale CPU. I know that the hot thing now is to do Android, but picking Linux for the Excel was a good choice.
I recognize the hardware and the menus. This ereader is also the Boox M92, and it was originally developed by Onyx. That’s great, because Onyx has done some awesome ereaders in the past. They also have done some amazing things with annotations (Sony has caught up with them, though).
It’s coming in March, and the retail is around $470. That’s about $30 less than the iPad or Jetbook Color, and I think the iPad would be a better buy.
I just think that this ereader is too expensive, given that it is noticeably less capable than a tablet. It stands as an example of why large screen ereaders should be killed by cheap tablets.