A few minutes ago I showed you the new ereader from Bookeen, the one which was following the trend of lighted higher resolution screens.
Txtr, a German ebook developer, went in the other direction. They’ve just unveiled the Beagle, their new cheap ereader. This baby has a 5″ (800×600) E-ink screen and measures less than 5mm thick. It’s being pitched as the smallest ereader in the world, and for once that marketing hype might be true.
This ereader fills a volume of only 100CC, so while it might have a larger footprint and weight than the 111 gram Trekstor Pyrus Mini, it very likely has a smaller volume.
The Beagle doesn’t have Wifi or a touchscreen, but it does have something almost as good. It has Bluetooth, and that means you should be able to pass ebooks from your Android smartphone or tablet – no cable required. That is a really smart move; txtr just made it easy for anyone to add the Beagle to their existing stable of mobile devices without having to worry about the hassle of another set of cables. But the press release does say that this is Android only (the app requires Android 4.0), and that could be an issue.
Update: A txtr rep has shown up in the comments and he says that the txtr iOS app will also soon get support for transferring ebooks to the Beagle – PCs too.
Power is supplied by a couple AAA batteries, and txtr is boasting that you can read for a year on a single charge. The Beagle also comes with 4GB of storage (no card slot), and the pared down hardware has resulted in the Beagle weighing in at only 128 grams.
Final Update: And here’s the catch. One reader noticed (and txtr has confirmed) that the Beagle can only carry 5 ebooks at a time. They have to be pre-rendered by the Android app before being transferred over. (Thanks, Flobber!)
As for price, the 10 to 20 euros mentioned before is the subsidized price; I don’t know what the actual retail will be. If you want the lower price you will need to contact a cell network which carries it and buy it from them – with contract, probably.
Second Update: txtr’s promo video is finally live on Vimeo. it had been locked when this post was published.
There had been previous attempts to sell ereaders via the major mobile networks, including Amazon’s ongoing partnership with AT&T, but so far as I know none had been all that successful in selling lots of devices. I think the txtr Beagle could change that.
Txtr has come up with a device which complements most any Android smartphone in size, weight, and function. It practically sells itself.