Boyue T63 Shine Android eReader to launch in China as the JDRead

jdreadThe Chinese ereader OEM Boyue updated its website this week and has taken down the page for the long awaited T63 Shine. In its place is a new page for a new ereader called the JDRead, which has essentially the same hardware, only now with a new brand.

China's second largest online retailer (after Alibaba) Jingdong is getting into the ereader biz. The retailer is in the middle of a crowd-funding campaign to raise interest in the JDRead, its first ereader.

The JDRead features a 6" Carta E-ink screen with frontlight and touchscreen, and like the earlier and related ereader Ridibook Paper, the JDRead runs Android an an dual-core 1GHz CPU with 512MB RAM and 8GB internal storage. It's not known, however, whether the JDRead lets you access the Android and install apps (the Ridibook Paper does not).

Weighing in at 190 grams, the JDRead is a little heavier than the Kindle Voyage. It has a 1440 x 1072 resolution display, a 2.8Ah battery, Wifi, and a microSD card slot. It also has page turn buttons, and according to one source the JDRead has a haptic feedback system (it vibrates when you touch the screen). My Ridibook Paper doesn't appear to have that option, so I can't confirm this detail.

According to Boyue, the JDRead is going to launch/ship in May. Jingdong is charging 799 yuan for the ereader, or about $123.

Based on what I've seen with my Ridibook Paper, that's not a bad price, although an English speaker is probably going to have trouble with the Chinese-language menus.

The language conflict is the single biggest issue for my Ridibook Paper, which I got in late December. It has been available in Korea from the bookseller Ridibook since last fall, but it's not available internationally and even in Korea the supply was limited. I had to buy it through Ebay and put my money down on a pre-order with the hope that I wasn't being cheated, and even then I still had to wait for a month.

The Ridibook Paper is a very pretty ereader, and it's fast to turn the page, thin and light, and while the buttons are low profile I still find them easy to use.

If it had an English language option I would recommend that you get it, but as it stands, the Paper and the JDRead are best left to people who understand the language, or are willing to hack their ereader and install another firmware.

JD.com via AllChinaTech, CNW

About Nate Hoffelder (11274 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."

3 Comments on Boyue T63 Shine Android eReader to launch in China as the JDRead

  1. A correction and a question:

    1) The crowdfunding is not “completed”, as it still has 17 days to run, although it is already “successful”, in that it has already raised more than double the original target.

    2) Do you have confirmation that the interface is Chinese-only? The commentary on Mobileread seemed to indicate that the main sticking points with the Ridibook Paper was Ridibook’s app, which was hard-coded for Korean. I’d been assuming that, similar to the T61 and T62, Boyue will be wanting to sell this product internationally, so would not lock it down to a single language (especially when Android, by default, allows for changing language).

    • I fixed the first one.

      And I don’t have any evidence to support my assertion that the JDRead will be Chinese-only, but I think it’s a safe bet given the retailer’s focus.

      • I would note a number of points of differentiation between this and the Ridibook Paper as counter-indicators: (1) the Paper was explicitly rebranded a Ridibook product, whereas the JDReader has no exterior branding (meaning that the product can easily be sold through other venues), (2) the Paper appears to have been a retailer-commissioned product, whereas the JDReader is crowdsourced (at least initially), meaning that the retailer influence on the product is likely to be less, with its leverage of the product likely to be an afterthought, (3) unlike the Paper (or even the original T63 Shine, which only had a couple of pics and a ‘link to nowhere’ on the site), the JDReader has an extensive writeup on Boyue’s site, implying that (more like the T61 & T63) it is an ‘official’ Boyue product, and thus likely to be intended for multiple markets.

        Would Boyue be likely to pay to lock down a crowdsourced product that they almost certainly will want to sell beyond China eventually? I doubt it.

        It also has to be remembered that retailer lock-down, even on commissioned products, is not necessarily an all-or-nothing thing, but rather a continuum (with Amazon at the extreme end, and most other retailers more moderate).

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