Smaller is better would seem to be the theme with the Inch A5i which was just unveiled in Russia.
The A5i is Inch’s 6th ebook reader and it’s going to be a budget ebook reader based on the older generation 5″ Vizplex E-ink screen. It lacks Wifi or a touchscreen, but it has a speaker, g-sensor, microSD card slot, and 2GB Flash. As you can see it has page turn buttons on both sides of the screen, which should please both lefties and righties.
I’m a little surprised at the Vizplex screen. That’s well over a year out of date, so there isn’t much call for it anymore. I would think that this model would have shipped with the newer Pearl screen.
Format support includes mp3 for music as well as FB2, RTF, PDF, DOC, DJVU, HTML, TXT, EPUB, ZIP, RAR. The A5i also ships with three games: Sudoku, Fifteen, Python as well as a file manager.
This ereader caught my eye because the hardware is seems very familiar. the overall design bears a striking resemblance to the PageOne, a 6″ E-ink E-reader that I reviewed last year. The 5 buttons on one side of the screen and the ports on the upper edge give the Inch A5i a distinct look.
Now, I now that the PageOne was supposed to be, so this could be a second device from the same developers. In any case, this looks like a svelte but serious competitor at the low end of the Russian market. Retail will be about 3400 rubles ($110).