Taiwan’s native ereader maker Netronix has just announced a new ebook reader. They’ll be releasing the EZRead Touch under, their consumer brand.
This is their latest design, and it’s based on a 6″ Pearl E-ink screen. it also has Wifi, a capacitive touch screen, 2GB Flash, and SD card slot, but there’s not much else in terms of technical details. But I can say that the EZRead Touch will support Epub and PDF, as well as Adobe DE DRM.
The press release promises a $95 model but that could end up being wishful thinking. The true retail is NT$3,850 (~$127 USD); the $95 price is what Netronix hope to offer as an ad subsidized option.
I’d like to say some nice things about Netronix, but to be perfectly honest they’re not all that competent. The software and hardware of their stock designs aren’t all that great. I have a couple ereaders running the stock Netronix firmware, and trust me, you don’t want it. It’s incredibly basic and does little more than show an Epub file.
In fact the only good ereaders made by Netronix that I’ve ever encountered were ones where some other company improved the hardware and did the software from scratch.
For example, the Pocketbook 360, which was released in late 2009, was based on a Netronix design that Pocketbook modified. Pocketbook also ported over their own software.
Or you could look at the Cybook Opus, the 5″ ereader that Bookeen released in fall 2009. It has some details in common with the Pocketbook 360, but Bookeen refined the design. Bookeen also wrote the software running on it – twice, in fact.
And then there’s the original Kobo eReader. Kobo did some amazing work to fix what is still a horrible design. They replaced the hard plastic D-pad with a soft rubber one, making it a lot more pleasant to use. They also added padding on the back, making the ereader just a little thicker and a lot easier to hold on to.
I am going to try to get my hands on the EZRead Touch, but TBH I’m not sure I want to.